Monday, September 16, 2019

Port Dickson Staycation : Thistle Hotel

There were so many holidays in September that I wanted to go somewhere no matter how. Initially we wanted to go overseas but all the flight tickets were too expensive for Hua Hin/Bangkok etc. Hence, finally we just went to Port Dickson which is cheaper since it is nearby. It was also our first time staying in hotel there. We picked  Thistle Hotel PD as the voucher I had for Avillion Water Chalet, even after discount, was still expensive as I thought it would be half price at RM 300++ and Lexis Hibiscus was too pricely. Our hotel room cost RM 400++ including breakfast for 2 pax.

Day 1 - 14 Sept 2019 

Dirty Mee La Zat

Initially we wanted to have beef laksa in Seremban but I decided to try the Dirty Noodles instead of wasting time elsewhere.

We ordered the Stir Fried Handmade Noodles which came with meat and some cabbage and was quite delicious.

The Seafood soup cost is according to market price per 100 gram of Octopus or Prawn. The whole meal cost only RM 27 which was reasonable.

The dry styled noodles took longest time to arrive.

Muzium dan Kota Lukut 

Since it was Malaysia Day holiday for me, so I decided to visit a museum and be patriotic. It was an important tin mining town which used to be prosperous in its heyday.

PD Ostrich Show Farm 

Initially, I didn't want to come here as I thought it was only for kids but we saw a promotion of RM 25 for the Ostrich Farm and also Rumah Terbalik at Matta Fair and bought it. The voucher saved us a lot as it costs RM 15 per pax here. It was a famous tourist destination too and we saw a tour bus of school children visiting as well. If you were hungry when you reach, fear not as there is an outdoor cafe selling western fare like burgers and also coconut juice.

The ostriches, donkey and cows roam everywhere freely whereas some of the other animals like goats, sheep, peacocks, chickens, hens, geese, camel, were placed inside the enclosure. Basically it is a petting zoo.

At first, I was a little afraid seeing the ostriches walking around like nobody's business and you could even ride on them.

After all the petting, we end up in the cafe serving exotic meat, a bit of a cruel way to end the journey.

Here is the real ostrich egg which can withstand heavy weight.

Here I am eating Ostrich Satay (RM 15), Coconut (RM 6) and Organic Locally Grown Ulam (RM 3). There were other types of items like deer meat, ostrich egg omelette, ostrich egg bistik, and etc.

Carnivourous Plant Garden

Address: Lot 1419, Jalan Perdana 4, Batu 9, 71050 Port Dickson.

Thistle Hotel Port Dickson 

We reached the hotel at about 12.30 pm. The reception said check in is at 3.00 pm but I told them to check the room availability and voila we had a free upgrade from Garden View to partial pool view at level 2. Actually the view didn't matter much as we rarely sit at the balcony in the hot Malaysian weather and even haze now! The only weird thing was the absence of carpet in PD hotels probably because they were worried of the carpets being drenched as the main activities here are water related.

We seemed to be the only couple here as most of the guests are families with kids because Thistle Hotel is very kids-friendly with facilities specially catered for them like lego room, kids indoor and outdoor playground, movie room, video arcade and chargeable activities like kids'electric cars, scooters, sandart, batik painting. There were snookers too.

The outdoor snake and ladders and rabbit petting were interesting as this certainly don't exist in many hotels.

The myriad of swimming pools that cater for adults of all heights from 1.4 m to even 5 m as well as 2 children's pools with 3 slides and many water features were all highlights for the families or would awake the child in you.

Even the gyms are specially built in 2 separate huts with air-cond of course and view of greens.

Most guests rave about the clean private beach of Thistle which is easily accessible and makes for romantic strolls or even sandcastles and picnic without fighting with the public for shady spots.

Some beach model shoots

In Cumulus Bar facing the beach, reminds me of the bar in Westin

Swimming Time!

Due to the crowded main pool area, I went to the infinity pool to swim as I could have the direct view of the sea. The unique feature about this hotel, is that they have many types of swimming pools even with a secluded one facing the sea.

Something I really rave about the hotel is that in the afternoon, there are stalls near the pool selling snacks at reasonable price such as burger at RM 5 and rojak at RM 6, soup noodles at RM 10, ice-cream buns, ice-kacang etc. The only thing they don't sell are drinks which is only sold at the pool bar at exorbitant price like RM 10 for soft drink. It was very convenient and caring of the hotel not to sell at cut throat prices which they could if they wanted. It was my first time eating a baby burger by the pool.

