Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Sinar Eco Resort in Johor, Malaysia

I like the kids to spend time in nature, and besides the usual zoo and bird park which my parents take them to every so often, I have discovered the Turtle Museum and Farmart.

Kate enjoyed feeding and patting the small animals that I decided to take it a notch up. An overnight kampung experience sounds about right for my urban kids.

I did our booking via Whatsapp (+60 14 2523678) and it was fuss-free.
Sinar Eco Resort
To be honest, I never intended to blog about the weekend, but their hospitality was so sincere that I just had share about this gem of a place tucked away in nearby Johor.

Once we arrived, the kids couldn't wait to be let out of the car having been cooped up for so many hours due to the causeway jam. We plonked our bags in the rooms and headed straight out to feed the animals. It costs RM$1 per packet of feed.
Feeding the chickens
I was apprehensive about entering the chicken enclosure, but put on a brave front and cheerfully ushered the kids in. We taught the kids to splay the chicken feed as far as they could so that they wouldn't come too close to peck us.
Horses
The horses were up next and I was surprised Kate dared to feed them. The handlers taught her to place the carrots on her flat palm and allow the horse to nibble on it.
Rabbits
We had another round of animal feeding on Sunday. Horses, cats, rabbits, cows, goats, fishes, chickens; the kids fed them to their hearts' content.
Fishes
Cats
Meals: All the activities cease at 6pm and they start preparing for the BBQ dinner. The premium BBQ is at RM$70 and one portion is big enough to be shared with a kid. #5 really enjoyed the BBQ and I seldom see him eat so much!

Breakfast was a simple but adequate affair. Adults went for the nasi lemak with curry chicken while the kids had cereal, eggs (hard boiled/scrambled) and rice with ikan bilis.

For lunch, you can ask for the menu after breakfast and let them know what time you will be eating so the kids don't have to wait a long time for food to be served. The kids had chicken chop with fries (RM28) while we had fried rice (RM18) which comes with fried chicken wing.
Up close and personal
gor gor to the rescue
On Sunday we went horse riding, but as the kids are still young, we simply trotted around the paddock. There are options to ride around the farm or if you are an experienced rider you can take the horse out.

The kids asked to go on the river cruise again as it was a different exprience from going out in the night. #5 enjoyed the night cruise as it was such an adventure going out in pitch darkness! Pity we didn't see any fireflies. The 30 minute ride costs RM100 per trip for the whole group.
RM30 for 2 rounds
What made our stay memorable was the service. The manager Devaa tried to accomodate our many little requests for the kids, and I have to commend a most helpful staff, Mohammad. He happened to assist us with many of the activities, and even though we couldn't communicate fluently, he was kind and considerate of the childrens' needs. Nothing was too much trouble, and he attended to us with patience and sincerity. It made the stay a happy one for all the kids.
Thrilled
He carried the kids one by one up to the driver's seat, and though they could only pretend to steer the tractor, that made their day. Kate spotted the cows in the enclosure and asked to feed them. He obliged, and also showed us where the milk collected was stored. That day, Kate finally learnt where her "supermarket" milk came from!
tug of war
Accomodation: The kids' reactions when they unlocked the room door and burst in was quite anti-climatic. Looked, paused, and finally let out a "Huh, so small?" followed by "How come the TV got no 313?"

For me, so long as it's clean, I'm ok. This farm resort was opened last year and the rooms are new and modern, albeit small.

What I loved was waking up at 6am, stepping out and hearing the stillness of the farm. Shortly after, the kids were woken up to the sound of cock-a-doo-da-doo, and it was not coming from an electronic book.
Container rooms
We stayed on the ground floor and it was convenient, without having to climb the stairs every time we needed to grab something.

All in all, I really enjoyed the slow weekend away, and it was definitely an eye-opener for the kids.

Such a lovely family-run farm with the guests' experience at the heart of it. Every sheltered Disney/Lego-land kid should try coming here once.

Maybe I'll book a whole week the next round. I'm sure to hear cries of "there's nothing to do, we want to go home". And home they will return to, with a grateful heart and rested spirit.

Just a few things to note:
- Insect repellent is a must. We protected ourselves with patches, arm bands and liberally spraying repellent.
- Slap on sun block and bring a cap.
- Wifi is available, but slow if too many people are logged on.
- We were lost getting there and ended up in a dumpsite (a first for the kids), but Devaa said it was just us. We keyed Pekan Nanas on our GPS, but it is a surburb, not a street, and our GPS decided we needed an adventure. I'm sure you'll have better luck. Thankfully, on our return drive, it took us a mere 30 minutes to reach the checkpoint.

Sinar Eco Resort
Johor, Malaysia


~ www.mummyweeblog.com - a blog on parenting 6 kids in Singapore ~

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