Adventure in Malaysia: Lost World of Tambun Review

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The Lost World of Tambun is a theme park located in Ipoh, Malaysia and a must-visit place for families travelling through Peninsular Malaysia.  When we lived in Ipoh in 2011-2012, it was a favourite place to bring the kids on weekends to cool down from the humid Malaysian weather.  Now that the kids were older and we were returning to Malaysia, we were really excited for our return visit and experiencing the whole park.

The theme park is located on the edge of Ipoh and you can visit on a day trip, but we were fortunate to be spending three nights at the park on a little getaway.  We loved glamping in the luxury tents located within the theme park and also had the opportunity to stay at the Lost World Hotel.

The Lost World of Tambun is known as a waterpark, but there are so many other fun things to do there as well.  The park is popular with locals and domestic tourists and you won’t see too many other foreigners.Lost World of Tambun review

Where is Ipoh?

Ipoh is located 2.5 hours from Kuala Lumpur and 1.5 hours from Penang on Peninsular Malaysia.  The city grew out of the jungle as the centre of Malaysia’s tin mining boom that started in the 1820’s.  While domestic tourists have been flocking to Ipoh for decades to eat Ipoh’s famous foods, visit its cave temples and enjoy its stunning scenery, Ipoh is just starting to get on the map for international visitors.

Lost World of Tambun Attractions

Waterpark

The waterpark is set around Explorabay, a large wave pool with a beach resort feel.  There is sand for the kids to play with, cabanas to escape the sun and of course waves to play in.  The park is themed as a lost world located deep in the jungle and the scenery is truly spectacular.  The lush limestone cliffs rise up all around and the kids liked to pretend they were lost within Jumangi.

Another popular feature is Southeast Asia’s longest lazy river which is a relaxing way to take in that breathtaking scenery.  You do need to rent an inner tube for the lazy river (27 MYR for a double tube, but you get a 10 MYR deposit back when you return it).  This is one thing I think could be improved as most waterparks include tubes and it was a bit of a hassle having to rent one and then return it.

There are also 6 water slides to enjoy.  There are four tube slides (tubes are provided) which are perfect for all ages.  These all require two riders on the double tubes, so it can be tricky for singles.  We also loved the tube slide where you go forward, then up a hill and backwards down.

Kids will also love the water play area with bucket drop, small slides, pirate ship and water cannons.  We found the water quality good and the park clean.

Hot Springs

The hot springs are open day and night and were one of our favourite areas of the park.  The natural hot springs consist of a variety of pool ranging in temperature from 36-44 degrees C.  The temperature was displayed at each pool and you definitely want to be careful taking kids into the hotter pools. I loved how family-friendly the hot springs were and it was nice to see families spending time together.

Each of the pools offer something different with cascading waterfalls, massaging fountains, an infinity pool, cave pool and view.  I loved the ambiance of the hot springs with the natural rocks, lanterns and torches.  There is also the Crystal Spa with treatment rooms set throughout the hot springs.

At 9pm each evening there is an impressive fire show, Flaming Percussion, that you can watch from seats or from some of the pools.  The kids watched in awe as the performers breathed fire, danced with fire and lit up the night.

Adventure Activities

Our family loves to test the limits and challenge ourselves with adventure sports.  The Lost World of Tambun offers a number of adventure activities, at an additional cost.

The zip line over the lake surrounded by the limestone cliffs was the perfect amount of thrill for all of us and the kids could have done this all day.  We also participated in a caving expedition to 6th Mile Tunnel, a cave set high in the limestone cliffs of the Lost World of Tambun. We got suited up in helmets, head torches and long clothes, tucking our socks into our shoes to keep the leeches away.  It was a hot and steady climb up many stairs to reach the cave entrance.  Once inside the cool air was a welcome respite and our guide led us through the various cave chambers explaining the significance of the cave and how it had been used during WW II.  It was a really fun experience to do together and I was proud of the kids for not complaining too much about the leeches, bats and the stair climb.

Amusement Rides

Another way to get some thrills is on the amusement rides.  This is an older area of the park and while the rides are showing their age, our kids had a blast riding the rollercoaster, swings and swinging pirate ship.  There are also a number of carnival games for you to try (additional cost).

