Sleeping in the jungle at Tiger Rock is an altogether different experience. Instead of the hum of streetlights and car horns, or even that of waves crashing against the rocks, instead it's the quiet chirruping of night insects forming a lulling jungle symphony.
We easily drifted off to sleep, only to be awakened in the middle of the night by a completely unexpected noise - snorting, grunting and trampling of leaves under hoof. We leapt out of bed, careful not to turn on the lights and frighten away our nocturnal visitors. As we peered excitedly into the darkness, we could hear the nighttime cavorting of wild boars as they seemingly raced in circles around our bungalow.
Or at least it sounded like that but as our bungalow was set on a bit of an overhang, the sounds came from somewhere just below our line of sight, so we just contented ourselves with snuggling back into our cozy bed and imagining their happy frolicking before falling right back to sleep.
We woke bright & refreshed and walked down the jungle path alert for our forest friends. The morning sun shone down only on massive colorful butterflies and dragonflies that buzzed past us on our way to the open dining area by Tiger Rock's main pool.
We were certainly spoiled for choice at Tiger Rock's delicious breakfast buffet and after throwing down a hearty breakfast, Mr. Mohan (Tiger Rock's Manager & friendliest-person-in-chief) dropped us off at the local beach just five minutes down the hillside. We packed for a morning at the beach deciding in advance that we'd prefer to lunch at the resort itself, steaming hot fresh food proved more alluring then a simple picnic spread, not to mention much needed respite from tropical midday sun!
The beach was relatively quiet and with wide stretches to choose from, we headed for a shaded expanse away from the motorsports and other beach-goers.
Spoiled seemed to be the theme of this weekend getaway, I had a hard time deciding between a couple of batik silk kaftan and silk sarongs by Fern - The New Batik, and decided ultimately on this gorgeous wine-red silk sarong that could be tied up any number of ways. I prefer to be a bit more modest on Malaysian public beaches so this was the perfect cover up for sauntering down to look for sea-shells and sea-glass along the shoreline
After a lazy morning swimming & reading, we headed back to Tiger Rock and devoured their lunch so quickly that I didn't even pause to snap a pic!
You know it's good when you realized only well into your second helping that you not only forgot to snap a shot but also have so utterly demolished the dishes that it would just look like wild-scavengers had fell upon their first meal in weeks. Hah!
After a shower & change, we walked the 10 steps from our hillside bungalow to this beautiful open aired pavilion that serves as a more intimate living, dining, cooking, and lounge area.
Although there were other guests also staying in the hill house bungalows since folks have different schedules & desires, we often had the place and the adjoining pool all to ourselves.
Having specifically chosen this beautiful jungle retreat because of the gorgeous artistic spaces, I brought my own bunch of art supplies - inspiration was simply everywhere. Being surrounded by the jungle and all sorts of tropical flowers, I understood why so much of Rebecca Duckett Wilkinson's art centers on nature and the creatures that share these spaces with us.
I spent a colorful afternoon painting, while M lay on that divan just behind me and read (and snoozed) his way though his book. Packing up my paints, I realized that allocating just one afternoon to this pursuit was farcical, I was only just getting into an art-groove and yet dusk was approaching, and our stomachs were starting their anticipatory growls.
The truth is one weekend simply isn't enough, and even in the midst of the weekend, there was a tiny twinge of wishing we had just a couple more days here. I'd recommend, if possible, to stay a few more nights at Tiger Rock because it takes a couple days to truly disconnect and sink into holiday day mode. Whilst that comes quite quickly here, you can't help but want to extend that blissful state rather then depart just when you've relaxed into a pool of mellowness.
You should've caught our smiles, when we discovered Mr. Mohan had set up a romantic little table for two away from the main dining area just under the stars.
It was a small thoughtful touch, un-requested but absolutely appreciated.
As the stars shimmered above us, we dined under candlelight and a clear view of the jungle just ahead of us ❤
Mornings, especially early mornings is my favorite time of day - unlike many sensible people, I cannot sleep in on vacations.
I love to be up at sunrise and if possible hiking and exploring wherever we are, luckily my husbands almost always game for a good hike so after an early bird breakfast, Mr. Mohan popped us in his jeep and gave us directions to a relatively obscure path through the jungle that he promised led to a secluded little beach.
He snapped a photo of us at the trail-head, which started in a nearby village, and then we were off on our own making our way through the lush green underbrush. Or more precisely, crunching over the forest floor & through the understory of the jungle canopy.
Mr. Mohan was spot on - this beach was completely different from yesterdays beach.
The sand was whiter, softer; the water seemed to be even clearer...
And we were totally and completely alone...
Until, we weren't!
Just as we were packing up, the sounds of chattering & laughing wafted out of the jungle, preceding an excited group of local kids making their way to the beach for their own picnic and swim. We gave them a little wave and as we stepped back on to the trail, the green closed around us, the beach faded from view - and then they too had this secluded little beach all to themselves.
As we reluctantly gathered up our belongings at Tiger Rock and readied to leave, we had one last ice-cold tangy glass of fresh calamansi lime juice... and all the sudden, M puts down our luggage and takes my hand and walks me into the garden along the poolside.
He points out this calamansi lime tree to me. I'm a little surprised because... well, these tiny little limes are common throughout Malaysia and form the citrus-y base of all the ice-teas and lime-juices here.
I paused, waited for him to explain the significance of this particular tree... and he turns to me, utterly serious and says "These are hands-down the most delicious calamansi limes in all of Malaysia! You need to mention that on Batik & Bubbles"
I snorted laughing at his earnestness but it's true, they were pretty darn delicious!!
Having given his very important contribution to this post in highlighting this treasure of a fruit, we bid the attentive staff adieu as Mr. Mohan drove us back to the jetty BUT not before stopping by a random roadside stall and picking me up a little coco-nutty tapioca for the ferry back!
Oh that made the bitter-sweet parting just a little bit sweeter ;-)
- Did you catch the first part of this post? Make sure not to miss it - here: Tiger Rock ❤ Vitamin Sea & Jungles Galore ❤ part two
- Discover Tiger Rock for yourself ❤ http://tigerrock.info/ ❤ and tell us about it!
- If you love Batik ~ delicate, handmade and gorgeous ~ then definitely check out Fern the New Batik for her latest collections! On Facebook or on line here: https://www.fern.gallery/pages/story
- A BIG thank you to the lovely staff of Tiger Rock and Mr. Mohan in particular for such a memorable stay at this jungle hideaway!