Review: Rest.Pause Rainforest Retreat @ Janda Baik, Pahang

Happy CNY, everyone! The Chinese New Year lasts for 15 days, so I’m not too late with my wishes! 😛

This year’s celebration was a little different. Instead of the usual balik kampung to Ipoh, the fam rented a bungalow in Janda Baik, Pahang for a 3D2N stay. Tucked among hills and greenery about an hour’s drive from Kuala Lumpur, the area is a popular tourist spot for those who like relaxation and nature.

Our accommodation was called Rest.Pause Rainforest Retreat – and it did not disappoint.

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Built on a hill slope, the house was spacious and beautifully designed, with all the comforts of a modern home, surrounded by lush greenery. There was a nicely kept garden at the back with its own fish pond, as well as a natural stream. There was also a caretaker on hand to take care of all our needs during our stay. He lived in a small but immaculately kept house just next to the main building, and kept the fattest chickens I had ever seen.

(Above) Spacious living room, complete with comfy couches, a large-screen TV and a selection of DVDS to watch. Tall wooden sliding doors opened up to the verandah, allowing for plenty of sunlight to filter in. The place was airy and bright.

 

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The dining area where we had most of our meals was outside on the verandah, affording us scenic views of the garden and surrounding jungle. It was lovely especially in the morning when a mist shrouded the trees and there was a cacophony of chirruping crickets and birds.

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Insert obligatory vain photo here.

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Our welcome drinks of sweet and fragrant pandan water.

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They also prepared a gift basket of snacks; peanuts, instant noodles and Mamee.

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There were four rooms in the bungalow – two on the ground floor, and two upstairs. Ideally, the house should fit a maximum of 15 people – we had 25 ._. They were still really accommodating and even prepared extra mattresses and pillows. Some of us slept in hallways and living rooms.

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View of garden from staircase window.

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One of the rooms upstairs. The setup was basic but comfy. The springy mattress wasn’t good but I slept on a thin one on the floor. Super comfy and cooling!

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Room shared with Moo, Pops and the Bro. I like small spaces and tight corners so you can guess which bed I ‘booked’ immediately upon entering the room. 😀

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The thing I liked most ? THEY HAD A MINI LIBRARY!!!! The bookworm in me shrieked with pleasure when I saw the cupboard of volumes just waiting to be flipped and caressed and devoured (figuratively speaking, of course). There were also some board games on the shelves underneath: UNO blocks, congkak, poker cards, Monopoly, chess.

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Picked up a gem of a book called Shantaram; but it was a long novel so I couldn’t finish it within 3 days. 😦

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Venturing out to explore the garden. Caretaker’s house (right).

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View of the bungalow from the garden.

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Bougainvilleas in bloom.

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Dinner on the first night was hotpot. The place had all the facilities we needed, included cutlery and pots – all we had to do was bring the food. It felt really warm and comforting to enjoy hotpot in the cooling weather!

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Breakfast the next morning was prepared by the caretaker and his wife – simple but tasty fare of fried eggs, sausages, toast and beans.

Janda Baik is close to many tourist spots, including Genting Highlands, Bukit Tinggi, Bentong and a couple of waterfalls. I wanted to stay in and read but the fam was bored so we drove up to Genting Highlands. It was my first time playing slot machines at the casin; it might have been beginner’s luck but I won some money – enough to treat the fam to a good lunch.

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Dinner on our second night was BBQ – the caretaker set up the charcoal and stoves for us on the front porch. The aunties also made a killer lap mei farn (rice with waxed meats).

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Breakfast on our final day was fluffy pancakes with honey and butter – washed down with steaming mugs of coffee and refreshing glasses of orange juice.

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I’d highly recommend Rest.Pause to those who love nature, and those who want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city without driving too far. The Wifi is pretty wonky, which prompts you to tear your eyes away from the screen for awhile, and reconnect with nature, family and friends (in my case, I still had my nose in a book so, shrug). Everything was provided for – kitchen facilities, entertainment such as books / TV, even mosquito repellents and insect cream – so all you have to bring is yourself and the food. Travel is best by car as there is no public transport in the area. Cycling seems popular but I don’t recommend it as the roads are windy and narrow.

A stay at Rest.Pause costs approximately RM1,000 per night.

