Friday, April 1, 2016

From a Traveler to a Café Owner – Gopeng Guesthouse & Café

Of all the travelers I know and met, I have to say (and admit), this petite young lady is one hell of an inspiring person.

You know how travel quotes go ‘Quit Your Job and Travel The World’, ‘To Travel is To Live’ or ‘Travel Makes You Richer in Experience’ and etc, well, this lady decides to go the other way… or should I say, marrying her passion, her education, her business sense while giving it back to the country. This lady got guts and wits. This lady got dream and ambition (aside from passion). This lady is beauty with brain. This lady is a force to be reckon with (according to travel jedis and yodas). And she did just that, she opened up a guesthouse and a café, in this charming small town Gopeng.

Not the ordinary guesthouse.

Hipster in Gopeng.

Confident with Gopeng’s friendly locals, its nature that welcomes travelers from all over the world, its opportunity to be a nature lover and outdoor enthusiast heaven, and of course, it quietness that is so soothing for those that needed a break from the hustle and bustle of city life. “It is the perfect place!” said Siti Hajar Taher; the founder and owner of Gopeng Guesthouse & Café, an avid traveler and used to be a lecturer (smart heh, told you so!).

A few question that ran in my mind when I had a chat with her, a reflex and excitement when I met an inspiring person. One need not travel to 80 countries to inspire me, need not climb the Everest or Kilimanjaro, journey from Asia to Europe would not even awe me. Swimming with whales, chasing the aurora, or camping in Antarctic have minimal impact on me, am not easily impressed. Try building a school, or donating your time to teach the kids at rural areas, or as easy as be a responsible traveler by participating in local charitable work during your traveling such as reforestation, cleaning the river, helping the local zoos, animal shelter or as simple as a visit to the orphanage to share a bit of your time and love. This is definitely more captivating, a landslide win in my book.

For a small cafe, this is fancy heh.

This have dorm, single, twin and prayers room (some common/shared bathroom and some ensuite ).

“Why Gopeng since you are not local here?”
“Why guesthouse?”
“What inspired you?”
“Who thought you to cook all these fancy food?”
“Do you have activities to complement guest staying here?”

All she did was smile. I guess these questions was thrown to her more than once (I hate it when I couldn’t come out with a more original and ‘changgih manggih’ questions).

“Gopeng has everything there is to offer, accessibility, good food, nature and tranquility. I want to ‘give back’ to my country, where or which state/town doesn’t matter”. Beautifully answered I thought.

“After traveling so far for months, I come to realized what I want to do to ‘give back’. Effortless. Combining both my passion (traveling) and dream (owning a business), this logically seems to be the best and easiest option. It was already paved for me, the decision to open a guesthouse and café comes naturally”. “I believe that if they can (the guesthouse owners in countries she visited), why can’t I, all I need is proper planning, good team and hardwork”, and I couldn’t agree with her more.

Book exchange shelf.

This young entrepreneur knows what she wants, and strive to get it “The food here are cooked by the locals, learnt from travelers staying here, some emailed us the recipe the rest we googled and others. The friendship I built when traveling paid off, they became my virtual friends supporting my dream”.
“Oh yes, we got that covered. We work closely with Radak Adventures providing outdoor activities such as white water drafting, trekking, caving, tubing… you name it. Believe me, you won’t be bored in Gopeng”. She said with a smile. I also told her that I did white water rafting with Radak Adventure 2-3 years back and they were good, and at the instant I felt proud as if I contributed and helped her and her friends in their quest to establish themselves in this industry.

All her answers were simple and honest, with that few words, I can see her dream, her business sense, her direction and her passion. The rest, I leave it to you to interpret.

And guess what?

She read my blog (I think I just met my idol! Am in cloud nine).

Gopeng Guesthouse and Cafe
10A BWH DT (HS/11/5)
Jalan Sg. Itek, 
31600 Gopeng
Ipoh, Perak
Mobile :  +60 19-375 0833

World of Wonders - Perak Media Fam Trip is in collaboration with Tourism Perak and all its sponsors with #GayaTravel as media coordinator.

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