Just a one-hour drive away from Malaysia’s buzzing capital Kuala Lumpur, you will find the Berembun Forest Reserve: an ancient protected rainforest with 4,000 acres in size. It is the perfect weekend retreat for KL citizens and travelers looking for a nearby getaway.
We are heading to The Dusun, a tranquil orchard eco-resort on the edge of the rainforest. Started off as a second home for their own family, the owners turned the land into a nature resort with six unique guest houses. We booked the Malay-style Berembun house with two veranda’s and a stunning view on the forest.
The house is small from but comfortable and it offers all the basics you need. An outdoor kitchen is located at the veranda and includes extensive cooking equipment.
A simple breakfast is included, for lunch and diner you can either bring your own food of order it at the Dusun in advance. We chose to order the (vegetarian) BBQ with a variety of vegetables, salad, potatoes, tofu and a delicious dessert.
Nothing beats the sounds of thunder and a rainstorm while enjoying a nice meal. While the whole forest seems to disappear after a curtain of rain at sunset, the morning offers sunshine and a totally different view.
A big contribution is made to the environment and the local community. The majority of the staff are from the Orang Asli (Original People) villages. As water is scarce and needs to be shared with the neighbours, the Dusun puts a lot of effort in sustainable water management. One effort I favour is the presence of eco-friendly body wash and soap.
Bring your hike shoes! The perfect way to discover and enjoy the Berembun Forest Reserve is a hike to the river. The friendly jungle guide Ah Kau will bring you there in a 1,5 hour walk. Longer hikes, bird discovery treks and day trips can also be arranged at the Dusun.
The forest used to be home to tigers before they died out a generation ago. If it is your lucky day, you might be able to spot a a wild boar, deers or a group of monkeys. But even without that, this is a rainforest worth to explore as it is rich in birds, butterflies, insects and a variety of tropical plants and trees.
If you are looking for a forest retreat within reach of KL, than this is definitely the place for you!
Prices: Prices start at RM400 (€85) per house per night, breakfast included. Discounts apply at a stay of 3 nights or more. Lunch and diner can be ordered in avance, starting from RM60 per two adults (€13).
Transport information: It is recommended to arrange transport with the Dusun as the car will need to drive uphill and, in contrast to the experienced driver Muhammed, not every driver will be able to do that. Muhammed can pick you up from the KL International Airport or a place of choice within the city. Tip: try to avoid leaving KL after 4PM on Friday’s as long traffic jams will appear after that time.