Bookings: rest-pause.com

REST.PAUSE RAINFOREST RETREAT 

Lot A293, Sum Sum, Jalan Tanarimba Pine, Tanarimba, 27540 Kampung Janda Baik, Pahang

 

Food Review: “Vibe Dining” and Contemporary Chinese at FUHU @ Resorts World Genting

Partygoers in Malaysia (and Singapore) will be familiar with Zouk – one of the biggest names in the Asian clubbing scene. In recent years, the brand has been moving towards more lifestyle-oriented offerings – which is why at Zouk Genting, they have a number of other outlets (besides the main club), such as the games lounge Redtail by Zouk, hiphop club Empire, and Redtail Karaoke.

1. FUHU Restaurant & Bar entrance

The latest to join the Zouk Genting family is FUHU. Meaning “Lucky Tiger” in Mandarin, the new ‘vibe dining’ experience entails contemporary Chinese cuisine created by Hong Kong “Demon Chef” Alvin Leung, whose unique yet nostalgic creations fuses East and West; reimagining Asian flavours with a modern spin on classic fare. Its also the perfect place for pre-drinks and after-party drinks with friends, all in a fun and lively atmosphere.

THE DECOR / INTERIOR

2. FUHU Restaurant & Bar walkway

Entering through the apothecary-themed entrance, diners venture in through an Instagrammable passageway, complete with mirrors on one side of the wall that reflect lights on the other. The effect is rather ethereal, as you make your way into a mysterious ‘garden’ of sensory delights.

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3. FUHU Restaurant & Bar Interior

Emerging, be awed by the cool and trendy chinoiserie interiors, which play on elements found in traditional Chinese apothecaries juxtaposed against a garden of wonder brought to life by artful lighting and pop art graffiti. The restaurant covers 750 square metres of space, and seats up to 150 diners.

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Celebrated graffiti artist, Kenji Chai brings to life the tale of Lady Meng and the Tiger in a floor-to-ceiling mural, while elements of traditional Chinese culture such as rosewood chairs and Ming-dynasty blue and white porcelain motifs transport guests into the story. The centerpiece is the bar area, which features a life-sized sakura ‘tree’ glowing in the dark.

THE FOOD

Portrait - Chef Alvin Leung 2

If you’ve always wanted to try food by a Michelin-starred chef, here’s your chance. The menu at FUHU was created in collaboration with Chef Alvin Leung. One of the biggest names in the Asian culinary arts scene, Leung is an unconventional figure known for his ‘X-Treme Chinese Cuisine’ and molecular gastronomy, and has three Michelin stars for his restaurant, Bo Innovation, in Hong Kong. The menu at Fuhu, however, will be a departure from his usual style of cooking, and instead pays homage to the unique Chinese dishes from where Leung was born and raised, namely London and Toronto. As such, diners can enjoy smaller plates for sharing, or full-blown Chinese meals complete with rice and dishes.

4. Sticky Lamb Shank

Signature items include the FUHU Roasted Duck, Aromatic Crispy Duck, Boston Lobster Noodles, Szechuan-style Hot & Sour Lobster Soup, The General’s Fried Chicken & Waffle, and Quark Quark Rice Soup. For our media tasting session, a notable highlight was the Sticky Lamb Shank, which was fall-off-the-bone tender with a sweet glaze and accompanied by a creamy, curry sauce.

5. Aromatic Crispy Duck

Aromatic Crispy Duck. The way you eat this is by shredding the meat and placing it into the soft mantou with some of the sweet sauce and vegetables, making for comforting bite-sized morsels.

6. Boston Lobster Noodle

A must-have is the Boston Lobster Noodle, bursting with seafoody goodness and generous chunks of fresh, sweet lobster meat. Noodles were silky, each strand coated in the savoury broth.

11. The Generals Fried Chicken

Another crowd favourite was the General’s Fried Chicken – essentially boneless fried chicken karaage coated in a sweet and spicy sauce. These were insanely addictive, with the crispy skin and tender, juicy meat.

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Duck is a major ingredient at Fuhu. The duck essence porridge distills the meat’s goodness into a clear, lip smacking congee that warms the belly. Great for hangovers!

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For dessert, the humongous Double Sundae combo, featuring a tall piece of French toast topped with various goodies such as durian ice cream, marshmallows and an ice cream cone.

THE DRINKS 

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Alcohol lovers will not be disappointed as FUHU serves some amazingly creative cocktails by resident mixologist Saam Pranill. Taking into account Fuhu’s Chinese origins, Saam also incorporates local ingredients and flavours, and drinks are served in unique vessels picked out from his travels, be it antique teapots or mini wooden buckets.

