Want to get to know the real Malaysia? Why not take a trip outside of Kuala Lumpur’s city limits. Within less than two hours, you will find yourself in some pretty amazing countryside or “kampung” located in the Central Region (Selangor and Negeri Sembilan). Here, you can play like a kid again, enjoy nature, breathe fresh air and really be present in the moment.
Malaysian kampungs are usually small settlements of wooden dwellings in the rural parts of Malaysia. Despite their humble beginnings, modern facilities for clean water, electricity and telecommunications are available.
You’ll immediately notice that kampung life is a far cry from urban routines. Village folk are more in touch with nature and live by the seasons and surrounding environment. They engage in activities such farming, cooking using naturally organic products without relying on highly processed ingredients, fishing, carpentry, traditional folk games, making handicrafts and more.
If you are wondering how you can experience the peace and serenity of a simple kampung life in Malaysia, read on.
Under the Malaysian Government’s Homestay Experience programme, tourists can easily get a dose of life in the village. The programme registers a few hundred villages that have expressed interest in hosting tourists in their private homes to provide them a glimpse of life in Malaysia’s beautiful countryside.
Step into these homes and you will be quickly adopted as their “foster child,” taking care of your needs during your entire stay with them. Essentially, you get to live with a local Malaysian family and really understand the heart of a Malaysian.
The villages in the central region are easily accessible from Kuala Lumpur. Most are within a two-hour drive of the city. Check out some top villages here:
1. Kampung Sungai Sireh, Selangor
This peaceful hamlet of about 1,000 acres is surrounded by nature. Your eyes will be soothed by the green wetlands forest reserve and the carpet of ripening paddy crops ready to be harvested in May and September. The nearby rivers, irrigation canals and sea further add to the charm of this small village.
Local activities are closely attached to the surrounding landscapes. As a guest under the Malaysia Homestay programme, your host family will likely take you out for a trek into the wetlands area. Be prepared to get wet, but you will love the opportunity to observe the unique flora and fauna in the area. Alternatively, explore the rivers in a kayak and let yourself be drifted slowly by the currents as you try to spot the wildlife here.
The village-folk are especially proud of the irrigation system used for the paddy crops – they’ll be more than happy to show you the Korean technology involved. What’s more, the smaller canals are the best places to have a quick splash after a hot day under the sun!
Homestay Sg. Sireh
Kampong PT 1,
45500 Tanjung Karang,
Kuala Selangor, Selangor
Contact person: En. Abu Bakar bin Moin, Tel: 019 346 7372
2. Kampung Banghuris, Selangor
ASEAN Tourism Award-winning Banghuris Homestay is a name representing three villages namely Kampung Bukit Bangkong, Kampung Hulu Chuchoh and Kampung Hulu Teris.
This charming little village located not far from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport has a strong foundation in agriculture. Don’t be surprised to see coffee, rubber, and oil palm plantations alongside fresh-water fish farms and fruit orchards. The small cottage industry also thrives here churning out home-made cookies, tapioca chips and other local snacks. Indeed, the landscape of this village can only be described as abundant!
And so is the culture and heritage here. Visit the village during Hari Raya Aidil Fitri and you will witness the cheer and festivities of the village-folk. Often times, the celebrations are an excuse to “merewang,” an activity where everyone would gather at a common place to prepare and cook food together for the festival. Everyone has a designated duty, i.e. as the cook, as part of an army that peels potatoes or slices shallots, or as the clean-up crew.
It is during these festivities that one can truly experience the community spirit of the village folk as they embody all the modern corporate attributes of teamwork, leadership, time management, delegation and more!
Lot 1829, Jln. Tailong,
Kg. Ulu Chuchuh,
43950, Sg. Pelek,
Contact person: Mr. Basir bin Wagiman, Tel: 013 300 3942
3. Kampung Pachitan, Negeri Sembilan
This village of about 1,000 population in Negeri Sembilan is said to have been pioneered by the Javanese from East Java, Indonesia, who came to settle here in the 1920s as paddy farmers. Later, palm and rubber plantations were opened when water sources for paddy ran dry. These plantations now become a tourist attraction as visitors learn more about crop-growing through hands-on experience.
The scenery in the area is dominated by large tracts of these crop plantations but the nearby beach holds many attractions as well. It’s a favourite spot to go fishing on the jetty or just sit by the beach to collect shellfish for a later meal. One can also opt to canoe along the mangrove area and do a spot of birdwatching.
What’s unique here is the Javanese culture and traditions that still remain strong and is manifested in the language spoken, the food, music and games. For example, visitors to Kampung Pachitan will certainly get a taste of Nasi Ambeng (a meal consisting of steamed white rice served with chicken in soy sauce and beef stewed for hours in thick gravy and other condiments), pecal (a local salad served with peanut sauce), and tempe goreng (fried fermented soy beans) and such.
It recently received an ASEAN Tourism Award in the Homestay category.
Homestay Kampung Pachitan
No.37, Taman Nuri Fasa 1,
Jalan Besar Chuah,
71960 Chuah, Port Dickson,
Contact person: Mr. Ahmad Nadzri, Tel : 019 385 9793
4. Homestay Lonek, Negeri Sembilan
This village is simply picture perfect with timber dwellings sitting on wide and well-trimmed lawns and the scenery of paddy fields stretching out as far as the eye can see.
The folks who live here take great pride in their culture and heritage. They speak with a strong Negeri Sembilan accent, and will introduce you to typical Negeri Sembilan cuisine, the famous one being daging salai masak lemak cili api, which is smoked beef cooked in a gravy of coconut milk, turmeric and chilies. Traditional folk games are very much alive here and visitors will learn the Malaysian version of hoop rolling using bicycle wheel rims, bowling with coconuts and tobogganing on palm fronds.
If you don’t mind getting mud on your feet (and hands, face and hair), you can try out the local pastime of “mengocak ikan” or grasping for fish in the paddy fields.
Homestay Kampung Lonek
No. 10, Kampung Lonek,
72200 Batu Kikir,
Contact person: Ms. Hajah Nor Asiah bt Haron, Tel : 06-498 1078 / 012 691 5482
5. Homestay Rawa, Negeri Sembilan
Fresh from winning the ASEAN Tourism Award 2019 in the Homestay category, Homestay Rawa has something unique to offer to visitors…horses! Horseriding is a great way to appreciate the beauty of this village. Saddle up and ride through bountiful fruit orchards, acres of rubber plantations and hillsides where you can appreciate a breathtaking view.
During fruiting season, there are plentiful fruits to keep you sated. From mangosteens and durians to rambutans and langsat. These tropical fruits grow abundantly in this village and are a joy to the palate.
For those who love cooking, the ladies of the village would be all too happy to share their secret recipes for their typical sweetcakes such as godok golumang which are fist-sized banana fritters coated in caramelized brown sugar and kuih bahulu (a light and fluffy sponge cake with a crispy outer layer, similar to the French madeleines) traditionally cooked over charcoal fire in brass moulds.
Lot 23, Lorong KRU 10,
Kampung Rawa Hilir
Contact person: Ms. Saadiah Othman, Tel: 019 354 4472
Note: We are excited that on 18 January 2019, the following 5 Malaysian Homestay Villages had won the coveted ASEAN Tourism Award for ASEAN’s Best Sustainable Tourism Products Recognition for both rural and urban areas. The Malaysian winners in the Homestay category are as follows:
3rd ASEAN Homestay Standard (2019-2021)
1.Pachitan Homestay, Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan
3.Misompuru Homestay, Kudat Sabah
4.Banghuris Homestay, Sepang Selangor
5.Rawa Homestay, Lenggeng, Negeri Sembilan