My first guest blogger is Sally-Ann from Toddlers on Tour A great site that has tips and advice for travel with kids. They have everything from how to plan and research your holiday with kids through to tips on traveling. Be sure to check it out.
Since we are not traveling at the moment I asked Sally to contribute a post on the trip she took with her family to Malaysia, Kota Kinabalu and it’s just a vacation I’d love to take with my kids, relaxing under the hot sun 🙂
I was all organized with a preparation plan in place for our trip. However as anyone who has traveled with children will tell you, it can all go array with one little hiccup or in our case a stomach virus. We were due to fly out to Kota Kinabalu on Saturday afternoon. My plan had been to drop Lewis at Kindy on Friday, have a relaxing massage and then home to pack in peace. Lewis had other plans. At about 1am on Thursday night/Friday morning he started vomiting, which continued every 40 mins. Not only was he not going to get to school, I wasn’t getting any sleep and there went my massage!
My only consolation was that stomach viruses tend to last about 24 hours. So with that thought I carried on. Lewis spent the morning laying on the couch watching ABC4kids while I packed, I even got enough time to write a quick post. The next morning Steve headed off to work to finish some last minute items. Oh to be a man who at the last minute throws a pair of shorts, half a dozen T-shirts and jocks into a bag and declares himself packed.
Just after lunch we were on our way to the airport, you would never know Lewis had been so ill the day before. It’s amazing how quick kids recover. We arrived into Kuala Lumpor at 10pm. Around midnight I woke up not feeling well and spending the night back and forth the bathroom. By morning I was exhausted and Steve began to feel unwell. But we had a flight to catch at 8am. It was the longest 2 hour flight; both of us feeling awful and Lewis demanding attention.
Finally we reached Kota Kinabalu and were driven out to the Shangri-La Tanjung Aru Resort and Spa. Whilst checking in at the lobby we looked out to the pool and thought this place looks amazing – I wish I felt well enough to enjoy it now! We could see the crystal clear pools over looking the sea and neighboring islands.
After resting a couple of hours in our room that over looked the lush green gardens around to the sea, I felt better and took Lewis to the kids club. In the morning we both started feeling a lot better. Our daily pattern began to form. After breakfast I would take Lewis to the kids club for the 10am craft session while Steve relaxed in the room. Then the 3 of us would head to the pool. We thoroughly enjoyed the water-slides, splash-zone and water balloon fights. Eventually hunger would set in and we would order a bite to eat by the pool before making our way back to the room. At 4pm I would take Lewis back to the kids club for more craft, Steve would meet us there so that I could enjoy the complimentary yoga or floor pilates. We have learnt to work together allowing each other some down time resulting in a much more enjoyable holiday.
We took a couple of day trips during our week long stay.
We went to visit the Orang-outang Rehabilitation Sanctuary at the Shangri-La Rasa Ria Resort. For 30MR each we caught the hotel shuttle for the 45 minute drive. This gave us an opportunity to see a bit more of Kota Kinabalu. What really amazed us was how clean the streets were. No rubbish piled on the verges, no dirt washed across the streets. Before entering the sanctuary we were advised to apply insect repellent and you really do need it as we heard others complaining of mosi bites. (So remember when packing for the day and your medical supplies to include children’s insect repellent.) There is a multilevel viewing platform to observe the orang-outangs and monkeys swinging through the emerald green vines as they come in to eat fruit that has been lay’d out. It is such a fantastic sight as this is not a small zoo enclosure. It is a very large natural sanctuary where the young orphaned orang-outangs get to live until they are mature and ready to be released back into the wild.
Another day we caught a taxi into town and spent the morning shopping in one of the large shopping malls. Kota Kinabalu is a bustling city with plenty of shopping, eateries and markets.
There is so much you can do whilst visiting Sabah including taking ferries out to the neighboring islands, snorkeling, tree top walks, steam train rides, the list just goes on. However for us, our holidays are mainly about relaxation and reconnecting as a family.
Sally-Ann @ http://www.toddlersontour.com.au