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A signature drink here is Drunken Tiger, a mix of gin, campari and martini rosso, and get this – Nin Jiom Pei Pa Koa (yes, as in the herbal drink used to treat coughs) garnished with orange zest.

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Other must tries include the Tiffined Gin Tonic, featuring artisanal tonic from Greece paired with grapefruit soda and Beefeater, as well as The Reunion, which is served in a  Chinese tea set and consists of bourbon, honey, calamansi lime juice, cinnamon, orange slices, hot water and red dates.

All in all, I loved my experience at Fuhu – the food, the drinks and of course, the cool vibe. Definitely a unique experience you won’t get elsewhere, and that you’d want to visit with friends both before and after the party!

FUHU GENTING

Zouk Genting, Level G, Resorts World Genting, 69000 Genting Highlands, Pahang, Malaysia

Business hours: 6PM – 1AM (daily)

fuhudining.com

5 Attractions In Cameron Highlands For People Who Don’t Like Crowds

Once a pristine mountain retreat, Cameron Highlands is a far cry from how it used to be 20 or 30 years ago. Vast swathes of forest have been cleared to make way for hotels, farms and tourist attractions. It isn’t even cold anymore in the daytime, and god forbid you go on a weekend, what with the hordes of tourist buses unloading at the flower farms and strawberry plantations. If I wanted to push and shove among a crowd, I’d go to a mall in KL – at least those are air conditioned. 😦

Depressing points aside, there are a couple of spots in CH still worth visiting, and where you are less likely to get trampled in case of a stampede.

LATA ISKANDAR 

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If you’re travelling up from the Tapah-CH side, you can’t miss the Lata Iskandar waterfall, located just by the side of the road. Comprised of several tiers, the water cascades down into pools where one can bathe and cool down from the intense heat. Despite being a public recreational area, it’s surprisingly clean, and the waterfalls are flanked on each side with lush greenery. More seasoned hikers might want to go on the trail to see unique flora and fauna in the area. There are also some shops selling local handicrafts from the Orang Asli, jungle produce and souvenirs.

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CAMERON VALLEY TEA PLANTATION 

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CH has a couple of big tea plantations, including the Boh and Bharat plantations. Cameron Valley belongs to the latter, founded by migrants from Uttar Pradesh.

Boh is popular for their jam and scones, which is served at a picturesque little cafe overlooking the valley. As such, the place can be slightly more crowded. CV also has a lookout point, but you can opt to walk down to the plantation to take pictures, or take a buggy down to a spot where they have a bridge and a small garden. PS: Entry is RM10 per pax, which is overpriced imo.

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Sam Poh Temple at Brinchang is a Buddhist temple dating back to the 1970s and is well worth a visit if you’re into culture and architecture. While not very large, the temple has intricate decor, a grand prayer hall housing various Buddha statues, and is well maintained and upkept.

CACTUS POINT

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Perhaps it is due to its location which is a few kilometres away from Brinchang, but Cactus Point is less crowded than other nearby attractions, and the spacious layout makes it easier to navigate and browse through as well. As the name suggests, the place is dedicated to various species of cacti both large and small. In fact, we were surprised by the variety of different types they have on display, from tiny ones that could fit into the palm of one’s hand, to giant ones that tower as high as an adult. They also carry a smaller selection of garden plants and flowers, and you can even buy them to take home.

BUTTERFLY FARM

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One of CH’s oldest tourist attractions, the Butterfly Farm is home to hundreds of butterflies within its enclosed gardens. It also has enclosures for live insects, reptiles, scorpions, small mammals and an aviary. The place is in need of an upgrade, as the interiors are old and dated, but since most tourists will prefer going to shiny new attractions, it means you get the whole place all to yourself! 🙂 Despite its age, the gardens are still well maintained and you can get up close to the butterflies (they have a large collection of Rajah Brooke Butterflies) while taking a leisurely stroll and admiring the garden’s pretty blooms.

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Review: Kea Farm Homestay @ Brinchang, Cameron Highlands

N was in town recently, and the fam and I thought it’d be perfect to show him some of our local sights – so we booked a short weekend getaway to Cameron Highlands. It has been five years since my last trip, and boy oh boy has the place changed. Even back then, it was losing its charm because of the huge influx of tourists – but now it’s just super commercialised, the hills have been stripped bare to make way for development (they’ve even got a shopping mall now. Good news for locals, I guess?) and it’s BLOODY HOT IN THE DAYTIME. We talk about going up to CH for some ‘fresh air and greenery’ but it’s no different from being in KL these days. Sigh.

