Help out at a retreat centre/homestay near Mount Kinabalu, Malaysia




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 Min stay requested: at least a week

  • Description


    We are a retreat centre/homestay located between Kinabalu Park in Kundasang (1KM from our entrance) and Bundu Tuhan (500m after Bundu Tuhan junction). There are dorm rooms, family rooms and chalets in our property, as well as a vegetable farm and fish ponds. Volunteers will be lodged in our dorm rooms. You will work for 4-5 hours/day and must finish by 6pm.

    Please read our description and view our calendar before contacting us.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Animal Care
    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    Help around the house
    General Maintenance

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Depending on the time of the year, we bring along helpers to events such as wedding receptions, family gatherings, etc. They will learn about the local culture, traditional food/beverage and traditional games. We will share a little bit of Malaysian history and they will understand the formation of Malaysia to correct the perception that West Malaysia is "mainland Malaysia".

    If you don't mind crashing wedding receptions or family events (this is normal here, btw) you might want to consider volunteering in the months of May/ June/November/December. These are popular months for tying the knot because of long school breaks.

  • Help


    Help required to be done at our property:
    - Clearing bush areas
    - Housekeeping
    - Gardening (if you are good at landscaping, that would be awesome)
    - General cleaning
    - General maintenance

    - Minimum 1 week
    - Minimum 4 hours' work/day

    Suitable helpers:
    - Those who like cleanliness and tidiness, and seize the opportunity to clean up without being told
    - Resourceful volunteers, able to see an opportunity to help and ever-ready to help
    - Those who are accustomed to high altitude and cold weather. The average temperature is 16°C-18°C at night. It is very humid here and it can get chilly at night
    - Those who love pets (we have dogs in our property)

    In return for your work, you will:
    - Get to visit nearby places of attraction with us on non-busy days, or you are free to schedule your off days and go on your own. We understand some Workawayers prefer traveling on their own
    - Eat with us every meal or you may cook on your own. Ben & I are not vegetarians, but we can accommodate. It will be challenging for vegans because fruits and vegan products are not easily available, and we urge vegans to consider thoroughly before contacting to work with us

    [Special note: We are gastronomically adventurous and would love for you to cook a special dish from your country of origin so we can share it over meals :) We think food is a great way to get to know each other's culture better. Plus, it's a good topic to discuss over meals. We may even exchange recipes while you're here but please don't feel intimidated by this request]

    Some important info:
    - We've noticed that some volunteers invite their friends/family over under the pretext of volunteering together. However, they end up doing very minimal work but taking advantage of the free meal & accommodation. Such requests will not be entertained. They will need to check in as paying guests
    - Some volunteers stay in their rooms and wait to be called to work or even eat. This behaviour is unacceptable, and we may ask you to shorten your stay
    - If you are planning to climb Mount Kinabalu during your stay, please inform us in advance so we can arrange your work days & off days accordingly

    Ready to contact us? In your email, you must inform us:

    (a) If you have any dietary requirements (e.g. vegetarian, no dairy)
    (b) If you have any food allergies
    (c) The estimated date of arrival
    (d) The duration of your stay

    Please note that if you have been accepted to volunteer with us, you must confirm the dates with us at least one week before you arrive.

    Come as helpers, leave as friends :)

  • Languages spoken

    English: Fluent
    Malay: Fluent
    Chinese (Mandarin): Fluent

  • Accommodation


    Dorms, family rooms, chalet depending on our booking schedule. We may move you from one accommodation type to another when the need arises, with little or no inconvenience to you.

    Single helpers will have to share a room together (same gender only) in order to maximise our room occupancy.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Rest days may vary.

    If you wish to climb Mount Kinabalu during your stay, you will need to contact Kinabalu Park prior to your travel. New rules have been implemented since the mountain re-opened after the earthquake on 5 June 2015.

    Getting here:
    - From Kota Kinabalu, take the bus to Sandakan/Tawau/Ranau/Kundasang. Ask them to drop you off at the entrance which is opposite a row of vegetable stalls (very important info!). We have a very small signage and it is easily overlooked in foggy weather. You will need to walk approximately 300m from the main road to reach us. Otherwise, ask them to stop at Kinabalu Park and we will pick you up from there. Bus fare is RM25-RM30/pax

    - Taxis will bring you directly to our place. Taxi fare is RM180-RM200/taxi

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

    • Can host families

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?


  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days per week

Host ref number: 986164755142