Family holiday in Malaysia....Advice / help / ideas

Hi All

My wife is from Malaysia, so its time for us to go there for a holiday for the first time..........all 7 of us :eek:

My wife and I, 12, 10, 9, 6 yo and 3 month old..........

First thing is, my 6 year old has a very servere alergic reaction to Dairy, nuts, eggs and kiwifruit. Has anybody travelled OS with a child with allerges?

Has anybody stayed in KL, any good hotels for kids, like large swimming pools, resort style i guess. We might go to Penang for a few days, all up it will be a two week trip.

Any advice would be great :)


Thanks to the strong AUD it's a good time to visit. If you like KL, and I don't, the Hilton's corporate rate is a mere $130AUD per night. You can find cheaper family hotels near the night market in Kota Raya.

Penang is a must, and so too is Taman Negara and, if you have time, Kota Kinabalu
With the combination of the large family and the severe allergies, I'd be looking for self catering accommodation. I haven't been to Malaysia, but in other parts of Asia, eggs and nuts are used so commonly, that it would be hard to be certain that they weren't included in a meal. I travelled through Japan with a girl that was allergic to eggs, and it was almost impossible to get a meal for her!
We usually stay in this type of accommodation, and its nice to just be able to keep some basic mealtime routines, and for them not to always have to be on their best 'restaurant" behaviour at meal times! It also makes it easier to make packed lunches/ snacks for sightseeing trips.
Most self catering apartments would sleep 6 in either a 2 or 3 bedroom apartment. you might be able to get away with having 7 because of the age of your baby.
Some need to be booked for full weeks. Others are more flexible. Most have resort facilities/ activities organised etc.............. a child care program would be great!!



For lots of kids activities try Sunway lagoon resort, Its got a theme park, wave pool, a petting zoo and lots of other stuff.

The hotel itself is amidst a Mall complex yet isolated.

With regards to allergies have to be extra extra careful (also most eateries use msg like a normal ingredient)


PS....I can check the local rates for you as well if needed
We lived in Penang for three years with a Peanut allergy child.

Of the ones you list - this is potentially the most dangerous.

The only time we had an emergency was when we fed her the wrong muesli bar at home.

She didn't like asian food as she was just 5. So whenever we ate out at the hawker stalls ( every other night) she would have a burger or chicken chop ( like a schnitzel) or something similar. Asking about peanuts was really quite easy.

Carry an Epipen - we didn't after the first month or so as the hospital was close and great. Seventh Day Adventist Hospital not the local one that charges $1 a day and looks like something from a bad african movie....

I'd recommend Penang, from there a visit to the Cameron Highlands is nice if you enjoy bushwalking and history.

Don't bother too much with the beaches on the West coast - they can't compare with what we have here.

South East Thailand - Trang etc is lovely and quite remote from the tourist beat. Might be tough to backpack with your family but hiring a minibus and driver is very easy.

Above all - relax and have fun. Take two epipens or more and ask your dr for some fast acting anti histamines and the peanut thing will be manageable as long as you are vigilant about foods.

They don't sell roadside fast food as we know it - lots of fresh fruit and and curries or noodles cooked on the spot. Don't be scared to eat on the streets. After three years I believe it is safer than eating at the big hotels - where the cooks are the same but lots of dishes are stored badl.y and microwaved to serve. Best to have it fried in a wok in front of you at a high temp!

Malaysi is a lovely place full of the most friendly people and they love kids. Don't be scared if your kids disappear at a restaurant - they are probably out the back watching telly with the owners kids :)


Why not pop over to Singapore too? A mere 5 hours away on the new North South Highway. Unlike Malaysia which can be quite chaotic esp. for a big family like yours, Singapore is a breeze and stress free plus safe too.
Since it's the family's first time, I agree that a couple of days in Singapore would be a safe, easy, clean, English-speaking introduction to SE Asia, and there's plenty of sights packed into Chinatown, Clarke Quay, etc. I found KL quite a smoky, crowded city that's best for shopping only, I wouldn't spend more than a few days there unless you're looking to cocoon yourself in luxurious hotels. Time spent on the western coast - Penang, Langkawi, Malacca, etc - is much more rewarding and relaxing. Make a point to enjoy the things that are expensive in Oz - think $20 for a massage or an hour on a jetski. Have fun!
We were in KL on holidays 3 weeks ago and had a fantastic time. We stayed at the Istana, 5 star place with very good rates. Monorail station across the road and very central to many shopping centres. Pool was a decent size and there were a few other families staying there with young children too. Meals in house were amazing and I'm suire that they'd cater to any alergies!
For the kids (and big kids) I'd recommend the 3 floor theme park in Times Square (on the Bintang walk) as well as the bird gardens. Sunway lagoon would have been amazing, but it was closed the day I had down to visit it. GF thought very convienient; more time to shop! And shop she did! :)
I found people in KL happier to speak in English than in Singapore.

Enjoy your trip!
KL a little busy for my liking although there's a restaurant known as the "swamp" well there is to be that's just the best not that the decor or surrounds would hint at it. Malacca is definitely worth a look from a historical point of veiw and isn't too far from the Singapore border. If you can organise a visa for Singapore and a night or 2 there then the zoo is absolutely amazing and the kids would enjoy Sentosa Island. Maybe spend the 1st 10 nights or so in Malaysia and then finish in singapore for 2-3 days?
I agree with others that Penang is well worth the look and the kids will get a thrill from the monkeys wandering around the beach.

In regards to the food allergies I'd be wary as most foods are cooked in a wok and although your meal maybe "nut free" the oil may not from the dish before. I found this site and am sure there would be many more on google . Apart from roadside/street stalls most places will have someone who speaks reasonable English. The labling laws over there though difer from here according to my mother inlaw (shes Malaysian).
Also have a chat to the airline as you may nedd to bring own food on board or at least pre-warn them well before flight.

We just got back from Kota Kinabalu and KL a few weeks ago with our 2 girls (2 & 1yr old).

Definitely recommend you take a cheapie stroller with you (one that fully lays back) and get one of those outlook shade a babes (fully encloses the stroller/pram and protects bubs from heat/sun). We would've died without these 2 things...the heat was so fierce even at 8am in the morning. The stroller helps with places that don't have highchairs as well as we often left our 1yr old in the stroller and fed her in there...then after she could lay down for a nap.

For allergies i too would recommend an apartment...i'm not sure that there would be too many hotels that could cater for a family of 7 but an apartment would allow you to cook or heat up bubs' milk when necessary.

Also not sure if any of your kids love their cows milk but ours do and this was one of the things we were worried about...can't exactly fill up a botttle of fresh milk and let it sit around in the heat all day :eek: but we found they sell milk (long life) in fruit boxes which were great! I think they were about RM3500 each (about $1AUD).

We stayed at the Dorsett Regency which was very central but my Brother stayed at the Park ROyal and this was a fairly new hotel (very nice inside) and was only $80AUD per night for twin share which i thought was a great price! But again with a family of 7 i would suggest an apartment. Try and stay central (around bukit bintang) because if you want to pop out to do a bit of shopping nothing is too far whereas if you stay further out, you pretty well have to catch a taxi nights can be hard to find.

With regards to food, we ate many times down in the food court at the Pavillion shopping centre. It was very clean, new and i would expect that most stores down there would understand food allergies...or if not when asked, they should know. Hawker stalls on the other hand may not be such a good idea for your 6yr old. Many just want a sale and customers to sit down and order so they'd probably say they can cater for your son but i wouldn't trust that this would be the case for sure.