Recently, we went on a mini road-trip with some fellow foodie friends to check out a beautiful kampung-style homestead just beyond the city boundaries, set against a gorgeous backdrop of rolling misty hills and greenery as far as the eye can see.
Just off the Karak Highway and not too far away from the madness of the city, lies Orchard Heights – an abundantly green property with extensive fruit orchards nestling in the hills. Spanning 187 acres, it’s a collective sprawling homestead, started way back in 1995. Out of the 187 acres, 119 plots of 1 acre (some slightly bigger) are owned by individuals where many bought just to build their own private getaway homestead.
Stunning view from one of the hilltops
We took a pleasant drive along the winding Karak Highway and entered Karak town, drove through the town, passed the police station and turned into a road on the right after that. We drove along that road for another 11km and make a left turn once a bright yellow signboard saying “Ladang Sabai” is sighted. From there, the narrow road goes uphill and you would then reach the gates of Orchard Heights. Detailed directions are listed below.
Turn left when you see this hard-to-miss yellow & red “Ladang Sabai” signboard!
Follow the signage, drive along this gravel road, past that yellow/red metal bridge
Once we entered the property, it’s as if we have entered a forest landscaped with fruit trees everywhere. We pointed excitedly when we saw rows of durian trees, laden with fruits (some very low hung too!), yellow and red-skinned rambutans trees almost bending over with big bunches of fruits on the branches, langsat trees, mangosteen trees, jackfruit and chempedak trees and many more – some of which we couldn’t identify. It’s heartening to note that poisonous chemicals or pesticides are not used on the fruit trees in the orchard.
Some of us just couldn’t resist plucking the rambutans – it’s so easy, just reach up!
For some trees, you actually have to bend down to pluck the rambutans!
Nothing beats a bunch of freshly plucked rambutans
With expertise from Dr Zainal Abidin Mohamed, Retired Director of the Durian Research at MAHDI, there are many types of durians being planted in Orchard Heights:
- D197 (Musang King/Nasi Kunyit)
- D160 (Tikar) (Chuk Keok)
- D158 (Kanyau, Tangkai Panjang) (from Thailand and the stalk is very long)
- D159 (Montong) (Kam Jan Tao) (Or Golden Pillow from China)
- D168 (Durian Mas) (Segamat Merah)
- D175 (Udang Merah) (Ang Her) (Bitter durian from Penang)
- MDUR 88: Brand New Durian
A durian on the ground is worth two in the tree, I guess?
As it is currently the durian season, we got to taste some of the fruits but prior to that, we also had a briefing from Major Ng on how to identify certain durians.
Durian education in session
How to spot a D24? Look out for that signature “nipple” at the bottom of the durian!
See the difference between a D24 and a non-D24?
Let’s eat durians!
The creamy whitish pulp of the D24 – I like the bitter ones!
There are 4 huge 1.7 acre ponds and several smaller ponds dotting the property where a total of 40,000 tilapia fishes are thriving. The fish is available to the residents as well as guests in the homestay.
Presently there are 2 bungalows built kampong-style which are available for rental in Orchard Heights. Known as “The Stone House” (4 bedrooms) and “The Wooden House” (3 bedrooms), both are designed like traditional Malay houses, fully-furnished and with full in-house facilities like air-conditioning, attached bathrooms, well-equipped kitchen and even hotel-grade mattresses in all the bedrooms!
The Wooden House
The bedrooms, living area and dining area of the Wooden House
The Stone House can accommodate up to 17 people while the Wooden House takes up to 10 people comfortably.
Staying a weekend here in Orchard Heights would be so rejuvenating. Lots of fresh air, greenery, invigorating walks around the orchard, fishing by the ponds or just do plain nothing. Just chill out and get re-acquainted with Mother Nature here. If you are there during the fruiting season, complimentary fruits fresh from the trees are provided. While we were there, we had durians and pulasan!
- RM 900 per night for 3 rooms Wooden Bungalow – 10 pax
- RM 1200 per night for 4 rooms Stone Bungalow – 17 pax
- Complimentary Offer from Mid Nov 2012 to Jan 2013:- Durians , 5 Tilapia Fish
- Check-in and check-out time : flexible
- 100% Advance payment , payable to the following account:-
- Beneficiary : N & S Global Venture Sdn Bhd ( 937300-D )
- Bank : HONG LEONG BANK BERHAD, SUBANG, Malaysia
- Account No # : 138 000 26872
For reservations, please contact:
Address: Orchard Heights Bungalow Homestay Resort
Contact Person : 010-2605123 (Mr Simon Chua)
How to get to Orchard Heights Bungalows in Karak?
GPS Coordinates: N3 20.866 E102.3.522
Travel along KL – Karak Highway from Gombak toll (rate RM5), pass by Genting Highlands, Bukit Tinggi until you reach the Bentong toll gate (rate RM3), approximately 60km from the Gombak toll.
Directions: From the Bentong toll, drive straight pass by Sg Dua, Cinta Manis, then look out for Exit 813B on your left side of the highway to Karak town. From the Bentong toll gate to the Orchard Heights Bungalows site will be approximately 25km.
From Exit 813B to Karak town, which is at about 5km ahead, look out for KFC at the main road left side of Karak town. From KFC to Orchard Heights Bungalows is about 12.4 km.
To reach the Orchard Heights Homestay: From KFC drive about 0.5km, you will notice a police station on your right and there is a T-junction where you need to turn right to go to Orchard Heights .
Look out for a Big Yellow sign board of LADANG SABAI on your left after 11.4km from the police station T-junction. At the Ladang Sabai signboard turn left, cross a steel bridge then turn to the left & go up to the paved tar road. You will then see the main gates to the homestead.
For more information, please visit the Orchard Heights website here.