The adorable racoon at the entrance of the petting zoo
Entrance to Ipoh Street
Shot of Ipoh Street, selling various famous Ipoh snacks
The official launch was joined by Saimi Abdullah, senior manager operation KTMB ETS Intercity Services (in pink shirt) along with Cartoon Network characters, Ben 10 and The Powerpuff Girls

A memorable visit to the Lost World of Tambun opens Loong Wai Ting’s eyes to the wonders of nature

MY heart leaps for joy at the thought of going (finally!) to the Lost World of Tambun theme park in Ipoh, Perak. I have previously driven past the area while en route to Ipoh town centre for its famous chicken rice and soya beancurd but have never once set foot in this lovely place surrounded by natural wonder.

So when an invitation finally comes to visit the place, I quickly accepted. I make a mental note of what to pack on my two-day, one-night trip, which include essentials such as sunscreen (the sun can be quite intimidating in certain areas of the park), swimsuit and, of course, a change of fresh clothes.

At 10.30am the next morning, a group of media members including personnel from Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad and a few employees from Lost World of Tambun gather at KL Sentral to catch the train which will take us to the Ipoh Railway Station.

The trip from KL Sentral to Ipoh takes about two hours, and after a quick nap in the train, we arrive at our destination. A shuttle van parked at the entrance of the train station takes us to the theme park.

As everyone is famished, we have a sumptuous lunch at the Kepura Cave. The creator of the “restaurant” wants to preserve the natural environment of the enchanting cave, so don’t be surprised to see water dripping down from the soda straw above you while you eat.

PETTING ZOO

While you’re here, it’s worth visiting the Petting Zoo. For me, the petting zoo is the highlight of my short stay.

As we pass through the green corridors of the limestone hills and steep cliffs, it feels as if we are walking on the set of Jurassic Park. Some of us can’t help but break into the opening line of the theme song from the movie.

At the entrance of the petting zoo, a trio of adorable racoons greet us with outstretched arms. In some places, racoons are considered a nuisance but how could those big round eyes and gentle personality be trouble?

A keeper at the zoo hands out some dry food pellets which we feed to the racoons. Instead of snatching the food, the adorable and highly-intelligent creatures stretch out their arms and slowly pick up the food from our hands. Oh, their paws are so soft!

Next, we visit Juwita the hippo, who seems to be enjoying herself, submerged in the cool water. You can opt to see Juwita at the platform above the pool or go underneath it (there’s a room down here) for a clearer picture. From the room, you can see every detail of Juwita, from her big, clear eyes down to the lines on her body.

Located just next of Juwita is Rain the giraffe. Yes, the giraffe is named after popular South Korean singer and actor, Rain. Rain and a couple of zebras are grazing by the hill nearby but getting them to come to you is not hard: Just place a bucket of fresh carrots in front of you and they’ll come running.

As our guide demonstrates, Rain and the zebras come running to us. Some of us have never seen a giraffe so close before and naturally we’re all so excited. Rain appears extremely calm and comes so close to us a couple of times, all the while sniffing for more carrots.

SERPENTARIUM

For centuries, snakes have been associated with wisdom and healing. In dreams, snakes are often associated with a powerful sign of personal transformation.

Myth and dreams aside, visitors at the petting zoo can get up close and personal with the serpents.

Here, you may wander through the glass dome and see snakes of different species coiled up in the corner. There are plenty of specimens and information cards all around the enclosure to provide information for visitors like me.

If you’re lucky, the keepers will let you hold the snakes and take lots of pictures with them. Among the many species that can be found here include the Reticulated Python, Granite Burmese Python, Yellow Anaconda and, of course, the King Cobra.

HEAR THEM ROAR

Located just a stone’s throw from the Serpentarium is the Tiger Valley. As the name suggests, here you can find the Siberian tiger with its unmistakable rusty-yellow coat with black transverse stripes.

No two tigers have the exact same stripes, so they use their distinctive coats as a camouflage during hunting. These huge cats are excellent swimmers and climbers too, and you’ll get to see them in action at the Tiger Feeding Show here.

There are two shows daily except Tuesday at 3pm and 4pm, but make sure to be there early to book your seats.

NIGHT PARK

The theme park comes alive at night. Yes, the action and adventure continue through the night.

For the brave souls out there, challenge yourself by walking through the Tarantula Alley at night and get closer to the arachnids.

Here’s a fun fact: The “alley” is actually a suspended platform built in-between a gorge.

Arachnophobics can skip the alley if they want to and head over to the Lost World Hot Spring and Spa By Night. This is another favourite of mine.

