Thursday, January 17, 2008

A retreat call Janda Baik!!!...

A clear mountain stream flowing through boulders, rocks and pebbles. Trees in all shades of greens, hills and valley. A hut to give you the shade come rains or on a hot humid day. That is the scenario that we would love to be and enjoy life with the loved one.

So on a beautiful sunny day we decided to take a trip to an enclave, a valley that is not that far from our home in Ampang Jaya. Actually crows fly it is just about twenty kilometers away across the Titiwangsa Mountain range. At the west side is the sprawling township of Malawati of Ulu Klang in Selangor. On the other side is the valley of Janda Baik in the state of Pahang. Legend had it that this was once an aborigines settlement and because of its enchanting landscape it was later settled by the Malay from Bentong and its vicinity. This place actually nestle between the hills and mountain that made the range. With a cool climate, with rivers and streams flowing through it making it a great place to settled. So a few families start to build their home there and one of the many was a relative on my spouse side. Now with the availability of water supply and and electricity more and more people began to makes this place a sort of a holiday homes away from the city.

My late brother in law got a piece of land there and during his time had gone to the interior of Janda Baik to plant fruits trees just as a past time. But as time went by with their children grown up and took to their own lifestyle and could not help him in managing the land, it was soon left to be claimed by the jungle again. As usual in the circle of life, one of his children, a daughter and her spouse decided to reclaim this piece of the land from the tropical jungle and turn it into a goat farm of a sort. Both our niece and her spouse had their education in the US and now in their early fifty, still full of vigour, saw them starting this farm is indeed a good happening in their life. It all started some time in the mid of last year. They were talking of starting the farm and as usual we just go it along. We knew the risk they are taking but been their aunt and uncle we just gave them the best advice we could and just watch it from afar. As time passes we just follow the development and despite their invitation to come over and see the progress we kept postponing the visit and see for ourselves the farm.

As usual in life on one fine day, the first day of January this year we decided to just go and see the place and stay there for the day. So that is how we got ourselves into the heartland of Pahang, into the valley of Janda Baik that fine day. Some must be wondering of why this place is call Janda Baik. Translated into English Janda mean Widow and Baik mean Good, thus a Good Widow. No, no, this is not the valley full of Good Widows. It is just a name. And as usual with myth and superstition of folks in the rural area there are many version as to why it is call Janda Baik. I personally have been trying to get to the bottom of this 'name' but as yet to find the real reason to why this place is call Janda Baik. Since the name sound sort of romantic people just joke about it and it still remain that way, a mystery. In the midst of jokes and yarns with those folks who were with us on that day at the farm, a young son of one of our nephew says that the name of this place came from the days of the aborigine of this area. It seem that in the days when this place was out of reach from civilization a sick soldier found his way into the aborigine village and soon was attended by a gentle lady by the name of Janda and she is not a widow. Janda is an aboriginal name of this fine lady. She nursed the wounded soldier and eventually the soldier return home and relate the story to others, so the stories goes. I tend to believe this one then the many myths that goes around. It sound more truth and not mere fairy tale. Well, till this day there is not an official explanation of the how this place got it name. Thus the true meaning of Janda Baik remain a mystery. Anyway this is a great place to be as a retreat from the hassle of city living.

It is just a half an hour drive from KL. So here we are celebrating the New Year 2008 in the scenic farm of a family members. Indeed a great place to use as a retreat from time to time. With a mountain stream on one side of the farm and the virgin tropical forest on the hills on the other side, it is indeed a beautiful enclave that not only great for farming but for dwelling as well. The flows of the stream through boulders and rocks, making gushing sound as it flows by make this place an ideal spot for a weekend picnic. My spouse had prepared Nasi Lemak for that, so we all sat to enjoy the lunch while enjoying the great atmosphere of clean fresh mountain air together with the sound of the jungle, birds chirping and monkey jumping from tree to tree, happy of the freedom that their habitat provides. As for the farm, we saw some healthy goats and sheep, mostly of imported species roaming around the enclosure. In a way it is real nice to be able to get back to nature once a while. We like this place for it close proximity to our home in KL. It just takes thirty minutes to get here. So folks it is going to be one of our retreat to nature as we move on our journey of life.

Well friends, the images above are that I took while there. It shows nature at its best for us to enjoy. Have a nice day.[Note: the house in the images above is that of the neighbour][Please click on the images to enlarge].


Anonymous said...

Idyllic scenes, captured so well in your photos.

I learned to swim in pools just like those under the bridge in your photo, where the river had been dammed up by rocks.

And we kids scrambled up and pushed each other off big rocks worn smooth by the river

Rita Ho said...

Pak Idrus ... is the fruit tree in your 5th picture the pokok rambai? I ate a lot of the fruit during my childhood. Our neighbor, who was a lorry driver to-and-fro Bentong, brought home bunches of them regularly.

You are lucky to have quick and easy access to a retreat like this. The clean non-polluted air and natural surroundings not only improve one's health but bring serenity and peace of mind. That is one of the reason my husband and I chose to live in the "Janda Baik" of Washington State.

Thanks for sharing your trip to nature with us, Pak Idrus.

