Firstly, thank you to all who have been contributing to the forums. I used the info provided by you to plan my holiday. I hope my review may benefit others. I’ll try to keep this short and not to repeat info already posted – mmm!
Flew Air Asia to KL from Gold Coast – 2 adults, 2 children. Flight good. Web check in at home 48 hours before allowed us to avoid queues and go straight to baggage drop off. Had ordered meal online when booked ticket. Make sure you have boarding pass as they will ask for it when giving out pre-ordered meals also have on hand low denominations of ringgit to make any other food transactions smoother. Was surprised that meal was delivered only approx 1 hour into flight. However, additional refreshments not that expensive – hot dog RM9, Cheezy pizza RM7, 2 donuts RM8, noodles, chocolates, nuts, chips, soft drinks between RM 4-6. Arrived KL – booked taxi at counter RM103. Stayed 2 nights Royal Chulan great value for a 5 star. If booking be sure to include breakfast - booked direct on line. Hotel is new and does not appear on some accommodation sites. Excellent hotel – definitely recommend – great position walking distance to Pavilion, Times Square Sungai Wang and close to Petronas Towers. Visited the Petailing Street markets China Town that night. Next day CK picked us up at 9:00am for a day tour. (He sends his regards Caroline!) We visited the Batu Caves 272 steps very steep consideration if you are unfit, photos with iguana & pythons onto the aboriginal museum then deer park and elephant sanctuary returned to hotel 5pm .The elephant trip was a highlight for us all – you really had the opportunity to interact with them. CK was very helpful and I will definitely be doing the firefly tour and Bukit Melawati Monkey Hill trip on our next visit to KL. CK’s contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Again onto the night markets. Next day flight to Penang – CK drove to airport RM100. Quick 50 minute flight arrived Penang – booked taxi at counter approx RM60. Stayed at Holiday Inn Batu Ferringhi. Used a travel agent to book as being a wholesaler they got it cheaper than I could by contacting them direct. Suited our purposes, good location, stayed in kids suite beach side – the kids suites have a sectioned off area for the children which included their own desk, TV, Disney channel and play station. Bunk beds with a trundle under bottom bunk if required. Standard rectangular pool with additional children’s pool. Kids club – didn’t use. We did not include breakfast when booking – however if you would like breakfast book at reception – cheaper than just turning up to restaurant. We went to a Fish Spa - 300m from Holiday Inn towards Golden Sands resort – Marine Fish Spa – RM30 for adult 1/2 hour and RM15 for children absolutely cried with laughter for the first two minutes until I became accustomed to at least 50 fish nibbling on my feet.
We booked a driver for a 4 hour trip – cost was RM100 - 2 adults and 2 children. Thank you to one of the Trip Advisor contributors for the drivers details - Small shop between a tailor shop and a convenience shop.- No. 76-C-1 Batu Ferringhi, opposite the Park Royal.
We visited the Botanical Gardens again we were in hysterical laughter as the monkeys approached us for food – I ensured that my husband (the alpha male of the group – well that’s how the monkeys did see him) was the only one carrying a backpack (which indicated food), being the alpha male they stayed clear of him – but when my children moved away from the main group they did come over and gently tug on their shorts and tap on their shoes whilst making noises asking for food – a little disconcerting but amusing. Nearby was a Batik factory & sales area we went out the back and were given a brief tour which allowed us to view the creation processes, then onto the Thai Buddhist temple reclining Buddha and opposite side of the road the Burmese temple. Then to Fort Cornwallis and Chew Jetty and another quick visit to Little India.
Enjoyed the night markets each night. During the day enjoyed the pool, jet ski, banana boat and horse rides and lunches. Had a number of massages at various locations. Ate most nights at the hawkers half way between Holiday Inn and Golden Sands. Enjoyed trying different fruit juices each night. Had a lovely lunch at Tree Monkey Café next to the spice gardens, lovely setting and good food, sometimes monkeys make an appearance. Would also recommend the Jewel of the North restaurant for great food. Went into Georgetown for gold jewellery shopping Campbell street – found it difficult to find a bangle to fit – Saved a lot of time by telling the shop keeper straight away that I was after a 16.5 or 17 size bangle. Eventually went to Little India and although slightly different designs found more larger sizes – next time I may look into going direct to factory – Enjoyed shopping at Komtar and the Parkson department store and surrounding markets. Also shopped and at Gurney on way back to Batu Ferringhi, where my 11 year old was pleased with the purchase of real converse shoes. Near Gurney are the Taiwan markets – a single large tent structure, whole area size of Olympic pool. Has cheaper T-shirts and shoes, toys, sunglasses cab drivers knew the name - worth a look if you are passing – take 15 minutes for a good look if you are interested in cheap clothing. On line check in for flight Penang to KL – did this at the internet café next to the tailors across the road from Holiday Inn – one of a few internet cafes along the main stretch of road – rates for use of internet far too expensive at hotel – internet café about RM5 for hour cheaper for less – included printing, video cams and Skype with headphones. Cannot do on line check in for return flight out of KL to Aust – due to immigration – therefore I suggest for connecting flights – go straight to check in as soon as you have picked up your luggage – were in queue for over and hour, keep this in mind for connecting flights. We had a great time. Thank you to all forum contributors.