Time Capsule Adventure, Malaysia (Must-Go!)

Time Capsule Retreat –  EB4 Belakang Sek Men Sg. Lembing (Pahang, Kuantan)

Date of Stay: March 2016

Another last-minute long weekend planning led to everywhere being overbooked & ridiculously overpriced (Telunas, Langkawi, Tioman…) so I was desperate for ideas. Fortunately, I recalled that a friend of mine had mentioned that there were pretty capsule houses in Pahang, Malaysia – so we googled and bingo! We found the most amazing place to visit.

(Pictures from their Facebook)

Imagine getting away from the bustling city of Singapore, into a quiet town, and staying in these pretty capsules in the middle of the forest? What more could you ask for? While you are drooling, let me tell you about the experience.

Transport

This is the only cumbersome aspect of this holiday, the travelling to get to this ulu place. There are a few options available – we tried both A & B due to costs and availability.

Option A – Flight & Car

  1. Fly from SG to KL (we flew via Jetstar, $140 since we booked rather last-minute)
  2. Private transport from KL to Pahang, exact location.

Since we had 5 people, it was more value-for-money to hire a private MPV for SGD $352 to take us from KL to the exact location in Pahang, rather than fly (since the air tickets were quite expensive by the time we booked). It cost us about SGD$60 per pax, and took 4 hours on the road. Service was reliable and on-time, recommended!  

Option B – Direct Flight + Taxi

  1.  Direct flight from SG to Kuantan (via Firefly, $125)
  2. Taxi from Kuantan airport to Time Capsule Retreat in Pahang

We took this option coming back, since there were affordable flights back from Kuantan directly to SG (1 hour). Do note that the planes are small propeller planes, not for the faint-hearted!

The taxi ride cost us about SGD$35 and took 40min (and we managed to squeeze 5 pax in) so that was really cheap!

Option C – Bus/Coach

There are buses from SG to Kuantan (approx 8 hours) at about SGD $35. You would probably have to take a taxi from Kuantan into the Time Capsule Retreat. But 8 hours?? No wayyyyy. Good luck man, especially if you get stuck in traffic.

Resort

*It’s not really a hotel, so I’ll just call it a resort, to avoid having to write “Time Capsule Retreat” every time I would like to refer to it.

At first glance, the resort looked older and a little more worn than I had expected from the pictures. But after settling in, I loved it!

Even though it was situated in the forest, we did not get bitten much by insects as the hosts diligently lighted repellant for us around the grounds. Still, bring your own insect repellants, please!

The resort consisted of a main building (with standard, no-frills rooms) which had seating area to chill and get water/coffee/drinks from, the capsule area (about 6-8 capsules available), a public toilet, and another area for some special rooms. If you are looking for luxury pools and all, this probably isn’t the place for you.

It was, however, enough for us, since the toilets were always clean, rooms were pretty and the environment was lovely.

Service

This is also another wow-factor here. Since it isn’t a hotel, there was no obligations for any sort of service. However, the hosts/owners were really the best! The lady host welcomed us, sorted us into the rooms and offered to take us into town for lunch since we were hungry. She drove us (5 minutes) and took care of everything, even paying for our lunch! She then told us about the activities we could do the next few days and helped us to organise and book everything.

Throughout the whole trip, she was ensuring that we were comfortable and happy. Many thumbs up to her!

Rooms

Now this is what we came here for!

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My time capsule!

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Everything is white and comfy!

The first night, we all stayed in these capsules for the experience.

Price: only SGD $48 per night!! (RM139)

It was minimalistic and simple, but most importantly, it had a working air-con to relieve us from the scorching hot weather.

There were also power plugs for us to charge our stuff, as well as a little lamp. Bed/sheets were white, clean and fluffy. I was super impressed and happy with my capsule, I wished I could stay in it for many more days!

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Day 2 – in Parallel Aurora room

For the next night, since the capsules were fully booked, we split into different rooms. We took the Parallel Aurora – which was a container consisting of 2 rooms & a bathroom in the middle. Our room was amazing, with this full-length glass window overlooking nature, however the other room sadly had no view, and was very much smaller.

Price: SGD$102 per night (can hold 4 pax!)

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In love with the little night light

There are also many other types of rooms available, such as the Parallel Discovery which has queen sized bed, sofa bed, your own deck anddddd a jacuzzi for SGD$171 per night!

Seriously, isn’t this like a scene from a fairytale?

Food

There’s no food served at the resort, so we had to walk to the town area (about 10min) to get food. Most of the shops are closed in the day, and you can find the most activity during early morning (market opens with many food stalls) and evening time. However, there are always some open, as well as convenience stores.

Food is really tasty and cheap, about SGD 80 cents for a bowl of noodles, and SGD $18 for a big Zi Char dinner for 5 pax. During the weekends, there’s also a night market with many types of food available! Yum!

Things to do

I’ll be uploading a separate post on my itinerary there, but rest assured, you’ll not be bored. No matter what you love, be it nature, trekking, renting a bike and riding, learning about history or just doing nothing, this place is perfect.

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One of our early morning adventures!

Conclusion

At some point of time or another, you MUST visit this place! Take a long weekend to travel here, escape from the stress in Singapore, and just rejuvenate yourself. Nature, cheap food, friendly people and instagram-worthy rooms!

