A Trip for both Young and Old
Here are some places you might want to consider if you are planning a short getaway for both the young and old:
The seven of us set off in our 7-seater on a blissful Sunday morning at 745am to Tuas Checkpoint. Getting through customs was quite a breeze. Do have sufficient cash in your Touch and Go card. You will need at least RM23 at the customs and RM7.50 for the toll fees. You do not need to pay the toll fees if you take the Woodlands Checkpoint but Thomas Town is nearer to Tuas Checkpoint.
By 930am we reached our breakfast location: Wee Hoi Kopitiam at Gelang Patah. We were looking forward to some cheap and good dim sum but it was sold out by then. There was no menu and we were told that there were only buns, half-boiled eggs and Lo Mai kai left. Sadly, we settled for those. While leaving the kopitiam, I saw some diners slurping curry noodles and munching prata! Why won’t we told about them? Anyway, there’s nothing to shout about here.
Another 15 mins drive, we reached Hotel Jen Puteri Harbour where we would spend the night. We reached around 11am and it was obviously too early to collect our keys. Nonetheless, I asked if we could at least have a room so my parents could rest while the boys play at Thomas Town. As Expected, I was told the hotel was fully booked. Surprisingly, after checking our passports, the receptionist informed that my parents’ room was ready for checking in! Thanks Hotel Jen for the early check-in!
The Deluxe Harbour View room was bright and spacious. A pity the harbour view was partially blocked by trees. Otherwise, the room was clean and comfortable. We rested a while and decided to bring the 3 boys to Thomas Town. It opens at 10am and we wanted to make full use of the park’s facilities. My hubby would drive my parents to Sutera Mall to do some shopping. Sutera Mall was half an hour drive from Hotel Jen.
I got each ticket for RM 57 at Puteri Harbour website when the park was giving a 40% discount. So do check their website for good deals. Another website (wonderfly.asia)offers one-day pass at Thomas Town for RM68 which is still cheaper than the usual RM95. I have read a number of bad reviews about the park and was not particularly thrilled to bring the boys there. Yet, much to my surprise and delight, the boys had so much fun that they didn’t want to leave.
The park was pretty empty and there was simply no need to queue. They had endless rides on Harold the helicopter and the two older boys went on the bumper cars numerous times. After a quick bite at the café in the park (there is nothing to rave about the food), we headed to level 2, where the boys spent more time at the games room (unlimited arcade games at no additional cost).
We headed for Sutera Mall around 4pm to meet my parents for an early seafood dinner. By then, my parents were happy as lark with their purchases at the supermarket and Verbena bakery. I must say that Verbena offers a wide variety of bakes and they are delightfully delicious. At RM3-3.5, each bread is generously packed with an assortment of nuts, cheese, ham and the list goes on. Our favourite is the turkey cheese bread that comes with 2 thick slices of turkey ham. Yummy! The Yam Cake is our favourite too and were all sold out by late afternoon! Shelves of empty trays and long queues were evidence of its popularity.
We headed towards Wu Fu Beijing Chen Restoran which is just a 3-min walk from Sutera Mall’s main entrance. The restaurant is posh and clean. We were fortunate to get a place as the restaurant was filling up quickly due to Father’s Day. We enjoyed very affordable and scrumptious seafood (at least dad had his shark fins and lobster fix).
After the meal, we returned to our hotel and took a leisure walk along the habour. It was evening and the sky was lovely.
We went for an ice-cream jaunt before returning to our rooms. Our room was very comfortable and pleasant. The kids were thrilled over their triple-decked bed. A sliding door separates the children’s room from our room, and that offers some moments of privacy. For the boys, the highlight of the room was the bath tub. They had a wild time swirling in the half-filled tub.
In the early morning, hubby went to the gym and enjoyed moments of tranquility at the club lounge. Later, we had buffet breakfast at the Harbour Cafe and took the boys for a swim at the infinity pool. The harbour view with the yachts made a picturesque sight as I took a leisure swim. We didn’t stay long as it started to drizzle.
Back to Sutera Mall
Before returning to Singapore, we headed back to Sutera Mall for lunch. The area around the mall offers a fabulous range of cuisines. It is a food haven here! We went to Say Yes Hong kong Dim Sum and enjoyed the affordable and palatable dim sum. A pity the porridge was sold out by then! My boys enjoyed the crispy chee cheong fan and xiao long bao. Their carrot cakes are very good too. Before leaving, we ordered more buns and glutinous rice to be packed home. The dim sum here is highly recommended!
Next, we went to Amore Bakery House to purchase local products like durian wafers and Shet Kai Mai cookies. They are famous for their tarts too. We bought a few boxes of their Portuguese egg tarts and charcoal apple egg tarts. Prized at less than RM3 each, they are really affordable and simply heavenly.
We went back to Sutera Mall as my mother wanted to buy the Yam Cake. I went to the Popular and supermarket while hubby brought the boys to the 2 indoor playgrounds at level 4 of the mall. There is also a skating rink which we have not visited. So for families visiting JB, Sutera Mall is a rather family friendly mall.
Home Sweet Home
We left the mall before 4pm. Traffic was not heavy at the customs and we reached Singapore by 5.15pm. My only regret was not buying the durians – I saw shelves of Mao Shan Wang durians along the road just outside Sutera Mall. Guess I have to get my durian fix in Singapore.