Living in the city can be tiresome. That’s why heading out to the countryside every now and then can help us recharge. You may not have realised it, but being in the presence of nature can help us feel better in mind, body, and soul. If going on an off-road adventure is not your thing, why not try forest therapy at one of these luxury rainforest resorts in Malaysia?
Forest therapy or ‘forest bathing’ is not a new concept. It was first introduced in Henry David Thoreau’s 1854 essay Walden: Or, Life in the Woods. In fact, the Japanese government even made it a national public health program back in 1982. Shinrin-yoku: “taking in the forest atmosphere” or forest-bathing, is the act of simply being in the forest or a natural area and basking in its surroundings. Studies have shown that being exposed to nature reduces negative emotions such as anger, anxiety, and sadness.
So if you’re feeling particularly weary, take some time to go back to nature but do it luxuriously for maximum relaxation. Read on to see our pick of the best luxury rainforest resorts in Malaysia.
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This luxury resort is not far from KL and is in fact, just a mere two-hour drive. We love how this resort is not only surrounded by nature but nestled within tall, limestone hills. Imagine soaking in the hot springs (yes, there are natural hot springs!) while looking out to the hills. It is truly breathtaking.
The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat, 1, Persiaran Lagun Sunway 3, Sunway City Ipoh, Ipoh, +605-210 7777.
The Datai Langkawi is currently closed for an extensive renovation, but mark your dates because it is slated to reopen in July this year. What’s great about this resort is that you get the best of both worlds: the beach and the million-year-old rainforest. The resort also welcomes the flora and fauna — there are daily nature walks around the resort that points out the resident wildlife, including a species of gecko that is indigenous to Langkawi.
The Datai Langkawi, Jalan Teluk Datai, 7000 Langkawi, Kedah, +604-9500 500.
Similar to The Datai Langkawi, Gaya Island Resort incorporates the best of both the sea and the rainforest. Situated in Sabah, you’ll get a perfect view of Mount Kinabalu from this resort. It’s also located on an island within the protected Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park and against the hilly side of a rainforest. Take a dip and explore the untouched coral reefs, or just bask in the beauty of the rainforest.
Gaya Island Resort, Malohom Bay, Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, +603-2783 1000.
Located within the Mulu National Park, this resort is within a five-minute walk from Gunung Mulu National Park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Sarawak, Borneo. When you’re not out exploring nature, indulge in the luxuries of the resort including its spa and suite amenities. Either way, you are still going to be surrounded by the lush rainforest.
Mulu Marriott Resort & Spa, Sungai Melinau, Box 1145, Mulu, Sarawak, +6085-792 388.
Want a nice and secluded beach-side resort but don’t want to fly to Langkawi? Take a drive, and then a ferry to Pangkor Laut Resort then. It is located on a private island yet nestled against a lush rainforest. The mostly-wooden resort seamlessly blends into its forest surroundings, giving you a Robinson Crusoe experience albeit with a luxe touch.
Pangkor Laut Resort, Pangkor Laut Island, Pangkor Laut, 32200 Lumut, Perak, +605-699 1100.