For those seeking solace from the maddening traffic and hectic pace of city life, Aman Rimba is like a dream come true! Situated just a mere 1 hour from Kuala Lumpur, this lovely traditional, kampong experience retains its charm and is hard to replicate anywhere in the city. Yes, if you really need to get away from it all, Aman Rimba is situated on a three-acre plot of land in Kampong Janda Baik, and has all the lovely features of stepping into Kampong life, but amidst five-star amenities. I like the modern twist the place has added to all its rooms. Aman Rimba is sprawling but well kept and super clean. It’s the best place for some R&R and to catch up on some reading.
welcome to Aman Rimba!
Talking to the owner, Mr Sabri Rahman (and his lovely wife, Wati) we learned that Aman Rimba was not initially conceptualised as a commercial venture. It was first designed to be a private weekend retreat for family and friends. They wanted a place big enough to house all their children and family and so, Aman Rimba was born. They also wanted to keep the Kampong spirit alive in the younger ones who were mostly urban-dwellers, and Aman Rimba was perfect for them to walk around in flip-flops, listen the birds chirp, play by the brook or watch the fruit fall from a durian tree grown in their own orchard, then eat it! Over the years, however, as the children grew up to further their studies, these family gatherings became few and far between. So, in 2009, Sabri and Wati decided to go public with Aman Rimba.
The Sireh House where we stayed at over the weekend was amazing. It is the first massive bungalow you see, as you enter the grounds of Aman Rimba. It is a traditional Malay kampong house, with one modern styled double bedroom, a huge living area with all sorts of lovely personal collectibles and memorabilia to make one feel at home. It’s just like as if one were staying at a friend’s home. We loved that fact that since we were there as a party of more than 10 people, all our friends came over to chill out at our bungalow. The Sireh House blends perfectly into the lush forests and with the sounds of nature. We even had a fruit bat pay us a visit on one of the nights!
The gorgeous Kantan Suites
The Kantan Suites comprises two units of accommodation that is separated by the use of a wooden screen panel. The suites have identical mirroring layout, and are attached via the sitting room
The ginormous bedroom
According to the staff at Aman Rimba, Chengal is used for the walls, part of the flooring, the roof trusses and the beams, and Balau is used for most of the flooring. No wonder everything is so solid and sound proof. On this trip, our other friends stayed at different locations on the property, all named after herbs, in Malay. They included ‘Halia’, ‘Kunyit’ and ‘Serai’ (literally ‘ginger’, ‘turmeric’ and ‘lemongrass’) and were slightly smaller than the Sireh house. Then there was the modern mansion on the hill, across from the little lake, at the back of the property. The magnificent, looming Kantan Suites. The Kantan Suites are comprised of two units of accommodation that is separated by the use of a wooden screen panel. The suites have identical mirroring layout, and are attached via the sitting room. The living room is so enormous, it even has another smaller queen bed by the window! This is great for children to sleep in. The Kantan suites are truly a fusion of five-star luxury within a rural setting. I was particularly impressed with the epic walk in bathroom – a huge area for two sinks in the dry bathroom – then you enter the wet/main bathroom which has an open-air Jacuzzi and shower area, a spacious walk-in wardrobe, and high huge mirrors everywhere.. I like!! Looking out from the balcony into the land below, I felt like a princess. I want to stay here forever!
for those who do not like swimming in the river, there is always the child friendly swimming pool (not very deep at all – about waist deep)
the games room
the common dining area
Apart from the terrific bungalows, Aman Rimba also has a common swimming pool, a dining area, a bar and a games room. Food is not allowed in the rooms so the common place just outside the Sireh House is where we have our common meals, which is an open-air area covered with a high roof with exposed beams, rafters and trusses. This is a very cool place to hangout at before and after meals. We particularly love the breeziness of this dining area in the afternoons. And there is always hot drinks (milo and coffee) and water available 24/7 for the guests. At night after dinner, we used this area to watch movies on a big screen, and to play board games. All the meal were cooked for us here and my particular favourites were the Malay styled lunches we had over the two days. I learned how to eat “machang” a fascinating fresh fruit dip that goes with rice, or raw vegetables (ulam) that resembles tempoyak, but is less smelly. The fruit looks like it’s from the quinine plant and the flesh is yellow, tastes tangy, sour and sweet at the same time. Totally addictive!
machang (top right) – my lastest addiction
The Machang fruit – top left
fabulous Malay Kampong food prepared everyday for us, for lunch
A river runs through it
What can we tell you? We love Aman Rimba – one of the best Kampung style holidays we have had in ages. Situated on a three-acre plot of land in Kampong Janda Baik, it has all the terrific attributes of stepping into Kampong life, but amidst five-star amenities. We highly recommend the place!
A huge thank you to Sabri and Wati for hosting us, this rowdy city bunch, and to Chris for organizing the event. Much obliged!
ABOUT AMAN RIMBA
Aman Rimba is situated in Janda Baik, and it takes only 45 minutes to 1 hour, to get to Janda Baik from Kuala Lumpur, through the Karak Highway (E8). It is a mere 14 km from the well-patronised Genting Sempah R&R. The resort accommodates 20 and is leased out on a full board basis. For ultimate privacy and comfort, the policy is to lease out the whole estate at any one time. Breakfast, mid-morning tea, lunch, tea and dinner are all inclusive of the price. There is a full-time cook who can also prepare made-to-order dishes for guests. There is also a karaoke machine for budding singers, a large projector movie screen for conducting meetings/team-building activities, a foosball machine and numerous board games and books.