My extended family had a 3D2N holiday at Belum during the period between Christmas & New Year's. There were 11 of us and we booked 4 rooms - 3 under a Groupon deal and 1 under the resorts own Discovery Package.
At first the location seemed daunting but it actually turned out to be an easy & pleasant drive from Penang. It was as straightforward as getting onto the Butterworth-Kulim Highway at Seberang Jaya and heading east all the way past Baling & Gerik towards Jeli & Kota Baru. There were no turns off this road, just 40kms straight past the Gerik Exit 4-way traffic light junction all the way right up to the resort which is just after the bridge taking you onto Pulau Banding which is essentially the hilltop that stands above the man-made Temenggor Lake which submerged the valleys around it after a river was dammed up, and which surrounds the island.
The setting is idylic and a unique blend of being close to nature yet with easy access via the east-west road system. There's logging on the outskirts of the gazetted Belum nature reserve boundaries but this was still pretty much virgin jungle. The animal crossing signs along the roadtrip promises as much... it starts with signs for cow crossings, then deer, then elephants. The area is also home to hornbills and 3 types of rafflesia (largest flowers on the planet).
The resort has a back to nature feel with lots of wood in its construction and sits on top of the slope from the jetty on the lake. Accomodation is varied with standard & deluxe rooms, suites and houseboats. We stayed in 2 standard & 2 deluxe rooms which were had either a 1 king or 2 single bed configuration, came with a safe, strong air-conditioning, a fridge, wardrobe and am ample bathroom. The only standard equipment absent was a TV... but hey, who drives into the middle of a jungle to watch TV? They have waterways between the building cluster and a spice garden running next to the buildings. The resort had a notice up that they were adding chalets, a spa and swimming pool.
Activities included jungle trekking (in the wooded area next to the lake & resort) - both day & night-time editions available, kayaking, bamboo-rafting, boat rides round the island & lake, fishing trips, full-day tours to see a waterfall, rafflesia, and/or aboriginal village & handicraft.
There is an on-campus restaurant. The buffets are average and I found the ala carte fare better. However unless you stocked up or are willing to make repeated 30-40 minute (per way) drives out to Gerik, this is your only choice for meals.
All in all, we found this a great place for some peace & quiet and perfect for a family get-together.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Belum Rainforest Resort is one of Malaysia's premier ecotourism holiday destinations. Set in the midst of a tropical paradise, Pulau Banding, the Belum Rainforest Resort, is everything nature-lovers and holiday-goers expect in a getaway destination: complete relaxation and serenity, stunning views and surroundings, adventure, and the chance to get close to nature.With the Belum-Temengor Rainforest literally at their doorstep, guests at the resort will have a rare opportunity to experience the soothing beauty and mystery of the vast jungle, which has remained untouched for centuries. Nature lovers will revel at the chance to observe the beauty of plants and scenery that can be found only rarely elsewhere. Meanwhile, thrilling outdoor activities await adventure seekers who crave for adrenaline-pumping experiences. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Belum Rainforest Hotel Gerik
- Belum Rainforest Resort Malaysia/Gerik