Every year in January, my (now ex, since I left the company) editorial team organises a team-building session over the weekend to chill from work, have some fun and bring us all closer together. The previous year, we went white water rafting in Gopeng, Perak and stayed at a nice, comfy resort in the middle of the jungle. Quite the experience!
That was hard to top since the company was cutting budget and we had to fork out our own money this time around.. Still, we made do with what we had and 40 of us ended up at the Putrajaya Wetlands – armed with clothes, essentials and lots of mosquito repellent – for our first Glamping outing.
So how is glamping different from conventional camping? A combination of the word ‘glamour’ and ‘camping’, glamping aims to provide a ‘luxury’ camping experience where everything is catered for.
Our Glamping experience was at Taman Wetlands, Putrajaya. It’s a really large man-made wetland ecosystem that acts as a filter for the Putrajaya Lake and a buffer in case of floods – more a park than a jungle. There are various small wildlife around the park, including birds, insects, monkeys and a lot of mozzies. Upon arrival at the campsite, we saw that the 20 or so camps we’d be sleeping in for the night had been set up in a sloping field. The grass was slightly wet because it had rained the night before.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that our tent was spacious – I could stand up inside, and we were provided with a tiny lamp/fan device that can be attached to the roof. There were two air mattresses, albeit super narrow, for us to sleep on, as well as sleeping bags. The mattresses were ofc not as comfy as the beds at home, but they are as good as you can get in the outdoors (?). The sleeping bags were soft and insulated; probably more suited for cold weather. Then there was a small box thingy with complimentary soap bars, a gas lamp and tissues. Not too shabby.
Outside the tent there were two canvas folding chairs which were super comfy. I could even sleep in the ones that had a higher back; the short ones didn’t have a place where I could lean my head back. Wanted to steal one home…
Tent had two side flaps for air and mosquito netting that could be separated.
All items and gear were provided by Coleman Malaysia, which sells outdoor equipment and also runs Glamping activities around Malaysia.
The campsite was actually nicely decorated with a lot of gas lamps and bulbs around the trees, as well as a large bonfire. Hipster music blared from the loudspeakers. There was a proper canteen/kitchen and hall area just up the hill, and a building for showers and toilets. The downside was that they were really far from the tent so we had to trek up and down the hill every time we wanted to go. Tables and chairs were scattered across the lawn.
True to the whole glamour camping spirit, food was provided. We didn’t have to do any cooking at all because they had waiters assisting at the buffet line.
Some of the group went night trekking around the park while the rest of us enjoyed a ‘moonlight cinema’ at the hall where they played us movies in the dark. The guys mostly stayed up til the wee hours of the morning drinking beer. I only fell asleep at 4am because it was stuffy in the tent and the mattress was weird. At 6am they started blaring Coldplay music to wake us up, so I barely got any sleep and had a throbbing headache the entire day.
The next morning we had to play some games to build ‘team spirit’, like memorising messages while doing tasks that distract you like Sudoku and Jigsaw puzzles. It was hilarious because the messages were quite long and funny. I think my team did pretty well though we didn’t win anything.
After lunch, we went for a tram tour of the Wetlands. The weather was surprisingly good – it had been raining for the past few days. The view can be quite charming for a marsh; the water was a murky milk chocolate brown but turned clearer as it headed to the Putrajaya lake.
Our guide explaining about the ecology of the Wetlands, one of the largest man-made wetlands in the world.
Another stop where we got to see some ‘wild’life…. nah. They were mostly ducks, geese and an occasional swan. The guide said they used to have Mandarin ducks as well but they got stolen and eaten wtf who eats Mandarin ducks?
This guy was doing some underwater stunts by diving into the water, presumably for fish or just to cool itself in the hot weather. Maybe he was trying to impress the ladies, because the gaggle of geese on shore started honking(?) really loudly.
There was a small ‘museum’ of sorts in the centre of the Wetlands. Not much to see, but we were just glad for the air conditioning! The place guides visitors through the functions of a Wetlands and some of the flora/fauna you can find here.
We were also shown a documentary on a 240 degree screen. At first we thought the round wooden platform would rotate, but… nah.
Flamingo pond. The birds were imported from America but were not very healthy as can be seen from their white feathers.
Second part of the glamping trip coming soon. 🙂