By Gaya Travel on December 13, 2011
Being the second destination to be covered by the participants of Kembara Cuti Cuti 1Malaysia Programme for this year, Pahang focuses on the state’s highlands and their ecological richness, bringing guests to places such as Fraser’s Hill, Janda Baik and Bukit Tinggi, including Bentong and Raub.
Pahang, being rich with natural resources, is the biggest state in Peninsular Malaysia located on the East Coast and home to much of the stretch of the Titiwangsa Range. Its highlands offer a wonderful landscape for us to explore.
For Pahang, Kembara Cuti Cuti 1Malaysia Programme provides the opportunity to the state’s tourism industry players in getting their products and services highlighted in the media. The programme is also intended to increase the participants’ appreciation towards nature, apart from encouraging domestic tourists to discover more of what Malaysia offers.
Casabrina Vacation Villas is indeed the place for city dwellers seeking solitude surrounded by the serene and lush environment. Located in the virgin forest of Pahang highlands, the villas at Casabrina offer the chance for its guests to enjoy the refreshingly clean air while relaxing. Casabrina Vacation Villas was initially a private villa owned by Mr Felix Tee; however, a few months ago, Mr Felix decided to share his with the public at a considerable rate.
At the moment, there are two Bali inspired villas that offer up to six bedrooms – Mr Felix is aiming to build nine more villas, intended to bring the total number of bedrooms to 66. The construction of the villas is done with minimal impact on the natural environment and the trees that were cut are replanted to maintain the ecological balance. All these villas are decorated with Balinese and Javanese items brought over from Bali and Sumatra.
These high-end vacation villas are surrounded by a fruit orchard allows guests to go and pick the fruits like mangosteen, durian, dragon fruit, rambutan and wax apple. Apart from plucking the fruits, guests will also be able to enjoy nature through activities such as bird-watching, fishing, visiting the Orchid Park and jungle-trekking.
Each villa comes with its own swimming pool that employs the latest technology from Germany to effectively regulate the amount of chlorine released in the water. In its effort to promote conservation of nature, these vacation villas use the Melaleuca brand, an environmentally-friendly organic detergent and toiletries that will surely keep you healthy and rejuvenated throughout your stay.
Casabrina Vacation Villas, Lot 1460, Jalan Tras, Mukim tras, 27600 Raub, Pahang. (+6016 980 3222)
Not too far from Casabrina Vacation Villas lies Tanah Aina Farrah Soraya, one of the Tanah Aina estates. After enduring a 15-minute uneven drive over the muddy trail, there awaits a gem in the form of an upmarket eco-resort, named after the eldest daughter of the property’s owner, Puan Sri Sharifah Sabrina Syed Akil. When Puan Sri Sabrina first bought the land, it was initially marked as an orchard – she turned the land around into what it is today, which she described as the playground of mother nature. When building this environmentally friendly resort, tree-cutting was done to the barest minimum, ensuring that respect for nature is upheld from the resort’s very beginning.
Tanah Aina Farrah Soraya offers three types of comfortable accommodation: chalets, dormitories and tents. After just one year of operation, Tanah Aina Farrah Soraya has already become a destination in its own right for guests seeking for the chance to rejuvenate themselves by being intimate with nature. The resort welcomes many types of guests, from honeymooners and groups undergoing team-building programmes to families on vacation and individuals seeking quick getaways. Activities provided by the resort are river-trekking, platform-jumping (15 feet), flying fox, abseiling, night walk and jungle-trekking. Other than that, those who prefer less intensive activities can enjoy board games, table tennis, carom and karaoke-singing. The resort can also arrange a four-wheel adventure drive to Lata Berembun, trips to Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary as well as to Fraser’s Hill.
Another attraction in the district of Raub, Pahang is a close-to-nature concept resort called Kela Adventure Camp, located at Pos Buntu, an Orang Asli (Malaysian aborigine) settlement area. Kela Adventure Camp, which has been in operation for almost six years and surrounded by four Orang Asli villages, is perfect for any organisation looking for outdoor adventure experience. Set on a three-acre land, Kela Adventure Camp offers packages for training and team-building that cater to the needs of corporate groups and students from primary up to tertiary levels.
Activities that can be provided are spider web, jungle-trekking, night walks, river-trekking, water confidence, rafting, endurance skills, rope activities, games, water sports and survival cooking – all activities can be customised according to an organisation’s need. The flow of Lepis River that separates two sides of the camp is crystal clear and many activities can be carried out here.
This modest training-based camp offers facilities such as chalets, tents, praying room and kitchen whereby guests can either cook themselves or request for the camp to prepare traditional Malay dishes. The trainers are all experienced since many of them are army retirees, including locals who are familiar with the local landscape. Kela Adventure Camp promises guests exciting outdoor experience.
Though it is only two hours drive away from Kuala Lumpur, Fraser’s Hill does feel like hundreds of kilometres away from the cacophony of the urban centres, serving as a veritable alternative to other more popular but bustling and headache-inducing highland destinations like Genting Highlands and Cameron Highlands. It is named after a Scotsman, Louis James Fraser, who was excavating tin around the area in the early 1890s. The temperature here ranges from 17 to 25 degree Centigrade all year long.
Fraser’s Hill largely unperturbed natural surroundings attract many bird-watching aficionados who come here to spot various types of birds since Fraser’s Hill hosts more than 270 local and migratory birds that stop by to replenish their energy, especially during the Fraser’s Hill International Bird Race competition, annually held in June.
