Idaman House at Janda Baik, Pahang

Treehouse fantasies, Revisited
The Simple Life Amidst the Rainforest Treetops of JANDA BAIK, PAHANG

Idaman (Malay) - n. ideal, craving, desire
How wonderfully fitting, as Idaman House was my family's choice for a weekend of fresh forest air. The Malay kampong (village) of Janda Baik - literally 'the good widow' - is, according to local folklore, named after a kindly widow of local folklore who tended to a wounded mercenary passing through the town. My party of ten enjoyed similar hospitality - a 5-bedroom villa in the mountains tended to by a staff of three who took care of our every need, leaving us free to relax and enjoy our verdant surroundings.

With an elevation of up to 4500 feet above sea level, a population of 1000, and a refreshing climate of 23° - 28°Celsius in the day, the sleepy town of Janda Baik is a world apart from Kuala Lumpur. Here, the rumble of traffic is replaced by the calls of cicadas and one shares a backyard - the forest - with endangered species like Malayan tigers, clouded leopards, and dusky leaf monkeys which we spotted from the vantage point of our villa's many balconies (four) and our treehouse. 

We also shared our non-chlorinated swimming pool with a few frogs, thankfully of the non-venomous kind.

Above; the formal living room, and below; the formal dining room.

A short stay at Idaman House is the much-needed antidote to the hustle and bustle of city living. The three-storey, five bedroom house is perfect for families - my parents domineered the tastefully minimalist master bedroom that you see in the photos while the rest of the couples in my extended family occupied the double bedrooms on the other two floors. I was perfectly contend with the lowest ground floor with its own colonial Spanish style living room that led to our 'backyard' - the jungle with its own treehouse, swimming pool, and a huge veranda where the family gathered for a barbecue dinner under the stars. The house was the perfect retreat, large enough to disappear from the rest of the party yet with plenty of communal areas to gather for karaoke, mahjong, and family time. My favourite thing about Idaman House? Natural air-conditioning - we only had to open the large windows and let the fresh mountain air in to keep us cool. The simple life, indeed...

Read more of my Malaysian treehouse fantasies and villa escapades:

A 10-bedroom villa in Redang, Malaysia: Eat. Sleep. Swim. Read. Repeat
An urban treehouse in Ipoh's historical Old Town: Sekeping Kong Heng
An organic wellness resort on Berjaya Hill: Chiggas In Chateau (one) and (two)


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