Out and About in Brunei

新年快乐! Happy Chinese New Year! We just returned from a short trip to Brunei but managed to squeeze in some playtime for the kids while we were there. Here’s a quick overview of what we did:

 

Times Square Shopping Centre

Address: Spg 13-29, Jalan Berakas, Kg Jaya Setia BB2713

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We passed by this place many times before but this was our first time venturing inside. There are a few shops and stalls selling children’s clothes and accessories. There is a bookshop on the ground floor, around half of which was dedicated to children’s books. The ground floor also had a bouncy castle; not sure if this is a permanent fixture or just a temporary thing. It was really cheap, 50 cents for 30 minutes or $1 for an hour. Can’t imagine anyone wanting to spend a whole hour on it though. The third floor had an arcade and indoor playground. We didn’t go inside but the assistant said that the charge was $6 for 2 hours of play.


Mabohai Shopping Complex

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Can't read the sign on this picture but the shop is called Carousel

Can’t read the sign on this picture but the shop is called Carousel

The kids love the Toys r Us here and we visit every time we are over in Brunei. There is a nice maternity shop on the floor below as well as a branch of Flexa. I like the Supa Save on the ground floor; it carries a few British items that I don’t commonly see in Singapore like Monster Munch, Chewits and Robinsons squash (although I know you can get some of that stuff online from Expat Food Hall and Tuck). I noticed a babycare room but didn’t venture inside because it’s next to the security area and wasn’t sure if I needed to ask them to open (the kids were in Toys r Us…).


Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah Stadium playground

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We got here just after 6pm and were sad to see that it was closed and padlocked (think it was closed due to prayer time). We didn’t have time to wait for it to reopen so had to leave a visit for another time.

Westpark Kiddieland II

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There are 2 branches, hence the II in the title. The first branch is in The Mall, Gadong and would be easier for a tourist to find. The second branch is not far away, also in the Gadong area. We paid $10 per child for unlimited time in the playground and water park area; it’s cheaper if you just want to do one of those 2 things. The playground is nice and clean and a good size. There is also a miniature train that runs around. We came on a weekday and there were only 2 other kids here the whole time. The cafe has plenty of seats and it was nice to see kiddie sized tables and chairs. The food selection wasn’t great but the kids enjoyed the fries and one meal was enough for the both of them to share. There are toilets inside along with a nursing room. However there was party stuff all over the changing unit which would have been inconvenient if I had needed to use it.
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The indoor water park was small and the water was very cold. M was scared of the main structure due to the amount of water coming down so the assistant turned off the water supply there which we appreciated. The kids mainly stuck to the smaller water features. There are changing rooms and showers in this area.
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Overall we enjoyed our visit here and will probably come back next time but skip the water park section.


Jerudong Park

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The theme park was small but fun for young kids. We went on the paddle boats and the carousel but most of our time was spent in the play area. It’s important to note that at prayer times the rides and water park shut down but the play area and food stalls remain open.
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The kids really enjoyed the water park. It was actually really big compared to the rest of the park. Only a limited number of tokens are given out for each time slot so arrive early! There was a huge structure with slides for the older kids and the younger kids could splash around near the various fountains. One thing to note is the strict dress code. Females can’t wear “regular” swimsuits and definitely no bikinis. It would be best to wear a rash guard and board shorts or just wear a t shirt and leggings like a lot of the women I saw. Guys need to wear tops and I’m not sure if trunks are allowed, better check first or wear shorts.
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Food here was very reasonably priced. We paid $5.50 for a chicken hotdog, fries, and freeze drink. You could also order rice and sweet corn at the same stall for a healthier option although most of the food inside the park was fried stuff.
The nursing room was large but sparsely decorated. There was only one changing station and armchair. There was also a sofa so if it gets busy, you might find yourself sharing.
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Legoland Malaysia, Sanrio Hello Kitty Town & Little Big Club

Legoland Malaysia

We chose to go to Legoland in Malaysia as our annual short trip/staycation this year. M has just started to enjoy Lego and I also enjoy building with her. We booked in for two nights and because of the Legoland promotion, got two days entry into the parks for the price of one.

First up, the hotel.

The bus dropped us off quite a distance from the hotel. I was a bit surprised by this, I had assumed that we would be dropped right at the entrance. Anyway, we were greeted by these guys outside.

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A few pictures of the hotel interior:

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We chose to stay in the pirate themed room. There were two sleeping areas; the main one with a big bed and a smaller one (with it’s own TV) with a bunk bed plus trundle bed.

