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Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Penang Secret Avatar Garden Review And Visitor Tips

My First Time At The Penang Secret Avatar Garden

I went to the Penang Secret Avatar Garden in December 2017 quite by chance. I was having seafood dinner by the beach with my siblings and then someone said "there's a secret garden here" and so after dinner, we walked over to the garden and was pleasantly surprised. At the time it had only been open to visitors for about 6 months so it is still fairly new and not everyone had heard of it.

I was so awed by it, I decided to write a review and some tips for visitors so you will get to enjoy your first time there as much as I did. Before visiting any tourist attraction for the first time, it is always good to do a little research first. I hope this post helps in your research.

Where Is The Park?

The Penang Secret Avatar Garden is located at 336, Jalan Tokong Thai Pak Koong, Tanjung Tokong, 11200 Tanjung Bungah, Pulau Pinang. The entrance to the garden is just behind the Thai Pak Koong (Tua Pek Kong) temple at Jalan Tanjung Tokong.

I Decided To Take My Family There For Their First Time Visit!

I knew I had to bring my kids there for their first time at the garden. So, I went there again recently during the peak period of Chinese New Year. First time for them, second time for me gave me and additional insight to share with my blog readers some tips for visiting the garden.

As its name suggest, the garden is fashioned like what you see in the "Avatar" movie. However, what sets it apart from the Avatar movie is the fact that the hanging lights changes colour from blue to green to yellow, red etc.

What Is The Entrance Fee?

Entrance to the park is RM1 per person for visitors on foot or RM5 for car park fee for those who drive (in which case you won't be charged any entrance fee accept for car parking fees.)

The secret garden is slightly off the main Tanjung Tokong road. During off peak season, you can take a short drive through a narrow road to the car park. It is a mini fishing village. You will see fishing boats and if lucky you might even see some fishermen setting up their nets for fishing near the sea shore.

What Is The Best Time To Go?

In many reviews you may read that the best time to go is around 6.30pm to watch the sunset and wait for the lights to come on at 7.30pm. The lights are turned on from 7.30pm to 11.30pm. You may have to do that during peak season because of lack of parking facilities. The parking lot is not very big and the road leading to it narrow. However, I find that it is a rather long time to wait because apart from the walk in the park, there is not a lot of other activities there. Hopefully, in the future there will be.

The best time to enter the park is when the sun has totally set and the sky is dark. Don't enter when it is still bright or even slightly bright as then you will miss the magical impact of the lights. If you have been waiting a long time for the sun to set, don't spoil the fun by entering the garden while there's still light. The impact is not the same.

You can finish walking the garden in a couple of minutes.

Where Can You Eat Near The Avatar Garden?

Since the best time to visit is at Sunset which is around dinner time, this is something that is on all visitor's minds. Where and what to eat?

There is a seafood restaurant called the Pearl Garden Cafe at the foot of the garden. If you are not a fan of seafood, then make sure you have your dinner before or after you visit the attraction. Besides seafood, they also serve satay, various fried noodles and fried eggs with oyster BUT you will not be allowed to sit at the stalls to order any of that if you are not eating at least one kg of crabs! The seafood is decent enough but the attitude is not in my humble opinion.

Recap Of The Main Tips

  1. Park along the main Tanjung Tokong road during peak season (or go early), drive through a narrow road to park in the car park during off season.
  2. If you are not a fan of seafood, have your dinner before or after you visit the attraction
  3. If not for the car park problem, the best time to go would probably be just before the sun sets so you don't have to wait around too long. However, during peak season you may need to go earlier and spend some time hanging around the beach to wait for dusk.
  4. Enter the garden only when it is completely dark
  5. The secret garden is not disabled or elderly people friendly as it requires climbing dimly lit steps. 
I hope these tips help everyone get the most of their first time visiting the Penang Secret Avatar Garden. 

