Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Weekend getaway, March 2012 – Lost World of Tambun, Ipoh

Tuesday evening few minutes before midnight received text message from one of my holiday buddies:

“Hai.. I bought Groupon voucher for a night stay in Ipoh, and my hubby last minute had to entertain clients to F1 this weekend. But I still want to go..J I know this is last minute, but if you are free and interested to join, let me know. Leaving on Saturday.”

Without hesitate I said, “Ok, let’s go!” J

Then I said, “Hey, we can take ETS!”. Being one of my holiday buddies, who also enjoys train ride, she had that in mind also. Next day when I called to book, was told booking only available for a departure date not less than 3 days from booking date. Otherwise, ticket must be bought at the counter. Thus, I went to KL Sentral and bought us the tickets:

Saturday, ETS Gold KL-Ipoh  _ ETD 1045 hr, ETA  1230 hr, RM35 per adult
Sunday, ETS Silver Ipoh-KL  _ ETD 1400 hr, ETA  1635 hr, RM25 per adult

Saturday, 24.03.2012

Arrived at KL Sentral @ 10am. Had breakfast at a kopitiam there. Our ETS tickets stated ‘please be at the platform 30min before departure time’. It’s only upstairs, no hurry. We went up 15min before departure time. As I suspected, the crowd was still at the waiting area. We are not late at all! J

ETS Gold stops at some stations, which I couldn’t remember. The train ride was pleasant. Arrived at Ipoh KTM station on schedule.

We lingered awhile at the station deciding whether to take bus or taxi to Lost World of Tambun. In the meantime, I happily snapped pictures of the train station, one of the beautiful colonial structured building built in 1917 but completed only 18 years later. Apart from the train station, the building also housed a once known Majestic Hotel of Ipoh, which looked not in service any more (after we came back to KL my friend emailed me news on its closure in March 2011).

Still, I was awed by the building structure. Apparently, the two of us also share same interest, thus we sat awhile looking at the building talking about a fantasy of running it ourselves! A sweet day dreaming indeed..hehe

We have two options to go to Lost World:

Bus – take from somewhere near the Post Office next to the train station. Look for bus to Sunway. Fare not sure, but surely minimal for a 15min journey.

Taxi – available from the station. No meter, thus fare is unknown.

Our check in time is 3pm, thus we decided to have our lunch first. I can think of only one place which I went with my boyfriend and his parents before, Mi Rebus Ramli. We asked one Polis Bantuan at the station how best to go to Mi Rebus Ramli and then to Lost World of Tambun. He told us the eatery was not too far, but not advisable to walk under  hot sun with bags (didn’t fancy to do that either).

He was so nice to help stopped the next taxi passed by infront of us and told the driver where to take us for lunch, then later to Lost World. Only when we were in the taxi it hit us to ask the driver how much the taxi fares were. He said RM30 for us both, then later RM20 each. But we negotiated for RM30 per taxi.

It is expensive yes, but since he waited for us and that was my friend first visit to the eatery, we concluded that it was reasonable. I had the normal mi rebus whilst my friend had mi rebus special (with chicken). The shop also serves nasi ayam, which the taxi driver recommended. But we decided to order what the shop is famous for, that is mi rebus. I would say it’s a must for first timer or for those looking for famous local food. Otherwise, it’s average.

The driver was chatty. He gave us his call card if we needed taxi to go to train station tomorrow. Of course we didn’t plan to, but out of courtesy I took and thanked him.

At the reception, we asked if the hotel has shuttle service from hotel to/from town. We were told YES there is shuttle service, fee is RM5 per pax one way. HOWEVER, the shuttle only available for 5 pax or more. Such a not-customer-oriented service offer by a hotel which is part of the Sunway Lagoon hotel network:-P

Since I know there is a bus that passes by the area, and such is confirmed by the staff, we decided to try the bus tomorrow.

We were given Exotic Room, but trust me, nothing is exotic at all. Not even the paint, deco or view. Our room is facing the residential area next to the resort, obviously nothing exotic about that. The one thing that did satisfy me is the bathroom.

Besides breakfast the room charge included entrance to the Hot Spring Spa. After short nap (since there’s nothing else to do), we went to the hot spring. The Hot Spring Spa opens 6pm to 10pm whilst the water theme park and others including Animal-Petting Zoo and boat ride at Tasik Cermin opens 10am to 6pm (ticket is around RM40 per adult). Strategic planning indeed.

Nothing special about the Hot Spring Spa, it is as how you can expect a hot spring is. The only different is at certain time you will get to see a glacier. To make the visit worth, we spent a good one hour trying all available hot spring spots.

For dinner, my good old high school friend brought us out. He currently stays in Ipoh with his wife and 2 lovely daughters. We went to Nasi Lemak Ayam Kampung. Lots of varieties, but I chose what the place is named after. Tasty, while price is reasonable for a busy city.

After dinner we went to Gerbang Malam, a daily night market. It was at a juncture of two roads. Several Chinese eateries are seen around the area. And the unique thing is almost all of the eateries have similarity in its name – ayam (chicken)!  

I found a shop selling local snacks, tid-bits and others. The interesting part about this shop is it sells snacks that brought back many memories during my childhood. Snacks that are not easily found nowadays (wish I took pictures). If we came to Ipoh by car, definitely I grabbed many!

Sunday, 25.03.2012

The next day my friend offered to fetch us and sent to the train station. He came with his eldest daughter and her best friend. We had lunch at a café there. The food spread not interesting and tasty at all, and teh tarik was lousy. The cashier’s sarcastic comment to me that outside drink is not allowed into the café after seeing the girls had can drinks spoilt the atmosphere more (we didn’t do it purposely of course. The free drink was distributed outside the entrance of the station, and the promoter opened it as she distributed to us thus left us with no choice but to bring inside the café. We also didn’t see the notice. After all, we bought food and drinks from the café, thus the drinks should be exempted). Definitely won’t recommend to anyone :-P

Minus our experience at the café, the weekend getaway was good J  


KM said...

nice review..

Deepak Kumar said...

Dream Island Resort in the middle of Damdama Lake is an excellent Nature resort in Delhi NCR. This nature resort also doubles as one of the largest adventure resorts in the Delhi NCR. It is well located in Sohna Tehsil in Gurgaon District in the middle of a man made water harvesting system of Damdama lake flanked by one of the oldest mountain ranges of Aravli ranges.

Deepak Kumar said...

Dream Island Resort in the middle of Damdama Lake is an excellent Nature resort in Delhi NCR. This nature resort also doubles as one of the largest adventure resorts in the Delhi NCR. It is well located in Sohna Tehsil in Gurgaon District in the middle of a man made water harvesting system of Damdama lake flanked by one of the oldest mountain ranges of Aravli ranges.

Prerna Bahukhandi said...

Dream Island is an island in the Damdama Lake damdama lake about 2 hours drive from Delhi and only 45 minutes from the airport.

Sherry said...

Nice but no go yet

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