Where did you go?
We went to Malaysia and Thailand for 3 weeks in January 2015. We visited Chiang Main in Thailand, Penang in Malaysia and Langkawi in Malaysia (we decided to only visit areas where Malaria and Dengue were not prevalent). Langkawi was our last stop and it was such a relaxing paradise island!
Who did you travel with?
My husband, my son, my father and cousin.
How old were your kids when you travelled?
My son was 8 months old.
How was the journey there?
The journey was so much better than we could have imagined. We flew with Emirates and stopped over in Abu Dhabi for 3 hours. We had a cot on the plane on both legs of the trip which made all the difference. There was loads of leg room and the baby was able to sleep. We arrived into Bangkok at 8pm and even though the baby slept well on the plane he slept through the night in the airport hotel so jet lag was not an issue. We flew to Chiang Main, then onto Penang and took a ferry from Penang to Langkawi which took 3 hours. The ferry was great fun as all the locals were really interested in our son and were playing with him and smiling at him. He was delighted with himself!
What was the food like at your destination?
The food at the Berjaya was fantastic. There were a number of restaurants in the resort such as a beach front restaurant, a Thai restaurant, a Chinese and a buffet. There was also a sports bar with snacks. The food choice was great and we mostly ate in the buffet which had a different theme every night. There was loads of fresh fruit, yoghurt, eggs and bread which our son nibbled on for breakfast and then we had a mix of foods in the evening. Our son liked the rice and potato dishes with some veg. Bottled water was available everywhere also. Many of the restaurants did not have air-conditioning as they were outdoors and it could get a little humid. The Chinese and the Sports bar were indoors if we needed a break from the heat.
Were you able to find all your baby and toddler essentials at your destination (formula, food, wipes, nappies, medication etc)?
We brought formula but ran out in Penang where we were able to pick up formula which our son liked. It was really expensive though, about €25 for a container. We also brought Ella’s Organic fruit pouches and some Ella’s dinners. These lasted for the whole trip. We brought enough nappies for a week and were able to buy good quality nappies everywhere at a reasonable price. Wipes were also available everywhere such as in the 7/11 convenience stores. The Berjaya has a small shop with sun block and bottled water. Next to the resort is the Oriental Village, this has a small convenience store which sells nappies however, I am not sure if it has baby formula. There is a little medical centre in the resort.
How was the public transport system?
We generally used taxis as they were cheap when necessary which was not often as we walked everywhere. There are taxi companies with car safety seats if you need them. We visited the aquarium in Langkawi which our son slept through but we loved it! The hotel is huge and consists of cabins spread throughout a tree covered hill which leads right down to the edge of the sea. Some of the rooms are on stilts out on the water and some are up in the trees. If you are staying far from the main hotel you need to get the complimentary shuttle which comes every few minutes. This isn’t great with a stroller so try to get a room near reception if possible. Many of the rooms have stairs leading from the pathway to the door so ask for one without steps if you are bringing your stroller.
Did you use a baby carrier or a stroller?
We brought both but the baby got quite hot in the baby carrier so we only used it for temples where there were lots of steps. He was happier in the stroller as he was able to look around. Part of the stroller went missing on the flight from Chiang Mai to Penang but the airline tracked it down the following day and delivered it to our hotel. The stroller was great in the evenings as our son slept and we were able to eat in the hotel restaurant.
What kind of activities did you do?
The Berjaya has a great pool with a lovely kids area. It is also right on the beach so we spent most of the days swimming and relaxing. The Oriental village is just outside the hotel which has supermarkets and some lovely shops with jewellery, bags and clothes. We went here twice. The hotel has painting activities for kids but our son was too young for these.
Overall, did you have a good trip?
It was an amazing trip. We were nervous before going as it was so far away but when we got there it felt very safe and comfortable. The Berjaya is a stunning resort and I would definitely recommend it to families.
Do you have any advice for parents travelling to the same place?
Bring plenty of sun protection. Don’t worry about mosquitos too much as there are not a lot there. Request a room near the hotel reception as some of the rooms/ cabins are quite far away and you need to catch a shuttle to the main part of the hotel. Also, ask for a room without steps if possible. The spa is FANTASTIC. Get a massage if you get a chance!!