Below Are Our Photos: On The Beach Before Sunset

Climbing rocks on the beach

Fisherman boats on the beach

Figurines and plants on the beach

Photos Of The Penang Avatar Secret Garden (After Sunset)

Entrance to the garden

From blue to purple

Changing Colours

Original Blue Avatar Garden. The first time seeing this brings a magical feeling

The back of the garden

A lookout point at the beach

Monday, February 12, 2018

Free Trial English Language, Public Speaking And Speech and Drama Classes

Here's a Chinese New Year goodie from Lorna Whiston Taman Tun Dr Ismail to all parents. From now until 28th February 2018, you can claim a free trial lesson in any of the following categories for your child in any age category at Lorna Whiston TTDI

  • English Language (4-18 years old)
  • Public Speaking  (10-18 years old)
  • Speech and Drama Classes (4 - 18 years old)
Why a free trial class is useful

A free trial class helps you see for yourself how regular classes are normally conducted. It will give you and your child a chance to experience the class first hand and test the program before deciding to register. Free trial classes aren't always available all the time so you should make the most of opportunities like this one to try out a class or a program of your choice.

Which class should you choose?

Not sure whether to send your child to a regular English language class, speech and drama or public speaking course? Call Lorna Whiston Taman Tun Dr Ismail to get assistance on the right class for your child and schedule a trial class today. 

How to book your free trial class?

Click here to book a free trial class for your child. Classes are subject to availability and on a first come first serve basis, so book early to prevent disappointment. Select from one of the above category of classes for your free trial class. Free trials are open to kids of all ages as shown.

Gong xi fa cai! Happy Chinese New Year!

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Phonics Classes For P1 Kids At The British Council Malaysia

What Is Phonics?

Phonics is a method of teaching reading, spelling and writing by focusing on how letters make sounds and how these sounds make words. Under this approach, children start by learning 42 letter sounds. Using a fun and memorable multi-sensory approach, they are then taught to form and write the letters. They learn to read new words by blending the sounds together. Being able to identify the sounds helps children in their spelling. Tricky words and irregular spellings are handled separately.

Phonics classes are very useful for beginner English learners especially K1, K2 and P1 students.

Phonics Classes for P1 Kids at The British Council Malaysia

One popular class for young kids at the British Council is the Phonics class. Here's what you need to know about the British Council Phonics classes.

When, Where, How Long and For Whom?
The Phonics for P1 Kids classes are on Wednesdays from 3 pm to 5 pm at British Council @ The Curve or Saturdays from 9 am to 11 am at British Council KL, Wisma Selangor Dredging. Each class is 2 hours long for 36 hours in total or 18 weeks per term.

The Phonics class is open to kids from 5-7 years old at the Curve and 5-year old kids at Wisma Selangor Dredging.

How the British Council Phonics Classes Help Kids in School
Kids that learn to read and write using phonics will be able to handle the weekly spelling workload often handed out by schools with greater ease since they can identify and hear the words to be spelled instead of memorizing the alphabets one at a time.

They will also have the chance to hone their handwriting skills. To have good handwriting is one of the most important things you can teach a child. It is useful in later years for all subjects, not only English. Schools place so much importance on handwriting that marks may be deducted for wrong strokes! Read our previous post on The Importance Of Penmanship in SJKC.

Phonics also helps a child to write out what they say. This skill is an important prerequisite towards sentence formation and writing. It offers a solid foundation for  K1, K2 or P1 kids who are just starting to learn how to read and write.

In short, kids who learn to read and write using phonics at the British Council will

  • Identify letter sounds to form words
  • Gain confidence in reading and writing
  • Improve in their spelling of frequently used words as well as tricky words
  • Develop motor skills and handwriting skills
  • Be able to write short sentences

How to Find Out More About The Phonics Classes For P1 Kids At The British Council Malaysia.

Call +603 2723 7900 for more information about the Phonics course or click on the link to complete the Phonics Course Enquiry Form for KL and The Curve.

Friday, February 02, 2018

Free Printable 2018 Calendar For Girls

I have a habit of changing my desktop wallpaper to one featuring a calendar for the month. I was searching for the February 2018 calendar when I chanced upon this absolutely adorable and cute kawaii mermaid printable 2018 calendar that is perfect for little girls.

I quickly emailed the creator to request permission to share her image and free printable on my blog and she generously agreed. Thank you, Andrea. I love your printable.

Parents, if you want to download and print out this sweet calendar for your little princess, follow this link to The Cottage Market blog. The printable comes in two sizes. 5 x 7 or 8.5 x 11. There's a cute little mermaid for each month of the year in 2018.

