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Vagabond Kids: May 2010

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Kids in Borneo- Photos from Miri

Miri Malaysia Temple

Offerings at the oldest Chinese Temple in Miri-Tua Pek Kong.

I am about to set off for a 2 week trip back to the USA. While wasting time today, I started to work on a report on Miri, a small town in Sarawak Malaysia on the island of Borneo. There were so many great sights over the 3 days we were there, I will tempt you with a few before my post tomorrow.

Borneo Jungle Walk

The pool at the Marriott.

Miri Marriott

Along the Lambir Hills National Park trails.

Lambir Hills National Park

Waterfalls on the Waterfall trail, Lambir Hills.

Waterfall in Lambir Hills, Borneo

Lambir Hills.

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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Singapore with Kids: Universal Studios Singapore (Soft Open Review)

Universal Studios Singapore

Vagabond Dad and Vagabond Kids. Vagabond Mom, well, behind the camera of course!

The Dueling Coasters at Universal Studios Singapore which remain un-opened due to technical problems.

Last Friday, the day before the May Day holiday, the kids had a day off from school. Seemed like a great opportunity to go off and explore Universal Studios Singapore while the local kids remained in school. So, we set off from our house, arrived around 10:30 and waited to buy tickets. The lines for tickets were a bit long with a few kiosks remaining closed. Once we entered it looked fun. Good decorations, shelter from what was a scorcher of a day and nice layout... until you got into the park. First negative: much like HK Disney after it first opened, the trees and landscaping have not yet grown to give shade and cover on really hot days. After a few years this should be resolved and it should not be as super hot as we were. Please bring sunscreen for the kidlets and grownup folk though!

The Madagascar Carousel.

Knowing this was a soft launch, I was not too picky (or tried not to be) but it was not clearly marked which rides were not yet finished and which were not opened due to other issues. The Madagascar rides were closed other than the carousel which was too short, too cheesy and not worth the 15 minute wait. Trust me don't wait longer than 15 minutes for this ride.

Once you got into the land of Far Far Away things turned for the better. Generally crowd control needs to be resolved at the park and attendants need to do a better job at directing people, but overall it was pretty good. A fun little coaster ride in the land of Far Far Away, and a GREAT 4D show with Shrek 4D. I had not been overly impressed up to that point, so I was presently surprised. Much better than some of the Disney 4D types of "shows".

The best part of the whole park up to this point was the bathroom at the far end of that portion of the park. CLEAN.... with attendants standing outside ready to clean it again. From a parents perspective, very nice indeed

We then set our sights on Lunch in the Lost World and had very good Chicken Rice in the main room. Singapore "choping" of seats was rampant, but otherwise when you figure we got a 1o meal voucher for each of us, we ate for almost "free".

We did the rides in Lost World after lunch and the Water Rapids ride was a super fun time, wet for some of us, more than others. (For more pictures you can check out the Vagabond Kids Facebook page). Trust me you should see this picture.

It was then to Egypt and the Mummy Ride. A highlight. Shorter than many indoor roller coasters, but what a blast. I won't give away the ride, but it does have a height limit on it for younger kids, my petite 7 year old just made the cut. The stage show of Waterworld was a good time for all with stunts and explosions and even a water plane or two.

Overall, with the exception of one ride (the carousel) I enjoyed the park. It was small the rides were short (so say the kids) and the heat was a factor (bring sunscreen). Once the dueling coasters get up and running we will be back and if they can resolve crowd control...seriously I think it was just new staff unaccustomed to the stupid questions they were asked, the park will be a good attraction for Singapore. Now, does it surpass my favorite park in the world-no I have by biases still strongly in place, but it is as good (or will be) as Disney HK... and for me...that is saying something.

More pictures on the Vagabond Kids Facebook page. Come join us there! Facebook Pictures here

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