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It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go to CH at all – you just have to plan your trip carefully. I suggest going on a weekday to avoid the insane crowds, and you’ll have a lot more time to explore the attractions comfortably. As for accommodation, there are plenty at Ringlet, Tanah Rata and Brinchang, CH’s three main towns. Staples would be Copthorne, Avilion, and if you’ve got money to splurge, one of those fancy English-style cottages – but this time around, we went for an Air BnB; and a pretty unique one at that. It doesn’t even have a proper name other than ‘A Rustic Wooden House on Hillside’ – which is exactly what it is.

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To get to the place, drive through the Kea Farm market and make your way through hilly roads until you reach a cluster of homes at the top of the hill. The rundown-looking wooden house (complete with slanting roof, lol) is situated right at the end of the road, close to the edge of the slope. Don’t be fooled by appearances – despite its deceptively small-looking exterior, the inside is extremely spacious, able to accommodate up to 10 guests at a time.

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We’ve seen pictures of the property from the website, but were still blown away by the interior (the owner, Tony, is an interior designer). Like most traditional village houses, the walls, beams and flooring are all wood, paired with modern touches such as block colour furniture and tasteful paintings. I think a lot of effort has been put into giving the place a ‘vintage’ element, from the display of old household items to the old flip-style light switches.

The living area is also extremely cosy, and the best part for me was the large selection of comics and books stuffed into shelves underneath the seats. Now all I need is a hammock and I won’t even need to go out exploring.

Oh wait, they have one of those too lol.

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The dining area at the front is equally cosy, with a long wooden table and benches to comfortably seat a large party. The glass roof provides plenty of natural light in the day, while at night, a warm glow emanates from the light bulbs, hung from the ceiling in glass jars.

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For those who wish to prep food, the place has a kitchenette with a fridge and microwave, as well as cooking and dining utensils.

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As for rooms, there are three – two on the ground floor and a ‘loft’ accessible via a ladder. The beds are equipped with mosquito netting. You’ll want to use these – I foolishly thought mozzies won’t be active in cold weather, and woke up in the middle of the night itching all over lmao.

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The back room.

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N and I immediately called dibs on the loft, coz it’s something I’ve only seen in Western films and I really wanted to experience sleeping in one. The two queen-sized mattresses up here are soft and comfortable, as are the pillows and comforters which kept us warm and snug throughout the night. There are more books up here if you want to do some bedtime reading.

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Millennials, fret not – the place has WiFi!

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As the sun sets, so does the temperature, plummeting to below 20 degrees. And what better way to warm up than with a hotpot?

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Time to unpack the ingredients we brought up from KL  – simple fare like fried fuchok, noodles, cheese balls and meat balls and pork belly. The veggies and corn we got fresh from the nearby market. Feel free to utilise the portable stove available here to make your hotpot! 🙂

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Evening view from the house.

One thing to note is that sounds carry easily here. Someone talking next door sounds like they’re talking right next to your ear, so you might want to keep it down after dark.

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Before checking out the next morning, we went for a morning walk around the vicinity – only to be greeted by a friendly, enthusiastic doggo. He sprinted up and placed his front paws on my chest, wagging his tail furiously. When I didn’t pet him (didn’t want to wash my hands again) he gave a most heart-wrenching whimper 😦 But then he perked up and decided to give us a ‘tour’ of the village, following us as we made our way around the houses.

The view is beautiful in the morning, especially on one side where you can see a quaint wooden house in the distance which was used as setting in a local film.

Pros

  • Clean, amazing interiors
  • Cosy and spacious
  • Beautiful views
  • Books everywhere
  • WIFI
  • Kitchen facilities

Cons

  • -Far from most attractions, difficult to get to unless you have your own car
  • -Lots of mozzies, make use of mosquito netting
  • -Very poor sound proofing

You can rent Tony’s Kea Farm Homestay for RM300 per night.

Hotel Review: Lanjut Beach & Golf Resort, Kuala Rompin, Pahang

Think weekend getaway, think places like Penang, Malacca, Ipoh or Langkawi.

