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World of Phalaenopsis, Ulu Yam – Malaysia’s Largest Moth Orchid Farm with Its Own Hipster Cafe

What’s the best remedy for stress? Experts suggest that spending time in nature – a term coined ‘ecotherapy’ – can help to boost mental health and improve your wellbeing. It can be anything, from hiking and camping, to a picnic by the waterfall, or even a visit to a plant nursery.

If it’s the latter, then I suggest a day trip to Ulu Yam, where you’ll find World of Phalaenopsis, a plant nursery that specialises in phalaenopsis (or moth orchids, because phalaenopsis is a mouthful. lol). Tucked within a quiet kampung, about an hour’s drive from Kuala Lumpur, the nursery is home to thousands of orchids as well as a myriad of other plants — and it even has its own hipster-esque cafe called Florescence.

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There’s no admission fee, so feel free to waltz in, admire the blooms and get a plant or two (or a dozen – one can never have too many plants!) to bring home. Photos are allowed in the outdoor areas, but not in the dedicated air-conditioned sections, where they carry some of the more exotic plants.

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Moth orchids are a genus of orchids, of which there are over 70 species. They are native to places such as India, Taiwan, China, New Guinea and Australia, as well as Southeast Asia. With their bright colours (usually in hues of pink, white and purple) and large, shapely petals, these orchids are a popular choice for many gardens in Malaysia (which is why you’ll see them often at plant nurseries.

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But first things first – food. I had skipped lunch and was feeling famished (we got there around 3.15PM), so we made a beeline for the in-house cafe, Florescence. The interior was spacious and bright, thanks to glass windows which allowed for plenty of natural light to filter in. The windows also afforded diners with a nice view of the duck pond next to the cafe.

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The menu is rather limited, but what they offer, they do well. My Nasi Lemak with Rendang Chicken (RM13.90) came in a sizable portion, and although the chicken was a tad salty, it was tender and seasoned well. The rice was fluffy and the sambal added a nice kick, without being overpowering.

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Pop’s ordered the Assam Laksa. The cafe also has items like Mee Goreng Siam, pasta, and a variety of coffees and cakes. Moo got a Banana Cake with Ice Cream, which was excellent as the cake was not too sweet and still warm when served, which contrasted nicely with the chocolate ice cream. My iced chocolate drink was a disappointment, though, as it was powdery. Maybe you’re better off ordering one of their teas or coffees.

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The ducks in the pond outside looked clean, healthy and well fed. You can buy feed for them at the counter.

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After we were fed and watered, it was back to exploring the nursery. The moth orchids look lovely when they’re all lined up in a row together – you can walk in between the aisles and literally be surrounded by flowers.

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Most of the orchids are white, pink and purple, but there are yellow ones too.

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The orchids are for sale, and you can get a plant for between RM25 and RM40.

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A section dedicated to other varieties of plants.

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We spent about an hour soaking in the greenery. Didn’t buy anything though, because the fam and I don’t have green fingers, and any plant that makes its way to our ‘garden’ will just be in for a world of sadness.

World of Phalaenopsis is open daily from 9AM to 5PM. It’s best to drive there (Waze or Google Maps: World of Phalaenopsis), as there is limited public transport in the area. Ample parking can be found outside the farm.

WORLD OF PHALAENOPSIS

1017, Jalan Batang Kali – Hulu Yam Bharu, Kampung Sungai Kamin, 44300 Batang Kali, Selangor

Phone: 03-6075 1133

Website

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The Taaras Beach & Spa Resort Day 2 – The Taaras Villa

Second day at The Taaras Beach & Spa Resort on the scenic island of Redang, off the East Coast of Peninsula Malaysia!

Woke up early and headed to the Asean All Day Dining restaurant for a good ol’fashioned Western breakfast – sunny side up egg, baked beans, beef ham, butter on toast, chicken and egg sausages, with a glass of cold fresh milk.

Headed to the beach. The skies were a clear blue, the hills were illuminated in sunshine, and the sea was a beautiful shade of turquoise. There were guests sunbathing, and even some surfers, since the waves were still quite strong. I sat in the shade and listened to the ocean lapping against the shore, before heading back to my villa to sink into the soft bed and watch TV. Now that’s what I call a holiday.


Later in the afternoon we attended a signing ceremony between the hotel proprietor, Berjaya Group and Prima Air. Under this partnership, Prima Air will provide chartered flights in s Cessna plane that accommodates about 10 guests, directly from the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport in Subang to Redang, three times weekly. The flights will be packaged with accomodation at The Taaras. This service is expected to start in April.

Our dinner that night was at the exclusive Taaras Villa, the most expensive accommodation available at the resort. Apparently the Princess of Jordan and HK superstar Andy Lau stayed here during their visits! 🙂 The bungalow is perched atop the hill, with expansive views of cliffs, ocean and parts of the island. The living room even has its own karaoke system.

Dining area. Guests will be privy to private chef and butler services.

Perhaps the star attraction is the 16m infinity pool, which offers gorgeous views while you’re taking a dip. I got to swim in it early the next morning (since the rest of the group weren’t there, I had the whole pool to myself!)

Exploring the five bedroom villa. The house was very big and can easily fit 10 – 20 guests. In each room there were soft beds and couches along with TVs, large closets and bathtubs.

There’s even a basic gym in the basement, complete with treadmill, exercise ball, bike machine and yoga mats.

View from one of the rooms on the first floor. 

The jacuzzi area was hidden in a vast room that looked like an art gallery, before opening up to this space with glass partitions and the tub.

The sea was a stunning dark teal/turquoise.

Our dinner that night was a traditional Malay meal – sambal squid, beef rendang, mutton kurma, fried shrimp, stir fried veggies and meat stew. Everything was excellent.

I’ll make it my dream one day to be able to afford such a place on a holiday. Not a bad thing, to dream. 😛