Bukit Tinggi, located at the western border of Pahang, is about an hour’s drive from Kuala Lumpur. Sitting on top of the hill is a French themed village called Colmar Tropicale. This attraction is the main reason visitors make their way up to the hill. Apparently I’ve been to Bukit Tinggi before when I was a kid, but I have absolutely no memory of it.
I’ve always had this place as a go-to destination at the back of my mind because I was pretty fascinated by the architectural design as seen on the internet.
So I made a short trip to KL along with Miss M and off we went! We departed Kuala Lumpur a bit over 10am in the morning.
Along the way we stopped at an R&R and grabbed some sweet potatoes! 🙂
As we started to ascend the hill, the roads started to get a bit winding. After about 15 minutes up, there was a gate house to pass through where all visitors had to pay Rm13 just to enter the vicinity.
My first impression of this place was that it felt really dated. The buildings, even though it was quite pretty to look at, felt really old. I could tell it hasn’t been refurbished for a very long time. Still! The overall french architectural design was quite eye-catching and very fun to take photos with 😛
We continued walking through and saw several cafes and patisseries that were quite packed. The place itself was actually really small. We walked through to the end in less than 5 minutes. There isn’t really much to do except for taking photos. We did notice a ‘6D’ motion adventure, though I didn’t know that we could experience a 6th dimension.
At the end of the road there were a few carnival games and a tower where we could walk up to take photos of the village at a higher elevation.
We left Colmar Tropicale after less than one hour. Honestly the experience was kind of a let down. There’s almost nothing to do. This place has great potential but Malaysian developers have a habit of executing an idea and simply leaving it without the consideration of any maintenance or further development.
Anyway, thank god that there was still one more place to visit nearby to make this trip more worthwhile – a Japanese Village!
We started to drive up the hill and we reached a roadblock. A guard told us to turn back to Colmar Tropicale to take their shuttle bus up the Japanese Village. Ugh. So we headed back to the village and we saw that the frequency of the bus is 1 hour! Transporting guests in one small bus once every hour is such a poor way to drive traffic into their garden. Really bad system.
So we waited for the bus, hoping that the Japanese Village would be worth all the trouble. On the way up, I realised there were other cars driving around and there was ample parking at the Japanese Garden itself. I really couldn’t understand why they wouldn’t let us in at that time.
Upon arrival, visitors have to walk up a hill to reach the garden which takes around 10 minutes.
The area itself was pretty clean and relatively empty. We roamed around the garden and took several photos.
At that time we were getting hungry and there happened to be a restaurant right in the middle of the garden – Ryo Zantei. Felt slightly skeptical at first because it was a secluded area. But the food really surprised me!
We both ordered their Beef Teriyaki Bento Set for Rm45. A tad expensive, but it was expected. The beef they served was actually grilled tenderloin steak, which was quite delicious 🙂
After having a happy belly, we continued to roam around. We came across a Tatami Spa and a Japanese Tea House where you can’t actually drink tea but only to watch a Japanese Tea Ceremony. There were also Kimono Rental for visitors.
We spent almost 2 hours here including the meal. But honestly there isn’t much to see as well. While the atmosphere was quite serene, the entire area lacked substance. Thus, we made our way back to Colmar using their shuttle bus and we headed back to KL.
———- Bonus ———-
For dinner, we visited myBurgerLab in Damansara for their famous charcoal buns! We pondered at the menu for a while and decided to order a burger from their beef menu called A Beautiful Mess.
What we have here is a cheddar beef patty topped with deep fried portobello mushrooms, honey mustard and a sunny side up egg. Seriously delicious! Wow. They really cooked every single ingredient to perfection.
So that concludes our day – exploring the depths of Colmar Tropicale and the Japanese Village. Overall I guess it’s worth a trip if you’re a Malaysian. We don’t really have much world class attractions in Malaysia so this will do. Plus, it’s only an hour away from KL 🙂