Definitely a fairytale without burning a hole in your pocket!

(To book, check out their FB Page here, and contact them via whatsapp!)

 

Lexis Hibiscus Port Dickson, Malaysia – Villa Getaway by Coach (Must-Go!)

Lexis Hibiscus Port Dickson – 12th Mile, Jalan Pantai, Pasir Panjang, Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan, 71250, Malaysia

Date of Stay: March 2016

So we’ve been pretty burnt out at work and I wanted to arrange a surprise 3d2n getaway to celebrate his birthday, but I severely underestimated the cost of a whole trip for 2 (2 x transportation, accommodation… why so ex?!). I spent days searching for a place which was not too far away, a little luxurious yet not too expensive, what a typical Singaporean!

No flights, since they were too damn ex – so I was left with either Indonesia or Malaysia to run to! After comparing prices, and hotels, I decided on Port Dickson.

Port Dickson (Malaysia) is situated about an hour away from Kuala Lumpur, approximately 5 hours by bus from Singapore. Thankfully, they had a direct coach from Singapore straight to the hotel (SGD$70/round trip), so the transportation was pretty straightforward.

Why Port Dickson? Like so many others, I was so taken with the pictures of Lexis Hibiscus Port Dickson that I literally decided on the place FOR the hotel.

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Lexis Hibiscus Port Dickson – pictures from their site

This is literally a dream come true – villas on the water, looking out into the vast sea, private pool, a true getaway.

So how did it fare?

Location

We set off from Concorde Inn at 9am, and reached the hotel around 2pm, just in time for the check-in. The coach ride was moderately comfortable, and certainly nothing to complain about. 5 hours was pretty tolerable (any longer would be painful!)

Hotel

The hotel was so HUGE, it required you to take a buggy around. Although that sounds like a logistical nightmare, their service was prompt, efficient and very friendly. We had a few issues at the start of the trip (more details later) that were resolved patiently by the staff.

There were many buggies around to ferry the hordes of tourists, and you could even call for a buggy to pick you up from your room!

Food

There are a 2 restaurants at the hotelRoselle Cafe (western food, nothing much to brag about) and Umi Japanese. I was very impressed with Umi! For about SGD$65 we got

  • 3 types sashimi
  • Cod fish set meal (with rice, soup, salad)
  • Teriyaki salmon set meal
  • Dynamite sushi (monster-sized)
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Dynamite Sushi – prawn tempura, salmon, cream cheese & unagi

 

The food was really good and well-worth the money!

Room service was not unreasonably expensive, about SGD$10 per main, but food didn’t taste fantastic.

Buffet Breakfast had a wide spread from omelettes, hashbrowns, sausages to asian food like Nasi Lemak and porridge. Thumbs up!

TIP: You can also get a taxi to go outside of the hotel for seafood, which most people do. However we were quoted about SGD15 (one-way) to travel to the seafood place. Since there were only 2 of us, it didn’t make sense to pay SGD$30 just to travel there and eat 1 crab (we weren’t big-eaters) :/ So if you are travelling in a group, do check it out!

ROOMS  *The main point of the entire stay here!

Let’s be honest here, at this place, you get what you pay for.

We initially paid for the Premium Pool Villa (SGD$200/night). However, it was only a half-sea view, since we were also facing the nearby villas. That was the thing that bothered me most – I didn’t want to be relaxing in the pool and staring at my neighbours relax in their pools. And I planned to relax in the pool, alot.

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We were initially given the room marked 1, we upgraded to the room marked 2.

Since there were some Premium Pool Villas facing only the sea, we asked if we could move rooms to the ones further right. However they told us we would have to pay extra SGD$59/night (just for a better view).

An upgrade of room category to the bigger Panorama Pool Villas would be SGD$80/night. Since I didn’t feel good in the old room (sink was not working, steam room not working, TV not working…) we decided to upgrade to the Panorama Pool Villa.

The staff were helpful in assisting us to view the Panorama Pool Villa before we made a decision to upgrade (they picked us up from our room, brought us to view, brought us to the counter to do the necessary admin and dropped us in our new rooms).

Total damage: $280/night

Now that all the issues were over, we settled in our new room, and it was LOVELY.

86 square-meter room, huge wide-screen TV, bathtub facing the sea, 2 king-sized beds, private steam room and of course, our private pool facing the vast sea.

It came with daily complimentary snacks, water, coffee/tea and cold soft-drinks – no charge for the minibar, yaas!

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Our pool – facing the sea

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All day in the sun!

We literally spent most of the time lounging in the pool, soaking up some sun and then watching TV. In my opinion, it’s one of the best places to do nothing.

My favourite part? Staring into the sea.

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So relaxing!

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We caught the sunrise too!

My conclusion? It’s either all or nothing here. If you want to really enjoy these luxuries, upgrade to the Panorama Pool Villas facing the sea (there are even more pricey villas available). Don’t travel all the way here and settle for a villa facing the shore or another villa – this sea view is amazing.

P.S. The bathtub facing the sea? You can soak and enjoy the view outside, but if you are going to stand up and shower/rinse-off, please pull the blinds down haha! From experience, there are some jetskis or boats going by.

Other than that, I had a great experience on my 3d2n getaway to Port Dickson, definitely worth going! If you like this post, share and spread the love!

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Cheers!