Hello readers! I am still writing on my Korea trip so i decided to post my Ipoh trip first since it was just a short trip and i was needed to do a review on it. I got a complimentary stay for 3 days and 2 nights. I was supposed to go with my colleague but she wasn’t free so i took my parents on this trip. How i got the free stay? Well, it was a recommendation by someone who knew me and very mysterious i would say. Someone recommended my number to Swiss Garden Headquarters maybe(not too sure how and why and what) and they called me and invited me to go for hotel review and listen to what they have in store for me. I was hesitated at first but you know how adventurous i can be . I brought my friend along and went for the review which was held in Swiss Garden Johor Bahru. We went on Saturday morning which was the only time free for the both of us.
The Swiss Garden JB is kinda new and situated in the middle of the town. We managed to find the hotel and went straight into the lobby to find out where exactly we supposed to go and who are we to meet with. The lobby directed us to SGI vacation club center on the 1st floor of the hotel. This vacation club is a really good club as they offer really good deals . I can’t explain much because there were too many calculations involved but if you are interested in traveling and staying in 5 star hotels around the world , this package it good.
Anyways, i went and listened and got my free voucher of stay. I was needed to fill in the voucher and fax or email it to them once i have confirmed my dates of stay. The headquarters emailed me the confirmation slip of my stay and i was needed to bring the slip along during check in. The voucher said that we were supposed to only stay from Sunday till Thursday and not during public holiday . I went on bravely to book a Friday till Sunday stay and got it approved. Praise the Lord for his favor. I prayed that they will approve my stay because according to the voucher Friday and Saturday isn’t valid, but mine was a miracle huh?? Once i got the confirmation slip, i started planning on what to do and where to go and what to eat in Lumut and Pangkor Island. Yes,Pangkor Island is just opposite of where i was staying, which was the Swiss Garden Ipoh.
We left for Ipoh on the 21/04/2017 , around 10am ish from Melaka. The journey took us about 4 hours plus and it was kinda horrible when we reached the inside village roads heading towards the hotel. We didn’t knew that the hotel was really quite inside and situated on a hill. The roads i would say was in a horrible state. Capathi roads!! All patched up and so bumpy. Your car alignment will be gone in just few seconds running on those road. But the thing is what is the gov doing about it? I can’t even imagine how tourists are going to come through this road to get to the hotel. Now wonder Swiss Garden is trying their best to promote their hotel since many has been given bad reviews on the road condition. We struggled our way because we really hated the road. Once we reached the apartment lobby to check in, to my surprise, there were only one counter and one computer to check in . Flies were also there since it is fruiting season as per what they said.
Okay,, fine!! Checking in already took almost 10-15minutes since most of the guest are supposed to check in at 3pm but i think due to the road condition , most of us drove slow and didn’t want our car to be damaged. We checked in at 4pm. Once they passed to us the key, we drove towards our apartment and it was confusing to where it was and how to enter in. I assumed that this hotel is kinda old and has been here for many years but none kinda noticed it since it was very old dated and not much advertising has been done. The room given to us was spacious and okay. Floor a bit sticky and the fan/TV/air-condition were very old , like in the 80’s and 90’s. To me, i don’t mind with all these old facilities. I just hate when your TV can’t even get the channels they promised you. Every hotel definitely has their own selected Astro channels and it made me upset when you can only view 3 channels instead of 10 channels. You get what i meant? Next was the stove, at least provide us with newer stainless pots and pans for us to use. The ones we had were so black and we didn’t even dare to use to it to cook our breakfast. We just used it to boil our eggs since we only had eggs and bread for breakfast. Thankfully there was a fridge that we could use to store in our fruits and drinks. The room is clean and bathroom was ok. I would prefer that the toilet and bath tub to be separated. I meant it would be practical that 2 people in the same room wanna use the toilet at the same time , and like for example i wanna use the toilet so badly and my partner wanna bath. Isn’t it a torture? So from my point of view is, separate the toilet from the bath tub. The toilet floor also at least need to be anti-slip as you know sometimes when we bath we will get the floor wet and it will be slippery and dangerous. The hotels nowadays need to check on this simple things that accommodate all,then only we can easily recommend on others to come and stay.
Outside, there were monkeys and i wouldn’t blame the monkeys coming into the hotel compound as their home has been affected. On our way up, we saw a lot of constructing and cutting down of trees to build buildings and clearing for plantation. Sad case for them but good thing for the human, hopefully? It will be dangerous tho at night if you disturb them but so far we didn’t hear any complains for now. Anyways, on our first day, we just headed to town after washing up since we didn’t even take lunch and we were dead tired and hungry. It will take you about 15-20minutes just to get out from the hotel area and head to town about another 10mins. So roughly about 30minutes to reach Seri Manjung town where they had all the restaurants and Jusco/Giant/Tesco. This kind of facilities are good because we are already living in a jungle and it will be a mind torture if we don’t have this malls to chill and window shop. We had dinner at a mamak briyani restaurant just opposite of Seri Manjung Aeon. The food was ok and cheap. After that, we just went to Aeon to walk a bit to digest on our meals and to get some eggs for breakfast. We went home tired and dozed off peacefully.
