A Place To Unwind


I dont usually advertise places, services or company names unless its really worth mentioning. On this rare occassions, I am going to write a little bit of this place called Amanrimba (literally translated to peaceful forest) where I had the chance of being hosted by the wonderful caretaker, Intan.

I was with the HR Director of a reputable 5 star chain of hotels to recce places for their upcoming Executive Management retreat. Through some contacts, we were invited to savour a full afternoon of Amanrimba’s hospitality, and that was exactly what we received!

Reaching Janda Baik after a good few minutes drive away from Berjaya Golf and Country Resort Bukit Tinggi, we were picked by Intan at a point somewhere in Bukit Tinggi. We drove through what seems to be an endless narrow roads, passing through small kampung villages, greeneries, fruit orchards, small rivers and the occassional water buffalows and monkeys.

15 minutes passed and we started to slow down a little bit with the driving. I could see a small river running parallel now to the small road we were passing. The water was so clear, thick forests lining up the other side of it. What greeted us after the drive was this Asian inspired entry gate that led up to inviting looking wooden chalets, fruit trees, various garden herbs, a small fishing pond complete with geese, ducks, various birds including peacocks and parrots.

I immediately fell in love with this place. I want to get married here. I want to be with someone here. (later I was told that a garden wedding was held in the resort not too long ago where the father of the bride gave her away from a decorated lanai )

Aptly named Amanrimba, this place offers a hideaway from everything else, it seemed to me, but not too far from the modern trappings. It boasts of free wifi all throughout the property, laptops in the suites,  comfortable beds with linen, the most gorgeous looking open air bathroom (complete with jacuzzi), a small pool and for those who wish to fish, the pond comes with a myriad of fresh water fishes for you to tackle with your rod. I was told that once a year, the Resort would call the villagers to come over and an impromtu fishing fiesta will be held. You can see them catching the fish with fishnets and the proceeds to be distributed to the village folks.

The parrots kept on squawking, “How are you?” each time we passed them.

We were taken to visit all of the wooden chalets (suites). One of the structures was actually the first house the owners built in the property. A typical Malay kampung house but with modern trappings. Airy, inviting, cosy that make you feel you just want to lay down by the long open windows, and sleep.

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Late lunch was served. We could not have asked for a better meal. As the open air seminar cum dining room was occupied by a group from a local university, we were invited to lunch inside their kitchen. The kitchen resembled a small chalet with all sides opened up to allow fresh air to come in. The stainless steel kitchen was spotlessly clean. I was impressed.

Meal was simple kampung styled cooking – steamed white rice, fried fish in soya sauce and chillies, sambal paru (beef lungs), gulai rebung (young bamboo shoots cooked in chilli paste and coconut milk), the obligatory ulam and sambal. Intan had also asked the cook to fry us some bullseye eggs.

The fresh air make my tummy rumbled. The host was hospitable. My HR Director client, her friend Kak Z and I tucked in to the hearty simple meals. Exciting conversations flowed freely. More seconds to the food stations unashamedly. We completed the meals with some coffee.

Satiated, Intan walked us to the nearby small river which happens to be a part of their 3-acre property. The water was cooling and inviting. The river banks were devoid of any garbage or plastic bags. Just trees and more trees that provided cooling shades. The already excited two ladies eagerly plunged in the river. I sat on the rocks and took in the moment.

Later part of the day was spent at one of the suites’ anjung (verandah) that overlooked the fishing pond. The peacocks were making their roundings with their colourful tails well spread boasting their colours. I heard birds chirping. Gentle breeze on my face. We were engaged with conversations again on the planned trip next month. More coffee and pisang goreng (banana fritters) to cap the afternoon session.

We truly didnt want to leave this small heaven.

Alas, 6.30pm, we had to go back to the city and praying that the traffic would be good. Intan generously prepared a few take-away bags for us containing buah bacang (a local breed of mango) that came from the garden.

A perfect day indeed.

Post note: Amanrimba (www.amanrimba.com) is accessible through the Karak Highway via the vibrant small town of Janda Baik  and is about 45 minutes from Kuala Lumpur city. And no..I was not paid to write all these, just love sharing a beautiful experience with those who need to get away from the hustle and bustle of life.

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