Lunch at Weng Yin Seafood Restaurant 

Initially we wanted to keep this place for dinner but didn't as we saw the surrounding restaurants did not have anyone there so we tried Weng Yin which many bloggers talk about and we knew why after trying it. It was tasty and reasonably-priced.

Crab Bihun Soup (RM 49) 

Only for the crab bihun soup, we were allowed to order 1 crab which cost RM 49 (half the price). Normally for stir fried crabs, there is a minimum order of 2 pieces for RM 98. The soup was so sweet and yellowish from the crab eggs.

Crayfish (RM 17 for small) 

We ordered the butter cream crayfish which was my favourite. Earlier they brought the wrong order which was dry butter style. The entire meal came up to RM 68. 

Cape Rachado (Tanjung Tuan) 

Cape Rachado was located just behind PNB Ilham Hotel which I didn't know despite coming to the hotel a few months ago for company event organised by ABO. I was enchanted by the word "light house" so I wanted to come here and hid the fact that we had to hike up as read online in case someone doesn't want to come at the thought of hiking. The caretaker said it takes 5 minutes to reach the top which was a lie as we ended up with 15-20 minutes hike perhaps because we are not that strong. Reaching the top to see the lighthouse was pure delight!

We were lucky that we arrived on the day that the lighthouse caretakers were around and left the gate open so we entered and saw the museum displaying different lighthouse lights throughout the times.

After a lot of walking and swimming, I thought I wanted to catch the sunset but after rushing there, it seems that the sunset was blocked by the haze hence I had another photoshoot there

The Hotel De Luna Tree 

Hibiscus Walk 

Lexis Hibiscus developed an eating place called Hibiscus Walk which is actually an outdoor food court that is very clean and one could dine overlooking the sea at less expensive cost. However, the food was not great just for keeping yourself full.

Simple Cantonese Yee Mee which had so few ingredients like few fishcakes, vegetable and 1 small prawn

Luckily we came here on the weekend as there was a fire dance performance by 'fire warriors' which ended with fireworks using fire from the mouth.

 Exploring into Lexis Hibicus Villas

The Lighthouse which consists of 3 different restaurants and bar. I am definitely coming back here for a drink

Look at the incredible art piece of crystals hanging on top 

Dinner at Weng Yin Seafood Restaurant 

Since we were so tired from all the exploring at Lexis, we went to Weng Yin again for dinner. Even at 9 pm, it was brimming with people in the air-conditioned area and outside as well.

Drunken Lala Soup (RM 16) 

The soup was so tasty and worth the price paid with so much lala inside

 Black Pepper Deer Meat (RM 17) 

The deer meat was so spicy from the amount of pepper. But it was so delicious. 

The whole meal came up to RM 31 but the lady boss remembered our loyalty for coming twice that day and gave us RM 5 discount though we were tourists! We were so touched by her kindness!

The bed was very comfortable and we had amazing Fox Movie channel so I was watching wonderful movies non-stop till morning.

Day 2 - 15  Sept 2019 

 We woke up so early at 8.30 am and went for breakfast at 9.00 am at Fresh and Glass restaurant combined. It was the first time in my holidays that I had to queue up for breakfast whereas the last time was at Tokyo Hotel during staff excursion.

The unique thing about breakfast is the many live stations which serve personalised piping hot food such as Egg Station, Roti Canai, Mi Kari, Waffle/Pancake stations whereas the other hot/cold food areas were nothing to shout about. Guess they lack beautiful presentation for the salad bar.

The best thing about staying here is the chances to take strolls everywhere whether at the gardens, pool area or beach.

And my eyes could barely open, guess I forgot my sunglasses 

Guilty gym session for a few minutes after a heavy breakfast

Flowergirl Photoshoot at The Golf Course

Rumah Terbalik PD Dreamworks 

The Upside Down House is located just at a simple shop house. The entrance fee is RM 20 per pax but we had the voucher so we saved a little. However, if you don't have money to spare, don't suggest spending it here as there is not many things that's upside down here.

4D and 5D Gallery is upstairs

Simple Lunch at PD Waterfront Town Area 

We had simple lunch at one of the only Chinese kopitiam in the town area which was still open at 2.30 pm selling chicken rice, bah kut teh and also simple frying of rice/noodles. The fried rice cost only RM 5.50 with a lot of ingredients inside and even a fried egg! The bah kut teh cost RM 13 which was normal price.

PD Waterfront 

The waterfront is not as happening as it sounded just that it contains fast food which is a rare find in PD town like McD, Kenny Rogers, Starbucks, Tealive and even Mykori.

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