Day 2, we woke up quite early and my dad cooked breakfast for us. Then after breakfast, we headed to Lumut town to get a ferry to take us to Pangkor Island as what google map says. My dad decided to ask the hotel reception as there were signs saying there were jetty in the hotel. We drove down to the reception and asked regarding the jetty and how to get to Pangkor. The lady said they do provide transportation aka boat heading towards Pangkor but they will charge about RM55 per person for 2 way and it is only 10-15minutes from the hotel. You don’t even need to wait for the jetty ferry to be packed and they will call the private boat to bring you there. My dad said it was too much to pay for just a boat ride, so we decided to take the ferry from Lumut as per what people say and google maps. I wazed the location and it was leading me for an hour trip to Lumut port where we are to take the ferry towards the island.I was using my waze on data at first then I switch off it as waze can run once you switch it on. Somehow the waze or I think it was google map got us into a village which asked us to choose option A, which is taking a ferry from a close by port. But we ended up with no signal so I had to switch on back my data to check whether this is the proper place to take the boat because it was kinda dead-end. We were somewhere stuck at Option A(TAKE FERRY FROM MARINA) as you can see below I print screen. Anyways, we got down and asked the locals whether are we like lost or need to find Lumut port and she said we can actually take a ferry from Marina Hotel which provides RM10 fare for 2 and fro. It was like a bridge opposite and we are supposed to go there.
Thank God we managed to find the jetty leaving to Pangkor. Once we got down from the jetty, there were so many tourist taxi (van)uncles and people calling out to you to rent out their motorbikes or pink taxis. Yes, they definitely have some bright pink taxis for you to rent. We decided to rent a van for like a half a day kinda thing. The uncle told us he will charge RM70 for 2 hours, but i insisted that he took us around at least half a day or to see the entire Pangkor. He decided to charge us for a reasonable RM80 for the 4 of us.
First, he took us to see the famous Batu Bersurat(sacred rock) in Pangkor. On the waterfront at Teluk Gedong is this mammoth stone carved with the symbol of the Dutch East India Company and other graffiti, including a faint depiction of a tiger stealing a child. Supposedly, the child of a local European dignitary disappeared while playing near the rock; the Dutch circulated the idea of a tiger abduction, although the kid was more likely nabbed by disenchanted locals.The rock is a memorial to a Dutch dignitary’s child who mysteriously vanished during the Dutch occupation. Rumours of a tiger attack were spread by some, while others claimed angry Malays took the child in hopes of ridding Pangkor of the Dutch. A faint, crude carving of a tiger with a child in its mouth, as well as the symbol of the Dutch East India Company, is etched on the side of the rock.
Second, he brought us to the Dutch Fort about 3minutes from the Sacred Rock. According to Wikipedia,the ruins are the remnants of an outpost of Dutch attempts to control trade in the Malay peninsula. In the Malay language, the fort is called Kota Belanda. The Dutch called it Fort Dindingh, after the Dinding River, on the mainland of Malacca. The fort was built by the Dutch in 1670 for storage and protection of tin supplies from the sultanate of Perak. The fort was destroyed in 1690 by the Malays who were discontent with the methods used by the Dutch in obtaining minerals. It was rebuilt by the Dutch in 1743 and a force of 60 soldiers was placed to guard the fort until 1748, when the force was disbanded and the fort abandoned.
Next we went to explore the other parts of Pangkor Island and went through some really small roads. The ride was crazy and fun at the same time. The uncle brought us through some winding roads towards Pasir Bogak . That area has many hotels and resorts and the mini airport was there . They also had huge temples around the villages which wasn’t really of our place of interest. He dropped us off a beach area whereby we can actually take a boat and go island hopping for RM70 (20minutes) but my dad is kinda afraid and doesn’t wanna go. Oh wells!! Then, i asked the uncle to bring us to the Satay factory so that we could buy back some dry food and souvenirs.After shopping , we went to the town to have our lunch as most of the seafood restaurants are only opened during night-time. I was kinda sad because i didn’t get the chance to try the seafood there but there will be another chance, hopefully. We went and tried their chicken rice, curry mee and jawa mee. It was quite good because the cook were all old aunties. Mum bought some anchovies and we headed back home safely. We waited for the ferry around 3pm+ and not too worry because they have ferry every half and hour.
After heading back, we napped and rested till dinner before heading out for some seafood meal and just to walk walk around the town. For dinner , we went and tried Amu Coconut Villa Seafood Restaurant which was in Setiawan. They are famous for their seafood and their pricing is reasonable. We ordered crab meat soup, fried egg with oyster, sweet sour chicken and nyonya stingray. All came in total of Rm80 for the 4 of us. Cheap right?? You guys should go and try . After dinner, we went to Tesco just to walk and chill and get our breakfast and head home to rest.
Day 3, we packed everything before checking out around 10am and then headed to the Segari Turtle Sanctuary . Located about 2km from Segari Town, near the Lumut Power Plant, this hatchery and research centre offers visitors an interesting and educative tour on these endangered species. There were so many turtles kept for cultivation and rehab. This place is a good exposure for kids to learn about turtles and how are they going into extinction if we people keep making the beach dirty and sea unsafe for these creatures.
After that, we headed to Teluk Intan to see the leaning tower there. On our way, i stopped by Gong Pian biscuits shop but it wasn’t open , i am not too sure why. It was a Sunday tho, maybe it is close on that day. We stopped by at one of the Indian restaurants for lunch and leaded straight towards Teluk Intan. The weather was very hot and we were so damn tired due to the heat. We reached Teluk Intan by late noon and we ran towards the tower and visited it quickly. After taking lots of pics, we ran back to our car and headed back to Melaka. This trip was indeed a good one i would say and i recommend that the hotel should at least upgrade its facilities in order for the tourist to enjoy.
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Swiss-Garden Beach Resort Damai Laut
Address: Persiaran Swiss-Garden,, Jalan Damai Laut,, Off Jalan Teluk Senangin,, lumut, 32200 Lumut, Darul Ridzuan, Perak, Malaysia
Amu Coconut Villa Seafood Restaurant