Kuala Rompin probably wouldn’t be on top of the list –  but this laid back town in Pahang is inherently charming and full of hidden gems. Being close to the sea, river and forest, there are loads of activities to enjoy, and the best thing is that the area is not over commercialised (yet) –  so it’s perfect for a quiet, relaxing family getaway or a couple’s retreat.

Tucked by the beach within the idyllic Kampung Lanjut village is Lanjut Beach & Golf Resort, which opened its doors in July 2018. The 196-room resort boasts a contemporary design, with plenty of facilities and its own 3.5 km private stretch of beach where you can – get this – see dolphins (if you’re extremely lucky) !

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Upon entering, visitors are greeted by an expansive double height lobby and tasteful interior deco that blends the contemporary with traditional Malay elements. Just next to the lobby is Cafe Strada, which carries freshly baked pastries, snacks and coffee. 

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Rooms are set surrounding the main courtyard, which boasts two swimming pools – a half Olympic-sized one for the adults and another one for children, with slides and fun water fixtures. There are a variety of rooms to choose from, such as the spacious Junior Suite or the Superior Twin Room, which comes with connectivity options for families.

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My superior triple room with a pool view came with a double bed and a single bed – ideal for small families or a group of friends. The room was cosy and comfortable, with sleek wood furniture, TV, dressing table and cabinet.

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Welcome chocolates and cakes! + tea and coffee making facilities.

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Toiletries. No tub, but there was a nice shower.

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Tea time! The Anjung Brasserie Coffee House offers a mix of mouthwatering local and international favourites. Our tea time spread consisted of various sandwiches, pastries and finger food. 

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The mini mushroom/chicken pies were deliciously addictive! Food was fresh and tasty.

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After the meal, we were taken on a tour of the facilities. Aside from leisure, Lanjut also caters to business travelers, with meeting rooms and spacious ballrooms that can be set up for anything from weddings to corporate events.

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Take a stroll at the resort’s private beach, which features a unique ‘mirror’ phenomenon at certain times of the day. Reminiscent of the Salar Uyuni salt flats in Bolivia, the sand has a reflective quality at low tide, mirroring the blue sky on its surface. The results are mesmerising, to say the least.  

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Although the beach is not suitable for swimming, beach side activities such as volleyball can be arranged. The manager also told us that on certain days and if you’re very very lucky, you might see dolphins frolicking about in the waters around dawn!

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Come evening, tuck into a scrumptious seafood dinner buffet at Anjung Brasserie and have your fill of fish, shellfish, shrimp, squid and more, fresh off the ice, straight onto the grill/into the wok, and onto your plate. The chef will prepare it to order and in a variety of sauces. There is also beef, chicken wings, sausages and other meats.

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Assortment of pate + cold boiled mussels and shrimp/crabs.

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Had my fill of squid and bamboo clams in black pepper sauce. Seafood was fresh and cooked just right. Clams were very meaty as well.

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Range of pastries and desserts.

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Went to bed stuffed and had a good night’s rest listening to the waves lapping on the shore. 😀

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The next morning we were up bright and early for an excursion to the golf course, where we drove ourselves around in buggies. Golfing enthusiasts will be delighted to know that the resort has an 18-hole par-72 golf course located just steps away from the resort’s accommodation. The wide green is well maintained, with different types of terrain. 

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Caddy showing the member of the group how to swing. Needless to say there was a lot of laughter and a whole lot of thwacking the golf club into the ground.

Even without leaving the resort premises, there are loads of activities to do within Lanjut, such as beach sports, swimming and golfing. A spa and gym is slated to open in 2019. Other fun recreational activities, such as fishing, jungle trekking, firefly watching and clam picking can also be arranged at request. 

Rooms start at RM220+ per night.

LANJUT BEACH & GOLF RESORT

Kampung Lanjut, 26800 Kuala Rompin, Pahang, Malaysia

Tel: (+609) 415 8888 or email infolanjut@pnbcommercial.my

lanjut.my 

*I was invited to review the hotel as part of a media trip for work. Views here are entirely my own. 

5 Things To Do In Kuala Rompin, Pahang

Strategically located by the sea and the river, and surrounded by tropical rainforests, the town of Kuala Rompin in Pahang, Malaysia is blessed with an abundance of natural gems. The place retains vestiges of its roots as a fishing village, with many folk still making a living from the sea and the Rompin River. In recent years, the town has come to be known as a sailfish haven, drawing anglers from all over the globe during fishing season. It also makes a great base for adventurers looking to explore the Endau-Rompin National Park – one of the oldest rain forests in the world.

