Aug 02 2012

Review: Sekeping Serendah Retreat

Published by at 4:02 am under Accommodation

Most who want to experience the dense jungles of Malaysia gravitate towards Taman Negara, claimed to be the world’s oldest tropical rainforest. But if time doesn’t permit the long journey from Kuala Lumpur, you can still retreat to jungle at Sekeping Serendah.

The mud shed’s minimal but arty lounge.

Located an hour north of Kuala Lumpur, Sekeping Serendah is privately owned and a lot smaller than the national parks scattered around Malaysia — it’s just five acres of tropical rainforest — but it still offers an opportunity to explore and the chance to stay in a green, calming environment.

The bathroom may seem bare, but all the necessities to wash off that mud is there.

Seven basic sheds — kind of glorified tents, they call them — are designed to open into and blend with the natural surroundings. You’ll be provided with a queen-sized bed fitted with mosquito net, a kitchen for self-catering, an outdoor shower and a swimming pool to cool off in. What you lack in luxury should perhaps be viewed as an opportunity to comfortably commune in nature.

Take a natural dip or a human-made one — it’s your choice!

The mud shed (330 ringgit per night) is the smallest of the accommodation options, while the glass sheds (440 ringgit) are located higher off the ground so you’ll have a bird’s eye view into the trees at all times. The warehouse is a beautifully minimalist structure with no windows or walls separating you from the jungle. Perfect for groups up to 10, you’ll sleep surrounded by trees in a comfortable double bed without having to worry about getting bitten by nasty critters; of course, each bed comes with its own mosquito netting.

All you need for a good night’s rest in nature is a mosquito net without holes.

With an outdoor pit provided, a shared barbecue with the stars is just waiting to happen. For those who would prefer to explore the sounds of the forest and not have to cook, ask for the ‘caretaker’s meal’ to be provided (20 ringgit per person).

Enjoy easy hikes on paved paths or wander off the beaten track.

As for things to do, you can take a dip in cascading waterfalls and plunge pools 30 minutes’ away by hike, visit the International Orchid Farm or try reeling in a local garoupa, a short five-minute drive away at fishing lakes.

If you’re planning a trip to Sekeping Serendah as a couple, you might find the price tag a little steep for the facilities provided. For the greatest value for money, go in a group if you can; but if you can afford it, you’ll find that the simplicity is calming. Be warned though, this isn’t the place for everyone — if you don’t enjoy basic accommodation or immersing yourself in nature, this might not be for you.

Sekeping Serendah provides a pick-up service for 80 ringgit for a maximum of four people to or from Bangsar, which is 15 minutes from the KL city centre.

Another option close to KL where you can get back to nature is the Forest Research Institute Malaysia. Stay in more affordable and basic accommodation at Perah campsite or just take a day-trip to experience the famous tree-based canopy walk.

Sekeping Serendah
67 Jalan Tempinis Satu,

Lucky Garden, Bangsar
T: (012) 324 6552

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