Categories
Tourism Malaysia

A Home Away From Home in Malaysia’s Far North

Roots – that is why there is always that need for us Malaysians to return to our hometowns, which we affectionately call “kampung”. We want to show our children where and how we grew up, we want to instill in them a sense of belonging and at the same time give them their identity. And of course, it is essentially a reunion of loved ones.

So if you want to learn more about Malaysian culture and tradition, go to their roots. I suggest that you stay at a homestay in a traditional “kampung” and you will find out why Malaysians are known for their warmth and friendliness, as well as what makes them tick. I hope it will become one of your most beautiful memories in Malaysia. And in the process, you’ll gain a new family too.

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.

Besides that, you’ll get to spend a majority of the time with your host family doing activities that will help you immerse yourself in the local culture.

If one day you’ll find yourself heading towards the northern region of Malaysia, check out these homestays:

1. Kampung Ujung Bukit, Perlis

At Kampung Ujung Bukit, the homestay is built near the rice fields with the limestone hills as the backdrop, offering picturesque and peaceful surroundings. Some of the houses are built on wooden stilts, while others sit on rock formations.

Each house bears the name of a hill, like Bukit Bintang, Bukit Keteri, Bukit Jernih, Bukit Emas, Bukit Nyattuh, Bukit Lagi, Bukit Padang, Bukit Kecil and Bukit Chuping.

At Kampung Ujung Bukit, let yourself attune to the local customs and try to fit in as best you can. As you are going to eat what your host family eat, so challenge yourself to try some of the local delight such as bamboo shoots and clear pumpkin soup, ikan termenong and ulam pokok kedondong.

Take part in activities such as tarik upih pinang (pulling the betel nut fronds), cycling and making emping (crackers). Famed for the succulent Harumanis mango, you might find yourself busy plucking ripe mangoes from the trees at the mango plantations nearby.

Beyond the village area, let your host family take you to the various tourist attractions nearby such as the Perlis Equestrian Training Centre for an unforgettable adventure with horses, as well as Bukit Ayer Recreational forest for some eco-adventures.

Homestay Kampung Ujung Bukit
Jalan Kurong Batang,
01000 Kangar, Perlis
Contact person: En. Ed (012-448 6305) / Puan Faezah (017-5986504)
FB: https://www.facebook.com/UjungBukitPerlis/

2. Homestay Relau, Bandar Baru Kulim, Kedah

Strategically located right along the border between Penang and Perak, Homestay Relau is a small traditional Malay rural township in the Southern-most part of Kedah Darul Aman, and it is surrounded by lush green hills with unspoilt natural beauty giving the town an extra edge over other rural locations in Kedah. Most of the host family are farmers, many of whom still practice traditional agricultural and farming methods.

By staying here, you will get a glimpse of the life of a rubber-tapper and a paddy-field farmer. Why don’t you try your hands at rubber tapping or paddy planting /harvesting (seasonal)? These experiences will open your eyes to the daily realities of your host family’s world.

Most of the houses in Homestay Relau are fringed by tropical fruit trees and as the “adopted son or daughter”, you will have the privileged to eat just about any fruits you want and as much as you want. Just imagine all those delicious tropical fruits like durian, mango, rambutan, and mangosteen, you name it and they’ve got it.

One of the most favourite activities at Homestay Relau is the traditional batik painting, where you will get to learn some basic points on batik, and another one is learning how to dance the traditional dances. The basic steps are relatively easy to learn. With a little practice, you will soon find yourself swaying to the music!

Beyond the village area, let your host family take you to the various tourist attractions nearby such as the Sungai Sedim Recreational Forest and Junjong Waterfall, to name a few.

