Over the weekend, the family went to A Famosa Resort in Alor Gajah, Melaka. A quick check online didn’t specify much information but found some blogs with many complaints! Lol!
I was skeptical to go at first. My third aunt has a bad knee, so we decided that walking about Melaka town is out of the question. Since we were not sure where to bring the family in Melaka, we decided to stay a night at A Famosa Resort.
We left home at almost 10 am after mom fussed over the children, getting them dressed and packing their things. We went to Clan Restaurant at Sri Petaling for breakfast. This restaurant serves good dim sum and kai wor pao. The kai wor pao is a combination of char siew pao and loh mai kai. For those who love both, it’s good to order this.
After breakfast, we headed for Melaka. Traffic was smooth and nice. There weren’t many cars on the road. We reached Alor Gajah and went straight to the Safari World as the villa check in time was at 4 pm.
The ticketing booth is quite ridiculous. It’s a weekend and I was surprised only one person manning the three counters. Perhaps it was lunch hour. Anyway, they can opt for earlier lunch and rotate. It’s really stupid that they did not have a signboard to let you know the prices of the tickets. Then I realized that they charged foreigners differently. Locals were charged RM38 for adult and RM28 for children for Safari World and foreigners were charged RM58! A check on most blogs, they were posted in 2007 – so prices had since increased from RM35 to a steep RM38.
I find the ticketing system is chaotic. They have the same white color band with bar code for all amusement parks. They should have come up with something like color coded so that the staff don’t have to stress out for no reason. Imagine have to check one by one. If there were hordes of people, it would be chaotic.
Our timing couldn’t be better. We checked in at 1.30 pm after queuing for some 15 minutes at the ticketing counter.
The first show started at 2.15 pm, Wild Wild West. It has a couple of cowboys, Red Indians and horses running around. It’s just like the show I saw in Thailand. In fact, the setting is almost the same. I guess you don’t have to travel all the way to Chonbhuri for this show. You can get it here at A Famosa Resort. QQ was scared when he heard loud banging and explosion of guns. So if you have children, I suggest you cover their ears or hold them tight. It was quite enjoyable, but I do hope that they shorten the chit chatting and get into actions right away. The Red Indian dude is cute, though!
Right after the Wild Wild West, we made our way to the Multiple Animal Show. They have animals playing golf, playing dead, playing doctor, etc. it was not really enjoyable as I somehow felt pity for the animals having to do all the nonsense for the small token of food towards end of each trick. It reminded me of us. We work hard and run around like a monkey just to put food on the table. Same concept! But this is a form of exploiting animals, though it’s not as bad as some places which extract bile from a bear alive. I watched it over the tv during one of my hotel stays and felt totally upset about it.
After the multiple animal show, we went for the bird show. I enjoyed the bird show as it was something different. You have to duck your head when the eagle is flying low to avoid your head from being scratched by its sharp talon. My first aunt, being the obstinate one, didn’t want to sit down and preferred to stand up. We nagged her to sit down when the eagle was about to fly and fortunately, she relented. Somehow, we joked about her toupee. Both my cousin brother and I were giggling and wondered what if the eagle grabbed her false hair – it would be super hilarious. The emcee is the same guy from the Multiple Animal Show. What I didn’t like about the show was, they asked for money from guests and made the parrots went collecting money from the people who handed out money. It was said to be given as donation. Yeah right. Minimum RM10!
The next show was the Elephant Show. I guess the elephants and trainers are from Thailand. They did the same elephant show in Thailand – playing ball, painting, massaging, etc. I guess Safari World has the same concept as the one in Thailand – in terms of layout, shows and performers. The emcee is the same guy from the Multiple Animal Show and the Bird Show.. must be very, very short handed huh? We have some visitors from Iraq and they were actually movie stars in the hometown. That explained the two hand held camera man running around taking shots of the stars making the fool out of themselves. They pretty much enjoyed the show. They were even offered massage from the elephants. When the show finished, they spotted QQ and asked for permission to take picture with the cute toddler. Who would have thought QQ might be to be famous in Iraq some day!
We headed for the truck station after all the shows. It was quite a hectic schedule, running from one show to another so, I guess RM38 is quite well spent. Imagine you have to feed all the performers in the show; the animals!
We boarded the truck station to check out animals in the safari. I find the safari is quite well maintained. We were guided by a bored looking middle aged Chinese man driving the truck. Half of the time, I couldn’t comprehend what he was saying till he switched to Mandarin. He was nice enough to make brief stop for us to take pictures of the animals in the “wild”.
The route to safari is quite a bumpy ride. Hence, pregnant ladies and people who have weak hearts are not allowed to be on board.
We came out from the safari with smiles on our faces and were glad it was a good day out. We headed to check into our 3-bedroom villa. The website showed super nice villas and bungalows but they didn’t put us up at the nice ones as seen on website. It was a good thing that I forgot how it looked like in the website that I would kick up a fuss if I don’t get the same. The one we went to wasn’t that bad either but, the room service is terrible. For real pictures of the villa, click here. Don’t believe the website. It’s bullshit.
We were asked to check if there were towels and floor mats in the villa and to revert if there is none. So, we immediately called the reception to ask for them. They took almost an hour and 15 minutes to revert with the things. I was a little bit pissed as mom was screaming at the kids was splashing water all over the place at the backyard swimming pool. Mom messed up the kitchen and water was all over the floor. The whole place was a mess and we don’t have floor mat to wipe. And my third aunt used my brother’s towel as kitchen towel, thinking it was the hotel towel.
