A Tree House at Permai Rainforest Resort, Sarawak

My intrepid traveller friend Kelly, and her family visited Sarawak, Borneo recently. She came back with so many exciting tales of their adventures that I asked her to share her experiences for the blog (thank you so much Kelly). Kelly and her family have had many wonderful hoidays in the region, and Sarawak was definitely high up on the list of inexpensive, culturally interesting, safe and child friendly holidays.

My family and I travelled to Borneo last year, and had an amazing time, but I am eager to visit the Pemai Rainforent Resort now. The tree houses look so unique, and the whole area sounds beautiful. It is convenietly located so that a trip to Bako National Park and the Sarawak Cultural Village can be done as day trips.

Here is Kelly's Sarawak experience:

We started our holiday with part of a day and an overnight in Kuching. In retrospect, our time would have been better spent if we'd gone straight to the Damai Peninsula. Though we packed in a lot of activities in the short amount of time we had, there is still plenty more to do.

The Permai Rainforest Resort is an Outward Bound-type experience with ropes courses, a flying fox and kayaking, along with a list of 20 other outdoor activities. Our children at ages 5 and 7 are too young to be able to participate in that portion of the resort, but we found plenty to do all the same.

I must say, the greatest initial appeal for us was the lodging that was in a treehouse. What child (or adult who is living vicariously through their children) would not love to stay in a treehouse? It is actually a house on stilts but it is surrounded by trees and you certainly feel like you are part of the rainforest, minus the bugs and critters. The treehouse is simple but clean, with hot water and air conditioning.

There are two beaches on the resort, along with a chilly jungle pool that is filled with rainwater from the mountain. The grounds are spread out along the shore and at a leisurely pace would take 15 minutes from end to end. We took a few short hikes which were child friendly but were still interesting enough for the adults.

We took a few tours that were offered by the resort. The first was a boat trip to the nearby mangrove. Here, from the safety of our motorboat, we saw proboscis monkeys, crocodiles and fireflies. This tour starts in the late afternoon and continues at night to get the opportunity to see the crocodiles coming out for a feed. As it became darker, we moved slowly along the shore, with a large flashlight panning the shore looking for the red eyes of the crocodile. After about 10 minutes of this, we did see one and the driver of the boat immediately went close to shore so we could get a better look. It was scary and fascinating at the same time.

We then went in search of fireflies. The trees looked as though they had been decorated for Christmas. It was magical. The magic was cut short for me as we heard some rustling behind the trees and we were calmly informed that it was crocodiles, not 5 meters away.

Another optional trip was to Bako National Park. The boat trip from Permai was 45 minutes. While the journey was very enjoyable on its own, being in Bako was just amazing. We were dropped off at reception and given the option of a reasonably priced tour guide or to go it on our own. We went for the latter option. We stuck to the path alongside which you could see caves, climb tree root ladders and hear the sounds of the monkeys chattering at us. We ended our hike at a beautiful, secluded beach where the boat met us with a cooler full of sandwiches, drinks and fruit.

A 10 minute walk up the road from Permai Rainforest Resort is the Sarawak Cultural Village. We were skeptical of this because it had the potential of being quite tacky. We were pleasantly surprised. The longhouses and staff seemed authentic and each location along the way had some form of entertainment and local snacks being made from scratch. We timed it perfectly so that we could watch the show of tribal dancing and even fit in lunch at the restaurant on the grounds.

The staff at Permai were very friendly and helpful without being overbearing. We all highly recommend the resort.

For more information, try these links:

Permai Rainforest Resort
Sarawak Tourism Board
Damai Beach Resort Website
Bako National Park


Anonymous said... @ April 30, 2009 at 11:24 AM

Hi Milly,

This Rainforest Resort sounds like a LOT of fun. I'm sure I would love it as any kid and any adult who has kept his childhood's spirit which we never loses... :-)

I'm sure I'll go there one day. I just need to get some things in order. (You know, the usual stuff!)

By the way, I found you on BlogCatalog!

Milly said... @ May 1, 2009 at 4:10 AM

@ millielavoisier
Thanks for the comment. I hope we can all keep the child in us alive. Enjoy life cos it doesn't last forever.

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