Monday, March 12, 2018

Twinkle Villa Janda Baik...

A few months ago, I surfed the net trying to find an outback resort in the jungle of Janda Baik, an enclave of the east side of the main range of Malaya, for a short retreat with the family. In Malay the main range is call the Banjaran Titiwangsa. Most of the forest in the main range of Malaya are some 160 million years old since it was not touch by the ice age. In the search I stumble upon the Twinkle Villa and decided to explore more from the resort website. It looks interesting with a concept of a private villa where the guests are limited in numbers. Since this is something new I then told my daughter Lin to check and maybe one of these days we could just go there. She did her homework and then make a booking to get the whole family there on the weekend that she is free. As usual with a three-generation family it difficult to get everyone along in one go. In the end she books a villa that could accommodate six and was allotted the Villa Resak. All the villas are names after the trees in that forest like Cengal 9 Pax, Gaharu 8 Pax, Resak 4 Pax and Meranti 4 Pax. I thought that it’s a good idea to give such names of the villas in this tropical forest. 

So, on March 3, 2018 I drove the Honda there and took the road to toward Janda Baik to find the place in the jungle. As usual when one is looking for a place which one is not familiar with it takes eternity to get there. The road was winding which is  usual in a highland of the Titiwangsa Range. It snakes all the way up. I just drive the Honda guided with the Waves Apps, at time had to go to low gear where the gradient was steep. It was raining, and I had to drive carefully as the road became wet all the way up. Guided by Waves I snaked along slowly and eventually arrived at the front door of the main building, the Cengal Villa. There waiting for us is Mr. Teng [image on the right] who usher us up to take a rest and had some refreshment before going to our villa. At that time, I have yet to get to know Mr. Teng, a lively figure standing at the entrance and at that time was just wearing a T-Shirt. We exchange simple note and went to enjoy our coffee while waiting for the rain to stop.  Then I noticed another group had already check in at the Cengal villa. The group were the generation of my grandkids, enjoying a retreat to celebrate someone birthday away from home; I soon got to know them. 

As the rain just drizzle away daughter Lin got the baggage into the Resak villa [image on the left]. We then follow and went in to make it our home for the night. Resak is a two-level building which could accommodate six people. Because my spouse and I did not like to climb stairs we took the ground floor and share it with daughter Lin. One thing that draw my attention is an extra shower is provided and this one outside at the patio. It is an open space without a door and it faced the jungle. Yes, you may shower there to your heart's content care less of the world perhaps watch by those animals lurking on the tree nearby. It should be fun for once a while to be a kid again. They had place a large table at the patio facing the jungle which I found later was made from timber of fallen trees, which they found when the place was first developed. So, we sat there to enjoy the snack and drink before dinner. 

I then went out to explore the area and found it to be enchanting indeed. They had kept the trees, the flora and fauna, so soon I was in sort of a jungle with some clearing. The landscape was well done perhaps by professional and I fell in love with it. I then took my time to explore the complex and with my Canon EOS M series cameras took as much photos as I possibly could as the evening approach. One such scene is the lively swinging of a tropical monkey as seen it this image. They have created space for folks to enjoy writing or just to while one's time with love one or friends. They even have a kitchen where all the facilities for cooking are made available to the guests. It was here that daughter Lin and the rest of the family cook and barbeque our dinner. For folks who love to Barbecue in the open under the stars there are ample space and barbecue pit available, to have all the fun in the culture of open air cooking. We chose to do our barbecue in the kitchen while the group of young people did their in the open-air space outside. Despite the drizzle they got their done in good time. After dinner we went back to our home there, the Resak and sat at the patio to enjoy coffee and snack in the cool comfort of the jungle atmosphere, listening to the sound of the orchestra of the insects like the thousands of Cicadas that live in the forest canopy. It nice to hear it once in a while. We call the night off and went to sleep in the cool comfort of our room which need no air conditioning. 

I woke up early and took a walk to watch the rising sun from the resort. As I walk I saw the sun rising behind the tall forest trees and took as much picture of the happening. It was a beautiful scene to see the sunray floats through the tall trees throwing shadows as well displaying the rays on the green field below. It was like a scene from a movie, majestic indeed. For a while I was mesmerized and got lost from the real world. I got back to the reality of the morning feeling the fresh air and the humidity of the forest. The grass and the green plants was awash with the morning dew giving it a fresh and cool look that one does not get to see in the urban part of the country. Here one could feel the freshness and the smell of the morning; such a wonderful feeling indeed. I took as much snaps of the rising sun and then wander along around the compound of the resort. I just walk along without much thinking and eventually got to the road at the entrance and snap some picture there too. 

When I arrived back at the main building I saw Mr. Teng the owner/the manager of the resort was just carrying his bicycle to the foyer. We sat down on the bench nearby the step to the building and chat on subject that just pop up in our minds. He then invited me to join him for breakfast at the dining cum kitchen area. Since I already had my breakfast I just sat to enjoy a cup of coffee and continue with the chat. To digress a little; in our previous chat the first thing I ask Mr.Teng who is the owner of this resort. Before giving me a reply, he asks me whether I know of Inti College. Of course, I know I told him; it a well-known educational institution in the country.  He then said that he was a cofounder of that institution and after some years he left it and then bought the land in Janda Baik where the Twinkle Villas now stand proud. It was his idea of turning the forest into a resort of sort. I thought that it was a brilliant idea since I love the uniqueness of such a place where one could get lost from the city life and get to enjoy nature at its best, moreover it just an hour drive from Kuala Lumpur.  

Well folks I did had a great time at this resort and I believe the rest of the family are too. I told Mr. Teng that I would be back to stay much longer so that I could really explore the little jungle and take more photos of the flora and fauna of the place.  

Have a nice day.

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