There are very few places left on this earth where you can really escape the work and world of man. A place where the birdsong replaces car horns, where the chirps and croaks of frogs keep carry you off to sleep and where the only thing you can do is read, rest and relax. Less than a two hour drive from the bustling centre of Kuala Lumpur, The Dusun is just such a place.
The Dusun started as a family’s dream of an escape from their busy city life in Kuala Lumpur in the 80’s. Helen and David, the owners and developers of this extraordinary place bought the land in 1984, then used as a rubber plantation, removed all the trees, planted a small durian orchard and built their dream home on the plot with their own hands while tending to the new durian saplings. Realising that others would love and appreciate the area as much as they did, Helen and David turned their private paradise into the The Dusun nature resort in 2009 and have since developed it into a spectacular setting to reconnect with nature.
Today, The Dusun is made up of 6 unique houses, built to be eco-friendly and to blend into the unparalleled natural beauty of its rainforest location. Each house has distinctive traits, design characteristics and varying sleeping space, but all have equipped kitchens with a fridge, gas stove, basic crockery, pots and pans, so bring your own food, snacks and drinks and enjoy the option to self cater. The best part, however, of each house is the fact that they all also offer undisturbed views of the surrounding Berembun Forest Reserve. As a guest you have access to two stunning infinity pools where you can lounge the day away and a communal dining and seating area with a honesty fridge in case you need some ice cold beers.
If you are looking to do a bit more than lounging by the pool, listening to birds or reading your book, The Dusun offers various extra activities that can be arranged and booked on arrival at the resort. If you want to get your body moving, try the rainforest trek to a nearby waterfall. A visit to Malaysia would not be complete without exploring some dark green rainforests and the Berembun rainforest is the perfect place to explore the incredibly diverse fauna and flora of the area. If you would like to know more about my experience of hiking through the Berembun forest with an experienced guide from The Dusun, please click here. You can also do shorter forest walks, take a photography workshop, join a cooking class or enjoy a massage under the green forest canopy.
Focused on sustainable development, farming and building, the entire project has created a beautiful and healthy environment and lends itself as a sort of extension to the Berembun Forest Reserve on which borders it is build. The Dusun employs local people, has a good relationship with the local community and aims to raise more awareness of Malaysia’s beautiful natural heritage and support of local traditions, communities and NGOs. The nature resort is also a proud to promote responsible and sustainable travel. The Dusun only serves organic fruits and vegetables from their home grown gardens and are committed to protect the local area and use water carefully. The resort only uses eco-friendly cleaning products from the Malaysian non-profit Truly Loving Company (TLC) and in each house you will find plastic-free soap and shampoo bars from Kinder Soaps.
As they are committed to the environment, the resort is also completely free of air conditioning, but fear not! The cool mountain breeze or a dip in the pool is more than enough to help you escape the stifling Malaysian heat. Be sure to also pack some eco friendly bug spray as the mosquitoes are very, very thirsty in this part of the world.
If you are planning your rainforest escape at The Dusun, I highly recommend booking the Berembun House – a Malay-style house on stilts, with verandas on two sides, a small barbecue stove for private dining and a view onto the Berembun Forest Reserve that will take your breath away! Even though all the houses are self catering, I recommend preordering meals from the small onsite restaurant as the food is from the garden, prepared by locals and tastes absolutely amazing.
If you would like to book your stay at The Dusun, please visit their website at www.thedusun.com.my where you can find more information about the resort, houses, costs and availability. In the meantime, if you would like to see more pictures of my time at the Dusun, please visit me on Pinterest at @LuzanneFletcher and follow me on Instagram at @luzanne_f.