Bukit Gambang Resort City is in the district of Pahang on the Eastern side of Malaysia. 2 hours drive from Kuala Lumpur, it has so much potential to boost Pahang tourism industry. There are two apartment hotels on site, Caribbean Bay Resort and Arabian Bay Resort, which offers a basic kind of apartment and given that the location of hotel is inside the theme park, the price for the accommodation is on the higher side.
We booked one apartment at Arabian Bay Resort for one night at RM409.50 (2 rooms apartment) via booking.com. It was during a peak season i.e. Christmas Holiday cum School Holiday, the resort were pack with people. Between mid-October and the end of March, especially December the climate at the eastern side of the peninsula is affected by the rainy season or monsoon season. Weather usually is very rough in these months, for this reason it is not the best time to visit these parts of Malaysia. During the monsoon period it can sometimes rain for days. But we just try our luck.
|Instead of wooden chair, they should replace with couch|
Day #1: 25th December 2016
|The ticket price for 2 parks|
Arrived around 10am, bought the ticket via goticket.my and we started our fun journey with the Safari Park. To be honest, I'm quite skeptical when it comes to Malaysia hosting an animal farm, zoo or safari. However it turns out, Bukit Gambang Safari park exceed my expectation. Claimed that they are the largest Zoo Safari Park in Malaysia (138 acres), the main attraction in the safari is the white lions that await the visitor at the main entrance of safari park.There are two park zones i.e. walking zone and Wild Savannah tram drive-through zone. The safari also offers a night park district to showcase the nocturnal animal. Given the huge areas of safari park to cover and mainly focusing on children education, it is a children friendly park and stroller friendly place. Most of the walkway are covered in case of raining. We were in the safari from 10 am until 9pm as there are so many exciting things to see.
Started with the walking zone, we passed thru various types of animal among others are Wallaby, Bear, Reptiles and Farm Animals which are place in a huge concrete block with animal enclosures around.
|From Australia with love|
Walking into the Wonderful Birds and Eagle show, it was very lively and engaging show. The speaker's English is good and acceptable.
We had our lunch at Simba Hill Gourmet Restaurant. It was awesome as we were like dining with the white lion i.e. the white lion watch you eating. Given the awesome ambiance, the price of the food was not that pricey.
|Dining with the lion|
The next show was the Predators show. The kids enjoyed watching the tiger, lion and hyenas eating and walking around the enclosures. Camel and pony are available for ride with additional fee.
The ultimate experience in the safari that should not be missed is the Wild Savannah-Tram Drive Thru. Only accessible via the fully air conditioning tram (converted lorry with beautiful cheetah and zebra prints), we were driven through the rain forest by their park ranger and guided by their English speaking park guide to be up close with free-roaming animals (including PREDATOR animals) in their naturalistic habitats. These areas are fenced with double electric gates. The tram stopped from time to time at various zones to let us enjoy watching these animals up close.
|Cheetah - view from the tram|
Walked through the night safari zone and watched the African Yabara Fire, we ended our day with my personal favorite show in this Safari Park which was the Tarzan Adventure Shows. It was a really an excellent theatrical show with some cooperation from the bear, monkey and few other animals.
What should be better?
1. Sad and dying look of the enclosures i.e. lack of grass and greenies
2. Long queue at the tram station i.e. The station should be bigger to accommodate groups of people especially during peak season
3. A lot of empty cages
4. Provision of water cooler machine in the park as the walking zone is really huge and quite hot.
5. Prayer Room is too small, smelly and the 'telekung' is dirty
6. Expansion of night safari
What is good?
1. Acceptable English utilization during the show and by the park guide in the tram.
2. Dining with white lion is a great idea
3. Almost fully covered area at the walking zone
4. Credit to the actors for Tarzan Adventure Show and African Yabara Fire. Hit the spot!
Day #2: 26th December 2016
It's water park day..the kids especially were so excited. After quick breakfast, we straight away headed to the water park. The water park open at 10 am. Though you are the hotel guest or you buy online ticket, you still need to queue at the lobby to exchange your paper ticket with wrist band.
|Queue for wrist band (pre paid online/hotel guest)|
We managed to get our wrist band after two hours queuing. The lobby was so stuffy and people were cutting queue.
Gambang Water Park is a cashless themepark. Therefore you need to top up your wrist band with cash to purchase food in the theme park, rental of tubes, towels, cabana etc. And you can claim back your cash in the wrist band if it still got balance upon check out from the theme park. More than 20 cabanas available for rental but of course it is based on first come first serve.
The theme park is quite small but just nice for the kids to have fun with the water. Coco Beach - the wave ocean like pool is full of people with their big tubes. Penguin Island is where you will get a bucket of water fall onto you, getting splash will lots of water, watery slides and the kids love it! Family river raft rides was what mommy like the most!
What should be better?
1. Wrist band for hotel guests should be given/collected at the hotel lobby
2. Provision of water cooooler
3. Add more food station
4. More cabana for rental
What is good?
1. E-value wrist band - no need to worry about wallet etc
2. Functioning life guard
3. River raft rides
Conclusion: Pahang state government/ Pahang Tourism/Sentoria management should boost promotion for this place as Bukit Gambang Resort City got lot of potential should they consider the improvement highlighted above.