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Bao Sheng Durian Farm

Best farmstays in Malaysia

Surround yourself with lush greenery and peppy wildlife at these local farmstays

By Time Out KL editors
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Bring the family along for a back-to-nature holiday at these local farmstays that offer more than just a pretty view. You and your kids can pet goats and rabbits at Titi Eco Farm, harvest crops at Permaculture Perak or even eat your fill at Bao Sheng Durian Farm.

Kampung Bongsu Farmstay

If you’d rather your kids chase ducks than another kid who nicked their iPad, Kampung Bongsu Farmstay in Pahang is the place to go. The 15-acre farmstay is utterly private; you’d get the whole villa to yourself as there’s no other people within 100m (save for the friendly caretaker Rosli, who manages the daily chores and helps out whenever you need him).

While you’re encouraged to just bask in the quiet serenity of the place and take in the view of lakes, plantations, jungles and mountains, there’s plenty to do if you’re looking for activities. Say hello to elephants at the Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary, see shy deer at Deerland Park Bukit Rengit, or pay a visit to the Krau Wildlife Reserve – all three are just a short drive from the farmstay. Back on the farm, go fishing at the fishing lake, teach the kids how to identify local fish at the fish farm and admire picturesque water lilies. If you’re more hands-on, help out with feeding the farm animals or even try out milking the cows (make sure the kids don’t run circles around the chickens).

kampung bongsu farmstay

Lot Pt 5939, Kampung Bongsu, Lanchang, Pahang (kampungbongsufarmstay.com.my). 

Titi Eco Farm

Titi Eco Farm in Negeri Sembilan enthusiastically embraces the sustainable agricultural life. With organic farms (growing vegetables, fruit and poultry), a resort and even an in-house factory producing and supplying organic food to eateries around the country, the 35-acre Titi Eco Farm is your best bet for a thoroughly organic food experience (expect steamed fish freshly caught from the pond and more).

Skip the semi-D chalets and stay at the Wood Lodge which was built based on the concept of traditional Malay buildings with all-wood flooring and walls. Rooms come with basic but comfortable amenities like a standing fan, and a window that opens out to the farm.

Guided tours range from visiting the farms and include a stint of hands-on vegetable harvesting, to feeding rabbits and goats at the small petting zoo. For an adrenaline boost, there’s the flying fox and hanging bridge. If you want in on Titi Eco Farm’s talk on their ideology and tips on healthy living, remember to request when you make your booking.

titi eco farm

Lot 1706, 1708, 1203, 1349, 1916, Sungai Rotan, Jelebu, Negeri Sembilan (03 7874 8122/titieco.com.my). 

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Permaculture Perak

Located 500m above sea level and next to the Bintang Hijau Forest Reserve, this jungle farmstay is perfect for those looking for more beyond the plant pot on their desk. There are comfortable private double rooms, a common shared bathroom, and an outdoor Jacuzzi with a jungle backdrop. And instead of staring at a large-screen TV, check out their selection of activities, which includes no-oven bread making and a trek to Permaculture’s private waterfall.

For more of what Perak can offer, take the optional excursion where you can explore Lenggong Valley’s archaeological caves or best of all, hosts Ladia and Amy will take you to the magnificent waterfalls of Lata Kekabu (they know the best times to go).

permaculture perak

Kampung Bukit Jerlun, Lenggong, Perak (permacultureperak. com). Get in touch through email permaculture.perak@gmail.com.

Bao Sheng Durian Farm

Attractions Balik Pulau

Bao Sheng Durian Farm is one of the oldest and most established durian farms in Penang, and is very popular during the durian season with visitors snapping up the 2D1N package as quickly as you can say ‘D24’. Pick the deluxe villa with a twin-sharing room, queen-sized bed, LED TV as well as a fridge (to keep leftovers from the inevitable durian parties). Who needs wine when you can discuss a durian’s complex tasting notes with fellow enthusiasts?

Your first tasting begins right after check-in with an introduction to the different textures and flavours between the durian varieties. The second tasting is at sunset – this one will focus on the complex flavours only durians from 40-year-old trees provide – and the final one the next morning, where you’ll taste a ‘numbing’ durian flavour that disappears in one or two hours after the durian has dropped. If that’s too much durian, there’s also the yoga room, café library, nearby waterfall and the 33ft swimming pool right beside the villa.

bao sheng durian farm

150 Mukim 2, Sungai Pinang, Balik Pulau, Penang (012 411 0600/durian.com.my). 

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Karuna Hill

Hotels Balik Pulau

Once you’re done with George Town and Batu Feringghi, venture out to Penang’s quieter side of Balik Pulau for some serious R&R. One standout place is Karuna Hill, a retreat of four chalets in a former durian orchard owned by Carl – a former Wall Street Journal staffer – and his durian-loving wife Lilian. What’s more, they’ve preserved and nurtured 20 types of durians that are served to guests throughout their stay – making it one of the few holiday villas that encourage you to eat more durians.

The chalets – Villa Indriel, Villa Llhamo and Villa Astara – are well spaced across the grounds, offering vacationers plenty of privacy. The pick of the bunch is Villa Astara, which is located in the most secluded part of Karuna Hill and has an outdoor Jacuzzi pool – the perfect spot to soak in, have a drink and post the ultimate Instagram shot. Aside from feasting on durians, a short drive out will lead you to the Saanen Dairy Goat Farm, where you can play with the free-roaming kids and feed the goats in the barn.

karuna hill

849 Bukit Kechil, Balik Pulau, Penang (fb.com/karunahill). 

Looking for a close-to-nature retreat instead?

Best eco-retreats in Malaysia

Travel

For a tranquil getaway without having to travel far, these eco-retreats offer a unique and rustic holiday experience right in Malaysia. You can stay inside a concrete cylinder pipe in a jungle at Time Capsule Retreat, a shipment container set within a vast paddy field at Padi Box or even get up close with orangutans in East Malaysia at Sepilok Forest Edge Resort. 

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