How long has it been since you were truly immersed in nature? Fresh air, wide open spaces, greenery as far as the eye can see – all those things we just can't find in the urban bustle of the city. Thankfully, city dwellers craving a nature retreat have Malaysia's rich rainforests right on our doorsteps. From glamping in a glass box to rustic farmstays, these are the most gorgeous nature getaways near Kuala Lumpur to check out.
Photo courtesy of Sekeping Serandah Retreat
If your goal is to get up close with greenery, how about living in a glass box among the treetops? Set near the sleepy town of Serendah in Selangor – just an hour's drive from KL – Sekeping Serendah Retreat offers a spectacular camping experience with two transparent glass rooms. Floating above the forest floor, these minimalist cubes are designed to be as open to nature as possible, with full-length sliding glass doors, a skylight, and an outdoor shower.
Catered meals are available, but for a true camping experience, sizzle up your own BBQ meals on the open-air deck. There's plenty to do around, whether it's spending a lazy day in the retreat's two pools, trekking in the forest, or visiting the nearby villages of the Orang Asli.
Sekeping Serendah Retreat is located at Serendah FS, Serendah 48200, Selangor, p. +60 12-324 6552.
Photo courtesy of A’moss Farmstay
After being cooped up in the city these past two years, a breath of fresh countryside air is just what the doctor ordered. Three hours' drive from KL, you'll find a piece of country heaven in the form of A'moss Farmstay. Set on the fringes of the Mossy Forest in the Cameron Highlands, this glamping spot has gorgeous bubble domes for tents – each kitted out with a queen bed, private shower, and majestic views of Mount Yong Belar.
In the mornings, there's no better perk-me-up than a refreshing hike in the Mossy Forest. As the name suggests, the trees of this dreamy forest are blanketed in moss, thanks to its highlands position and chilly climate. Come afternoon, take an idyllic ramble in the organic strawberry fields around the farmstead, or wander further afield to the famed BOH Tea Plantation with its 465 hectares of splendid tea bushes.
A'moss Farmstay is located at Amoss Road, Kampung Gerak Sepadu, 39000 Brinchang, Pahang, p. +60 19-555 0356.
Photo courtesy of Tadom Hill Resorts
With its rustic chalets crafted entirely of sustainable bamboo, Tadom Hill Resorts takes living in harmony with nature to the next level. Once a village housing the Temuan aborigines, this eco resort in Selangor is spread across 45 acres of lush tropical land. Catered meals and BBQ platters are available, but no wifi – the perfect excuse to unplug from the world.
Kick off your digital detox with the resort's slew of adrenaline thrills. There's a Flying Fox zipline that whizzes you across the Tadom Emerald Lake, but if that doesn't get your heart rate up, the five-metre-high bamboo diving board sure will. For those who like it laidback, have a go at the bamboo water swing and water slides, or try rafting across the lake.
Tadom Hill Resorts is located at No. 2, Jalan Bukit Tadom, (Kampung Orang Asli) Kampung Labohan Dagang, 42700 Banting, Selangor, p. +60 12-522 5728.
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Photo courtesy of Tiarasa Escapes
Just 45 minutes' drive from KL is a luxe glamping oasis, tucked away in the peaceful foothills of Genting Highlands in Parang. Cocooned by the cool of mountain mist, the 20 tented villas of Tiarasa Escapes come stylishly draped with white curtains and ethnic textiles. Folks who don't want to miss out on creature comforts will be glad to know that air-conditioning and wifi are available.
This is one glamping escape for the gourmets – you can savour tiffin lunches delivered to your villa, traditional teas and kueh served at The Rasa Tea Salon every afternoon, and local dishes cooked with fresh herbs from the resort gardens. Those who want to nosh amidst nature can request riverside picnics, or join the nightly BBQ round a communal bonfire. What fun!
Tiarasa Escapes is located at Persiaran Enderong, Kampung Janda Baik, 28750 Bentong, Pahang, p. +60 12-887 7777.
