The infinite beauty of nature is seamlessly captured on the grounds of Raub in Pahang. Planted in midst of Malaysia’s palm oil estates, Eight Acres is unscathed from the urban pursuit of life as it embraces mother earth in all of its features. Jessy Wong reconnects with the residents of nature through her stay in this green resort.
Being a resident city girl, I am delighted to be greeted by a flock of geese casually strolling around with the sound of splashing waterfall as I arrive. Although the place is fenced with trees and flowers, the weather is still relatively Malaysian, hot but allows consistent wind to cool the area. That was also the time when I know that this retreat will be different from other typical staycations.
Eight Acres is a platform for interactivity with nature as I partake in the amazing trail around the resort to find stingless bee nests, fruit trees and lotus ponds all in one place. Zak, my resort guide unfolds the many fascinations at the green haven that boasts 900 trees with a variety of 200 species. Birds and animals roam free in the resort, added with common sightings of flying Egyptian geese or a hornbill.
Akin to a mini safari, Zak told the story of the geese and snake by the pond. The African geese were attacked by a slithering snake in the waters during its morning bathing session. It was a wild moment for them as the African geese retaliates to save their member.
Rooms For Contemplation
Accommodation in The Brickhouse comes with motifs to bond, educate and reflect for self-discovery in 6 diverse room designs. I checked in to Surreality, a minimalist space enhanced with Salvador Dali’s surreal painting on the ceiling for contemplation. There are Discovery, a library room with donated books or a kampong-style room designed for bonding. The Brickhouse can be booked entirely on its own with 6 different rooms. Aside from that, Eight Acres has lodgings and houses ideal for big group travellers or teambuilding activities.
Fresh From The Farm
The integral part of the stay is to promote a healthy lifestyle through the food they serve at the resort. They pride themselves for primarily sourcing their produce from their fish pond and vegetable garden. Using only natural fertilizers and fish feed, the greens and proteins on the dinner table are satisfyingly flavourful.
After a good home cooked Malaysian dinner, Alam, the resort assistant brought out a freshly plucked organic jackfruit. Albeit reluctant at first because I was stuffed, it is the best jackfruit I have ever tasted. Likewise, the Musang King durian is distinctly rich as their plants and fruits are free from the use of pesticides.
One With Nature
Aside from some private time at the waterfall, Eight Acres is brimmed with outdoor activities and games. Paddleboard, fish feeding and fishing are among milder activities as compared to ziplining across the pond. The ‘catch & release’ eco-concept allows a friendly fishing hour using bamboo rods with a small hook to release fish back into the pond without any harm.
Kids can go on a pony ride for free or learn to play the forgotten gameslike congkak, tops and chapteh. These pastime amusements are reintroduced in hopes of rekindling relationship among generations through traditional games.
To my surprise, the resort was nothing but a wasteland years ago. Long, tall weeds and dead trees masked the deserted area to a point where no living things could thrive in the scene. It was unbelievable to see how Eight Acres has turned out since its founder, Paul Kam intervened in renewing the grounds by bringing life back to the greenery.
The self-sustainable resort remains true to the earth as it is remarkably made of upcycled supplies and green energy to run the place. Upon entering The Brickhouse, the big red oriental door draws my eye to its distinct facet to find out that the door was transported from Sg Buloh to be upcycled. Even the zen outdoor hallway is casted straight out from a railway road and the walls in The Brickhouse is made of recycled chipboards.
Forget about burning gasoline, the hideaway runs itself by their natural hydropower to preserve the environment while offering comfort with eco-friendly air-conditioning that reduces carbon emissions. Join the resort to make a change in the environment on 5th June in their plastic project to upcycle bottles into pencil cases on World Environment Day.
Good To Know
• The resort is built on 8 acres of land that uses enzyme fertilizer so waste segregation is an important practice to recycle food waste into compost.
• Lamb Chop the lamb is protective of her pony peer, Athena, so be cautious of a headbutt from the lamb if you try to separate them.
• To reduce wastage, bring your own toiletries and towel to the resort. Hairdryer is not allowed as the voltage is not compatible with the hydro system.
• Based on a Chinese belief, the place thrives with natural elements of hills, water and stone in bringing good luck.
• Do not pick up fallen durians on the way to the resort as it is owned by neighbouring farms. To fix your craving, buy the fruit from Eight Acres instead.
Words & Photos by Jessy Wong