Hmm... let's see. I like the March one where the little mermaid is taking a selfie. Or the May one where the little mermaid is cooking or the April one, I like that pose with the rabbits and the look is so sweet. Oh, I can't decide. I like them all! Go check them out, parents. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 01, 2018

How To Check Your Child's Exam Results Online Using SAPS

In a press release dated 31st January 2018, Sapsnkra announced the launching of its website to analyze the advantages of the Sapsnkra.

Sistem Analisis Peperiksaan Sekolah (SAPS) NKRA is a new centralized website launched by the Government to help teachers, parents and students.

What is SAPS?

SAPS stands for "Sistem Analisis Peperiksaan Sekolah" or School Examination Analysis System in English.

NKRA stands for National Key Results Area

The SAPS is an online application introduced by the Education Ministry in 2011. With this system in place, parents can check for the childrens examination results online simply by keying in their child's IC or birth certificate number and the school name. Parents can check for examination results for Test1 and Test2, Mid and Final year exams, Trial Exam for Primary School Evaluation Test (UPSR), Form 3 Exam (PT3) and Malaysian Education Certificate (SPM).

Below is the link for checking your child's exam results online using SAPS. 


This link is not to be confused with the newly launched website. The newly launched SAPS NKRA website is different from the link shown above. The link above is for checking results only and all you see is the image above when you enter the link. 

On the other hand, the newly launched website has more information and articles for parents including guides on how to do the checking for school exam results online.

Below is the link for the new website. Instead of linking to the home page, I have linked to the article on how parents can use the SAPS ibubapa to check exam results online. You can browse to the homepage and other parts of the website from this link.

How To Register For Standard One For 2019 and 2020 Intake

"How to register children for standard one" is one of the most frequently asked question on our Malaysia Primary School Parents on Facebook group. This is almost as frequently asked as "What type and brand of school bag to buy".

First things first. Before we get to bags, let's find out how to register our children for standard one. Parents have already been asking this question for those with kids starting school in 2019 and 2020. With the Year of Dragon (2012) babies going to school in 2019, we can expect an even bigger crowd of parents asking questions on our group.

As before, we have a specialized thread for this every year so that parents will be able to find what they are looking for easily, be able to network with other like minded parents and discuss issues during the registration process. We hope that all parents will stick to this thread so that we don't have the same questions popping up on our group wall ever so often.

The online registration portal will be open for registration soon starting 1st March 2018 to 30th April 2018.

5 Things You Need To Know About Registering Your Child For Standard One For 2019/2010 Intake
  1. Online registration is required for all states in Malaysia accept Sabah, Sarawak and W.P. Labuan.
  2. The cut off date is 2 January. This means that children born between 2 January 2012 to 1 January 2013 will have to register for 2019 intake whereas children born between 2 January 2013 to 1 January 2014 will have to register for 2020 intake.
  3. After doing online registration, you need to print out your documents and bring to the school within 14 days during the 1st March to 30th April period to get your registration verified by the school.
  4. You need to register as a new user before you can submit your application online
  5. Results of your application will usually be out around July/August the year before your child is expected to start school
Documents Required For Standard One Registration 2019/2020 Intake
  1. Birth Certificate of Child (Original and Copy)
  2. I.C. of parent/guardian (Original and Copy)
  3. Marriage certificate or divorce papers (Original and Copy)
  4. Utility Bills (Electric/Telekom/Water/Quit Rent/Assessment Bills) under parents/guardian's name to verify residential address (Original and Copy)
  5. Copy or siblings birth certificate (if studying at the same school) 
  6. Self addressed envelope 4.5" x 9.5" White with RM0.80 stamp affixed. (amount of stamp required may be stated differently for different schools)
  7. Doctor's health report or OKU card (for special cases)
The information above is correct at the time of writing but is subject to changes. Please follow our group discussion for the latest information. Go to Malaysia Primary School Parents On Facebook Discussion Thread to ask questions and get answers from other parents who are doing or have done the registration successfully.

The portal for online registration is currently not opened. Save this link and return to it starting 1st March 2018 to do your registration.


You can also read the related posts below. They are for the previous years but many of them contain information still relevant for this year's registration. Another site to go to for information is this one: sapsibubapa.org. Read this post on Pendaftaran Murid Tahun 1 Ambilan 2019 dan 2020 Online.

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