Vietnam, Part II: Hoa Lu and Tam Coc Day Trip.

I have received many messages from you wanting to know more about our recent trip to Hanoi so, thank you for your interest! If you missed the first installment on our adventures around the city, you can see my ‘Family Holiday in Hanoi‘ post here.

If I’m honest, writing this has taken me far longer than expected – Christmas, New Year, school holidays and an apartment move for us, but I’m finally back with an overview of one of the most picturesque day trips you can make from the capital city.

Trang An and Tam Coc in the Ninh Binh Province are only a two hour drive away, and totally transport you from the hustle and bustle of the busy Hanoi streets to the stunning natural beauty of this region of natural parks, caves and rivers.

There are a few options when it comes to booking such a trip. You can do this as a group bus tour, you can do it in a private car with driver and tour guide (which worked well for us as a family of four with two children) or you could be real adventurers and do the trip yourself which I’ve heard isn’t too difficult to do if you are happy to jump on a motorcycle and hit the open roads.

We booked our private tour via our hotel and were picked up promptly at 8.00am to take the two-hour drive to our first stop. Our tour guide spoke perfect English and was happy to answer questions we had as we drove out of Hanoi and onwards to the region of Binh Ninh.

Once you reach Hoa Lu, the ancient capital of Vietnam, that was the economic and political centre of Dai Co Viet during the 10th and 11th centuries, there are a number of different sights to be seen. The region is rich in history and boasts a number of temples and pagodas, but exactly where you will stop, and which spot you will visit, will be largely ruled by the tour you book.

Our first stop was at Bich Dong Pagoda, which is built into the mountainside, and encompasses three small temples spread out over different levels but easily accessible by a few steps. It’s well worth making your way to the top, passing through the caves and then enjoying the stunning views over the valley below. A great spot for photos and learning about the history of the region.

The highlight of any day trip to the region is probably going to be the two-hour return boat trip that you will take along the Sao Khe River. It is photos of this very part of the trip that inspired us to visit the region in the first place and we were not disappointed.

Everywhere you look it’s picture-postcard perfect; with lush greenery, towering limestone rocks, and caves, your guide will take you on the most tranquil of journeys, mostly rowing with her feet (this in itself is a sight to be seen!) as you just sit back and relax.

The day wasn’t over yet! We then went to a local restaurant to have our lunch which was all included in the rate we paid. I will admit I was a little nervous before arriving (you know, in the middle of nowhere, two children in tow…you get the picture!) but this place was spotlessly clean with a choice of indoor and outside (yet covered) seating with full bathroom facilities to wash up before sitting down to eat. We ordered drinks and were then served a large mixed platter of goodies for a starter, more than ample for the four of us. There were nems/spring rolls, chicken pieces, French fries, and salad. The main course then came out in the form of a delicious local goat curry with sides of rice and vegetables. To round off the meal, we had some fresh fruits and all in all, we ate really well. There was something for everyone, and while I can’t say the waiting staff spoke English, the service and food were both great.

Before heading back to Hanoi there was one final stop off point at Hoa Lu.

There is not a lot left of the original ancient citadel, but when you stop here, you visit two temples (sat side by side) that were built in honour of the emperors Đinh Tiên Hoàng and Lê Đại Hành. We wandered through the two enclosures and visited both the inner and outer citadel, and the littles got to feed the fish in the pond before heading over to see the rest of the gardens.

All in all, it was a really great trip to the region, all of which lies just 100 km away from Hanoi and can be reached in a two-hour transfer. The boat trip on the Sao Khe River was just amazing and the most memorable part of the day for us all. If I had to say anything negative about the trip, it would just be that I wish there has been a stop at a viewpoint to look down over the valley and river (if you’ve ever googled the region, you’ll know the exact scene I’m talking about!) but having had such a great day, I really can’t complain about that.

Hopefully this has given you a bit of an insight into a day trip that is easy to do from Hanoi should you be in the city for a few days and feel the need to escape the general traffic and noise. The next installment? Of course, we did an overnight in Halong Bay, and what an experience that was! The kids did NOT want to get off the boat! All that and more coming in Part III of our Vietnamese adventures. S x

 

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Last week’s Giveaway: Winners Announced!

What better way to celebrate Thaipusam than by announcing the winners of our giveaway!

Last week we teamed up with Alce Nero Malaysia as they launched their new Organic Pasta for Kids, and now we would like to congratulate the 5 lucky winners who will receive RM50 worth of Alce Nero Pasta!

Please check the list of winners below. If you are one of our giveaway winners, please send me a private message to my Kuala Lumpur Kids FB page for further instructions!

If you didn’t win, fear not! I have another amazing giveaway coming up for CNY!

Happy Thaipusam to those celebrating, and enjoy your day, S x

FREE Organic Pasta for Kids in Our Giveaway this week!

A new week, a new GIVEAWAY!