At Fraser’s Hill, visitors will be able to play at the nine-hole golf course, hike along several trails while breathing in the fresh air, play tennis or archery and even ride on a horse at The Paddock. Visitors can also drop by Allan’s Water, a body of water fit for picnicking, boat-paddling or fish-feeding.
An interesting feature of Fraser’s Hill is the well-known Tarantula spiders that nest on the hillside of this highland. These seemingly ferocious creatures are actually captivating to watch and they can only be seen at night when they crawl back to their nests. Their diamond-like eyes and eight long legs may prove too much for arachnophobes but it can be thrilling to those who adore their beauty.
Facing Fraser’s Hill nine-hole golf course, the view from Shahzan Inn Fraser’s Hill’s rooms promise guests a breath-taking view of greenery that is accompanied with a refreshingly cool climate. Comprising one apartment, two VIP suites, two junior suites and 37 superior rooms, Shahzan Inn is ready to host you and cater your needs from your activities to your meals.
Apart from leisure purposes, Shahzan Inn can also host a mid-sized group of business travellers since it also has facilities like a conference room, a hall, meeting rooms and boardroom, all located on the same floor for great convenience.
Guests dining at the property’s Lela Manja Restaurant will be able titillate their taste buds with an array of delectable Malaysian and Oriental dishes. Those who crave for steamboat can make way to the Chinese Restaurant. Apart from the two restaurants, a casual hang out or dining with family and business acquaintances are also offered at Puteri Bongsu Lounge, while the panoramic night view of Fraser’s Hill can be had over drinks at the BBQ Terrace.
For a French-themed getaway experience close to the Klang Valley, visitors can head to Colmar Tropicale in Bukit Tinggi, a 235-room resort built in a picturesque Alsace fashion. Colmar Tropicale is wholly owned by Berjaya Hills Berhad and is set on Berjaya Hill, which is part of the Titiwangsa Range, offering guests with lush tropical greenery.
By staying here, guests will have the opportunity to experience trying out the newly completed flying fox facility that has been declared as the longest in South-East Asia which is 910 metres long and flies over the verdant rainforest that covers Berjaya Hills. For golfers, Berjaya Hills offers the experience of putting balls with the picturesque view of the Titiwangsa Range as backdrop. For family and small children, there is an animal park that they can pet, feed and even take picture of animals like deer and rabbits. Other activities like cycling, paintball game and adventure park are also available.
Hidden within the Titiwangsa Range, Kampung Janda Baik is a pristine location for those who seek solitude amidst wild greenery. A stream flows down along this village that was once, according to the locals, an aboriginal settlement but now become a holiday destination for city dwellers in search for a quick break. Homestay Kampung Janda Baik is one of many accommodation options that visitors can choose when being in Janda Baik to experience a Malay kampung life in the highlands.
Visitors will surely be taken in by the villagers warm and sincere hospitality that makes them feel like being home. The village residents still practise silat (traditional Malay martial art), tarian piring (a dance that involves plates) and rattan-weaving, which are interesting for visitors to learn. Homestay Kampung Janda Baik is one of the villages that recently take part in the homestay programme in Pahang. Due to its proximity to Kuala Lumpur, it is fast gaining popularity.
Named after a river situated just a stone’s throw from this property, Cherengin Hills Convention and Spa Resort is a comfortable business stay option when being in Janda Baik. Set on 11.2 acres of land, this 136-room resort offers well appointed rooms ranging from deluxe to suite categories, including full fledge meeting, incentives, conference and exhibition (MICE) facility.
Its location amidst greenery enables the Cherengin Hills Convention and Spa Resort to fully utilise its surroundings when organising activities like team-building, outdoor recreational activities, tele-matches, amazing race, tubing and candle light warrior, to name a few. There are also games such as laser lines, tower ball, human ring and elephant foot for enjoyment as well as to develop creative skills of the players. The mentioned games and activities are available through prior arrangement, facilitated by experienced in-house instructors. The resort also boasts free wi-fi, swimming pool, meeting rooms, ballroom and three karaoke rooms that can be used to unwind after a long day of conferencing.
Apart from accommodating MICE activities, Cherengin Hills also caters to medium scale events and wedding receptions at its ballroom that can fit up to 350 person at one time with private foyer for pre-event session. Cherengin Hills Convention and Spa Resort is definitely not just another convention centre, it is the place where everything comes together.
After a short drive of about 10 minutes uphill in Janda Baik, visitors will be able to see a stunning bungalow with a beautiful garden, which is Saufi Ville. Located at 1,800 feet above sea level, the view of edgeless ocean of trees is just one thing that you don’t want to miss savouring when being here. Saufi Ville sits on a private land owned by Mr. Sarofini Saufi together with his wife.
In the bungalow, there are six welcoming rooms and a dormitory in an adjacent building that can cater for a group of people. This property is located on a 12-acre land that filled with vegetable beds, fruits and flowers.
As a boutique resort, there is only one food and beverage outlet that serves all kinds of food, especially traditional Malay dishes. The wife of Mr. Saufi, Mrs. Raja Izrinda, herself is the cook and she is very creative in creating new recipes for the guests.
Saufi Ville is suitable for an intimate weekend getaway with families and friends close to Klang Valley yet surrounded with cool temperature.