As our feet are too itchy to be on the road, we decided to go the ” Janda Baik ” meaning ” good widow” , a small village with around 1200 population, 30 km away from Bentong, Pahang. It’s close proximity to Kuala Lumpur ( less than 50 km ) and people like to travel there as the place has better climate ,temperature ranging from 22 to 27 degree Centigrade. The village has a lot of places for trekking, water rafting and beautiful scenery.
We started our journey at 12.30 noon and our journey was delayed , buying local fruits and snapping pictures along the way.At one point, we also stopped the car to taste ” Musang King ” the king of durian which is creamy and yummy. I was happy to be able to buy ” sour soup ” fruit in Bukkit Tinggi.
When we arrived at Janda Baik, we were welcomed by a big wooden arch with some art works trimmed into it. The lanes are small , but the view from the road was beautiful. We frequently stopped at the height of the road to take the pictures of the view. The drawback of the place is there was not many lamp post and it can be very dark, it was mentioned not to travel at night for the first time.
We didn’t book any hotel before hand and we thought of checking in ” Zannie guest house” which is owned by a malaysian guy married to Frech lady. With difficulty, we finally arrived the place and impressed with the small bridge across the stream, the vast land with plenty of trees. The lady came out of reception and eager to show us the chalets. But the sight of chalet turned us off as the place is unkempt and the pillows and mattress are dirty. I wish they will maintain the place better in the future. Without further ado, we decided to run away literally before the lady came out from the room again.
We had trouble finding the ideal place as a lot of chalets were closed and locked. Some look like haunted houses. There are really beautiful houses we adore and would like to stay, but the gate has written sign like ” this is private land , no trespassing ,otherwise, anybody can be gunned down” . The time was running out and we started to worry for the stay , but encouraged each other ” let’s sleep in the car if there is no other option “. Then we stopped at the cafe to have hot coffee and local delicacy like fried banana and fried cempedak. I am glad that I stopped there as I had the chance to taste ” laksam” which is creamy fish noodle mixed with coconut milk. The taste was heavenly and the owner proudly told us that is the best laksam in Malaysia.
Thank to the shop owner, we found out a nice chalet which is just beside the river called ” Riverside Chalet” .They are rows of chalets with nice views , made of bamboo and wood. The chalets are small and covered with mats, and have long footings and guest can lie down or sit underneath the chalet. Luckily, there were two guests next to our chalet and we thank greatly to them as the area is deserted at night.
The owner is a a nice old couple who offered us the mosquito baby net which turned out to be a disaster later. The only problem seemed like there was no attached toilet and we had to cross over the road to go to the toilet which was lit the whole night.The night set in and it was cold and windy at night. We could hear the sounds of the animals such as birds and monkeys. We also found out that there is no door to the back entrance facing balcony to view the river. The wind was blowing and I kept on asking my friend ” what is this sound?” and finally she said ” in our Malay tradition, you are not supposed to ask that question at night in the middle of the jungle ” and that shut me up. It was 9.30 pm at night and we could not sleep tossing and turning in bed. We were almost falling asleep when we heard the loud thud on the roof accompanied by rolling of something on the zinc roof. The noise was annoying in a way that we were so afraid to open the door to take a peek. Reassuringly, we heard the voices from next chalet and it comforted us greatly. The mattress was thin and it was not very comfortable although it’s clean. There is no TV to entertain and my phone was not functional that time. So I kept on reading ‘ reader’s digest” I brought along the way while Raihana was playing with her smart phone. We brought a lot of blankets and bed sheaths and made the room as comfortable as possible. Even with that, we couldn’t sleep as we were scared that animals would come in and the howling of the wind made us feel creepy. I just prayed to finish the night as soon as possible so that I can start my trekking next morning.
Both of us woke up at 6 am in the morning , but the surrounding was still dark to start trekking until 7 am when the light came out. We rushed down to the river and there was a couple bathing in the river, embracing each other. I decided to give them privacy and retreated back to the chalet. We had known so much about one deadly infection, called leptospirosis in the river water and decided not to swim.
Instead we had a self made breakfast with chilly tuna spread , hot cappuccino, boiled egg, banana and oranges ( thank to cooking utensils we brought along the way). We crossed the bridge and started our trekking along the river. Just across the river, there was a beautiful chalet called ” ko baik” chalet. The river was flowing very fast at certain area and the beautiful shrubs and flower plants along the bank makes the scenery perfect.
After ” ko baik” chalet, there is a traditionally style chalet called ” D” Ark ” chalet which is grand, clean and properly organized. It’s expensive , around 450 RM for standard room and 250 Rm for ” Uphill” room without any room internet service nor TV. However, if you really want to enjoy the nature, there is no point you are spending time with either TV or internet. We managed to photographs all the wild flowers and the jackfruits. We also found out a very huge flowers ( the size of the hand) which we can’t identify in the shape of bell. It’s so beautiful and I took a snap with the flower.
We walked around one hour around our chalet and it’s became so sunny to walk. We decided to bring back the car to go to ” Cheringin Hill ” resort. The resort is situated on the hill and it is 5 star hotel. We found a panorama view from the village from the hill and we spent 30 mins there watching the scenery , feeling the breeze and taking photos.
After that, there was a thrilling experience like roller coaster ride, going each and every lane, up and down the hills. IT was like a smurf village, everybody has a house full of plants and orchards. We ended up the blind end several times, trying to reverse our car. Some houses have very friendly owner who waved at us from the window. And there was a beautiful lane shaded with trees. We also ran into a herd of cows which look a bit malnourished and gazing across the road. We had to stop the car until they moved away to give us the lane.
We went back at 2 pm bringing the good photos and memories. The road was scenic and we had a shrill when we found out a big waterfall beside the road on the way. There was a photo of waterfall here.
We had a good lunch with famous ” Ratha fish head curry Restaurant” , savoring our favorite fish head curry, marinated lambs and fried chicken , cucumber salad. The good food always made us a bit sleepy , but we decided to continue our journey back to Kuantan.
There is a night market at Temerloh where we dropped in to buy our dinner and groceries for next day.
We arrived In Kuantan around 10 pm, and had a wonderful sleep .
It’s just two days, one night trip which cost us little, but gave us so much satisfaction and enjoyment as we had encountered many exotic plants, beautiful scenery and authentic houses . We are so thankful for the nature and feel that people living in the area are quite lucky to have fresh air and a lot of fresh fruits. We recommend our friends to visit there.
Hnin & Raihana