With everyone talking about VIVA, its time we check this place out, even though we were late by months. Originally, the building was called UE3 (Uncang Emas) which, suffered an agonizing slow commercial death. When it was being launched, I am sure there was a lot of fanfare and all. But the last time I was there, it turned into a very bad place. A very empty, boring, bad place.

I am not sure how it turned into such a dump but I can guess that one of the main contributing factors or rather, the main reason it turned into a dead place was road access. It was built next to end of Jalan Loke Yew, towards Cheras and although they have upgraded the road to a beautiful smooth stretch, it was still dying. This was because when you need to go there, you have to turn off at Jalan Lombong, which is fine. The problem is when you need to leave the place which is a nightmare. Being next to a Highway, you need to navigate deep into the housing area to reach Jalan Cheras to continue your journey, if you need to go to Jalan Cheras, of course. However, if you need to exit to KL, from where you came from, it is easier. That is, if you know about the tunnel...

So, imagine you doing this everyday and sooner or later, you will not have the mood to go there anymore.

During our first visit, the place was already decorated for Christmas

And so, we took some warm up shots...

And then more shots.

While we were there, they have set up this fairy theme thingy in the main area. It was very beautiful and surreal until you start to notice the barriers that has been put up between you and the displays. Don't want any excited kids running towards those fragile things and the excited/panicking parents coming beihnd them too.

And so, we spend a bit more time muckng about

Ok, this is a new one from Kristine. I know Kaelynn is not so enthusiastic about all this but she smiled just to humour us while Kristine being Kristine, went all nuts.

Anyway, we broke for lunch and the Food Court looks nice. There were quite a selection of stalls which offers many delicious looking dishes. (hey, tongue twister!). I say 'looking' because there is not enough time and cash to try them all.

And so, we settled for some your basic Chinese dishes which, well, tasted sort of so-so.
The reason why we went there was to have a look at the furniture. But for me, I was secretly looking for the so-called Bata shoes sale which, I think was over and all we got were some warehouse sales with stuff so bad, you'd think you were in some 8th World Country. But for the furniture, they were very nice. However, the prices were not. I would say this is the place for furniture shopping if you cannot go to other places. But for those who likes DIY  there was one or two shops which is quite comparable to Houz Depot and the range of products offered was quite good unless like me, who do not know what I was looking for, would comment it was sparse.

The girls trying out the furniture. There was the Kiss after that but I am not going to post it.

Halfway through there was some Art Session for kids where, you buy one of their paint-by-numbers products, the kids can sit there and paint them. Each painting comes with the pre-numbered canvas, a set of paints and a brush. Being price conscious, we got each girl the smallest one, Leonardo da Vinci they're not.

And so, for the rest of the afternoon, they were kept busy instead of running and shouting all over the place. It was tempting to leave them with the organisers but its better to be safe than sorry. Here, is Kaelynn's canvas.

She looking good and maybe, this would be her skill.

In the meantime, Kristine, who has more experience in painting, got into it like duck to water.

Just look at her intense concentration.

Ta-daaaa....! OKaaayyy, I thought she was painting with colours already....

Then, that Fairy thingy downstairs started their show and it was too late to get the girls below. Then again, none of them were that interested since they now have some paitning to do.

In the end, Mommy had to help finish Kaelynn's as she was getting bored while Kristine was protesting because Mommy's skills were better.

 In the end, we all help and well, these are the results

On the way back, I managed to get that Taiwan Street thingy, something which I have waited years to get.

OK, nice. Tasted like Deep-fried yams, just like it said on the sign. How I wished I brought along some mayonnaise/crunchy prawn chili suice to try...
And so, Viva is still new. And has a lot of potentials but not all customers would like to go there just for the furniture alone. So, there must be a better mix of shops apart from the nice Food Court or else, its going to slump again.