Janda Baik - part II (October 2016)

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We drove up to Janda Baik with Hanis Harun on Weds 12th October to stay for a couple of nights to shoot the film “Floppy Dog comes to the rescue!”. This is a follow-up to “Floppy Dog arrives in Malaysia” as we wanted to try a mixture of stop-action photography, videography and drone footage. On arrival, we searched for the best ‘tree’ in her durian orchard, found the necessary props, and readied ourselves for work the next day. Before dinner, Hanis and I visited a local plant nursery which specialised in fig trees and bromeliads, amongst other things. Hanis chose some flowering shrubs to put in front of Orchard Villa; the house we stayed in.

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The sunset that evening was fleeting but stunning.

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As we had finished all our filming on the Thursday, we were free to visit the Janda Baik waterfall with Hanis on Friday morning. We were up early and enjoyed the bird song while eating our breakfast outside.

All night we could hear monkeys ‘whooping’ in the nearby forest, and when we returned to Orchard Villa after the walk to the waterfall, we saw a white-faced gibbon in the trees. I have no photo of this treat though as the gibbon hid as soon as we all tried to take a photo of it.

Before heading off to the waterfall, Hanis showed us the rest of the property at Radiant Retreat’s Site A. At the bottom of the hill is a fish pond where clients can fish and eat the catch.

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As part of the educational nature of this site, Lawrence had a hand at tapping a rubber tree.

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The walk to/from the waterfall was a 3-hour hike, starting off with a walk through some very boggy grassland.

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Then we climbed steadily upwards through a forest with such a mixture of trees. The bamboo groves creeked and cracked, while the huge solitary hardwood trees stood so tall you could not see the tops of them. You wouldn’t want to touch the ground here though as ants of all sizes were everywhere.

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Finally we reached the waterfall and the chance to sit down and enjoy the scenery. Huge brightly-coloured butterflies flitted around, but never settled for a photo-op.

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There are tiny fish in this pond at the base of the waterfall; can you see them in the photo below?

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As we walked back from the waterfall, the midday sunlight streamed through the trees, and we all enjoyed being in the middle of nowhere.

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As we walked through the bog back to the carpark, a brilliant blue bird was spotted in the trees. Our eyes are so much better than my camera lens, so my photo will require you to look hard to see the bird!

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The climate here in the highlands is much more comfortable than that in Johor Bahru. It certainly gets hot in Janda Baik but nothing like Kuala Lumpur which we visited next, or Johor Bahru where we live. I am sure we have more exploring to do there, and I look forward to my next trip to Janda Baik.

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