What I got from an osteoporosis conference
I attended the 3rd Asia Pacific Osteoporosis Meeting (conference) recently. It was held in Kuala Lumpur Convention Center. I was there with 2 of the bone research group postgraduate students. 

Besides the knowledge being imparted during the talks and presentations, I gathered many other things. The exhibition booths were awesome.

I got to do Pewter-smithing.

Engrave your name on the disc using a hammer and these specialized nails with alphabets at one end.

Then place the disc over a special wooden mould and bang on it with a mallet until the disc has changed shape into a bowl. 

Sesuai untuk exercise lengan and untuk lepaskan geram pada orang.;)

The Anlene booth offered free sample of Anlene and you can get a free mug with your picture. 

Some booths offered ice-creams and San Francisco coffee. The coffee is very nice.

Some booths had game shows and gifts to give away. This game was similar to 'Who wants to be a millionaire' game show.
I also got to do bone density screening by using the ankle bone densitometer. Pheww.... still within normal range. But I suppose, I have to start on vitamin D and calcium supplements before it's too late.

There was a batik painting booth but I did not get to do it. It was only available on the first day. So I missed it. Rugi betul...

And another interesting aspect of the conference, was the lunch talk sponsored by one of the big pharmaceutical companies. We were given a HUGE lunch box, a choice between Western and Chinese set. 

I had the Western set. Even though it was awkward eating in the conference hall with only chairs but no tables, but we managed.

And now, I am eyeing for the next Asia Pacific Osteoporosis Meeting which will be held in Hong Kong. :) Oh yes.... I'd better start on the conference report that I have to submit... If only I can make use the report from this blog...:P 
JB trip (Part 3) - Where to eat
Johor Bahru is a heaven of food if you know where to find good food. We went to Danga Bay for dinner on one of the nights. Had seafood and tom yam dishes. Mahal jugak. RM100+ altogether. But the kids ate heartily. And memang puas makan. Portion pun banyak.

After the dinner, we strolled around the area. There is amusement park for kids. Mahal betul satu-satu ride tu. Ada yang per person 8 hengget.

We stayed in Hotel Sentral and the breakfast offered at the hotel, boleh la.

Mee rebus is synonym with Johore. And I googled which place offers the best mee rebus. Most bloggers mentioned 2 places. Mee Rebus Hj Wahid or Mee Rebus Tulang at ZZ Restaurant. We went to ZZ Restaurant for breakfast one morning. It was brunch actually since it was already 10 am. 

Nice outdoor eating place. You can choose either to eat at regular chairs and table or duduk bersila.
ZZ restaurant

I ordered lontong. Macam tak sanggup pulak nak order mee rebus pagi-pagi macam tu. Rasa macam one deadly sin pulak... ha ha... The lontong was nice. Large chunks of nasi impit. Ada serunding kelapa and sebiji telur rebus masak sambal. Tapi the vegetables sikit sangat. Should have more vege.

My kids had nasi lemak and nasi ayam. They love the sambal.

Another menu which is famous in JB is murtabak Singapore. One of the recommended places to get the best murtabak is at Kg Melayu Majidee, Restoran Azo. We had dinner there with Double A. Bukan Aaron Aziz tapi a couple of friends from our university days. Anuar also known as Joe B(ulu) and Azhar also known as Ajau.

We had chicken and beef murtabak. Not bad la the taste. And it is also the norm for the patrons to be served with otak-otak, kacang rebus and satu lagi ni ntah hape ntah nama dia. Macam otak-otak jugak la. Not sure made of what.

On another day, we went to ZZ restaurant again and tried the mee rebus. Two types, mee rebus biasa and mee rebus tulang. The straw is for you to suck the bone marrow. Errr... I did not do that. Again, macam tak sanggup and rasa macam a deadlier sin. Ha ha....
mee rebus
Pisang goreng makan dengan sambal kicap memang Johor's signature. Kat KL pun tak pernah jumpa kot... Hubby bought some on one afternoon at Meldrum Walk. Heaven...

Banyak lagi la kalau nak cakap pasal food kat Johor ni. Tauhu bakar, sotong kangkung... 4 days and 3 nights memang tak cukup. Anyhow, this entry ended my 'JB Aku Datang' trilogy.:)
JB trip (part 2) - Hello Kitty and Little Big Club
Our journey in JB continued to Hello Kitty and Little Big Club. To reach the place, head towards Nusajaya, take the 311 exit and proceed towards Puteri Harbour. We made a wrong turning in reaching the place. Lack of signage betul… The parks are in an air-conditioned building. Thus, no need to worry about bad or hot weather. The parks cover 4 levels of the building. The ground floor locates the ticket counters, shop and cafe. Hello Kitty takes the 1st floor. Little Big Club which features Barney, Bob the Builder and Pingu on 2nd floor while Thomas and Friends on the 3rd floor.