I read from blogs, we need to buy food vouchers if we wanted to eat lunch at the safari world. We came prepared. We brought along some biscuits and cookies for lunch since we had late breakfast and then, went to the villa to have early dinner which we brought ourselves – bread, bak kua, tuna spread, kuih muihs, butter spread, instant noodles in cups and heong peng from Taiping. We even brought two crates of mineral water (48 bottles).
There is no place for cooking and don’t even think about having utensils. They have only one measly ridiculously small kettle to boil water. My family are like a bunch of scouts – we are always prepared. We even brought our own forks and spoons, plates, mugs, boiling kettle and a pot! They don’t have dish washer either, so we ended up using a bar of soap to wash up. so much “service” for RM788 per night, huh?
Anyhow, just as we were about to leave the villa to head to our next destination, the Cowboy Town, they managed to send two persons to deliver our towels and floor mats. Meaning, we have double set of everything. Yeah. We prefer it that way as there were 11 adults and 3 kids. Mess is order of the day!
We reached Cowboy Town rather late, at about 8 pm. Again, there was a beeline at the ticketing counter with one person manning the counter. It was really annoying.
While waiting for my sister to get the tickets, I was watching some people performing at the entrance. They hired a few Mak Nyahs (Ah Kua) dancing. QQ was very excited and went to dance along with them much to everyone’s amusement.
When we went in, it was already time for the show to start at 8.30 pm. We didn’t manage to get a good seating as there was a huge crowd at the entrance waiting earlier. It is mind boggling that the management decided to clog the entrance to the show area with a platform for patrons to take pictures with the lion cub. I found it utterly stupid. After we got stuck in the sea of people, everyone grew impatient and shouted “Oi!!!” then they finally let us in.
As I was seated at the far end of the 50m runway, I didn’t manage to take good pictures of the fire eater. I probably enjoy the fire eating part the best. The cute Red Indian guy earlier came and performed as well, so did the emcee, the guy who got shot dead at the Wild Wild West show, the Mak Nyahs at the entrance came in to do some belly dancing in some obscene see-through pants. This place is totally under staff. Heck. Even the same parrot in earlier bird show came and cycled on thin wire during the last gig. While waiting for the carnival to start, the management played some Arabic songs and you get to see a bunch of Middle Eastern men took to the runway and danced away. It was quite fun actually to watch them. It’s like we were visiting their country instead of the other way round.
The carnival-like show ended with three-minute fireworks at the end of the 50m runway. So, when you reached the end of the show of the very long carnival parade, at about 9.45 pm, it’s better for you to move your ass to the end of the lane where fireworks burst to the sky. Don’t you think, a round stadium is more appropriate than a long runway? It caused unnecessary stampede for people to move around from one end to another. Luckily, when I was there, the crowd of people is still controllable.
Thinking the hectic day is over, we were soon walking towards the lantern show. It seems, the RM38 for adult and RM33 for children that we paid covered the lantern area. The place was not properly maintained. Some lanterns were broken and were not replaced. I mistakenly took the fallen peacock as a clam!
Anyway, since everyone is tired, we waited for the acrobatic show from China. It was quite amusing that this place is manned by only four persons. There were three male jugglers and a pretty Chinese lady. She did all the emceeing, the hula hoop and lastly, the balancing act on her forehead with hula hoop swinging at her waist and hands swinging two handkerchiefs simultaneously!! My aunts were screaming in anxiety. It was kinda pitiful as the place they performed in is so run down and the male performers were wearing dirty clothes like some street performers. It made me felt like giving them tips at the end of the show for such entertaining show.
I couldn’t stand the place as it was infested with mosquitoes. I couldn’t wait to go back to the villa for a bath and sleep.
The whole resort is crowded with people from the Middle East. Everywhere you look, you see ladies in black veil in such a hot tropical climate. I wonder why they even bother to take pictures. Sometime I wonder how the men could recognize their wives on the streets with all the covering up. They even served Middle Eastern food and played Middle Eastern songs to accommodate the visitors.
The next morning, since we only have 6 vouchers for breakfast – the six of us went to the Safari World café for breakfast. Kinda stupid, isn’t it? They place you at the villa some 5 minutes drive away from the café and expected you to drive back all the way back to Safari World and pay RM3 for parking to have breakfast. Of course we didn’t pay for the parking. We went in before 8.30 am to be entitled for the free parking. The breakfast is not buffet breakfast and you get to choose only one out of three types of meals offered – the nasi lemak, the porridge or western. We opted for 3 nasi lemak and 3 western food. The nasi lemak is quite mediocre and perhaps, everyone should try the western styled food.
After everyone is awake, we left the villa in good spirit. We made a brief stop in Melaka for lunch. We didn’t get to eat the my favorite chicken rice ball shop at Kedai Kopi Chung Wah as Melaka was infested with tourists on weekend and it was total madness! Never ever go to Melaka on weekends. The crowd is crazy! We headed home after everyone complained about the heat and QQ couldn’t stop whining and crying. It must have been very tiring since we all went to bed late last night.
All in all it was quite an enjoyable trip, despite a few chaotic moments.
For other blogs feedback (mostly complaints), please check out the following links:-
A dad’s point of view
For more pics, click here.