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The interior decoration was great and the kids especially enjoyed the treasure hunt.

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Contents of the safe after completing the treasure hunt. A notepad, a Lego magnet (we got a Star Wars one) and a keyring (we got Frodo from LOTR).

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M loved that there was a kids sized bathrobe and slippers. There was a box of Lego provided to play with throughout your stay.

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There were quite a few areas to play Lego in. Regular sized Lego in the lobby and Duplo and foam bricks in the area near to the restaurant. This was really great for when it was raining and we had to take shelter indoors. There is also a nice castle structure for the kids to play in.

The main restaurant was okay but not great. We chose to only have breakfast there and instead, took lunch and dinner in the shopping/restaurant street located outside the parks.

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A few shots of the park. The toddler playground had nice shade but most of the park was exposed to the sun/rain.

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There was a babycare room near to the duplo area. You have to register with the staff on entry so it ensures that the room isn’t misused.

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The chairs were super comfy and the place was deserted the whole time that I was there. There was a little play area too, which was nice.

And some shots of the waterpark. There were some little slides that the kids enjoyed but they were too young for the main waterplay area (see third picture).

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Sanrio Hello Kitty Town & Little Big Club

We didn’t have Legoland tickets for our third day in Malaysia so thought that we’d come check out Hello Kitty Town and Little Big Club instead. Both of these attractions are housed in the same building and it’s just a short taxi ride from Legoland. It was a last minute decision to come so we hadn’t arranged for any tickets. No problem, our taxi driver called someone and within 5 minutes we had them. Of course you can also buy tickets when you arrive. We paid RM110 per person for both attractions but it’s cheaper if you book on the internet in advance. Z was under the age limit so didn’t need a ticket.

I was a bit disappointed with Hello Kitty Town. There were photo opportunities which were fun, but M and Z were not really interested in the crafting sessions. They would suit older kids (M is 3 and Z is 1 year old). The kids were more interested in the little playground where you shoot soft balls around. There were a few school groups on this day (wish my school brought me to places like this!) so it was quite busy and I had to really keep watch that they didn’t get knocked down (pictures were taken after the groups left).

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We all enjoyed Little Big Club more, despite M and Z not being very familiar with the characters. They had seen Barney on DVD but never watched Bob the Builder or Thomas the Tank Engine. Again, it was another indoor playground that caught their eye though.

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This playground was bigger and had some attendants. The kids enjoyed building up a wall out of soft tetris-like shapes and then knocking it down. There were also places to climb and slides.

The kids had some photo opportunities then sat down to watch the Thomas the Tank Engine and Barney shows. They really enjoyed them!

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I wouldn’t travel all the way from Singapore to visit these two attractions, but if you’re in Legoland it’s a nice short trip. The admission price was a bit higher than I would have liked to pay but if your kids like having their photo taken with characters and enjoy watching the shows, it’s a fun morning/afternoon.

Afterwards, we ate at a Japanese restaurant in the walkway outside. I was a bit worried about the food choice inside the attractions so was grateful to see a wider variety outside.

Websites: Legoland, Sanrio Hello Kitty Town & Little Big Club

Nursing Room – Ikea Alexandra

Location: after the cashier desks

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Since moving apartments earlier this year, my closest Ikea has changed from Tampines to Alexandra. Alexandra is a bit smaller but still fun to spend some time in. I visited a few weeks ago so I’m just going by the pictures, but it looks like there is no curtain separation in this room. So if you’re using it for nursing and lock the door, no-one can come in and use the changing table. The chair is comfy and the decoration is colourful. I also like that there is a diaper dispenser in the room.

 

 

 

Nursing Room – One KM

Location: Level 2

One KM is a new shopping centre on Tanjong Katong Road. I first visited a few weeks ago but it was still under renovations at that point with only a handful of shops open. Now, most of the shops are open with just a very few remaining. We had lunch on level 2 today and found a nursing room near to the toilet area.

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I was very surprised to see such a nice spacious area, considering the size of the mall. There were 3 large padded changing areas and 3 nursing cubicles, all with lockable doors. The chairs inside looked pretty comfy too and as you can see in the picture there is a small table and a power outlet to the side.

In the ladies toilet, there was one stall with a baby seat. There was also a small sink for kids to wash their hands.

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This level is also home to “The Garden”. I was hoping for a small play area, but instead it was just some tables and chairs.

