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.
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
- Fly from SG to KL (we flew via Jetstar, $140 since we booked rather last-minute)
- 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
- Direct flight from SG to Kuantan (via Firefly, $125)
- 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.
*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.
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!
Now this is what we came here for!
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!
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!)
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?
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.
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!)