Written by Candice Neo
Don’t we all love to go to Genting Highlands, especially when you live in Kuala Lumpur (like us) and want to escape the heat on weekends?
This Chinese New Year weekend was crazily hot, so as usual, my husband, in-laws and I were up in my in-laws’ holiday home in Gohtong Jaya (which is a small town located midway up Genting Highlands from Kuala Lumpur), and chanced upon this secret jungle restaurant near Bukit Tinggi, just off the highway to Bentong!
Here’s where you can dine right by the river and listen to the sounds of the water; your kids can even play in the stream! They own an organic garden too, where you can find various vegetables and fruits, including durian trees so you can get your fill of kampung durians and even Musang King! 😉
Can you imagine, such a hidden natural gem actually exists so close to the city?! Check out our top five highlights below!
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1. You can dine in the jungle right by the river
Yesssss, when we reached, the first thing that inspired me was a long table fit for our party of seven that was right outdoors by the river where we could get the best view.
Here, you can enjoy your food and listen to the sounds of the flowing stream. Not to mention it’s a super IG-worthy spot too!
The journey to the restaurant is also very therapeutic; from the carpark, you will walk past their organic garden and along a bridge through the rainforest with the rushing river beneath you. It’s a very relaxing 5-minute stroll where you will feel completely cut off from the outside world – and literally so because there’s completely no mobile service (we were all using different mobile service providers and none of them worked; only emergency calls were available), and their WiFi connectivity is weak too (according to the staff).
So just disconnect and truly bond with your loved ones in this peaceful oasis like we did!
TripCanvas’ Tip: Bring along some mosquito repellent, because even though they set up mosquito coils near our table, some of us still got bitten (since it’s in a jungle after all).2. Feast on fresh durians (Musang King included!) from their organic fruit garden!
Our family is made up of durian addicts, so you can imagine our delight when we saw their fruit garden with durian trees! They are all organic, and we saw a few ants crawling on the durians, so you can be sure their fruits are pesticide-free.
We bought a couple of Kampong durians and they were very sweet, better than some higher-grade durians we have tasted elsewhere. You can opt for Musang King too.
They also sell other fruits from their garden such as rambutans and dokong. Their homegrown vegetables on the menu are also freshly plucked so you can enjoy a delicious farm-to-table experience.
3. Your kids can play in the stream!
We saw a family with young kids go down to the stream and had fun in the water. The stream below the restaurant is only ankle-deep and safe for the little ones to frolic in!
Their toilets have shower facilities too, so you don’t need to worry about getting dirty. Just remember to bring a towel and extra clothes!
4. Eat fresh seafood, all-day breakfasts, pizza, local food and more!
Tanah Aina Fareena serves up a variety of Western and local Malaysian cuisine. We ordered salted egg squid, Marmite chicken, seafood Nasi Goreng, pizza, tofu, kangkung and fries to share, with some fresh coconut juice to refresh ourselves after the heavy meal.
They also serve a variety of other seafood such as prawn, mussels and fish, and other meats such as beef and lamb. You can find Penang Laksa, curry noodles and Italian pasta too. And did we mention their all-day breakfasts?
We were way too full for dessert (too much durian!), but we were eyeing their fried durian, churros and apple crumble!
5. Hike to a waterfall through the rainforest from the cafe
Since you’re already in the middle of the jungle, why not make the most of it? The cafe offers a guided trekking package where you can hike up the valley through the rainforest and to a nearby waterfall.
Cross the streams and immerse yourself completely in the natural surrounding with the sounds of the birds and flowing water – and the best part is it’s only one hour from the city!
Now you know where to go the next time you’re tired of Genting Highlands and just want to retreat to somewhere quiet with chilly weather not far from KL! Tag your family and friends and plan your weekend trip to this hidden oasis!