I am very pleased to announce that we have joined forces with Alce Nero to give 5 lucky winners the chance to try their new range of Organic Pastas for Kids!

Their ‘Organic Vehicle Shape Pasta’ and ‘ ‘Organic Alphabet Pasta’ hit the shelves this month in Malaysia, and we’d love for some of you to try them for FREE!

We are looking for 5 (five) winners to walk away with RM50 worth of Alce Nero products, including their new kids’ pasta!

All Alce Nero Organic Products are imported from Italy and are certified 100% organic products; free from preservatives, pesticides, MSG, artificial sweeteners, flavorings, colouring,

high sodium and other items that may have a negative impact on health in the long term.

To be in with a chance of winning, all you have to do is leave a comment on my FB page telling us your child’s favourite pasta dish!

Be sure to pop over to the Alce Nero Malaysia FB page for updates and amazing recipes!

Want to enter and be in with a chance of winning? Here are the rules and regulations:

1. This competition is open to people who like Kuala Lumpur Kids FB page.

2. Participants must be 18 years of age or over and currently residing in Malaysia. (Winners will need to provide a valid local postal address for delivery purposes)

3. Entrants need to leave an answer in the comments section below.

4. The deadline to enter is at midnight (Malaysia) on Friday 18th of January 2019

5. 5 (five) winners will be picked at RANDOM and notified via my Kuala Lumpur Kids FB page the following week.

6. Winners must be contactable via FB and respond within a week of the winner announcement. After this time, an alternative winner will be chosen at random.

7. The products will be delivered to the winner’s given address in Malaysia only. All related costs are covered by Alce Nero Malaysia.

This promotion is no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. Please do not include any personal information in the comments below and understand that any information given is being given to the owner of this Facebook page, and not Facebook itself.

Any entries after midnight on Friday 11th of January 2019 will not be included in the draw.

Good Luck, Sarah

 

 

Congratulations – Our Giveaway Winners Announced!

It’s Sunday and it’s time to celebrate!

Thank you to everyone who entered our giveaway with “Our Sanrio Times Malaysia” last week. 20 lucky winners will walk away with 2 FREE tickets each to their exhibition currently running at Quill City Mall Kuala Lumpur.

To see if you are one of our lucky giveaway winners, please check the list of names in the comments here!

If your name is there, please send a pm to my Kuala Lumpur Kids FB page in order to find out how you can collect your FREE tickets 🎉

Happy Sunday everyone, S x

(Ps. We have more giveaways coming this month so stay tuned!)

Fun Factory is KL’s Latest Kid’s Cafe to amaze us!

Look at this! What a way to start the day!

Fun Factory Plaza Arkadia opened its doors on Christmas Day to bring a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘child-friendly restaurant’ and I’m so excited to show you the first photos of what’s inside!

The latest addition to Desa ParkCity offers the most amazing indoor play area for little ones and everything is nice, new and shiny!

Children from 3-12 years old have a 3-level play zone with lots of obstacles and climbing fun, as well as a great big slide, and colourful ball pit.

There’s then a separate area for toddlers under 3 (which is completely free of charge) and let’s the youngest of diners have their very own fun!

All of this is in-sight of mums and dads who want to sit and enjoy a coffee, juice or a meal from their menu serving both western and Asian (Chinese-fusion) cuisine. They are open daily from 12 noon and close at 10pm on weekdays(while they stay open til closing on weekends and public holidays!)

I can’t wait to see this place for myself, it really looks amazing – anyone else want to visit?! S x

We Have a Giveaway perfect for Hello Kitty Fans!

We are starting the New Year with a fantastic giveaway thanks to our friends over at Our Sanrio Times Malaysia

If you haven’t yet been, this is the largest Hello Kitty and Sanrio character exhibition in South East Asia and houses over 300 vintage items currently being displayed at Quill City Mall.

We are looking for 20 (yes, twenty!) winners to walk away with TWO FREE TICKETS each which can be used to visit the exhibition up until February 17th 2019!

To be in with a chance of winning, leave us a comment on our FB Page telling us the name of the person you would like to take along with you, and why you want to visit the exhibition!

Want to win big with Our Sanrio Times Malaysia? Here are the rules and regulations:

1. This competition is open to people who like Kuala Lumpur Kids FB page.

2. Participants must be 18 years of age or over and currently residing in Malaysia. (Winners will need to provide a valid local postal address)

3. To be in with a chance to win, please leave your answer in the comments of the FB Giveaway Post

4. The deadline to enter is at midnight (Malaysia) on Friday 11th of January 2019

5. 20 (twenty) winners will be picked at RANDOM and notified via my Kuala Lumpur Kids FB page the following week.

6. The FREE entrance tickets will be valid until the 17th of February 2019 only.

7. Winners will need to collect their tickets from the ticket counter of the Event Hall showing proof of a congratulations message from Kuala Lumpur Kids stating that they have won 2 free tickets. No delivery service for the tickets will be provided.

