Who are we?

Zaini is the all-in-one man. He and his extended family originate from Janda Baik. The amazing land where Zaini GuestHouse has been created belonged to his late father who during his days made it an orchard full of durians, mangosteens, rambutans, jackfruits, pulasans, patai and many more fruit trees.[FS5] In 1993, Zaini has started to buid the first house and from then on never stop erecting new wooden chalets all by himself. Some people call him Captain because he used to play football for years and is the lead guitarist of the band Rimba harapan where he also plays bamboo flute and percussions. But his real passion is the forest; he knows a great deal about plants and herbs and can survive in the jungle without much. Today, at 43 years old, he loves to play with his daughter the cute Eiliyah Solaris.

Fred Suriya was born near Marseilles, France. After studying psychology and working for a few years in the tourism industry, in 2001 Providence finally sent her to Malaysia where she felt at home since then. In 2007, she married Zaini and started to assist him in managing Zaini GuestHouse. She is also a free-lance translator. Now she is fully converted to mothering and would love to welcome more and more like-minded families from all over the world.

The team

Rahim has been living at Zaini GuestHouse for the past 4 years; we call him King because he is an tremendous fresh-water fisherman and know all the good spot for fishing in Janda Baik and around. If you choose to go to the waterfall he will be your guide. He helps us to maintain Zaini GuestHouse.

Yus is also one of our excellent guides (still single ;-)). Originally from Kuala Lumpur, he chooses to live a kampung lifestyle and now takes care of about 20 goats. Anyone interested in spit-roasting a lamb?

Adat is one of Zaini's brother and is also a licensed nature guide. He is always fishing from Sungai Benus to Tasik Kenyir passing by Hulu Tembelling... A ikan kelah professional...

Alwi & Norsiza have an organic farm where they raise 7 children. Alwi is one of our guides as well as the singer of the band Rimba Harapan. Norsiza is our chief cook when guests request catering, delicious masakan kampung.

Rimba Harapan

Rimba Harapan - the Jungle of Hope - is named after the famous novel written by Keris Mas, a national laureate author, about inspiration in Janda Baik.
This band gathers family members and friends from Janda Baik who play just to release and share their joy of being part of It. From traditional Malay songs to international hits (including the legendary Santana), they will make you dance or just have a relaxing time with natural melodies.
Guitars, guitar base, bamboo flute, lots of percussions...

Where are we?

Zaini GuestHouse is located at the end of an extended village (composed of five kampung) of around 1,700 impermanent souls. This area is a Malay Reserve.Malay reservation land for the indigenous Malays and they have named it Janda Baik (which means the Kind Widow). If you look at the maps, you will see that Janda Baik is positioned on the highlands of the largest state in Peninsular Malaysia - Pahang, where the famous 130 million years virgin rainforest National Park - Taman Negara is to be found. Therefore, the surrounding jungle is still relatively undisturbed; indeed one can find numerous rivers and waterfalls as well as luxuriant flora and some hidden wildlife (that can be spotted by the patient and observant adventurer).

Nowadays, this village starts to become quite popular with urban dwellers of Kuala Lumpur seeking to escape the bustle of the city for a brief respite, most probably because here is their closest, coolest, quietest and most natural place to get away from it. Maybe also because everybody can find here reasonable, enjoyable temperature from average of 17C at night (no air-con needed, blanket advisable) to 24C during day time since it is 470 - 500 meters above sea level, which is far from the city's unbearable heat. Of course in tropical latitude, the sun and/or the rain are naturally daily present. Nevertheless, the raining season is from November to January so please be informed that the outdoor activities can be enjoyed mostly from February to October.

Amidst this above-described environment Zaini GuestHouse has been raised to be uncommon. Actually Zaini's most important ambition is to let people having the impression of being close to Nature in order to teach them its due respect. As you might guess since this village is a hip place to be spotted already, there are many resorts and other chalets. What makes us unique is how Zaini has personally developed the harmony between the four dimensions (space and time and) and the natural elements (water and earth and) on the land granted by his wise father. Indeed, the ways the 7 chalets are set give a great feeling of privacy hence peacefulness to our guests.
Moreover this is an authentic guesthouse because first of all Zaini's house has been on this land for more than 20 years and second because we sincerely consider the people who come here as our guests. It is almost like a homestay except that you can have your own room yet you can share our life style in the kampung, especially if you stay for some times or if you come many times.

In addition, the preservation of the trees, particularly fruit trees, adds some appeal for our guests. Here, if you are lucky to come during fruit season, you will taste a full array of tropical fruits such as the infamous king of the tropical fruit, the durian and the favourite queen of the fruit, the mangosteen; but also rambutan and pulasan, soursop, jackfruits and cempedak, guavas, langsat. One can also find on the land few kind of 'ulam' that is to say herbs and leaves that can be eaten raw and that are considered as good 'medicine', food full of nutrients.