On the northern edge of the Peninsula Malaysia lies the magnificent nature park Belum. The Royal Belum State Park is a virtually unknown touristic attraction within Malaysia, but it has all the ingredients to grow into a very popular nature reserve in time, drawing many tourists each year. For now you will have the place almost to yourself, and you can take pleasant day tours exploring the jungle; by road or boat.
Accommodation in Belum
At the moment, there are not many places to stay available near the nature reserve. The Belum Rainforest Resort has the most visitors, and it is the most luxury resort in the area. Belum Rainforest Resort lies along the main road (going roughly from Penang/Ipoh in the west to Kota Bharu in the east), on the island Banding inside the Temenggor lake system.
About the resort
The resort is located on a hill, with an astonishing view of the lake and the jungle in the distance. The resort consists of a few levels. Below the hill is the lobby, with an adjoining restaurant and lounge bar. From the restaurant, a path goes up the hill, and the splendid swimming pool is the first stop. A little higher up the hill are the cottages, villas, and apartments. At the top, there is the big restaurant (where also breakfast is served) and another complex with separate rooms. Here you will find a viewing platform with a breathtaking view of the surroundings. The resort is a true nature resort; not much to do around the resort itself as the jungle activities are key. Usually, everybody retreat to their rooms after dinner.
The standard rooms are beautiful, but simply furnished. For a stay in the jungle, however, you could say the rooms are very luxurious. There is an A/C, a small refrigerator, a safe and a few sockets. Most rooms have Wi-Fi, but in the ones that lie further away the signal is not very strong. Most rooms are spacious, and the shower is large.
Gorgeous swimming pool
The swimming pool is luxurious and of the infinity type; with an edge directly overlooking the magnificent lake. There are several sun beds along the pool, and a small space to change. After a day full of jungle adventure, it is nice to relax in the pool.
As the resort lies in the middle of the jungle, it is necessary to take some measures. The whole area is mosquito infested. It will itch terribly but that’s all it will do, we recommend you use mosquito repellent every day (at night they are most active). Within the rooms you will not have any nuisance of mosquitoes.
The restaurant is only open for breakfast and dinner (from 7pm onwards) and has a small menu, with several delicious dishes. We had read some disappointing reviews about the food, but we loved it. The choice is somewhat limited, so if you are staying there for a longer period, it could get a bit boring. Beside local dishes, they also serve some western dishes. The desserts are very good. Prices are affordable, especially if you consider being a long way from civilization. Do not expect hawker food prices. The second restaurant (near the lobby) has a simple lunch menu offering some western dishes and some snacks.
The resort is easily accessible, as it is clearly visible along the main road nr4 (Lebuhraya Timur-Barat). Signs indicate the resort and at the exit there is a parking lot where you can park your rental car. Pay attention: herds of elephants often walk along the main road nr 4. They cross the road regularly. There are warning signs along the road, take caution.
Our final verdict
Belum Rainforest Resort is a gorgeous resort in the middle of the jungle. From the resort, you can take various fantastic tours, such as a day tour to the Royal Belum State Park (apply timely for a permit to enter the nature reserve). The atmosphere in the resort is pleasant, and the staff is very friendly. Because the resort is not located in a tourist area, it is often not very crowded. Rooms are pleasant, and breakfast and dinner are of a good quality. You can regularly find a good deal on Agoda.com. Many travel organizations offer a stay at the Belum Rainforest Resort as part of a visit to the Royal Belum State Park and the Temenggor lake area.