Nothing rejuvenates the mind and soul more than going back to basics – Mother Nature. Imagine yourself surrounded by panoramic views of mountains and hills with the sweet sounds of various birds chirping while exploring exotic plants and animal life you never knew existed.
Resorts World Genting is mostly known to tourists for its fun theme parks (still under renovation and expected to be open to public sometime next year), and special concerts but not much is known about the treasure trove of unique flora and fauna found in the pristine forest of Genting Highlands.
Just a few days ago, we were invited to embark on a Fashion Forest Review Program located strategically at Awana Longhouse. Not knowing really what to expect, we were introduced to a wide spectrum of programs that gave us a first-hand experience on the rich biodiversity of nature.
So whether you’re yearning to be surrounded by the lush greenery rainforest, the gushing sounds of waterfalls, scenic views, or you’re just an urbanite who wants some peace and downtime from the city’s chaos for a short while, here are some reasons to get excited about Resorts World Genting’s Fashion Forest.
1. There’s an alliance of rainforests
There are 3 types of forests located in Genting Highlands, located between 3000ft and 6000ft above sea level. They are the Fashion Forest at Awana (aka Upper Dipterocarp Forests, 3000ft above sea level), Sky Forest at Chin Swee Temple (aka Montane Oak Forests, 4500ft above sea level), and Chocolate Forest (aka Montane Ericaceous Forests, 6000ft above sea level).
The highest group of forest got its name, Chocolate Forest, because it’s always covered by clouds. Sorry, no chocolates here 😉
Connecting Chocolate Forest and Fashion Forest is the Skyride Forest, or as many of you would know as the Genting Skyway Cable Car. The cable car ride never fails to offer breathtaking views of the Pahang hills.
2. Where’s the fashion in Fashion Forest?
What happens when someone mentions Fashion Forest? Naturally, you would think – extravaganza eleganza, runway walks, and supermodels strutting their catwalks. In this case, the real supermodels of the forest are the plants and animals.
Treks Nature Enterprise aims to “re-image how art, music, fashion, and social media can help us love nature more spontaneously” through a series of guided wildlife tours hosted by a team of husband and wife (Eddie Chan and Pat Ang) from Treks Events and their collaboratively partner, Genting.
3. The buzz around pitcher plants
Known for its natural artistic form and exotic deep colours, these carnivorous plants get their food by trapping water and insects. Although these plants produce acidic digestive fluid liquid, they are often misunderstood for being poisonous. And no, they do not bite or eat people either.
We were introduced to 3 hybrid species of Pitcher Plants (Nepenthes): N. macfarlanei, N. ramispina and N.sanguinea (pictured from left to right). The leaf above its mouth is known as the pitfall trap that lure its prey into the trap.
4. Learning the ropes of the art of landscaping
Here’s a personal favourite: One of the interactive activities, termed “Landscape”, involved members of the media contributing back to nature by “landscaping” pitcher plants unto the Nepenthes Conservatory Display Wall at Theme Park Hotel’s English Garden. The present display of live specimens here is part of the overall conservation study effort.
We were put to “work” and enjoyed every minute of it.
During the session, Uncle Eddie taught us how to differentiate a male pitcher plant and a female pitcher plant by their flower seeds. The male flower seeds are shorter and rounder, while the female’s seeds are longer. Instead of just being a mere spectator, we were able to fully immerse ourselves in nature.
5. The “Celebri-Tree” project
Before entering the Fashion Forest, we were given a crash course on the Celebri-Tree project that basically involves breaking down barriers and getting the public to cultivate an interest in nature through exciting activities and highlights.
As the title suggests, Celebri-Tree is a celebration of nature’s abundance. In order to “plant” a tree in someone’s heart, you should first start with yourself by “planting” that desire to know more about the natural environment. And by creating exposure on social media, you get to spark curiosity and interest in others. By sharing a favourite subject (plant/animal/nature scene/experience) with your circle of friends, this would in turn reach a wider audience, and that’s what this green campaign of “replanting” is essentially about.
6. WiFi in the forest?!
Yes! There is WiFi in the tropical jungle.
One of the important elements that contribute to the success of Fashion Forest is the availability of Internet connection which participants can enjoy for free. This is where nature meets technology to help the public “see more, discover more and enjoy more” through fun and practical ways.
Those who think that WiFi in the forest is a bad idea (it’s nature after all), here are some food for thought. By utilising digital technology, you can immediately find out more about a particular species of unique plant or tree, and then share your snapshots in real time on social media.
7. Bar codes, nature pergolas, & Natgeo frames
Day 1: WiFi in the forest?! This may be a first. Bar codes are used to keep track and identify each species where as mobility frames are used to highlight a particular item in the forest. #FashionForest #AwanaGenting #GentingHighland #GentingHighlands #MotherNature #Treks #Malaysia
A photo posted by Hype Malaysia (@hypemy) on
Thanks to the accessibility of internet, you can now identify various plants and trees instantaneously. There are also some fun quizzes provided by the bar codes to promote interactive learning. This method of learning is not only educational but also fun and adventurous.
Furthermore, the pergolas and mobility frames are part of Treks’ animated features to make Fashion Forest more accessible and to create a more family-friendly environment for their guests. There are plenty of photo opportunities here, so have fun snapping away!
8. Bird watching at Awana IBA (Important Bird Area)
Awana IBA is 1 of the 55 IBA in Malaysia. Led by President of MNS, Henry Goh, we set out to our bird watching adventure at 8am. The avid bird watcher was more than ready to share his knowledge of the endemic birds and migratory birds that can be found within Awana’s surroundings.
According to the expert, the best time for bird watching is early in the morning and in the evening (between 4:30pm – 6pm). So how does one spot these birds, you ask? Watchers usually identify the bird’s species by their call and also what they eat, as well the fruiting season throughout the year. This helps them narrow down the wide scope while in search for a needle in the haystack inside the huge forest.
This is also where Internet connection is hugely beneficial. As soon as Mr Henry identified a particular bird, we were able to look it up online. Hence, it was easier to spot the birds with our naked eyes when we knew what to look out for.
9. Celebrate the night life with “herping”
Herpetofauna are reptiles and amphibians. Herping is the act for searching for and observing herpetofauna. Not for the faint-hearted, herping is always conducted at night when the animals are most active. Conducted by the head coordinator of the Herpetofauna Special Interest Group of the MNS (Selangor branch), Steven Wong, we were able to catch several nocturnal creatures in their natural habitat.
Despite the rainy night, Steven was successful in capturing a small gecko monarchus, 2 frogs, and a male green pit viper before releasing them back into the wild.
10. Pricing & interesting packages
As the main force behind Treks, the married duo Eddie and Pat believe that nature can inspire people in more ways than one. There are plenty of interesting and fun-filled activities all year round for everyone from all walks of life to stimulate and help them develop as individuals.
The pricing for Treks’ activities varies depending on their programs provided:
Self-guided Fashion Forest Walks
- RM 35/adult (12 years & above)
- RM 30/child (11 years & below)
- RM 75/adult (12 years & above)
- RM 65/child (11 years & below)
- RM 250/person