Nestled amidst tall fruit trees in the hills of Ulu Langat, Selangor, about 40 minutes drive from the heart of Kuala Lumpur, is Uluhati Farm and Recreations. Picturesque and serene, if there are two words to describe the retreat, it would be “nature’s garden”. Indeed, one need not go too far from the city to enjoy the wonders of nature.
Recently listed by Coconuts KL as one of seven top staycation options in the Klang Valley not to be missed, Uluhati is without a doubt, a crowd favourite with its Borneo-style longhouse farm stay.
Owned by Shaipudin Shah Harun, or affectionately addressed as Pak Din, this land spanning three acres is ideal for those who love the countryside. In fact, Pak Din himself is dressed up like a cowboy most of the time as he sees to the many chores around the property, described as his pension plan. It is a far cry from the life he had led for thirty years as a corporate leader but one can see that he is enjoying every minute of his current lifestyle.
Pak Din, who retired as Chief Executive Officer of Syarikat Prasarana Negara Berhad (now Prasarana Malaysia Berhad), has always loved the exciting outdoors. Only 58 years old now, Pak Din has spent the past five years building Uluhati, initially a lush fruit orchard, to what it is today, hosting guests from all over the world. Its beauty is known far and wide so much so that a production crew from Hong Kong was there recently to shoot a movie which will be release during Chinese New Year 2016.
Sometimes assisted by his wife, Dhaniah Wong Abdullah, Pak Din, using any of his four horses, offers horseback riding classes, especially for children with cerebral palsy. This therapy helps to improve the children’s motor skills.
Also available are farm stay experiences and fruit parties, with fruits served fresh from the many trees. Uluhati is also an ideal country wedding venue. For those who are more adventurous, there are off-site activities such as jungle trekking and bamboo rafting.
Cruising along Sungai Langat in a bamboo raft is a new experience for many a city folk. During the hour-long trip covering about eight kilometres stretch of the river, one gets to enjoy the riverine scenery as the raft, which measures 40ft by 4ft, is attended to by an Orang Asli steersman.
There are twenty rafts available and each raft sits up to three people, depending on their weight. According to Pak Din, “Bamboo rafting is a very safe activity to indulge in but the minimum age allowed is eight years old. Children have to be accompanied by an adult. Nevertheless, anyone with a serious health condition is advised against it. We keep our group size at a maximum of forty people for easier management.”
Sungai Langat is about 2 feet deep on the average and goes up to six feet in depth at some spots. There are only two small rapids along this stretch.
There are also a number of jungle trails that one could explore. A beginner-level trail would take about two hours to complete, while the toughest one would take at least twelve hours. It leads to Bentong, Pahang.
A graduate of the Royal Military College in Sungai Besi, Pak Din also heads the Uluhati Survival School where survival training modules that incorporate jungle survival skills, fitness challenge, rappelling, archery, scuba diving, parachute training and unarmed combat, are conducted by a specially engaged Training Director, a former military personnel.
This intense programme, with a minimum length of five days, pulls no punches. Drawn up to make men out of boys, Pak Din has this to say: “These challenges are meant to sharpen their personal qualities such as resilience, resourcefulness, innovation and determination. Participants are encouraged to grab this opportunity to experience something new to broaden their mind.”
On the other hand, Uluhati Farm & Recreations is also where corporate clients send their staff to undertake team building activities, attend motivational seminars, or learn soft skills which build up a person’s “EQ” (Emotional Intelligence Quotient). These would improve their interpersonal skills like leadership and critical thinking.
“We believe that the acquisition of these new skills will come in handy in our daily life,” added Pak Din.
Note: An edited version of this article [Step Inside Nature’s Garden] was published on 18th Dec, 2015 as Escape Cover Story, in the now-defunct The Malay Mail.
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