I was in town recently for a short trip, and while we weren’t able to visit many places, I’ve listed down some of the lesser known activities that you can add to your itinerary while in Kuala Rompin! 🙂

1 ) Visit an Orang Asli Village 

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Kuala Rompin is home to a sizable Orang Asli population, most of who make a living from agriculture and fishing. If you’re travelling in a group, you can make arrangements with some local hotels to visit a village and buy fresh produce/seafood. One of these villages is Kampung Deraman – which has its very own balai masyarakat (community hall) right next to the main road. The building is where the locals organise events such as weddings and celebrations. We were given a brief insight into the arts and culture of the Orang Asli during our visit, as they welcomed us with a traditional dance. A village artisan even taught us how to weave!

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There is a compound in front of the village where visitors will find large fish tanks housing various types of fish, shrimp and udang galah (river prawns) – a local specialty – for sale.

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A wooden shack sells fruits and forest produce.

2 ) Go Clam Picking 

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The Rompin River is the lifeblood of Kuala Rompin, cutting through vast swathes of land before flowing out into the South China Sea. Clam picking is a popular activity for tourists, with trips usually organised by hotels or tour agencies.

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A boat from the jetty takes you to shallow parts of the river during low tide, whereby you can wade into the sandy riverbank and muck around for clams. A little luck is needed, as it is not always in season! Activities usually cease by 4PM, as the tide starts to rise. If you’re lucky you might even spot shoals of silvery fish ‘jumping’ on the surface of the water. This is also a popular spot for anglers and game fishing.

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3) Go Firefly Hunting 

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Come night, you can take a larger boat from the jetty, to catch a sight of fireflies in the trees by the river bank. The trip is pretty long (approximately two hours) but worth it. The boat gets really close to the trees, so the fireflies are literally dancing around you, twinkling like hundreds of tiny fairy lights!

PS: Please do not be a social media whore and try to take flash photos so you can ‘show off’ to your friends – it kills the fireflies.

4) Chill by the ‘Mirror’ Beach & See… Dolphins!? 

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One of Kuala Rompin’s best kept secrets can be found within Lanjut Beach and Golf Resort. Book a stay and walk out to the beach in the evening to witness an incredible ‘mirror’ beach phenomenon, where the sand ‘reflects’ the sky and the clouds – blending seamlessly with the shoreline. The effect is really pretty, and wonderful for Instagram photos!

PS: The manager of the resort tells us that if you wake up before dawn and lady luck is on your side, you might even see dolphins frolicking in the water! Apparently the area is part of their territory.

5) Gorge on Fresh Seafood

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Being so close to the river and the sea, it would be foolish not to gorge on the abundance of fresh seafood available in Kuala Rompin! River and sea side seafood restos aplenty, with the specialty being udang galah (river prawns). (Above) the seafood spread at Lanjut Beach Resort. I’ve never eaten so much sotong in my life, lol

BONUS: Pineapples! 

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Rompin Integrated Pineapple Industries Sdn Bhd (Rompine) is a pineapple plantation / producer that exports pineapples to places like Japan and South Korea. We all know how stringent they are with food quality, so you best believe that the pineapples at Rompine are fresh, sweet and tasty. The factory/facilities are usually not open to the public if you’re buying one or two pineapples, but if I remember correctly they do sell any extras they have for walk-ins, if you’re buying in bulk. The pineapples were indeed extremely juicy and sweet. They are primarily exporters, so quantities are limited for local consumption.

Happy travels!

 

2D1N Itinerary @ Genting Highlands, Malaysia

Hey guys! 

SO I took a 10-day break a couple of weeks ago to accompany the Boy who was visiting Malaysia – and one of the places we went to was Genting Highlands. For those who have never been here before, it’s basically a huge mountain resort with the only (legal) casino in the country. Works are ongoing for a new Fox Studios Theme Park, but the opening date keeps getting pushed back, and it doesn’t look like it will be up and running anytime soon.

Even so, there are lots of fun things to do in Genting, so here’s our 2D1N itinerary (for reference)!

Note: This is not a ‘budget’ itinerary; I actually blew quite a lot of money there lol. not from gambling but from FOOD LOL 

Getting There 

There are several ways to get up to Genting. Driving takes about an hour from KL, but there might not always be parking spots (especially during the holiday season or weekends) and the roads are fairly steep, so some cars might not have enough power to go up (cough mine cough)

You can also take a cab from KL, although this will set you back more than RM100. Something to consider if you are going with a group so you can split the cost.