Pak Idrus said...

louis, thanks for the visit and the kind word on this posting as well as sharing your thoughts of your growing up period. Interesting Eh!, careless of the danger, we would just play and enjoy and would eventually learn some skill, like you say you learn to swim. Me, I learn it on our regular visit to the beach near Kuantan where we would camp for the weekend and swim and eventually good at swimming.

I had a wonderful time growing up in Kuantan. The beaches and the seasides was our playground. I was a Boy Scout too and became a Queen Scout in 1957. Scouting is a great activities and it teaches us many skills that still in use till these days. It was real fun growing up with the beaches and the sea as our own world.

Have a nice day.

Pak Idrus said...

rita, thanks for the visit and the kind words on this posting.

The fruits in the image is not 'rambai'. It is a jungle fruits that just look great. I believe birds and small animals do eats it. As for Janda Baik, indeed a great place to be to get lost from the concrete jungle. We would be using this place often in the future, after all it is just a thirty minutes drive from Ampang Jaya using the MRR2 and the Karak Highway.

Rita it is my pleasure to share and happy that you enjoy the posting. Have a nice day. BTW kaki macam mana?, Harap dah mula semboh.

Unknown said...

Pak Idrus,
This post brought me back home. The soothing green, the river...
Janda Baik is well known with the homestay right? Indeed a nice place, not that far away from the hustle and bustle of city.
Have a nice evening.

Pak Idrus said...

akmal, thanks for the visit and sharing your thoughts on this posting.

Happy that the images of the cool mountain stream and the greens trigger your memory of home. Indeed a nice place to get lost from the concrete jungle into the real jungle that we all love.

Have a nice day and take care.

Anonymous said...

Salam Pak Idrus,
Whether at work o at play,there is always time to enjoy.The kampong is yet another world,hamlets of old often untouched by mainstream of progress.I like the place just look a stream emerging from the gloom of the tropical jungle unspoilt by the hands of man.Have a nice day.

Pak Idrus said...

uncleawang, thanks for the visit, the greeting as well as sharing your thoughts on the ways to enjoy living.

I believe our world is such a beautiful place and would be unwise not to enjoy it. We should enjoy whatever we do and that includes at works. A work that is done with love not only are productive but it gives the workers satisfaction, which in itself already a reward.

Agreed with you that looking at the stream alone wouth takes the gloom of anyone. Its nature ways of giving us the best in everything, if only we know how to appreciate.

Have a nice day.

Rita Ho said...

Pak Idrus ... Kaki on the way to recovery but tomorrow mesti kena marah by podiatrist. I have not being practising my baby steps as much as she ordered. Thank you for asking though.

Have a great weekend! Going to Malacca again? I like the color scheme of your apartment especially the salmon polka-dot lamp shade.

Pak Idrus said...

rita, thanks for the return visit and the kind words on our condo deco. Happy to hear that you are recovering well.

As for our Malacca home the deco is of contemporary concept. Not this week, maybe next month we would be again in Malacca. Have a nice day and take care.

Anonymous said...

Pak Idrus,
Sound like you had a wonderful time with your family at a beautiful place. And to have a delicous nasi lemak prepared by your loved ones, what a way to celebrate the arrival of new year. I like those hanging bridge.

Pak Idrus said...

ana, thanks for the visit and the good words on our New Year adventure at JB. Yes we did have a great time that day. Indeed she makes the best Nasi Lemak in that valley that day in January 2008.

Yes the hanging bridge is something special in that place and it is just ten meters away from the farm.

Have a nice day.

Pak Zawi said...

Pak Idrus,
What a great place for a retreat. At such an elevation, the water in the clear stream muts be quite cold. A dip in early afternoon could be very thrapeautic. Hopefully the source of the water isnt from the Genting Highland Resort as that would kill any joy of jumping into the stream.
Thanks for sharing.

Pak Idrus said...

zawi, thanks for the visit and sharing your thoughts on this posting.

Indeed JB is a great retreat. Sort of another world to enjoy nature. No the stream water did not come from the GH Resort, so the water is as fresh and cool. The stream is a great place to wade and get wet as well as enjoying life the nature's ways.

Have a nice day.

changgeh said...

Pak Idrus,
The place remind me of a place call Sekayu in Kuala Berang. The stream and the waterfall.Its a favourite retreat for tourists and also the locals.The water is cool and you can never resist.Like Janda Baik, its also has resting huts and ideal for picnicking.

Pak Idrus said...

changgeh, thanks for the visit and sharing your thoughts on this posting. I have not been to Sekayu but I believe it is almost alike to Janda Baik. Indeed a great place to get lost and enjoy nature at its best. Have a nice day.

FOJB said...

Dear Pak Idrus,

We are glad to learned upon your lovely experience whilst visiting Janda Baik.

Nevertheless, Janda Baik are also facing several on-going issues and challenge.

Permit us to share our effort here with you in promoting awareness and importance of the needs of preservation and protection of natural beauty of Janda Baik and it's surrounding hill and streams.

Have a pleasant day Pak Idrus Sir.

Friends of Janda Baik (FOJB)
"Stop the Rape of the Hills Surrounding Janda Baik"

Pak Idrus said...

FOJB, thanks for the visit and sharing your thoughts on the subject of this posting.

I too am disappointed with the happening there and we must do whatever we could so that the place is preserved as a distinct place for a back to nature.

Have a nice day.