Sunway theme parks are like a step back in time to really honest family fun, cheesy 80 style rides, water slides, wave pools and just a good time vibe.
We’d already visited Sunway Lagoon in Kuala Lumpur and had a great day, and were traveling through Ipoh to the Cameron Highlands when we discovered there was another theme park there. So we decided to stop in Ipoh for two days so Emmie could have a day at the Lost World Of Tambun.
Let me just say here that there are many other reasons to spend a few days in Ipoh including visiting the gorgeous cave temples, checking out the night markets and eating Ipoh’s delicious signature dish of chicken and bean sprouts - so I recommend spending a few days there to take a look around. We stayed at the Ritz Garden Hotel which was about AUD $35 per night, had a huge swimming pool, its own cinema, a massage place - super cheap - and small yet reasonable rooms. Oh and Dave the super concierge…you can read all about the Ritz Gardens in our review.
But, the Lost World of Tambun. We loved it. We went on a weekday and it was virtually deserted. Most rides we walked straight onto but some we had a wait a few minutes in a queue. And it was hot so it helped that we didn't have to stand in line. There’s a heatwave in Malaysia at the moment but just be prepared for heat anyway…but if you get too hot just jump into the river or go down one of the four waterslides, or swim in the wave pool. There’s a water play area for toddlers and chairs and tables in the water so you can dangle your feet while you eat lunch or have a drink - it really does cool you down!
We started with the rides - first ones into the park of course! - the flying chairs, pirate ships, flying boats and the carousel. We then went on the rollercoaster…lots of coasting here, I’m not sure if it ever gets rolling but it’s a fun ride for everyone and we stayed on for a few rides.
The staff are just so super lovely. It must be hard for them since it’s so hot and they’re often not in the shade, but they’re just super friendly and really invested in making sure you have a good time. One of them asked for my camera and took pics of Emmie and me on the swinging chairs which was really lovely - especially as we don’t get to have too many pics together being that it’s just the two of us.
We then walked up to see the tigers. Em likes to see the animals and I tell her all about how they should be in the wild and she can tell when animals are well cared for or when they are not, like when they are in small cages, on concrete for example. They’re in a big green enclosure with a lake and lots to do and we spoke with one of the rangers who was really knowledgable and told us all about how they care for them.
Next up was the petting zoo where Em got to feed a racoon. Racoons seem so popular here in Malaysia…I’m not sure if I've ever seen one before but I have sure seen a lot here! Most of the animal exhibits are pretty good, but there are some that are simply concrete with an animal plonked on top which is hugely concerning and so I have written to Sunway just to voice my concern because honestly, the carers are so committed and I can tell they do their best. The park is building a giraffe enclosure, which is worrisome…so I’m sure they have the funds to improve life for their other animals…so just be mindful that the kids will love this but it's not ideal...a good opportunity to talk to them about caring for animals.
Or just not have the animals. The funpark really doesn't need them as the rides and waterslides are super fun and enough for a day’s activity.
We grabbed a tire - you have to hire them - and set off down the long river that winds throughout the park, floating, swimming and weaving along through the animals and rides. Then it was time for the slides. Four big slides that shoot your down from a tower into the water below. We went on all of them at least once then grabbed a meal and a drink and sat oat one of those water seats and relaxed.
By this time it was almost 3pm and time for the tiger feeding. To be honest it was a great show. It’s professionally done by a team of park staff - in fact you will see ‘The Rock’ everywhere - dressed in traditional tribal garb to welcome you to the park, schmoozing guests and now MCing the performance. Before the tiger feeding there are a few surprises and lots of fun for the audience. The tiger feeding is great to watch and a really enjoyable end to the day.
The park office will call you a taxi and you can wait in their air conditioned office.
Since there is basically no crowd at all you can see and do mostly everything in five hours. We didn't visit the hot springs, but it is apparently great at night time should you be staying in the Sunway Hotel or wish to travel out for a night time spa!
All in all, the Lost World of Tambun for a fun family activity. It’s sincere, honest family fun. Its staff are all lovely and really seem invested in guests having a great day. It’s an excellent stop when you’re traveling Malaysia with kids - or without. Enjoy!