Posted by: The Travelling Mallorys | November 8, 2010

What happens when your parents/in-laws visit

My parents came to stay for ten days. Here is how it went!

Day one

We headed off to meet their flight at Kuala Lumpur airport. After a 12 hour flight I was a wee bit concerned as to how they would be. We had a sign for them, just in case they had forgotten what we looked like!

Wife and sign

Wife and sign

They practically skipped out of Arrivals, fresh as daisies! The budget lifestyle of Air Asia obviously suits them!

We took it easy on them that night and went for a nearby curry and a few welcome glasses of vino, before they hit the sack exhausted.

Day two

The next day we took them sightseeing and they nearly fainted first of all with the heat, then secondly with all the walking! We visited the KL Tower, the Petronas towers and Sri Mariammanan temple. Their favourite part of the day was actually partaking of some Asian delights at the food court in Pasar Seni.

Dad: “I love Mini Wok!”

When we got back to the hostel for a pit stop in the afternoon we found the Arsenal v Man City match on TV and enjoyed watching the win as the grown-ups rested their legs and topped up on water.

In the evening we threw them in at the deep end a bit and went to a famous street in KL for some street food. So perched on a plastic stool on the side of the road they dove into some spicy cuisines. Dad had almost forty chillis in his dinner and gobbled it up! Mum was equally game and enjoyed her dish.

And we all enjoyed a small beer.

Dinner on the street

Dinner on the street

Day three

The next day we were setting sail for the island of Penang, Pearl of the Orient. We spent about 5 hours at the airport, as our first flight was cancelled and the replacement flight delayed. We got some dodgy free food but thank goodness for airport bars, where Denis and I found some Guinness happiness.

Therefore we arrived pretty late in Penang and headed straight for the nearest night market. Mum and Dad tried the famous local speciality of Char Kweo Tay, a noodle dish with prawns and chicken. They enjoyed it but weren’t impressed!

Day four

So the following day we headed off on a sightseeing tour. Unfortunately the weather wasn’t playing ball and we had to trudge through the rain for the first portion. Still too hot for Ma and Pa though!

Mum: “Jesus, this heat is going to kill me” she exclaimed.

We took in Penang Museum and by then the sun was out a bit so we continued the tour to see the Town Hall, City Hall, the clock tower, Fort Cornwallis and a wander around Chinatown and Little India. By this point Denis and Annette were walked out so we headed for some lunch in little India. The manager chose some special dishes for us and we had a fantastic lunch especially suited to each of our particular spice requirements!

After a little rest back at the hostel, where Mum had a snooze and Dad and Gavin played a game of chess (Dad won) we decided to go moderately upmarket and take Mum and Dad to an actual restaurant, with a roof and everything, for dinner that night. Hello to The Ship, Malaysia’s oldest themed restaurant! The serving staff all wore sailor’s outfits and the effect was quite weird! After a hearty dinner we set sail to the nearest pub and had a good old night out, including a couple of games of pool and more Guinness for Dad!

Day five

As the visitors had been so good the previous days with all the walking and sightseeing we decided to have a day at the beach.



We caught a taxi to Batu Ferringhi beach resort. Lovely golden sand, warm water and a few beach bars. Perfect. We had a really relaxing day and didn’t do much. Erin and I had a few swims, the Murrins a few paddles and we ate and drank throughout the day. The most dramatic moment came when I was stung by a swarm of jellyfish! I was extremely brave though and despite the advice from locals, did not wee on my leg. I toughed it out and swore through the pain!

What a little soldier! He did very well. Needless to say we steered clear of the water after that and enjoyed the sunset on the beach, before heading for some more tasty eats and back to the hostel.

Day six

We headed for Singapore!

Another flight, another delay! But not too bad. we were about 2 hours later than intended arriving, by which point darkenss had fallen.

However it did mean a pretty spectacular taxi ride into the city. First time Mum and Dad to see Singapore all alight. Lovely!

Until now we had been staying at places we have stayed before, to ensure the Murrins would only experience the best side of backpacking. However, the place we stayed at before in Singapore was full, and so were many other places. So we ended up at Footprints Hostel. How bad could it be?

BAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Horrible damp rooms, dirty shared bathrooms, weirdos in the corridor and just generally the worst kind of flophouse you could imagine when thinking of backpacker accommodation.

Mum and Dad were real troopers though and we all got through it – by spending as little time as possible there! That first night we headed out for drinks and dinner and ended up at an Aussie pub which was great fun, though perhaps not as authentically Asian as our recent culinary explorations!

Day seven

So we had one day to show the Murrins everything Singapore has to offer. How do you do it? Like this!

Morning – stroll through Little India, metro to City Hall, walk to the Esplanade, views across the city and the seascapes.

Head across the bridge to the amazing new Marina Bay Sands complex. Take the lift 56 floors up to the Sky park.

Sky Park

Sky Park

View from the top

View from the top

Absolutely incredible experience, probably the best thing we have seen so far.


Bus to the Botanical Gardens, lovely lunch there, stroll around the gardens, cooloff in waterfall, swing past the rainforest and ooh aah in the ginger garden.

Bus back through Orchard Road to drink in the sight of one of the world’s largest shopping regions without the pain of having to fight through the masses!

Pit stop at hostel, freshen up, snooze for the olds.

Head to the world famous Raffles Hotel, and the Long Bar for a Singapore Sling (hubby had Martini) and to eat some monkey nuts and throw the shells on the floor!

Singapore Slings in Raffles

Singapore Slings in Raffles

Metro to Clarke Quay, mingle with the young fashionable things for drinks and dinner by the river in one of the most spectacular settings.

As it was Halloween we also got to check out all the outfits and soak up the amazing atmosphere. So many people, so much good humour. Love it.

Back to hostel for well deserved rest! Well done Mum and Dad, we really pushed you but you were well up for it!

Day eight

After the long day of yesterday we took it easy with a 5 hour bus ride from Melaka to Singapore. Bus travel in Malaysia is pretty brilliant and we got a first class massage coach!

The journey flew by, with stops for immigration and lunch so we were in Melaka by 4pm.

After checking back into the Old Town (SOOOOO nice and a godsend after the mankhole in Singgers) the parents were keen to get out and strech their limbs.

We had a pleasant stroll around Melaka town, a drink by the riverfront and some tasty morsels in the old town. There was also a wonderful night market on Jonkers street which was great fun. We couldn’t help but buy a few bits and try some more food – dim sum and potatoes on a stick! So far so good!

Tatty stick

Tatty stick

Day nine

We had set aside a whole day to see Melaka, and as it seemed to be somewhere Mum and Dad really liked, we’re glad we did. We crammed in the sights (as usual).

The town square, 3 naval museums including a recreation of a Portuguese ship, the seafront, lunch in Chinatown, pineapple tarts by the river, the old fort, St Xavier Church at the top of the hill, Porto de Santiago…phew! So another busy day.

It ended well with a wonderful meal in a great restaurant we just stumbled across called Eleven. Denis had his best meal ever, Sambal chicken, and the restaurant took our photo for their Facebook page.

Day ten

So we sadly left Melaka and headed back to Kuala Lumpur for the parents’ last night in Malaysia. We did a spot of shopping in the afternoon, as Mum and Dad wanted to get some bits for everyone back home.

As the party included me and Denis, it was the speediest shopping trip ever and culminated in a few beers!

We had a lovely farewell meal and a final drink before heading home, all feeling a bit sad.

Day eleven

Back to the airport! The Murrins had a long but safe trip back to Blighty, and are currently recovering from their jet lag!

Their highlights were the Sky Park and Singapore Slings in Singapore, our day at the beach in Penang, that wonderful meal at Eleven in Melaka and our big night out in Penang.

It was great having travelling buddies for a while and we really miss them now. Come again Murrins!

The team (and an Australian in a red t-shirt that we didn't know)

The team (and an Australian in a red t-shirt that we didn't know)

HEY YOU – don’t forget about our photo competition to win genuine cool stuff from actual Japan. Enter, or lose.

As featured on the following super cool things you should click:



  1. OMG I wished I had known that you came back to Penang. We live here now and I could have shared a few hidden gems with you that no tourist ever come across. Have a great time.

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