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As for child friendly shops, there is a Tom & Stefanie and a nice kids book shop, My Imagination Kingdom. The assistant was really helpful in finding us age appropriate books. There is also Popular, just opposite, which also has plenty of kids books.

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And finally, there in an indoor playground here too! It’s another branch of Happy Willow, which we have never visited before. So I’ll have to get M and Z down there next week. I’ll let you know how it goes!

 

 

 

Nursing Room – Metro Centrepoint

Location: L6, children’s department

Spotted this nursing room whilst checking the new Metro that occupies Robinson’s old space at Centrepoint.

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The changing station over the playpen is a little small but it’s good to have a place to put baby whilst washing your hands. There was a cot against the other wall – not sure what this is for? It’s decorated for sleeping with a pillow in there. Maybe for putting very small infants (that can’t pull themselves up) whilst you need to wash hands/get something out of the diaper bag etc. The base is too shallow for older babies.

The nursing area was a little strange. It’s a shared area, separated from the other bit by a door. But there is a bed to sit on, instead of chairs. So to get comfortable, you kind of have to scoot yourself to the back (against the wall) and have your legs awkwardly dangling off. Either that or perch on the end of the bed.

The children’s department on level 6 is a little small but has some nice bits and pieces there. I was surprised to see some ultralight strollers there. One was by Joie (the aireskip – 4.1kg) and there was another even lighter one but I can’t recall the brand (maybe Combi or Joie again?). There is also a Monsoon children’s section, but that is situated within the ladies wear department on level 2.

London

Here is my final post from our England trip this summer. We spent time in London both at the beginning and end of the trip. Having lived there for many years, our goal was to visit friends and do a little bit of shopping, not go sightseeing. So this post has got lots of random things in it and doesn’t follow an itinerary.

When we arrived in the UK, we wanted to stay near to a relatives place for the first night. We chose Travelodge in Enfield due to it’s proximity, it’s low price, and because there were a few retail parks nearby. We rented cars and it was pretty easy to get there from Heathrow. There were supermarkets nearby, as well as a Boots (like Watson’s or Guardian but cheaper) and Toys R Us.

Nursing Room – Toys R Us Enfield

I was a bit surprised to find a nursing room here but it’s a good idea to have one within a toy shop. The room was pretty shabby but clean.

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Some Central Shopping

We had done lots of shopping around Manchester so when we were in London, we mainly stuck to Regent Street (Hamleys) and Oxford Street (where the department stores are).

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Oxford Street

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Regent Street

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The above bookshop is Waterstones, just around the corner from Piccadilly Circus. It has a great children’s section with some small tables and chairs for kids to play and read books. I didn’t spot a nursing room so ended up using a nursing cover here. For a children’s section, it was surprisingly quiet.

Below are some random pictures that I took whilst shopping. The first is the greeting card section within a supermarket (Tesco). I struggle to find nice cards and gift wrap in Singapore so it was great to see such a huge selection here. Yes, that whole isle was dedicated to it! The second picture is my haul from a pound shop (can’t remember which one though). So it’s like Daiso but everything costs £1. A six pack of fudge for £1 is a bargain!

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Nursing Room – Tesco Kensington Superstore

Found this little nursing room within the supermarket (L2)

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Nursing Rooms – John Lewis

There are a few nursing rooms within John Lewis on Oxford Street. The first set of pictures show the one on level 4. The actual nursing area is a shared one and separated by a curtain from the changing area. There are also a couple of highchairs here.

 

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This next lot of pictures show the room on level 5. There is both a formula feeding area and a breastfeeding area. Again, the areas are shared ones.

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The cafe in John Lewis serves some child friendly food (they had yoghurts and some pouches if I remember correctly). There is also a good children’s department with clothing and toys.

 Nursing Room – Heathrow Terminal 3 Departures

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So that’s it! Hope you enjoyed this series of posts and that they help you if you’re visiting the UK.

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Nursing Room – The Grandstand (formerly known as Turf City)

Location: Level 1 at the same end as the taxi stand

I’m not over on this side of the island very often but thought that I’d make the trip to check out Pasarbella. It was nice, but a bit stressful with Z as it was crowded and she was impatient to eat lunch. On the way out, I noticed this nursing room next to the ladies toilet.

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The seating fits two people but I’m not sure I’d want to have someone else sitting so close to me. There is only a table on one side. The area has a curtain partition to shield you from people looking in. You really need to use this, otherwise  you are in full view of the doorway with people passing to go to the toilet. The aircon/fan was on quite high so the curtain was billowing as you can see from the pictures. Can be a bit distracting.