Sunday, January 22, 2017

Orchard Santika Homestay @ Hulu Langat Selangor

I was turning into a robot. My body was loosing organic fibers and the only cool thing I was exposed to was my office air conditioning. It was home and office and home and office- I was clearly in a rut. Rescue came in the form of a getaway to Hulu Langat Selangor. To rejuvenate and refresh, there is no need for extravagant plans and a car full of people. My mom and I whisked off to Orchard Santika homestay just 1 hour away from KL. Yes a homestay in your own country or even your own state can be amazing!
My kampung life
Orchid Santika, managed by Hassan and Nadia's friendly family, is spot on in defining how to 'chillax'. Once we reached, I wondered if I had been in a battle field in the city all these while! The serenity here is authentic and my soul immediately identified that this is where it wants to be. The compound is so spacious that my legs cannot resist a run...a well deserved run as they are always bound under the working desk! Running with me, were some chickens too.
Mummy and I chillaxing in Orchard Santika
The serene and eco-friendly compound at Orchard Santika
Enjoy true kampung pastoral feel. Chickens running around!
Huge compound to run around
Little wooden huts for a little respite away from the daily grind
Staying in Orchard Santika warms the heart. The perfect thawing I need. They are the traditional Malay wooden houses (teratak) and the brick villas. Come with the expectation of basic facilities. Air conditioning rooms are available. Every room comes with fresh towels. However, toiletries and water heaters are not provided. Having said that, I did not feel underprivileged. Instead, it was fun having no choice but cold water to wash up! An interesting twist to the morning heater that so loyally warm my body up every morning before going to work.
Traditional wooden houses on stilts (teratak) for that unforgettable experience
Rooms at the Villa
Common area- living room and a pantry
The bathroom is as basic as it gets. Fresh towels are available. Bring your own shampoo, soap and toiletries.
It is the best time to try living without a heater too
There are many activities at Orchard Santika Homestay to keep your stay eventful. Choose from skewering satay to batik painting to tubing in the river. Orchard Santika provides all the necessary equipment at a very reasonable price.

Among the activities are:

1. Skewering satay meat which will be barbecued for supper later for you to enjoy! Satay may be familiar to locals like us but it can be a fresh scene to foreign visitors. Even mom, queen of the home kitchen, enjoyed the activity. I can only guess because it is out of HER kitchen hehehe.
Experience skewering satay meat
Enjoy the fruits of your labour during supper
2. Batik painting is definitely a Malay culture that is being more and more appreciated lately. Simple activities like batik painting brings family and friends closer. Who does colouring anymore together in the city after kindergarten? It brings out the innate joy that has been stifled by stress.
Experience batik painting
Mummy enjoying her piece of art. She was so engrossed that she started first and finished last
3. Traditional kampung games are readily available for you! Put down the smart phone and go out and play! You will find fun being mischievous with the lastic (spare the poor birds ok). Channel your energy to kicking the colourful capteh or the good old sepak takraw and you will realize that Candy Crush isn't that great after all!
Find and enjoy traditional games here- the mischievous lastik, colourful capteh and the good old sepak takraw
4. Traditional Malay musical instrument, the angklung, produces the most unsynthetic sounds I have ever heard. Ask Hassan and family to teach you how to produce music using the well maintained range of angklung.
Pay with Malay ancient musical instrument- angklung
Romantic lights lit by oil lamps, not electricity
5. Eat Nasi Ambeng, a traditional Jawa meal that has been inherited to this part of the country. When in Rome, do what the Romans do. There is etiquette to follow. So join Hassan and his family in for a very culture-rich evening.
Salam may be very often heard in Malaysia but how often do you really do it properly.
Learning how to wrap Nasi Ambeng the old fashioned way.
Did you know, only men were allowed to represent families
to parties in the olden days? Then men would wrap food back
for their families in this manner.
Washing hands before food. 



Yum! Nasi Ambeng! Try local dishes that are rarely available in the city like
ayam ungkep, sambal goreng Jawa, kerabu sayur and serunding. 
Meeting new friends and having a communal meal
All four of us shared a tray!
6. Learn the Malay Silat. At a minimal fee, you can hire a Malay martial art guru to give you a 1-hour lesson on self-defense! It does not sound fun at first but I felt like a fighter after that and I liked that feeling! Cikgu Aiyie will teach some basic but interesting moves that will surprise you. Just a twist of the palm can allow you to defeat your attacker and feel invincible as a bonus! If the master allows, take the opportunity to take down some of his students and fight for real. A true stress reliever.

Cikgy Aiyie can be contacted at 012-3000844. Email: toknaning@gmail.com
Practicing with Cikgu Ayie's student
I am now invincible!

7.  Go river tubing at Sungai Langat. Nature has sufficient resources to fulfill your craving for fun. Orchard Santika provides tubes and transportation to the river. Immerse in nature's own theme park!
River tubing 
8. Mengocak ikan or fish catching (with a net and bare hands) is one of the locals' favourite past times. Forget those sophisticated angling gadgets. Just get down waist deep and use your hands like a bushman! Using a net to corner fishes, you will be triumphing with joy for the night's dinner. Fish available in this river are ikan lampam and ikan sebarau all year round. 

Go waist deep and catch fish the primitive way
Hadzli looking forward to fresh sweet fish for dinner!
After that weekend, I went back to my battle field with a refreshed soul and glow that no blue ray can extinguish...for some time at least. The lack of nature does a lot of damage to humans. You will know when the spirit is harried. Do yourself a favour and carry yourself to places like this. So much nature can offer without putting a dent in the wallet. Till my next adventure, enjoy!
A great place for a weekend respite
Orchid Santika's lush green garden

Orchard Santika Homestay
Lot 670, Batu 18.5,
Kampung Jawa,
43100 Hulu Langat Selangor

Visit orchardhomestay.blogspot.my for more information or email homestayorchard@gmail.com

Call 
019-365 3751 (Puan Roliyah) or 
019-207 1944 (Puan Nadia) or 
019 - 340 6053 (Encik Hasan)