The third option is to take a Resorts World Genting bus from KL Sentral, where they depart hourly. It’s super cheap and you can opt to purchase a package that includes the cable car (the bus does not go all the way up to the resort). You can catch the bus at the basement of KL Sentral – just follow the signs. The entrance is to the left of the escalator going up to Nu Sentral mall.

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Bus ride takes an hour and stops at the Awana Sentral Cable Car Station, which is also where you will find the Genting Highlands Premium Outlets. Not really a fan of shopping because I’d rather spend on food lol but if you like branded goods at discount prices, GHPO is a good place to shop for brands like Sacoor Brothers, Adidas, Furla, Calvin Klein, etc.

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The cable car ride takes another 15-20 minutes. The weather was super foggy during our visit; we could barely see the gondola in front!

Bus + Cable Car Ride: RM14 per pax

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The cable car takes you directly to Sky Avenue, one of the resort’s newer shopping malls. The older sections are being refurbished to make way for new outlets and attractions, so there isn’t too much to explore atm, but there’s a nice selection of retail outlets, mostly clothing and food. The SkyCasino is located on the ground floor. Wanted to go in but they didn’t allow backpacks and we were too lazy to go put it back at our hotel room so we skipped it lol.

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Decorations for the Mid-Autumn festival.

Speaking of hotel room, there are several hotels within the resort to choose from, each with different price points. The most luxurious one is Crocksford, which I recently had the pleasure of staying at for work (blog post up soon!), but without the media badge I’m sadly relegated to commoner status lol so I could only afford the budget First World Hotel.

Other options include Maxims (also pricey, 5 stars), Genting Grand Hotel (4 stars), Theme Park Hotel (suitable for sharing coz they have quad beds), Resort Hotel and First World Hotel (3 stars).

First World holds the Guinness Book Of Records for Largest Hotel in the World, with over 7,300 rooms! We had a standard room with a Queen Bed, costing RM100.

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Exploring more of SkyAvenue!

One thing I don’t like about the mall is that there. are. no. chairs. I think they want you to walk around and explore as much as possible but when I came with my mom, who is quite elderly now, we couldn’t find any place to rest at all… unless we bought a drink at a cafe. MAYBE THATS WHY LOL 

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More pretty Mid Autumn deco

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View of Genting Grand from the outside. The sun and blue sky came out for awhile

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The yet to be completed Fox Studios Theme Park. It still seems like there’s a long way to go.

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Dinner was at Burger & Lobster, the beloved London franchise that serves… well, burgers and lobsters. The outlet has been going strong since it opened in Malaysia two years ago, and even though it was a Thursday, the queue was pretty long – a good thing we got there early!

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Boy had the Original Lobster, steamed and served with their signature Lemon & Garlic Butter sauce.

Fun fact: Live lobsters are flown in from Nova Scotia in Canada and kept in RWG’s facilities to ensure freshness.

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I had Chilli Lobster – a special dish made exclusively for B&L Malaysia. It’s similar to Singapore’s famous chilli crab, but with lobster instead – and it’s served with thick and fluffy brioche slices. It was good, albeit a tad salty, but the brioche was excellent to sop up the gravy.

**For some reason, I was less impressed on this particular visit. The lobsters were good but they weren’t like WHOA, as compared to when I ate here when they first opened. Anyway the only reason we went for lobster was because the Boy hadn’t tried it before and I really wanted to get his opinion on it so now that we’ve had it, this’ll be a one off thing. UNLESS OF COURSE THERE ARE MORE MEDIA REVIEWS HEHEHE 

RM153 + RM173 + taxes = RM350++ and a bleeding wallet

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Breakfast: It was cold in the morning and I wanted siew loong bao lol. If you have never had these dainty soup-filled dumplings you are missing out on life. I was happy that they had opened a Paradise Dynasty in Genting – it’s one of my favourite places to get good siew loong bao. Boy had the colourful 8-flavour basket which includes flavours like Szechuan, Garlic, Truffle, Crab Roe, Original and Cheese.

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My favourite is the cheese so I ordered a basket all for myself hahaha. I could probably eat 20+ of these but wallet lol.

TOTAL  RM100 (probably the most expensive I’ve ever had for a breakfast).

