Kang Travellers Lodge and Hotel
"Home away from home" that's what I saw on the graffiti wall when I approached Kang Travellers Lodge (aka Daniel's Lodge). It didn't look like much while I was approaching it and you wouldn't even know that it was a guest house if you looked from afar. I thought it was somebody's house and wasn't sure that it was Kang Travellers Lodge. Earlier when I was asking for direction the neighbours didn't even know they were living next to it! Talk about not knowing who your neighbours were!
The guesthouse accommodation sits nestled in a bunch of greenery against a hill and surrounded by lush garden around the lodge. Without any prominent signboard, you can't tell if it was a hotel accommodation until you reach the doorstep. Then I saw their name displayed on above the doorway, plus of course a little graffiti with their name scrawled on it and a land rover parked outside with Kang Travels and Tours logo further confirming this was it.
Approaching the counter, I introduced myself. It was Karen, Daniel's wife who emailed me about their place; unfortunately she has gone to Malacca that day. I made a surprise visit as I wasn't sure I had the time to drop by, but fortune has it that I manage to adjust my timing. And so here I am, unannounced. After a phone call with Karen, Daniel himself showed me around the place instead.
While showing me around the place, Daniel explained that Kang Travellers Lodge was started around 1995. Initially they started Twin Pines with a partner in 1992, but later decided to run their own budget accommodation lodge. At the same time, they also decided to do some Cameron Highlands travel and tours services. In comparison with other travel agency, Kang's Travel and Tours is considered quite new.
They have several types of accommodation available; some rooms came with attached bathroom while some were just rooms without baths, where you have to use the communal bathroom to get yourself cleaned up. Rooms with baths attached goes anywhere from 45 to RM160 and without attached bathrooms goes for RM22 to Rm100 depending on the number of people staying in the room (single/double/triple sharing) and whether it is peak periods like public holidays. They also have some very budget dormitory style accommodation going for about RM8 to RM15.
Rooms are simple and clean, typical of budget accommodation. Hey sometimes that's all you need! A nice bed to sleep at night after some tiring excursion during the day and a nice hot bath to clean up after the trips.
This type of guest house is usually very popular with Europeans and backpackers. However Daniel informed me that recently there are more Singaporeans and Asians coming around his placed. In addition, some of these visitors came in the BMW! Strange, wouldn't you thing they would be staying in those star rated hotels like Cameron Highlands Resort or something? Apparently the parents wanted to show their children what is like to stay in budget accommodation and teach them a thing or two about roughing it out. After all, it is not good to spoil your child with all the good things in life. Hey, have a life of adventure! You never know you might like it!
Well I had the pleasure of attending Outward Bound School in my younger days. I had a great time roughing it out and camping with an all-star accommodation! All-star as in you know, sleeping out in the open with all the stars twinkling in the heavens! Those were the days.
Next stop was their popular Jungle Bar. Daniel said it was rather empty now, and that I should wait till later at night when it was filled with patrons before taking some pictures. Unfortunately I need to get back to KL that day so perhaps next time. Though it was empty at this time, Daniel said at night the Jungle Bar would come alive with guests having a good time mingling together. There will also be a bonfire, sort of like a camping place where guest can sit around and keep warm from the cold night's air.
The bonfire place is an open ground, but Daniel plan to shift it to within the Jungle Bar premises to avoid the Cameron Highlands' rain from snuffing out the fire. Hmm... I wonder how he is going to do it because wouldn't that be a bit of a fire hazard? I will leave it to him to figure out how to make a safe bonfire place within the Jungle Bar. Looking around the simple cement floor and South Pacific style decor, I can imagine the place coming alive when it will be filled with patrons. Next time then, when I have more time to have a feel of this place!
I still need to come around next time when I take up their offer for a jungle trek to see some Rafflesia flowers. This is one of the must see things in my life list of to dos. It is the biggest flower in the worlds and supposedly very foul smelling. However Daniel said it wasn't so. The Rafflesia variety in Cameron Highlands is rather light and you could stick your nose in and only catch a light whiff of the smell. Hmmm... will have to try it out next time round then.
Walking round the corner after their narrow corridor, there were many Mat Sallehs lounging around socializing around the couch area. I spied a man with fierce looking tattoos doing some work on his PC while Daniel escorted me to the lodge entrance. Daniel explained that many of his guests are regulars. The tattooed man approached us and smiled. So I asked, "Where are you from?"
"I'm a mixed Kadazan-Iban from Sarawak, and I came back to Kang Travellers Lodge to claim back my backpack that was left here." He said.
"You left your backpack here?" I replied, incredulous as to why they would so absent-mindedly leave their things behind, least of all such a big item too!
Daniel then explained that many of his guests were not only regulars, but they also leave their backpacks with their stuffs behind because they plan to return again year after year. Now I understand why there was a slogan on the graffiti wall stating "Home away from home" and the Sarawakian made a big friendly smile at me.
Maybe I should leave some of my things here too since I return very often to Cameron Highlands! No wonder it is place is highly recommended by the Lonely Planet book stating that this a popular, laid-back party hostel in scruffy area just off the main road, with a TV room, a late bar, pool table and garden and some saggy sofas out the front!
Speaking about gardens, though cannot compare with Smokehouse or Bala's Chalet, it is still decent enough. If you sit around the "saggy sofas" you still have a nice greenie view. And many of the plants within the Travellers Lodge were obtained from the jungles. So much that some guests request to have some for planting back home leaving some bare patch areas! Daniel is too kind.
Promised to look them up the next I was around Cameron Highlands, I bid them adieu as I made my way back to the car parked in Tanah Rata for my long trip back to Kuala Lumpur.
So if you are looking for a budget accommodation with personal warm touch to your stay in Cameron Highlands, this place is it! Check them out with the below contact:
Kang Travellers Lodge (Daniel's Lodge)
No. 9, Lorong Pedah
39000 Tanah Rata, Cameron Highlands
To find out more about them, check out the Kang Tours and Travel Holiday page.
Directions: Enter a lane next to the Jasmine Coffee House (opposite the Agro Bank) walk pass the Tanah Rata wet market. Brij Court is on your right. Walking further in and pass some wooden houses on your left you can see Kang Travellers Lodge. There is a big house/apartment belonging to some local tycoon that owns the Parkland Hotel chain just opposite of the humble little Kang Travellers Lodge accommodation.
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