Camping, once considered an outdoor activity that perhaps only families and teenagers on their school break would enjoy, has become very popular again. And we have social media – and the pandemic – to thank for this.
In the past two years, when lockdowns and travel restrictions were put in place, many people started to miss doing outdoor activities like hiking and running. Once there was more freedom to get around, hiking trails, recreational parks and even forest reserves were filled with folks looking for ways to lead healthier lifestyles and “be free”, especially after being cooped up at home for so long.
There were also those eager to start doing more outdoorsy stuff simply because they were inspired after seeing some nice posts of people doing the same thing on social media.
As the country is surrounded by such amazing nature, it is not hard to see why camping has always been one of Malaysians’ favourite pastimes. Here are some of our favourite camping spots around the country.
There are two campsites on this private property, and each one has limited spots for tents. Because it is in the highlands you can expect temperatures to go down pretty low at night, so do pack accordingly. You need to bring your own tent here, as well as other essential camping gear. There are toilets and washrooms with hot showers available for use, as well as fire pits for barbecuing or basic cooking.
There are no plug points available so it’s a great excuse to put your devices away and just enjoy a bit of stargazing at Hola. For more information, contact Meng Fun at 012-384 4299.
Located at the Malaysia Agro Exposition Park Serdang, or MAEPS, this camping facility offers campers a chance to learn some basic jungle survival skills from experienced guides. Your camping fees do come with a guide if you are interested in making your stay here an educational one.
There’s a lake nearby where you can fish (and learn about sustainable fishing), while some farm animals live within the facility too. Other activities you can do include kayaking, trekking and swimming.
The Nest has a large campsite, as well as a dormitory, with toilets, bathrooms and a cooking space shared among guests. If you don’t have your own tent you can rent one from the company.
This space was opened in 1993 to commemorate the 14th Commonwealth Forest Conference that was held in Kuala Lumpur. The park is surrounded by a lush lowland dipterocarp forest and has lakes, beautiful gardens, fountains, hiking trails and jogging tracks. It is 620ha in size, with a large portion of it being a recreational forest that’s managed by the Forestry Department of Selangor.
If you choose to camp, you can stay at the Resort Taman Eko Rimba Komanwel, which is a privately owned property within the park. There are four designated camping zones located near two rivers. Amenities include a cafe, public toilets and barbecue pits.
You can bring your own tent and camping gear, but you can also rent from the company. Other accommodation options include chalets, cabins and huts.
One of the oldest tropical jungles in the world, the Endau-Rompin National Park is actually located in Johor and Pahang, but the one we’re featuring here is located in the former. The park is named after the Endau River in Johor and Rompin River in Pahang.
It is a great place to visit, especially for nature lovers. There are so many things you can do here, like birdwatching, hiking, jungle trekking, kayaking and swimming in the waterfalls. There’s an Orang Asli village within the park too, and you can learn some basic survival skills from them, like making your own fire and foraging for your own food.
There are three entry points: Peta, Selai, and Kuala Rompin. The two most popular entry points are Peta and Selai. Both entry points are accessible via KL and Johor Baru.
There is a variety of accommodation options available here, but if you choose to camp you need to bring your own camping gear and trek through the jungle to get to the camp site (there are porters for hire available).
The Tegudon Tourism Village (TTV) is just one of many campsites in Kota Belud, a town that’s about 90 minutes away from Kota Kinabalu city.
Most campers prefer to set up their own tents, but there are also some basic huts available. If you don’t feel like cooking your own meals, TTV can prepare some food for you (just ask them about the service when you make a booking).
Campers can either chill at the campsite or sign up for some hiking activities with local guides. There are a few trails you can follow, like Bukit Bendera, where hikers can get a good view of Mount Kinabalu.
At night, just look up at the sky and watch the twinkling stars. TTV is usually fully booked when stargazing season is around, where campers wait for the chance to catch meteor showers.
Kubah National Park is an easy and enjoyable day trip from Kuching, but you can also choose to camp overnight. The place boasts crystal clear streams and a few waterfalls and one bathing pool too.
The park has six jungle trails. The Summit Trail leads to Gunung Serapi, which hikers can climb in a day (depending on your fitness level). Shelters and huts are located along the trails so you can rest and take a breather every now and then.
Other trails are Selang Trail, Rayu Trail (which leads to the Matang Wildlife Centre), Waterfall Trail (closed for now), Palmetum Garden, Belian Trail and Beccari Rattan Valley Trail.
Each one would take at least two hours return trip, with the main entrance of the park as your entry point. The campsite can only accommodate 10 people at a time so you may want to book early if you’re planning to go during the holidays. There are no cooking facilities, but there is a BBQ area that you can use.
Newly opened in December 2021, Glamping @ Wetland or GL@W is located at Wetland Putrajaya, Presint 13. There are 10 permanent glamping tents here that are said to be able to fit a maximum of 40 people at any one time. There’s also a large area for campers who prefer to pitch their own tents; as many as 20 tents would be able to fit in this spot.
There are plenty of activities to do at GL@W, like archery, fishing, Flying Fox and cycling. There are also ATVs that you can rent and use near the place. At night, sit and relax by the campfire to watch a thrilling fire show, join the karaoke sessions or stay in your tents and play some board games which you can borrow from the host.
For nature lovers, check out the exciting night trail – remember to bring along your torchlights!
Glamping fest for all
It's time for some glamping fun, folks! The inaugural Malaysia International Glamping Festival (MIGFEST) 2022 will be held from Sept 16 to 18 in Negri Sembilan.
Organised by The Hooton Retreat, MIGFEST is a two-day, three-night glamping festival that has been specially curated for outdoor and adventure fans. There are lots of fun activities lined up at the festival, including survival skill workshops, games, music shows, archery sessions and contests.
The event will be held at The Hooton Retreat, a glamping resort about an hour’s drive from Seremban, or just under two hours from Kuala Lumpur. The place has premium villas, honeymoon “suites”, bubble dome glamping tents, outdoor jacuzzi and more for guests.
Special packages are being offered for those taking part in the MIGFEST. Festival fees (no overnight stay) are RM88 per pax, per day, while glamping fees range from RM399 per pax to RM699 per pax, depending on which room you choose.
Apart from the activities, there are also contests and challenges you can join – up to RM5,000 worth of prizes are up for grabs!
The festival is supported by Tourism Malaysia, with Mitsubishi Motors and The North Face as event partners. For more information, visit the website.