Padi Box, Sekinchan - A Unique Container Hotel in Malaysia
For people who grew up near farms or rural areas, it might be ridiculous to think that anyone would drive for hours and actually pay to sleep in a rice field.
But considering that I had previously traveled across the world to sleep in a barn in Switzerland, perhaps it’s not so surprising that I would spend a night in a rice field in my own country.
Besides, it’s one of the only options I have now that we’re not even allowed to cross state borders. The rice field is located in a small town called Sekinchan, which is one of the best destinations for day trips from Kuala Lumpur.
Except that this time, my friends and I are spending a night there — in a freight container in the middle of a rice field.
Read about our previous staycation: Tadom Hill Resorts – A Bamboo-Themed Glamping Spot Near Kuala Lumpur
There are several accommodation options in Sekinchan that caught our eyes, , (so we’ll probably need to come back a few more times to try each one out), but for now, we chose Padi Box.
Located approximately 2 hours’ drive from Kuala Lumpur, Padi Box is a cosy homestay that has been creatively converted from freight containers. Probably the most eye-catching thing about Padi Box is just how colorful those containers are and how they contrasted with the green of the surrounding rice fields.
Whether you’re honeymooning with your significant other or having a group vacation with your best buddies, Padi Box can accommodate your needs, with rooms for up to 6 persons. Choose the ones with windows, and you’ll get to enjoy the spectacular views of lush greenery from the comfort of your bed(s).
In the lounge area on the top floor, there is a pool table, playing cards, sofas, and an old-school Mario console game, as well as power points for your charging needs.
Bicycle rental is available at RM10 for two hours or RM30 per day for a single bike, and RM15 for two hours or RM50 per day for a tandem. For non-guests, the rate is RM10/hour for a single bike and RM15/hour for a tandem.
On top of that, they also have a cafe inside a bus that sits atop a container!
Room Rates at Padi Box, Sekinchan
- Standard 2-Pax Room (Ground Floor) – from RM118/night
- 2-Pax Room with Private Balcony (Ground Floor) – from RM138/night
- Family Room for 6 Pax (Ground Floor) – from RM240/night
- Standard 2-Pax Room (Upper Floor) – from RM128/night
- Standard 4-Pax Room (Upper / Ground Floor) – from RM158/night
- Family Room for 6 Pax with Window (Ground Floor) – from RM240/night
Check-in time is at 3 p.m., while check-out is at 12 p.m. Late check out fees are RM30 per hour and/or an extra night’s charge being applied to your bill.
How to Get to Padi Box, Sekinchan
Going by car is the easiest way to get to Padi Box, Sekinchan. Take the LATAR Expressway and exit at Ijok – Kuala Selangor – Sekinchan.
Five minutes before reaching Sekinchan town, you will notice a Petron station on your left. On the opposite side of the road, there is a road sign for Jalan Tali Air 4. Turn right, and Padi Box is located just 500 metres away from the main road.
By Public Transport
Take the Sabak Bernam Express bus from Pudu Sentral, Kuala Lumpur (formerly known as Puduraya Bus Terminal) to Sekinchan Sentral Bus Terminal. The bus fare is RM9.30. Please check with bus company or booking apps for the latest fare and schedule.
The Sekinchan Bus Terminal is located approximately 5 minutes’ drive from Padi Box. You can either take a taxi or book a pickup service with Padi Box in advance.
Alternatively, you can also tell the Sabak Bernam bus driver to drop you off at the junction to Jalan Tali Air 4. From there, it’s only a short walk (about 500 metres) to the homestay.
Our Review of Padi Box, Sekinchan
Despite our late booking, we managed to secure the family room with a window. The check-in time was at 3 p.m., but we arrived an hour earlier hoping to get an early check-in. Unfortunately, the room wasn’t ready yet, so we had to wait till 2.30 p.m.
While waiting, we took a few pictures. There didn’t seem to be any other guests but us.
We thought that a room on the upper floor would offer a better vantage point for the best views of the rice fields, but all the family rooms were on the ground floor.
This turned out not to be a bad thing though, as we got pretty decent views from our window. And if we sat on the super king bed (which was on the upper deck above the sitting area), we could still see the rice fields from above.
Aside from the super king bed, the room also came with:
- 2 double-decker beds (super single size)
- a private shower room and toilet room
- a wall wash basin
- a 42″ LED TV in the sitting area
- shoe racks at the door steps
- towels and toiletries (shampoo & shower foam)
- a few rolls of toilet paper
- free bottles of water
- a hair dryer
- an iron
- an electric kettle, and
- mugs (but no spoons / stirrers).
There was also no free coffee or tea sachets. Although WiFi was available, the signal wasn’t strong, and I was unable to connect.
As the room is inside a freight container, do not expect to have ample space to run around in. The gap between the beds and the wall is just wide enough for one person to walk through.
But it’s quite amazing to see how they utilize the space. It had everything we needed (except tea/coffee sachets and stirrers) and was very tastefully decorated. You don’t have to wait till you’re out on the fields for your OOTD shots — there are a few instagrammable spots inside the room itself!
The beds were very cozy, with comfy pillows and thick comforters. The super king bed (two super-single beds combined) was large enough to fit 3 persons comfortably.
Below, at the TV area, there were throw pillows and a giant teddy bear on a green grass carpet to match the paddy fields outside. Remember to bring your own movies — the TV in our room didn’t have any channels.
The next morning, we each rented a bike to explore the area. There were about 10 single bikes available and one tandem bike. One of the staff members would check that the bike was in good working order before handing it over to you.
Dining Options at Padi Box, Sekinchan
The room rate does not include breakfast, but you could request for one at RM5 per set. This has to be booked the day before, latest by 9 p.m.
Padi Box also offers a BBQ package (to be booked in advance), which includes a barbecue pit, grill surface netting, fire starters, 3 kilograms of charcoal, free drinks and dipping sauce, and raw ingredients such as chicken wings, fillets, sausages, meatballs, seafood, corn on the cob, and other vegetables. Please refer to their website for more details.
As previously mentioned, they have a bus cafe (N16 Cafe) right outside the main gate, but it was unfortunately not open during our visit — we’re not sure if this was because it was a weekday or because of the pandemic.
If you have your own transport, you could go to the nearby Sekinchan town for more food options. Otherwise, you can rent a bike to check out local restaurants and the other hotels’ cafes.
If you’re a seafood lover, you’re in luck because Sekinchan is famous for that. Be sure to try the mentarang (duck-mouth clams), a local specialty.
Final Thoughts on Padi Box, Sekinchan
The Padi Box Homes & Cafe, Sekinchan is definitely one of the most unique places to stay in Malaysia. Quirky and stylish, it’s a sure hit with those who like boutique hotels and hipster places that provide beautiful backdrops for their Instagram shots.
Despite its charming exterior, it’s not a case of “all show and no substance” with Padi Box. We were quite impressed to note how clean and well-maintained all the facilities were, and that we had (almost) everything we needed.
Only about an hour and a half from Kuala Lumpur, you get to escape from the frenetic city pace and be greeted by the serenity of the picturesque paddy fields. At Padi Box, you will enjoy the charms of rural life but without sacrificing modern comforts.
Padi Box Homes & Cafe
Address: Lot 11126, Jalan Tali Air 4, 45400 Sekinchan, Selangor, Malaysia.
Website: Padi Box
Phone / WhatsApp: 019-320 5688