Entrance fee for 1 park is RM50 per person (for both children and adults). Entrance is free for kids under 3 years old. But you can opt for 2 parks and pay RM85 per person. Price is for Mycard holder.

Inside Hello Kitty, the kids (and bapak kids) enjoyed the Tea Cup ride.

And we ventured into Hello Kitty House. The dining room, the kitchen, the bathroom, the bedroom and closet, everything is customized to Hello Kitty.
Hello Kitty house 1
Hello Kitty house 2

We also went into the Hello Kitty Black Wonder. Inside, you can play a game to look for clues and solve riddles such as maze, spot the difference between two identical rooms etc. At the end, you will be given a certificate signifying your success in getting all the clues.
HK Black Wonder

Hello Kitty character will appear at designated times. And you can take pictures with the character.
HK character

The park also offers Wishful Studio. Inside are stations for Jewelry Making, Costume Dress-up, Cookie Making and Nail Spa. We only did the Jewelry Making and Cookie Making. The kids refused to dress-up and get their nails colored.

In Jewelry Making, each of us is given a bracelet. We had to assemble the bracelet with the Hello Kitty ornaments provided and we got to bring the bracelet home. Dah anak semua perempuan, ayah dia kena join sekali…:)
Jewelry making

In Cookie Making, we were given a Hello Kitty shaped cookie each and we had to colored the ribbon, the eyes, nose and whiskers using the food colouring provided. And then we got to take the cookie home. Of course, my kids dah abiskan makan cookies tu kat situ jugak.

Play park is also available.
Friendship Land

On the second floor, they have play areas: Barney and Pingu. Catch the characters in person and take pictures with them.
Barney and Pingu playhouse

Bob the Builder play area.
Bob the builder

On the 3rd floor, there are several rides that the kids can enjoy.
Bertie the bus.
Bertie the bus

Harold's Helitours.
Harold's Helitours

  Colin Crane Drop Ride.
Colin Crane

Windmill Ride and Thomas Train Ride.
Windmill and Thomas Train ride

Bumper cars are also available.
In summary, boleh la... Pricey la kot... for a small space like that. More suitable for young kids. And for Hello Kitty, little girls will definitely enjoy it more than the boys.
JB trip (part 1) - Legoland
My family headed down south earlier this week. Our main agenda was Legoland. The kids had been looking forward to the trip. Heck...I was also excited. Not only because of Legoland but also because of the place itself. Johor Bahru has a special place in my heart since I received my secondary education there, for 5 years. Thus, going to JB is like going back home. :)

We stayed in Hotel Sentral, a small and decent hotel located on Jalan Tenteram. Formerly known as Naza Hotel, the hotel often accommodate customs officers who are doing their operation in the vicinity. I guessed because the hotel is very close to the Woodlands checkpoint.

The room was not very big. It has 1 queen bed and 1 single bed. Just enough for the whole family. The pool was quite small but enough for my kids to have fun.

Legoland is 20-25 minutes by car from the hotel. Follow the Nusajaya signage and take the 312 exit. We arrived early, before the gate was opened. Even though it was a weekday, there was already quite a crowd of people waiting at the gate. We already bought our tickets online, which is cheaper than if you buy via the counter. RM140 vs RM105. Plus, save you from queueing at the counter. However, the counter was quite deserted while we were there. Other people must have bought their tickets online too.

The park is divided into several sections ie The Beginning, Lego City, Land of Adventure, Imagination, Lego Kingdoms, Lego Technic and Miniland.

The Beginning locates the shops, guest service counter, locker rental, stroller rental etc. If you are lucky, you got to take pictures with this Mr Lego. For a double stroller like this, the rental is RM30 for the whole day.
Lego man

Lego City
Here your kids can practice their driving skills. There are two: for Junior and for older kids.
driving school

It offers Boating School too. I got on the boat with my second daughter. And we got stuck half way down the route and had to be rescued. Ha ha...
Boating school

The Lego City Airport. The kids can control how high the planes go.