After walking around the park all day, what better way to unwind than to soak in the natural hot spring? Expanded and renewed, the Lost World Hot Spring and Spa By Night now has 12 pools including a Saphira Bistro where the hungry can go for a quick bite. For the health conscious, there’s a reflexology pool nearby too.

NICE ENDING

In the evening, the sky is a brilliant splash of colours. Blue with a tinge of orange, pink and purple dyes the fast-approaching night sky. Families and couples stroll around the park. Food is being prepared at a restaurant nearby with tables and chairs set up by the wave pool. Cosy yellow lights shine down from the lightbulbs above us, and soothing music plays in the background.

Dinner under the stars, surrounded by beautiful limestone hills, isn’t such a bad idea. It is an impressive sight indeed.

But before settling for dinner, pop by the Dulang Tea House and feast on sumptuous food such as roti tumbuk accompanied by coffee or tea in the style of yesteryear.

loongwaiting@nst.com.my

Travel file

WHAT Lost World of Tambun in Tambun, Perak

GETTING THERE The theme park is easily accessible by using the North-South Highway. Take the Ipoh exit and follow the Lost World of Tambun signages along the road. Alternatively, you may take the ETS Train to Ipoh Railway Station and arrange for the theme park’s shuttle to pick you up.

For ticketing and enquiries, visit https://sunwaylostworldoftambun.com/pow-holidays/

Get up close with Powerpuff Girls and Ben 10

SCHOOL’S out and the holidays are officially here! What could be better than having a day out at Lost World Of Tambun with some of TV’s favourite heroes. Hang out with Cartoon Network characters The Powerpuff Girls who juggle school and save the world (all before bedtime), and Ben 10, a fun-loving 10-year-old boy who can transform into an alien.

Lost World Of Tambun promises fun-filled activities to make the best of the school holidays from Nov 25, 2017 to Jan 1, 2018. Visitors will be amazed by the beautiful 6 metre-tall Christmas tree at the Malayana Village, and the epic decorations, inflatables and statues of The Powerpuff Girls and Ben 10 decorations at Toon City, Riverside. There will be exciting games such as Giant Jenga, Giant Snakes & Ladders, Giant Slingshot, Shuttle Smash, Wheel of Power and Slow & Steady that will test your coordination.

Don’t worry about missing out on the meet-and-greet as there will be up to four sessions per day to see these lovable characters and a dance-along to keep visitors entertained. The Awesome Pool Party at the Jungle Wave Bay will feature Ben as well as Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup inflatables.

Special treats include Cartoon Network-inspired popcorn and cotton candy. Visitors can also purchase merchandise such as toy figurines, plush toys, footwear and apparel at the POW SHOP during the campaign period.

Lost World Of Tambun is giving out 1,000 Lost World POW Holiday tickets tied to balloons whereby one ticket can admit up to four persons. Visitors can redeem the tickets throughout the campaign period and enjoy the experience with their loved ones throughout the school holidays.

“Spending time together outdoors with family and friends is precious, so fitting in quality time is priority. With this special time of the year, we are bringing in these all-time favourite cartoon characters that will bring life to Lost World Of Tambun! This is truly the place to be for those who want to unwind and disconnect from the hustle and bustle of the daily grind, reconnect with nature and more importantly, each other,” says Nurul Nuzairi Mohd Azahari, general manager of Lost World Of Tambun.

Lost World Of Tambun together with its strategic transportation partner, ETS KTMB is currently organising LWOT-ETS Selfie Contest from now until Dec 31.

Participants will have to take a photo at any of Lost World POW Holiday poster and standees at six ETS stations located at KL Sentral, Gemas, Ipoh, Sungai Petani, Butterworth and Padang Besar and post the picture with the ETS ticket ID on the website at https://a.pgtb.me/WsSkkd.

One weekly winner will take home the 2D1N stay in Lost World Glamping for two adults and two children as well as a return ETS train ticket to Padang Besar. Ten weekly consolation prizes for four (4) Lost World Of Tambun entrance tickets (two adult ticket and two children tickets) will be up for grabs too.

An action and adventure-themed destination, Lost World Of Tambun is nestled in picturesque Ipoh with beautiful sceneries of nature, captivating caves and range of fun activities all day. There are many ways to let loose at Lost World Of Tambun and one thing’s for sure, there will never be a dull moment. Visitors can now enjoy 35 per cent off from the published rate when they purchase tickets online.

For details, visit https://sunwaylostworldoftambun.com/pow- holidays/ or its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/lostworldoftambun or by calling the park at +605 542 8888.

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