At one glance, Rumah Rehat Slim River looks like a charming hippie commune from the flower power days. Only thing missing is a VW Kombi with psychedelic colours.
Unlike other government rest houses from colonial days, this one is relatively recent. The reception clerk told me it was built in the 1960s.
The motel-style chalets are on stilts, clustered on a big lawn with nice countryside surroundings as a backdrop. I think I’ll stay here for this part of the journey.
Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 100, f4, 1/1000 sec.
I think a hipster will trade his or her mason jar lamp (with the coffee filter shade) for a chance to do a selfie or a yoga pose on this balcony. Every fitting is intentionally hipsterish. The furniture is chicken (wire) coop style, similar to those found in KLPAC grounds or in Publika. Don’t ask me about the significance of that rusted and cracked wok (kuali) on the floor, though. Lol.
It is a shame that the place is categorised as luxury camping or glamour camping (glamping) though. Is more than that. Strip away all the pretensions, it is a resort hotel (minus all the staff). Taken as a whole, I found the appeal to be the subtle landscaping and blending with its environment.
Sure; there are creature comforts such as hot shower, a toilet bowl, coffee machine and a pool but then that’s what concrete jungle people expect when they pay RM 700 or more a night, I guess.
Standing on the balcony, I felt as if I was the conductor of an orchestra where the musicians were tireless birds and insects. To each, his or her own. For me; it was hearing nature’s symphony and seeing random leaves drift gently from trees. That was priceless.
Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 640, f8, 1/60 sec.
We finally reached the peak and before my eyes was a double-storey glass chalet. Megharaj pulled down the attic-like stairs and we did the final climb.
Wow! A room in a rainforest walled-in and roofed by glass. I can sleep and look at the twinkling stars at night, throw stones and walk around naked. I have never slept in a glass house before and I wanted it right away.
Megharaj: Sorry Sir, we don’t do walk-ins.
Me: Walked-in??? I climbed a bloody mountain to get here.
Megharaj: You can only book online.
Me: Wait! (Pulling out my iPad excitedly)
Me: Damn! There’s no bloody 4G, 3G or even 2G access here!
Megharaj: But that’s the whole idea about a jungle retreat.
Oh well. Anyway, the place is called Sekeping Serendah Retreat. I consoled myself thinking a shangri la in the jungle must charge Shangr-la hotel rates. I found out later that they do but I’m sure it will be worth the experience. There’s even a luxurious pool.
Megharaj is both the gardener and manager. Fantastic guy. Much appreciation for the impromptu tour of the place I discovered by accident. More pics of the ‘glamcamp’ coming up.
Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 1600, f8, 1/60 sec.