If you really want a thrill, head to the Haunted Mansion (additional charge: 9 MYR/person), the scariest one I have encountered.  As you move through the house encountering the Malaysian ghost, real actors haunt you.  I definitely wouldn’t recommend this for kids under 8.

Wildlife Encounters

The Lost World of Tambun has a number of large zoo animals in the Tiger Valley, Hippo Kingdom and Giraffe and Friends area.  Here you can learn more about these magnificent animals with daily feeding talks and lots of informative displays.

What our kids loved the most was the Petting Zoo, where they could have spent all day.  We got to hold and interact with the guinea pigs and hamsters, rabbits, hedgehogs, raccoons, snakes and parrots, giving us a completely interactive experience.  We are used to thinking of raccoons as pests but after spending time with Ruby the raccoon and her friends, we were smitten.  We were impressed with the quality of the enclosures and the enthusiastic staff.  You can visit the Petting Zoo by day or night, allowing you to see the nocturnal animals in action.

Other Attractions:

Tin Valley

During the Kinta Valley mining’s prime in the 19th century, Ipoh and its surrounding areas flourished.  It is great to see this history being incorporated into the park at Tin Valley.  Here you can try your hand at dulang washing in the shallow water, view artifacts from the past and learn about how tin was used in the past and still today.

We learned how elephants were used to transport tin to the ports and the back-breaking labour of the dulang washers.  You can enjoy a cup of tea in the Dulang Tea House, set in a shallow cave in the cliffs.

Luminous Forest

This fluorescent glowing forest comes alive after dark telling the story of the Malayana Tribe that existed in this region 400 million years ago.  Walk through the Luminous Forest and learn about elder Makalani, while taking in the glowing and magical forest and drumming and elaborate costumes of the Malayana people.  This is a quick activity (15 minutes) but beautiful to see.

The Needle of Tambun and Swan Peddle Boats

The limestone cliffs of the Kinta Valley were created more than 400 million years ago when the limestone was brought to the surface by tectonic forces.  It is these cliffs that make the Lost World of Tambun such a beautiful place.  Towards the back of the park is a unique limestone pinnacle that rises up, called “the Needle”.  This was one of my favourite places in the park as it was a quiet place to enjoy the stunning scenery.

For a small charge (4 MYR/person) you can rent a swan paddle boat on the small lake, which the kids really enjoyed.  You can also feed the many colourful fish in the lake.

Getting to the Lost World of Tambun

The Lost World of Tambun is located on the southeast corner of Ipoh.  Ipoh is very spread out and it is best to have a car when visiting.

It is an easy drive on the main highway from Kuala Lumpur (205 km, 2.5 hours) or Penang (160 km, 2 hours).  Ipoh is a great jumping off spot for visitors headed to the Cameron Highlands (90 km, 2 hours away), a beautiful hill station and tea growing region.

Food Options at Lost World of Tambun

I love how Lost World of Tambun has created an Ipoh street selling various Asian hawker specialties.  Food prices are slightly more than what you would pay in town, but still very reasonable.  We found the food tasty and the kids were happy to find good Western options.

Tips for Planning Your Visit

  • The park is open 11 am – 6 pm, Night Park 6 pm – 11 pm, closed during the day on Tuesdays.
  • Malaysians dress more conservatively and while a bikini is perfectly acceptable, you might feel more comfortable with a rash guard or full piece suit.
  • There are lockers available for rent to keep your valuables
  • They have a cashless system where you can load money onto your bracelet, for use within the park. You can refund whatever money you don’t use.
  • You cannot bring food or drink into the park, but there is a wide variety available within the park. Prices are slightly higher than what you would find in town, but still very reasonable. Alcohol is not available.

As of July 2018 day time ticket prices are 89 MYR/adult 13+, 83 MYR/child, but you can save money by booking ahead online.  For the Night Park ticket prices are 52 MYR/adult and 44 MYR/child.  Also check their Promotions page as they often have great deals available on certain days of the week.

Video Highlights

Our Verdict

We had a fantastic visit to the Lost World of Tambun, a very uniquely Malaysian theme park.  Between the stunning scenery, loads of activities for families, and a very affordable price, it is a great choice for families looking to explore deeper into Malaysia.  Visiting during the day and night gives you a completely different experience, so we recommend a visit to both!

Disclaimer: We were hosted on a 3 night visit by the Lost World of Tambun.  As always all opinions are our own. 

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Lost World of Tambun Review

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