Tube Time: Malaysia’s Time Capsule Retreat offers guests tiny but cozy nights in a tube

Photo: Time Capsule Retreat
Photo: Time Capsule Retreat

For travelers that love outdoorsy stays and unusual accommodations, from inflatable bubbles to nests in the sky, this guesthouse in rural Malaysia might just call out to you.

Photo: Time Capsule Retreat
Photo: Time Capsule Retreat

The Time Capsule Retreat, near the town of Sungai Lembing in Pahang, lets people sleep in a section of oversized concrete piping with windows fitted onto each end.

More cozy than spacious, this little family-run retreat is set inside a rainforest and near a few cool outdoor attractions like suspension bridges, hiking trails, and a waterfall known for the rainbows that appear over it.

Photo: Time Capsule Retreat
Photo: Time Capsule Retreat

Inside each of the two tubes are queen-sized beds that are said to be remarkably comfy, electric lights, air conditioning, wifi, wall sockets, and…not much else. There couldn’t be, there’s no more room in the pipe. Even the bathrooms are a few steps away.

As is evident from the photos, these tubes can only sleep two each and are just seven feet wide by 10 feet long. Those that have shown up with large suitcases reported having nowhere to store stuff.

Travelers that have stayed at the retreat advise to bring as little as possible. Two thing they do urge visitors to bring are insect repellent, since the capsule is in the jungle, and a jacket since the evenings are cold.

The novelty accommodation lets you sleep in nature and wake up to the sounds of birds and frogs. If you keep the capsule’s oversized curtains open, you can see a mellow sunrise through dappled palms in the morning.

Photo: Time Capsule Retreat
Photo: Time Capsule Retreat

Thanks to the chilly overnights and comfortable feeling provided by the unusual little rooms, some report wanting to do nothing more with their days at Time Capsule Retreat than snuggle into bed with a book, a journal, or just their thoughts and a mug of tea of coffee.

Photo: Time Capsule Retreat
Photo: Time Capsule Retreat

Reviewers often use the words “unforgettable,” “artistic,” and “must try” to describe the place.

The hotel is not nearby many restaurants — this is some pretty serious roughing it — but they have a gas stove, fridge, pots, and pans. Guests can bring their own food and cook or the husband-and-wife owners, who one client said “feel like old friends,” can prepare a barbecue dinner. Garnering especially high ratings is their Ah Ding Charcoal Roast Pork, which a diner said “tastes like camping.”

In the morning, the owners prepare a complimentary simple breakfast of eggs, bread, coffee, and tea.

If visitors want to venture into the nearby town for food via car or motorbike, Nurul Sadaah reported in her review that a small chicken can be had alongside local curries for under MYR6 (US$1.5).

Time Capsule also has some more standard style rooms in their main house, but where’s the fun in that?

Photo: Time Capsule Retreat
Photo: Time Capsule Retreat


Time Capsule Retreat
26200 Sungai Lembing, Pahang
Capsules from MYR139 (US$33) per night

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