First-time ATV rider Nur Aqidah Azizi manoeuvres her way through the jungles of Kuala Pilah, ending at a delightful Hobbit-like tree house
SPECTACULAR riot of colours covering prominent Bukit Putus greet me as I step into Kampung Jkin Resort.
Children’s laughter fill the air, alternating with the roar of all-terrain vehicles or ATV, and break the calm of the resort, nestled along Jalan Lama Bukit Putus.
A wooden information counter is set up at the entrance. I steal a glance at the right side of the counter and notice a small cafe located next to it. There’s a spread of food on the table but what catches my attention is that the cafe is built using various types of wood.
As the cafe sits on a hillside, it has a superb view of guests on the ATV as they manoeuvre them through the resort. We’re already excited to try, but as first-timers, my four girlfriends and I will first have to learn to drive the ATV.
As I flip through a brochure provided at the counter, resort chief executive officer Jefri Ramli arrives with more brochures in his hands. Excitement is apparent on his face, as the bubbly Kuala Pilah-born tells us about gems hidden in the resort.
Kampung Jkin Resort also provides homestay facilities and other extreme activities.
Since a new route to Kuala Pilah was opened in 2015, the old and winding road heading to the district from Seremban has become quieter. But it makes a perfect location for the resort.
“My friends and I bought the land, and at first it became a spot for us to enjoy extreme activities together. One day, a passerby asked for permission to try the ATV after seeing us on one.
“It was then that we decided to turn it into a spot for extreme activities, not only for adrenaline seekers but also visitors from all walks of life.
“We have something for everyone here.
Whether you are a green horn or a professional, you can take part in any activity and do it at your own pace.”
THE ADVENTURE BEGINS
There are three ATV ride packages: Fun Ride for first-timers, which covers a relaxed 1.2kmroute in the forest, Extreme Ride for an adventurous 2.5km route and Full Trek Extreme which includes rock climbing.
We pick the first package to expose ourselves on riding the ATV. I jump on my ATV, and armed with hand gloves and a helmet, I am ready for my first ride.
“Just pull in the throttle and I am good to go. It’s not rocket science,” I say to my self as we ready to leave the starting point.
To my surprise, it is quite difficult to handle the ATV at first, as I struggle to keep my feet off the ground and maintain the movement of the ATV. It feels like riding a bicycle for the first time.
The route, even for a beginner, is not easy. I almost give up when we got to a steep and bumpy route.
But then again, since this activity is conducted inside the jungle area of Bukit Putus, what did I expect? It’s not like a stroll on the beach.
The route becomes more challenging as we go deeper into the jungle. There’s no turning back although part of me is already giving up, what more when I see the challenges in front of me look even tougher.
Not only is the route steep, but it is also bumpy with giant roots criss-crossing over it. The only thing that motivates me is the laughter of the children I heard at the resort. If they can do it and have fun, I can do it too.
Just when I think the challenges are over as I finally hear the sound of cars coming from the main road, I have to cross a small river and pull in the throttle even harder to climb a steep hilly track.
I give up but the marshal from the resort, who accompanies every group, convinces me that I can do it.
I listen to his instructions and manage to arrive at the last check point, safe and sound. I finally gain my confidence and can hardly wait for the second leg of the journey which starts after we take a break at a cafe.
As we sit on a wooden bench and eat fried noodles prepared by the resort, we enjoy the view of Bukit Putus located just behind it. Visitors can include meals in their packages.
“Visitors normally start their activities early in the morning and spend the day in the jungle. So our food services come in handy for them,” says the marshal.
At the cafe, there’s a platform with a hammock for visitors to relax. We also take pictures from the platform.
After finishing our meal, we jump back on our ATVs, ready to explore more routes and try other activities.
Challenges that await us as we make our way deeper into the jungle seem easy for me this time round and before I know it, we arrive at two man-made pools.
The source of water flowing into the pools comes from spring water.
“It’s cold and fresh,” Jefri says as he looks ata10-year-old girl ready to try the monkey zipline across the two pools.
She screams as the monkey zipline is released before she jumps into the pool and swims back to the bank. Then she sits on a slide and splashes back into the pool.
At the second pool, a group of boys is busy catching fish with their hands, a traditional activity known among the locals as mengoca.
“All these fun water activities are called bercomporo among Negrifolk. I try to bring back the activities that I used to enjoy during my childhood.”
About 10m from the pool, there is a camp site.
Besides tents, there are a Hobbit-like chalet and three units of tree houses.
“The tree houses were built using existing trees as the beam so you can feel the soft movement of the trees when it’s windy,” Jefri says.
As we climb the wooden stairs to get to the treehouse, a gush of wind sways it.
“Don’t worry, the tree house is strong enough,” assures Jefri.
I enter the house complete with a bed, toilet, small living room and television.
“The Hobbit’s house can occupy six people. It’s our special and only unit here,” Jefri says, adding that visitors in large groups stay in dorms.
“We are adding three chalets to the resort.”
Kampung Jkin also provides facilities like surau, hammocks at various locations, public toilets, camping and barbecue sites as well as a mini zoo.
The sound of birds and nature accompany us as we take a rest at a gazebo next to the Hobbit’s house.
The calm and serene ambience surrounding the resort makes it a perfect location to escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.
As the sun sets behind colourful Bukit Putus, my friends and I say goodbye but we promise to be back for another adventure of our lives.