In Malaysia, there are many beautiful places that have yet to be explored. If you are short of budget to travel overseas and appreciate nature environment, why not head on to Kuala Sepetang in Perak (located not far from Taiping). Kuala Sepetang is a small fishing village with lots of mangrove trees. If you stay overnight, you can take a boat to see the fireflies as it gets dark. I’ve been to Amphawa in Thailand to see the fireflies in the mangrove and Kuala Sepetang offered a similar experience.
During my stay at Kuala Sepetang, I stayed at Happy8 Retreat Hotel. If you want to experience something totally different- instead of staying at the usual hotels or inns of modern setting, I strongly recommend Happy8 Retreat Hotel….especially if you are someone who appreciate art, creativity, design and love to conserve nature.
The owner of the hotel, Mr Tan, have similar boutique hotel and a homestay in Ipoh. Mr Tan is truly a creative and very talented as he is very hands on in the design. When you visit any Happy8 retreat and restaurant, do take note on how he turned items like bottles, wood, recyclable items into art. The designs are creations from the heart as he loves and appreciate nature. He has exceptional talent working with wood…..turning even a discarded wooden planks into a tasteful design. That is why he is also in strong demand as clients would search him out to help them with their office or home design.
Each room in the Happy8 carries a different design and wall art. Many items are made of wood. It is very comfortable and peaceful staying at Happy8 Hotel.
Above: The Happy8 Retreat hotel view from the river. It looked like an old fashioned building but the moment you step inside the hotel, the feeling is very different:
This is the dining area where you can have a meal, a cup of coffee or some cakes.
Above: Notice that the wall is decorated with bottles and the table structure is actually from a tree (the tree is not purposely cut for this but actually it is an abandoned tree due to clearing of forests for land construction).
This is a very unusual room located at the ground floor. Pardon me for my photo taking skills, it really does not do this room justice. The walls were made using wooden plants. And the bed is actually made from a real boat (sampan).
As the room is located at the ground floor, it opens to a balcony facing the river.
One get to enjoy the view of the river and fishing boats passing by. Look at the painted walls.
Above: Design on the wooden stairs going up to other floors.
I slept on the 3rd floor but spent many part of the night sleeping at a balcony (instead of on my bed)….out of choice. I’ve always wanted to sleep at an open space overlooking the stars. But this was even more surreal….that night, the sky was clear with lots of stars. Above me were the clear night sky with stars and below was the river with a gentle breeze blowing and the quiet buzzing from the engines of boats passing by. It felt very peaceful and soothing. Any stress that I felt just melted away. I waited till sunrise to watch the beautiful sun slowly light up the sky.
For city folks like me, it is rare to be able to spend time fully immersed in nature. Being in a room fully furnished with wood (except the toilet bowl, of course but the water sink itself is made of wood) and in an old styled building, one feels that one travel back in time…..living the simple peaceful life.
So while planning your next retreat, why not consider going to stay the night at Kuala Sepetang. Take a boat ride, see the fireflies, visit a small village that you need to get by using boat.
I also found their facebook page https://www.facebook.com/thehappy8/
Note: You may book via the site or through sites like Agoda and Traveloka.