The chance to immerse in a complete forest ecosystem is yet another excuse to enjoy a stay at Awana, the five-star hotel which boasts a sprawling 18-hole golf course, views of a breathtaking mountain range, a heated swimming pool and various sports facilities.
This 130 million years old tropical forest with rich biodiversity invites nature lovers to explore even more of this ecological wonder with the introduction of three new trails as well as pitcher plant and bamboo conservation projects at the Awana Bio Park, a mere 15-minute walk from the hotel.
The Awana Bio Park offers guests that chance to step into the fresh air and dappled shade of the Mount Ulu Kali’s rainforest, demystifying it through the integrated use of social media and digital technology.
Mr. Isaaz Ishak Yunus the General Manager of Awana Hotel remarked,
“Besides protecting the flora and fauna, the Awana Bio Park is an effort from Resorts World Genting to increase the awareness on the importance of biodiversity.
“Whilst developing the resort, only .4% of the surrounding areas have been developed to preserve the beauty of the rainforest and this is an extension of that.
“We believe that the forest cultivates the interest of people in nature through the innovative and engaging experiences that we offer here such as by scanning the barcodes to identify various species of plants and to discover fun facts.”
Awana Bio Park was introduced with five experiences designed to stimulate and invigorate, perfect for a journey of self-discovery or corporate team-building.
Resorts World Genting works with specialists from nature consultancy Treks for projects throughout the forest with Eddie Chan and Pat Ang guiding and sharing their knowledge with visitors.
The team will point out rare trees, exotic birds and unusual species tucked away in the shadows of the jungle, while incorporating modern technology to make the experience accessible and fun.
Each trail has been designed to highlight the special aspects of the mountain forests of Genting Highlands – a unique ecosystem shaped by terrain and weather located between 3,000-6,000 feet (920-1,830 metres) above sea level.
The first is the new Conservation Trail, an 800m loop that focuses on the flora of the Upper Dipterocarp Forest (750-1,200 metres above sea level), a biome rich in pitcher plants, montane bamboo, rattans, wild orchids and black bat lilies, all growing under the shade of towering Strangler Fig and montane timber trees.
For millennials who rarely get a chance to get up close with nature, the Pitcher Plant Conversation area is a fascinating look at the carnivorous plants.
A viewing deck along the train is the perfect place for visitors lucky enough to spot a passing hornbill.
This particular trail will also highlight the conservation efforts dedicated to maintaining these primeval species, as well as the natural, cultural and practical usage of the plants.
The Herb Forest Trail and Biodiversity Trail also focus on the Upper Dipterocarp Forest biome, taking a longer route (1.8km and 2.7km, respectively) to see even more of Mount Ulu Kali’s ancient rainforests.
While the trained guides will always point out spots of interest, specific specimens are now also highlighted with NFC tags that can be scanned with smart devices to glean additional information for the curious.
In the Herb Forest Trail, that could include the thick walls of wild bamboo grooves or the medicinal properties of forest herbs scattered along the jungle floor.
The longer Biodiversity Trail is the most picturesque, an undulating trek that descends into a valley and requires the crossing of a cascading stream, dominated by the skyward reach of towering montane timber trees.
The three new trails join the current selection of five adventures to be had in the jungles of Genting Highlands, all of which unveil different facets of the forest.
Wi-Fi Forest with Shinrin Yoku is an immersive experience combining the Shinrin Yoku concept of contemplative forest appreciation from Japan with strategic use of smartphone apps to reveal the rich biodiversity of the rainforest.
The Experience takes things a little more in the direction of courage – abseiling down a 24m boarded slope placed at a 55-degree angle to appreciate the jungle from a different.
As twilight descends, the brave and the inquisitive can venture out into the dark to encounter nocturnal experience over a Night Herping session.
In addition to the various activities available, Resorts World Genting is also introducing a Bamboo Conservation Project at Awana Bio Park.
With the jungle here being home to some of the tallest and hardest bamboos in the world, the project aims to identify and catalogue the number of bamboo groves in the Bio Park, with the aim of maintaining and up keeping them for sustainable use.
Bamboo – the fastest-growing grass in the world – being a renewable source, the project also aims to introduce visitors of Resorts World Genting to bamboo craft activities such as teepee and blowpipe making which are a great favourite for team building activities.
The project will include participation from other organisations like Universiti Malaya, Birdlife and the Malaysian Nature Society for the study of forest rodents and wildlife, as well as partnering with Semai Orang Asli to promote indigenous craftwork and raise awareness of the role of bamboo in traditional food making.
All trails are conducted by specialist guides, by appointment only with the fees being RM75 per person for the Conservation Trail, RM95 per person for the Herb Forest and RM135 per person for the Biodiversity Trail.
A minimum group of 3 is required for each trail.
Hotel guests may enquire at the hotel reception for bookings. For external bookings, please contact Trek Events at +6013 399 3667 or email [email protected]
For enquiries on the Bamboo Conservation Project, please contact 013 3993667 (TREKS’ Eddie). For more information, call +603 6101 1118 or visit www.rwgenting.com.