If you are planning for a short weekend family getaway with kids, I would recommend a 3D2N family trip to East Peninsular Malaysia with a few stopovers along the way (Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary, Sungai Lembing, finally Kuantan and Teluk Cempedak).
We started our journey early in the morning on Christmas Eve to an Elephant Sanctuary in Kuala Gandah, located in Termeloh in the state of Pahang. It's about 133km from Shah Alam (approximately 1 hour 46 min drive without traffic).
It's best recommended to reach the place before 12pm if you do not want to miss out the fun activities that starts around 2pm till 3:30pm. Entrance fee is free for just touring around the place, feeding the elephants and watching the elephant shows. Donation is encouraged but not compulsory, to support and maintain the sanctuary. All visitors are required to register at the registration counter to obtain a pass sticker to enter the place. For those who are interested to purchase tour package, there are different types of packages available at different prices. The most popular package is Bathing the Baby Elephant, which costs RM 50 as a fee for tour guide (pay only once per group) plus additional RM 10 for an adult and / or RM 5 for a child.
Other activities available for free are educational video clip on elephant preservation, feeding elephants and elephants shows.
After the elephant show, you will be guided to enter the river with the baby elephants to give them a cold river shower (if you have paid for the package mentioned above). It was a wonderful experience, however, due to the crowd and queue, the last few groups' showers had to be cut short as it was going to rain.
There's a small cafeteria in the premise that serves local Malay food such as fried rice, fried noodles and some kuih-muih. There's also a stall that sells Malay food about few meters prior to reaching the Elephant Sanctuary. If Malay food is not your choice of food, it's best that you pack your lunch or have early lunch prior to your journey to the Elephant Sanctuary as there's literally no shops or restaurants nearby.
There are also many resting huts available, hence bringing your own food to picnic there might be another option as well.
Overall, the kids enjoyed the trip, especially the elephant feeding session. Peanuts, bananas and sugar canes are available for sale as elephant's food.
Things to bring:
1. Dry clothing for changing (if you opt for the baby elephant shower)
3. Portable fan (it's very hot and humid at the elephant show theater while waiting for the show to start)
4. Sun glasses
6. Umbrella / raincoat
7. Mosquito repellent
There are some shower areas on the way out and also at the entrance. There are also plenty of water pipes for hand washing after feeding the elephants.
Suitable Kids Age: Children as young as 1.5 - 2 years old would appreciate this nature trip seeing and feeding elephants just like visiting the zoo.