HOGA Gaharu Tea Valley (务边沉香山茶园) is not your average tea valley!
There’s a rare kind of tree (of the aquilaria species) here that is planted for its commercial use as perfume and medicine in Middle Eastern and Asian countries!
The 300-acre agarwood plantation is a doable drive out of Ipoh and is another reason to visit Gopeng!
Table of contents:
- Gaharu Tea Valley History
- HOGA Gaharu Tea Valley Gopeng Location
- Getting To HOGA Gaharu Tea Valley From Ipoh
- Gaharu Tea Valley Ticket & Tour
- What To Do In Gaharu Tea Valley
- HOGA Gaharu Tea Valley Product
Gaharu Tea Valley History
Firstly, what exactly is agarwood?
Agarwood is the precious aromatic black resin formed when an Agarwood tree suffers damage from lightning, insects, cuts, etc.
At HOGA, they try to find ways to organically induce resin production in their trees. One such way is to introduce a type of mould into the tree bark.
Their very name HOGA comes from “Holistic Gaharu” as they are very passionate about keeping their plantation as chemical-free as possible!
The plantation started out close to the year 1992 with 200 seedlings as a bid to study and conserve this type of tree which was under threat from heavy logging.
After 15 years, the 200 seedlings grew to produce new seeds.
And now, HOGA Gaharu Tea Valley has over 200,000 of these trees attracting tourists who come to see the beautiful agro park (opened in 2011 to the public).
To date, around 70 of the original trees still survive at this agro tourism attraction!
There are many names for this tree:
- Oud (عود)
- Chen Xiang (沉香)
- Jin-koh (沈香)
- Gaharu (Malay)
HOGA Gaharu Tea Valley Gopeng Location
HOGA Gaharu Tea Valley is part of the Kinta Geopark and is a few minutes’ drive from the Gopeng Heritate House in Gopeng.
Gaharu Tea Valley Gopeng Map
Getting To HOGA Gaharu Tea Valley From Ipoh
There is signage for the agro park along the way if you plan to find your own way there.
However just note that as you get closer to the plantation, the road starts to narrow to one car’s width and winds through a small kampung (e.g. Malay village).
You can include HOGA Gaharu Tea Valley as part of a personalized Ipoh itinerary with private tour service, RayTheTour!
Free pick-up and drop-off service anywhere in Ipoh!
Gaharu Tea Valley Tickets & Tour
Entrance is free.
If you want to take the tour around the estate, it is RM10 per adult (for Malaysians) and this includes a sachet of HOGA tea.
Just get the tickets from the ticket counter at the estate. There is a lobby at the visitor centre where you can wait for the van to come.
Free and fast WiFi is available at the visitor centre.
Malaysians: RM10 (Adult), RM5 (Child)
Non-Malaysians: RM35 (Adult), RM20 (Child)
The tour will take you through 3 sections of the plantation and lasts for 20 to 45 minutes.
They have multiple vans going round the plantation on the same route simultaneously.
So you can always take the next one if that suits your pace better!
Sequence of the tour:
- Viewing Stage
- Hugging Park
- Lover’s Park
Trekking At Gaharu Tea Valley
Alternatively, there is also a shaded trek (~850m) that you can take to reach the top of the hill too. Not advisable if you have low stamina! But it is safe for children to attempt!
What To Do In Gaharu Tea Valley
Nature lovers will thoroughly enjoy themselves here! Breath-taking views and fresh air await!
1. Enjoy Panoramic Views From The Hilltop Viewing Stage
Tours of the estate stop first at the 3-storey viewing platform first!
This is the highest point at HOGA Gaharu Tea Valley with incredible views of the magnificent Gaharu trees on the slopes of the valley!
It’s especially gorgeous on a clear sunny day!
There is another cafe here that is only open during the weekends.
2. Walk Through Avenues Of Trees At The Hugging Park
You get more opportunities to hug trees at the Tree Hugging Park.
Mural art of animals or quotes cover the barks of the trees here.
A little touristy but they do make an interesting photo backdrop!
There is a tortoise enclosure at this park – the turtles and tortoises seem to be doing well. They have a couple of large ones too!
3. See Giant Trees At The Lovers’ Park
A colourful photo-worthy staircase leads down to the Lovers’ Park featuring a pair of old trees intertwined in a way that reminds you of lovers embracing.
There is a large fish pond facing the huge trees. Not far from here is a small but pretty waterfall too!
4. Get A Treat At The HOGA Outlet & Deli
Refreshments including HOGA coffee are available at the on-site deli at the visitor centre right in front of the shop.
5. Try HOGA Tea Ice Cream
Try their yummy HOGA ice-cream at the café. It’s made from 100% natural ingredients including HOGA tea eggs!
6. Try HOGA Tea
You will have a chance to try their signature product, the Gaharu tea while you are at the gift shop.
It’s hard to explain the taste but it’s not sweet and has a mild flavor similar to barley tea.
7. Take A Selfie At The Great Wall Of HOGA
To protect their valuable commodity from thieves and wild animals, HOGA has built a 3-metre high and 6 foot wide crenelated wall at the entrance to the estate.
This barrier takes inspiration from the Great Wall of China and is not a bad place to stop and snap a photo! Just watch for vehicles first!
8. Check Out The Time Tunnel
In the middle of the visitor centre is an inconspicuous entrance:
To the antique gallery and exhibition hall with photos and information on HOGA and gaharu tea.
HOGA Gaharu Tea Valley Products
HOGA manufactures all sorts of products at their on-site factory.
They sell these in the Gaharu Retail Shop at the base of the valley. The sales promoters are knowledgeable in the products!
See the full online product catalog on their website!
At the shop, HOGA offers the following selection of Gaharu products (besides Gaharu tea):
- Instant Noodles
- Wood Chips
- Lip Balm
- Oil/ Fragrance
- Tea Egg Premix
- Bak Kut Teh Herbal Packs
- Herbal Jelly
1. HOGA Gaharu Tea Price
HOGA sells many different sets, blends and flavours like fruit tea or matcha with the average price of a single tea sachet being RM 2 to RM 3.
E.g.) 100 sachets of Gaharu tea costs ~RM 230.
Check out the more prices and tea blends here.
You can try the distinct gaharu tea at the HOGA visitor centre too!
2. Gaharu Tea Benefits
Long term consumption of Gaharu tea (caffeine-free) has many beneficial properties to treat and improve:
- Blood pressure
Malaysia exports millions’ worth of Gaharu to other countries like Japan, China, Korea, Taiwan and the Middle East every year!
Just a kilogram of even unprocessed gaharu can cost up to RM 10,000!
And distilled gaharu essential oil can reach RM 100,000 per kilogram!
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Come see the lovely HOGA Gaharu Tree Valley – a unique tree plantation in Gopeng!
It’s not very often that you get to see an agarwood tree up close. Let alone thousands! Learn the challenges of producing agarwood and why it is so highly valued in many countries!
Maybe even take some HOGA Gaharu tea back with you!
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