Posted: 27 Sep 2011 07:31 PM PDT
Boy I thoroughly enjoyed this BBQ cum camping trip that we made on September 16. It was more than 15 years since my last camping adventure. Not only did it bring me close to nature but it also made me feel young again (ahem!). Plus it's also the first camping experience for my children, J and K.
The 2D1N adventure trip was joined in by Teoh Family and Lam Family. The trip was perfect as it catered to both adults and children. While we adults were busy catching up and preparing food for the group, the children came up with ideas to play together. Though the 5 children occasionally fought among themselves, but in general they mingled well.
Lunch at Restoran Foon Lock
Before heading to Janda Baik, we met in Kampung Bukit Tinggi for an early lunch. Since we already did some research before going there, we knew where we wanted to have lunch: Restaurant Foon Lock in Bukit Tinggi. The no-frills restaurant is located on the right of the slope leading to the Police Station.
The food there is above average. One of the must-try dishes is its river fish. We settled for claypot tapah fish 鲶鱼 RM98 (RM70/kg). Though it's a bit dry, the fish was fresh and the flesh was fine and smooth despite its big size. Two other special dishes that we ordered were stir-fried tianqi (田七) leaf (RM10) and stir-fried crispy pork (RM25).
The bill came to RM196.80.
Restaurant Foon Lock
Note: CC told me Restoran BBQ Bukit Tinggi is famous for its food. I chose NOT to patronize the restaurant and opted for Foon Lock instead because we found out that the restaurant is also famous for other things not found on the menu: bad service with arrogance and long wait. When we reached Kapmpung Bukit Tinggi, we wanted to see how true it is that Restoran BBQ Bukit Tinggi has bad service. True enough, when we wanted to enter its premises, we were told the restaurant was fully booked and the gate was closed. It was only 11 am at that time.
Other places of interest
On the way to Janda Baik, we stopped at Hutan Lipur Konifer Bukit Tinggi and Tanarimba.
Hutan Lipur Konifer is a place for pine tree lovers. In a tropical country like Malaysia, it's not easy to find pine trees. So this park is great if you want to appreciate and enjoy the beauty of cone trees. Unfortunately, the park looks abandoned and is not properly maintained. Grass is growing tall and the needle-like leaves are everywhere.
Saujana Janda Baik – BBQ, Camping, Outdoor Fun, Nature
You never know how wonderful the place is… until you see it!
When all of us reached Saujana Janda Baik, everyone of us had the same feelings and made one quick suggestion: Shall we extend for another night?
Due to the price and we were not sure how good the place was, we only planned to stay there for one night. But when we reached, we liked the place so much that all of us wanted to extend our stay there.
Usually the pictures we see on websites are not what we get when we book for a vacation. But this is not the case for Saujana Janda Baik. What you see on its website is what you get. Cool.
I must say this and I don't say this lightly, Saujana Janda Baik is better than what I expected. The accommodation (we stayed at Cheringin Guest House) is clean and well-maintained. It's brand new and we were the first batch of customers to stay there.
However we were given a chance to enter and take a closer look at Chemperoh (Main Guest House) which is older and bigger. It is equally clean, well-maintained, and cosy. We even plan for our next trip there before the trip ended!
Not only that, a clean, shallow (child-friendly) stream is just next to the chalets – which makes it a perfect vacation venue for family and friends.
Enough about how good the place is. Let's talk about what we did at Saujana Janda Baik.
After we got our keys from Encik Ramaly – the friendly and helpful caretaker of Saujana Janda Baik – we quickly checked out the place.
Besides accommodation, Encik Ramaly offered extra services and facilities such as fishing rod (RM5/rod), basketball (RM5 – We only found out we had to pay for it upon checking out. We felt that Encik Ramaly should have told us upfront about that).
Fish Pond Fun
Within a short walk, there is a fish pond near our home stay. Our first activity was to feed the fish. We brought some bread crusts for this purpose. We rented 2 fishing rods to fish in the pond. Encik Ramaly showed us how to use fish feed for fishing. We only managed to catch one fish that day. We thought we could get bigger fish for dinner but it's not possible as we only spotted small fish in the pond.
Encik Ramaly was kind enough to buy us some banana fritters (pisang goreng) and cendol for tea break.
Before dinner, the children enjoyed tremendously in the river next to our chalet. The water is crystal clear and the stream is clean. The stream is perfectly nice for children to have fun splashing because it is not deep.
Adults became the victims as they were the target of being shot by water guns or being splashed. The children were definitely had a splashing, wet fun in the water that day.
We played until it began to rain which was about 5 pm.
Everybody rushed in to the chalet and took shower and changed. After resting for a while, we started fire for our barbecue dinner.
Awesome BBQ Dinner
In fact, barbecue was the part that we spent the most time on planning. We didn't want to have a just-filling-up-the-stomach BBQ but a nice, juicy, delicious dinner despite the fact that we were out camping.
We prepared chicken wings and thighs, beef, lamb, and satay besides other items for the BBQ. It's very fun that we got to prepare and eat the food prepared by ourselves.
BBQ pit and hut facilities are provided for by Saujana Janda Baik. In addition, CP brought another portable BBQ grill to speed up the preparation of dinner. Though it was drizzling, we enjoyed the fun of grilling and the good food and the good company enormously.
Once everybody was done with the dinner, we set up tents for the night. We had one big tent (for 6 persons), and 2 smaller ones (for 2 persons). The tents were not big enough for everyone to stay, therefore 2 of us had to stay in the chalet. In fact, the camping was more for the kids to experience the fun of staying in the tents than for adults. As for camping, It's not as tough you think as some of us brought air beds for a comfy tent stay.
I am surprised J and K liked the experience of staying in a tent. They told me they want to do it more in the future.
After freshening up, SP got the idea of letting the children to prepare their own breakfast – their favorite food: instant noodles. Under strict supervision, each child took out their own mess tin and experienced the fun and thrills of cooking instant noodles over portable stove. To make the breakfast even more appealing, the kids could choose to add sausages or fried eggs or both! The kids were definitely in cloud nine that morning with all the favorite food on one plate – prepared by themselves. Yum, yum…
There is a well-built tree house at Saujana Janda Baik. In fact, everything there is well-built and well thought of. The tree house is sturdy and it is a great place to enjoy a cup of coffee or a round of board game.
We relaxed under a big tree after breakfast. The children created some games to keep themselves busy. Both adults and children had a really fantastic time there. I especially enjoyed the fresh air, crystal clear stream, and the majestic mountain views (of course, nothing still comes close to Mount Kinabalu's views).
One thing you need to be aware of if you plan a trip here. Put on some sun block. Almost all of us had sunburn after the trip. We suspect that happened while we were dismantling the tents in mid-morning.
Another thing that we really like about Saujana Janda Baik is its huge (well-trimmed) compound that children can run around. At night, the place is sufficiently lit up. For those you are lazy to walk, you can even park your car near the chalet. Save you all the walking and it's convenient to move your camping and BBQ equipment around.
Before saying goodbye to the scenic and peaceful Janda Baik, we made a trip up the hill to Saufiville Boutique Resort. It is another interesting place worth checking out. The 6-room hotel is suitable for private functions and it has a spectacular infinity pool overlooking the valleys.
Saujana Janda Baik
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