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After checking out, we took the cable car down, stopping mid-way at the Chin Swee Cave Temple Station. You can stop here to explore the temple at no extra cost. It was raining a little and extra foggy – this scene looks like it could have been out of a Silent Hill film!

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The temple sits on forested land donated by the founder of Resorts World Genting, Lim Goh Tong, and was officially opened in 1994. Combining Chinese Buddhist and Taoist beliefs, the temple is dedicated to Qingshui (Chin Swee in Hokkien), a deity in China’s Fujian province, Lim’s hometown.

Despite being 24 years old, the buildings, statues and shrines are kept in pristine condition – almost as if it was opened just yesterday. Personally, Chin Swee Temple is one of my favourite temples out of the many I have visited, simply because of its scenic location which overlooks the valley below. On cloudy days (like this one!) it really seems as if the entire temple is floating above the clouds.

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Statue of Tan Sri Lim Goh Tong.

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The central courtyard which features a traditional wooden building that houses several deities, and a large statue of Gwan Yin, the goddess of mercy.

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Another prominent statue at the temple is that of Buddha, which towers at least three storeys-high. Look at how misty it is! Gave the place a mysterious, ethereal feel.

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The valley all but disappeared. Shrouded in mist, the dragon statues looked like they’d come alive at any second.

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View of the mountains from the temple’s balcony. It looked exactly like an ancient Chinese painting! Why travel to China when you can get breathtaking views like this here ?

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The temple has a section called Journey To Enlightenment, which details one’s ordeal after death, and subsequent rebirth. Pretty scary stuff, as the statues show in graphic detail what evil-doers will have to suffer through when in hell.

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Ye probably not something you want the kids to see lol

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The bus and cable car ride back costs about RM14.

So there you have it! Our 2D1N itinerary to Genting. Course, you can save more if you don’t eat as pricey as us bahaha.

Happy travels!

Weekend Wanders: Revisiting SkyAvenue @ Genting Highlands

Even though Genting Highlands is a short one hour drive from Kuala Lumpur, part of the reason why I don’t go up often is because the roads are windy and I get terrible headaches, especially with my dad driving LOL. But it sure doesn’t stop the millions of visitors who throng the mountain top entertainment hub each year to enjoy the cooling weather.

While the name Genting used to be associated with casinos and gambling, they’ve done a pretty good job at branding themselves in recent years as a more family-centric destination, with shopping, exclusive F&B brands and the upcoming FOX theme park (scheduled to open in 2018).

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It’s already been a year since I last visited Sky Avenue, GH’s lifestyle mall, when I went up for a media review of their restaurants, Burger & Lobster, Motorino and Cafes Richard. It was pretty empty back then; the concourse area wasn’t even open.

Since then, the mall has welcomed a over 70+ tenants, from F&B outlets to clothing and luxury goods, as well as entertainment outlets, gaming centres, members club, casino, and more.

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The concourse area is where the mall stages an impressive light show every hour, featuring balls of light that bob up and down in rhythmic patterns, accompanied by music. It’s called the Sky Symphony. Video below:

Bubble lights

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Wandered around the mall and came across a family entertainment centre. There was a playground for the kids complete with animatronic dinos, train rides, vending machines, and a Ripley’s Believe It Or Not museum.

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The parents can probably enjoy a nice relaxing massage / fish spa while the kids have fun.

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Then Pops and the Bro went to play slot machines, while the Moomikins and I went shopping at Padini. My worries about the place having higher prices was unfounded; prices are standard, and they have a nice selection of clothes too.

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Cute outfit. Too bad I’m broke af atm.

Tbh, there wasn’t much to do apart from shopping since I don’t gamble and the theme park isn’t open yet. It didn’t feel much different from a mall down in KL, since you only get to feel the fog and cold weather when you step outside. We thought lunch at the food court-esque Malaysian Food Street would be cheaper, but the Roti Canai costs RM14!?????? Probably targeted at the foreign tourists, but come on… seven times the price is too much. I’d rather pay that amount for a meal at a nice Japanese restaurant.

There also seems to be a lack of seats. They probably want you to walk around or pop into a cafe so that you’ll spend more money.. Moomikins and I ended up sitting on the floor (we weren’t the only ones) while waiting for my dad and bro to finish their casino session. (they won seven bucks. still not enough to buy that roti canai).

Welp. Just a quick update on a weekend trip up to Genting! I’m actually looking forward to the theme park opening. Til then.