This promotion is no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. Please do not include any personal information in the comments below and understand that any information given is being given to the owner of this Facebook page, and not Facebook itself.

Any entries after midnight on Friday 11th of January 2019 will not be included in the draw.

Good Luck, Sarah

Kuala Lumpur’s First CAT Playground is here!

A new year, and a new little something to tell you about!

C-A-T Playground opened its doors on December 28th 2018 at Sunway Putra Mall and is the first of its kind in the country!

KL CAT Playground is Malaysia’s first ever Cat Assisted Therapy playground. It’s perfect for child development and sensory play, and is a winner with children, adults, and an absolute must for cat lovers out there! Entry is charged at just RM15 per person, for a 1-hour session.

In addition to their drop-in programme, they offer a fantastic range of sessions conducted by certified physiotherapists which are perfect for children with special needs

.

In celebration of the New Year, they had lots of activities planned throughout the 1st of January so check out their FB page to ensure you don’t miss out on future fun events, suitable for the whole family.

Their centre can be found on Level 1 of Sunway Putra Mall so be sure to pop by for a visit, some fun, and a few cuddles with new furry little friends.

Happy New Year everyone, S x

Happy New Year to you all!

As a new year begins, I would like to send out a very genuine thank you to all of you for supporting my FB page up until now – it’s only because of you that we have come this far, for so long.

As we head into 2019, I wish you and your families a New Year filled with good health and happiness, family moments spent together, and continued adventures as you travel and explore Kuala Lumpur and beyond.

From myself, Sarah, and my two little KL Kids, we wish you a very Happy New Year! S x

(A final sunset for 2018 at Hilton Kuala Lumpur)

Ring in 2019 with these events across Malaysia.

2019 is just around the corner….

To help us reflect on yet another year gone by, and to welcome in the New Year ahead, there are events galore happening on Monday evening to get you in the spirit of things.

Whether you are in Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, or Shah Alam, there is a party and some family entertainment waiting for you! If you haven’t yet decided how to spend the 31st of December, here are a few options for you, your family, and your friends, to point you in the right direction, and to ensure a fun-filled evening, S x

KidZania Kuala Lumpur:

A true family event has been organized by the team over at KidZania Kuala Lumpur.

Enjoy their New Year’s Eve Countdown Party with fun activities, a family treasure hunt, and live music from 7pm until after midnight.

Desa ParkCity:

Desa ParkCity guarantee a family celebration for the festivities in the lead up to 2019!

They have so much happening on the ground and in the air that you won’t know where to start! With clowns, a Ferris wheel, and bouncy castles for the little ones, the evening will be perfect for families before their midnight fireworks display.

Entry is completely free!

LifeStyle Hub at Setia EcoPark:

Lifestyle Hub . Setia Eco Park will be hosting their “Nite of Fun & Colors” from 9pm until midnight.

Countdown to the fireworks display with their live band and LED Water drums, family fun activities, and free food and drinks.

RSVP to the number above.

Suria KLCC:

It’s the event in the city that is the most well-known so if you fancy experiencing New Year’s Eve in the heart of the city, Suria KLCC is the place to be for musical performances and fireworks over the iconic Petronas Twin Towers.

It’s an extremely busy event so be prepared for the crowds or get a nice spot a little further away with the family in KLCC Park.

IOI City Mall:

IOI City Mall have a great line-up of entertainment to bring in the New Year.

Head over to their West Garden from 8pm onwards to enjoy clowns and magicians, Zumba, Fire jugglers and an array of food trucks.

Publika:

Publika have music, dance and of course their midnight fireworks to ring in the new year this coming Monday.

MyTown Shopping Centre:

MyTOWN Shopping Centre has joined forces with JAPAN EXPO ASIA and Splash World to bring you local and Japanese acts, and exciting carnival-style activities such as LED face painting, VR games, and food trucks, before their fireworks display at midnight.

I-City Leisure, Shah Alam:

In Shah Alam, I-City Leisure promises a fun evening culminating in the fireworks display as the clock strikes 12.

Check out the link to their website here for more details.

Sunway City (Sunway Pyramid):

Head over to Sunway City this New Year’s Eve from 9pm onwards to enjoy life performances and their fireworks display at midnight.

Entry is completely free!

Jump Street Malaysia:

If families need a place to hang out on the 31st of December or the 1st of January, there’s a special offer at Jump Street Trampoline Park Malaysia that will see everyone enjoying themselves and all for the special price of RM40 for unlimited jumping!

Pavilion KL:

This looks to be a fabulous event not to be missed!

Head over to Pavilion KL on January the 1st 2019 to bring in the start of the New Year with their World Dragon and Lion Dance Extravaganza (Malaysia Edition 2019) which will see some amazing acrobatic and drum performances from professional teams.