In the Lego City Stage, check out the schedule of performance by these performers. The show is educational regarding dangers at home that kids should be aware of. But it was presented in a funny and entertaining way.
City Stage

The whole family then took a ride in the Legoland Express train.
Legoland Express

However we skipped Lego Rescue Academy. In which the family got into the vehicles and you need to pump the handles in order to move the vehicle. Looks tiring so we gave it a miss.

Land of Adventure
In here, they have the Lost Kingdom Adventure where you ride in the car and go through the tunnel for some mummies adventure. I took the ride alone while my hubby babysat our youngest daughter who was not allowed to ride. When I left the ride, my other kids asked, markah mak berapa? I was huh? Ada markah ke? Laa... rupanya as you go along the tunnel you need to shoot at the mummies with the guns available on the car. Ha ha... am I too old for this? Oh yes, at one point in the tunnel, yoo will get your pic taken. Don't forget to check out your picture when you leave the tunnel.
Lost Kingdom

You can also find this bouncy Beetle Bounce here. I got on this with my kids. The first time, the thing failed to go up. The staff said, berat sangat. The second time, baru dapat bounce. Tu pun, only 3 seats were filled. The staff tak bagi naik ramai-ramai. Ha ha... Adoila... but really, this thing is actually made for kids. The bouncing is considered mild.
Beetle Bounce

The Dino Island ride is also here. You get on a boat thru a mild looking river and then going up into a cave and finally plunging down the waterfall. A thrilling experience. Tapi memang confirm basah. We don't have our rain coats or ponchos so we took the ride last. Before we went back. So kalau basah pun dah tak kisah. And again, when you go down the waterfall, do smile and maintain macho or maintain cun. Your pic will be taken as you go down. And you can buy the pic if you want. I didn't buy it. Sungguh tak comel... The park also provide the body drying service. You have to pay to use this facility. Not sure how much though.
Dino Island

In this section, you will find Kid Power Towers. You have to pull the rope to hoist yourself up and once you have reached the top, you let go the rope and experience the thrill of dropping down.
Power Tower

Don't miss the Observation Tower. The tower takes you up and revolves 360 degrees so you can view the magnificent view from up there.
Observation tower

Another not to miss activity, is the Lego studios. The 4D show is excellent. Be prepared to get wet, blown by the wind and being sneezed at.:) Sorry, no pic.

We didn't try the Duplo express train ride but I'm sure little kids will enjoy it.

Lego Kingdoms
The Dragon roller-coaster ride is located here. We didn't try it out. My daughters semua tak nak cuba. Sebab nampak scary giler...
Dragon Roller Coaster

But we tried the Dragon's Apprentice roller coaster. Mild compared to the Dragon.

My 4-year-old enjoyed the Royal Joust ride.
Royal joust

While the three older ones enjoyed the Merlin's challenge ride.
Merlin challenge

Lego Technic
In here, the park offers Technic Twister. I got a headache just by looking at the thing twisting around.
Technic Twister

The kids also enjoyed the Aquazone Wave Racers. Bystanders are able to trigger water bomb and blast water guns at the players. My 4-yo enjoyed that. 
Wave racers

Another adrenaline-rush type of ride located here is Project X. We didn't try it out. Not sure whether the ride is already opened or not. Tak nampak orang beratur pun.

This section is awesome. They placed the replicas and miniatures of wonderful buildings of Malaysia and of Asia countries. KLIA, Putrajaya, KL, JB, Singapore, India, Myanmar, China, Laos, Brunei, Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand. All built with Lego pieces. Amazing...
Miniland 1
Miniland 2

There are several nice structures made of Lego pieces around the park.
Lego structures

In every sections, there are restrooms, restaurants and cafes, and kids' play area. Surau pun available. We skipped all play areas. For lunch, we had pizzas at Pizza Mania.

And there are also booths with funfair like activities which we skipped. If nak main, kena bayar. And also Lego Mindstorms and Lego Academy where they have classes for kids to enrol. Finally, you may want to buy Lego products or momentos from the shop before you called it a day.

In summary, yes, we enjoyed ourselves. For some activities, the queue was quite long and penat menunggu. However, towards the end of the day, most of the people have left. We took the Dino Island ride twice sebab tak de queue langsung. The weather was good to us. I was wary of rain since it is the wet season at the moment. But it only rained at about 4 or 5 pm. Since it was a light rain, it did not deter us at all.

We left at about 7 pm. And the kids fell asleep instantly on the ride back to the hotel. Did we play our part? We sure did! :)

...to be continued...