When I was younger, I did a lot of camping. It is one activity that I enjoyed doing. Very often my friends and I would carry our outdoor gears, food, etc. and head out into the woods for our macho adventures. We spent days roughing it out, enduring pain, discomfort, irritations, etc. We have seen danger, and with a courageous feeling plus some silliness we’ve overcome them.
Those were all many years ago. These days I prefer comfortable and cozy hotel rooms with all the creature comforts such as air-conditioning, proper beds with comfortable mattresses and pillows to pamper my spoilt body, etc. I prefer lush and bouncy carpets to wet, soggy, and uneven grounds. I no longer want to cook my own meals, collect firewood, dig drainage, and clean up our campsite when on holiday. So, where do pampered urban folks like me go to when we want to remember the old days?
We go glamping. Glamping is a term made of two words; “glamour” and “camping.” There are a few of these glamping sites in Malaysia and one of them is Dusun Bonda in Batang Kali, Selangor (Malaysia). Dusun Bonda is a beautiful retreat with heavy-duty tents spread out around its grounds. All tents come with air-conditioning (portable air conditioning units), comfortable mattresses and pillows, fans, lights, plenty of plug points (via gang adapters), a proper rack to hand clothes, etc.
One of the tents at Dusun Bonda.
These tents are protected somewhat from the elements. They sit under zinc roofs that shade them from the sun, rain, as well as falling branches. The tents are placed on platforms ensuring that the floor of the tents remain flat and not uneven. Most tents have their own dedicated toilet cum bathroom nearby (usually right beside the tent).
The terrain at Dusun Bonda is by no means flat. It actually sits on a slope. The owner of Dusun Bonda decided not to cramp up her land with tents and did the smart thing instead, that is to spread out the tents around the slope and beautify the grounds with plants and lovely landscaping. Cramping an area with more tents means could very well earn more money but she prefers class and elegance, instead of a cheap crappy money making machine.
The swimming pool is a popular spot for guests.
One of the main attractions here at Dusun Bonda is a clear and cool jungle stream. A section of the stream has been cleared of rocks. What remains are sand and water. This section is a nice place to relax at. One still has to manoeuvre through some rocks at the banks to get there though. These rocks are actually important as they provide cover for fish, shrimps, etc. that call the stream home. While the water may be clear, cool, and nice; it is also fast. Children (especially small children) must be supervised at all times when in the river.
The cool an clear jungle stream.
Dusun Bonda is a superb place to go to for a relaxing break from the daily grind of city living. Dusun Bonda is surrounded by nature. There are activities to help fill one’s time when holidaying there such as board games, carom, a small children’s play area, and swings that hang just above the stream. Other activities that one can do here are traditional games such as Konda Kondi*, Baling Selipar (slipper throwing)*, jump rope, etc.
A participant gets ready to flick a stick into the air in the traditional game called konda kondi.
Konda Kondi is a “stick game” made up of two teams; one that flicks a stick, and one that tries to catch the stick before it hits the ground. Two sticks are used; a long one and a short one. The use of the long stick is to flick the short stick from a hole (dug in the ground) as far as possible towards the direction of the “catching” team. The long stick is then placed over the hole. If the “catching” team manages to catch the stick before it lands on the ground, the player that flicked the said stick is out. But should the catching team fail to catch the stick, the “catching” team will then proceed to throw the short stick from where it landed, at the long stick with the aim of touching it (long stick). If successful, the player who flicked the stick is out. If the short stick fails to touch the long stick, the player (one who flicked the stick) is safe and gets to flick again.
Points are calculated based on the distance between the long stick and the place where the short stick initially landed. The distance is measured based on the length of the short stick (done by rolling the short stick from tip to tip and calculating how many rolls). The number of rolls are then recorded. These numbers are then added as bonus points.
Should the short stick land on the long stick and remains on it, the entire team (flicking team) is out.
Slippers flying after being hit by another slipper in the game calle Baling Selipar.
Baling Selipar (Slipper Throwing)
Baling Slipper is a tactical team game that is both exciting and requires some teamwork. There are two teams at play each time. The games starts with one team building a small “pyramid” with a few slippers and then standing some 15 feet away from said slipper “pyramid” while the other team stands about 15 feet away from the “pyramid” but at the opposite side.
The team that built the “pyramid” will now have to topple the pyramid by throwing a slipper at. Players from the team take turns at the attempt (to topple the “pyramid”). Once the a slipper hits the “pyramid” and topples it, the objective of the team changes. They will now have to rebuild the “pyramid” without getting hit by the slipper that was thrown at the pyramid.
The opposing team members will now go on the attack by attempting to hit any player of the opposing team with the slipper (the that was thrown at the “pyramid”). Any team member that gets hit by the slipper is out of the game. Should the team be able to rebuild the “pyramid” with at least one member still safe (not hit by the slipper), the team wins. But should all members be hit by the slipper and the team fails to rebuild the Pyramid, the team loses.
Another activity that can be done here is fishing at the stream. There are small stream fishes here that can be caught on small hooks and a pole. Braid can be used as bait. Since these are small fishes are too small to be eaten (they also have plenty of fine bones), my recommendation is to practise catch and release. These fishes will also not make good aquarium fish as the oxygen level in the stream is much higher compared to what they can receive in an aquarium.
So, should you be looking for a place to bring your family and friends to for a relaxing fun holiday; Dusun Bonda is a place to consider. Comfortable mattresses, air-conditioned tents, fresh air, cool clear stream, etc. makes for a good relaxing holiday.
Location And Contact Details
Address: Lot 2121 (2996) Jalan Ulu Tamu, Kampung Orang Asli Gurney, Ulu Tamu, 44300 Batang Kali, Selangor
Google Maps to Dusun Bonda.