Photo courtesy of The Dusun
It's a tough call picking just one of The Dusun's six unique wood houses to stay in. From the Japanese-style Lanai House to the light-filled, open-concept Tembusu House, each charming house commands lush views over the forests of Negeri Sembilan and the mountain ranges in the distance. Wifi is limited to the dining patio, so get off the grid and plunge into the stunning infinity pools instead.
With the pristine expanse of the Berembun Forest Reserve at your doorstep, there's plenty of trekking and birdwatching to be had. If you're itching to capture all that natural beauty, you can even sign up for a travel photography workshop, where you can practise your newfound knowledge on shutter speed and aperture on the surrounding flora and fauna.
The Dusun is located at 3437 Jalan Kampung Baharu Pantai, 71770 Seremban, Negeri Sembilan, p. +6012-616-2585.
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Photo courtesy of Sarang by the Brook
Forest living gets quirky at Sarang by the Brook, set on the edge of the rural town of Kuala Kubu Bharu. About an hour's drive from KL, this jungle retreat is built from funky turquoise shipping containers, offering an unexpected pop of industrial-chic in the wilderness. Rooms are air-conditioned and come with en suite bathrooms, and guests can cook at the BBQ pits and communal kitchen on-site.
Guests can look forward to guided nature escapades, courtesy of outdoor adventure company Primal Wilderness Experience. Get your adrenaline pumping with a whitewater rafting experience, then cool down with a moonlit dip in a nearby waterfall. Speaking of dips, the lesser-known Kuala Kubu Bharu Hot Springs is worth the trek too.
Sarang by the Brook is located at Jalan Seruling 20, Kuala Kubu Bharu 44000, Selangor, p. +60 19-332 2448.
UOB Cardmembers can enjoy 9% off on Expedia.
Photo courtesy of Kampung Bongsu Farmstay
Animal lovers, this one's for you. Sprawling over 15 acres of private land, Kampung Bongsu Farmstay is a serene slice of farmhouse paradise in Lanchang, Pahang – a 1.5-hour drive from KL. There's just one two-bedroom villa in this lakefront retreat, which means you'll have the place to yourself – well, unless you're counting the cows, ducks, and rabbits which call this farm home.
Keen on getting a taste of farmstyle living? Pitch in on feeding the farm animals, or while away the afternoon by reeling in red tilapias and patin fish from the lake. Also worth exploring is the nearby Kuala Gandah Elephant Conservation Centre, as well as Krau Wildlife Reserve – the largest wildlife reserve in Peninsular Malaysia.
Kampong Bongsu Farmstay is located at LOT PT.5939, Kampung Bongsu, 28500 Lanchang, Pahang, p. +60 17-891 2224.
UOB Cardmembers can enjoy 9% off on Expedia and up to 10% cashback via Booking.com.
Photo courtesy of Templer Park Rainforest Retreat
Infinity pool with jet spa? Check. Outdoor sauna? Check. A mere half-hour drive from KL in Rawang, Templer Park Rainforest Retreat has all the makings of a wellness getaway in nature. Planted in the verdant midst of Kanching Rainforest Reserve, the retreat's four-bedroom villa and five-bedroom container are ideal for large groups.
The star attraction in the area is undoubtedly the Kanching Waterfall. This spectacular seven-level waterfall offers a pleasant dip on the lower levels and, for the more adventurous, a challenging trek to the higher levels. Another highlight is the Batu Caves, a complex of caves and cave temples with a famed flight of 272 steps set into a limestone hill. And though you'll be close to nature, you'll get all the perks of civilization come mealtime – GrabFood is available in the area!
Templer Park Rainforest Retreat is located at 22, Jalan 3/2, Templer Heights, Templer Park, 48000 Rawang, Selangor, p. +60 16-203 8562.
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Top Image: Photo Courtesy of The Dusun