Homestay Relau
Persatuan Homestay Relau,
Lot 1064, Sri Impian, Relau, Kedah .
Contact person: En. Helmi (+6012 – 488 3620)
FB : https://www.facebook.com/Homestay-Relau-Kedah

3. Homestay Mengkuang Titi, Penang

Located about 25km from Butterworth and 32km from George Town, Homestay Mengkuang Titi is a comprehensive village that still retains its rustic traditional charm and culture. The traditional homes of the villagers here exude a cozy ambience for visitors as they are beautifully crafted with wooden structure and intricate architecture. At Mengkuang Titi, you’ll enjoy a wide spectrum of vibrant culture and exciting art activities. Indulge in the natural wonders of its agriculture, cottage industry and traditional games today.

There are always lots of things to do in a homestay and Homestay Mengkuang Titi is no exception. Try your hand at rubber tapping and watch how latex is processed into rubber sheets, or join the villagers in plucking coconuts from trees and savour its delightful water, or learn how to weave mengkuang mats.


Grab the opportunity to learn to make kuih bahulu, a traditional and scrumptious Malay cake. Kuih bahulu is also a popular snack during festive seasons.

Take part in traditional dances or musical performances such as Boria, a musical performance that is unique to Penang. Boria, the traditional parody theatre that was first originated from the ancient ta’ziyeh culture of Persia is known for their medley of traditional music and chorus singing.
Test your skill in traditional Malay games such as top spinning, or gasing, and sepak raga, played by the men and congkak by the women.

Visiting Mengkuang Dam is a must because it is the largest water storage in Penang with a capacity of 23,639 million litres of water. This dam also features a well-landscaped garden with rubber and pine trees as well as wildlife.

Beyond the village area, let your host family take you to the various tourist attractions nearby such as the Penang War Museum at Bukit Maung, which was built by the British military in 1930s to protect the island.

Homestay Mengkuang Titi
Mo. 679, Mk. 19, Mengkuang Titi, 14000 Bkt. Mertajam, Sbg. Perai
Contact person: Rohaizat Bin Hj. Othman (+6019 – 412 7095)
Email: [email protected]
FB: https://www.facebook.com/homestaymengkuangtiti15/

4. Homestay Kampung Beng, Lenggong, Perak

Homestay Kampung Beng is an achingly beautiful village on the edge of Lake Chenderoh. It is located about 23km from Lenggong town and 45 minute drive from Kuala Kangsar.

Homestay Kampung Beng is made of six smaller villages comprise of Kg Durian Lubuk, Kg Beng Dalam, Kg Dusun, Kg Sekolah, Kg Durau and Kg Batu Ring. The main mode of transport is by boat or sampan.

The villages are surrounded by scenic views of lush green forest, lakes, waterfalls and mountains. The breathtaking view is one of the reason Kg. Beng is often the preferred filming location to renown film makers both locally and internationally.  Among the films shot in Kg. Beng was Anna and The King and Penanggal, as well as the popular “Petronas Raya” advertisement directed  by the late Yasmin Ahmad.

Residents here in Homestay Kampung Beng still conserves their traditional kampung way of life. Their warm hospitality, laid back activities and rich cultural heritage will guarantee a truly nostalgic kampung life experience.

Most of the villagers are rubber tappers, so most likely you will get the opportunity to tap a rubber tree. You can also visit their deer farm located in the kampung itself and see for yourself how they manage the farm.

Kampung Beng isn’t called mini-amazon for nothing as its river is filled with many species of freshwater fish such as tengalan (carp), kelah (river carp), kerai (carp), sebarau (carp), baung (catfish), lampam jawa (Javanese carp) and patin (river catfish); thus its most popular activity is fishing at the nearby Tasik Raban and Sungai Perak.

Be brave and try out your host family’s traditional cuisines, which include ikan pekasam (fish preserved in salt brine), gulai tempoyak (gravy made from fermented durian), sambal ayam serai (chicken with lemongrass sauce), kerabu umbut (salad made from young palm tree shoots), and many others.

Other activities you can do at the homestay are trekking the nearby hilly jungle to get to a glorious waterfall known as the Lata Gelongsor, as well as visiting the King of Pattani’s shipwreck site. Tok Beng, the founder of the village was believed to be a Prince of Pattani.

Beyond the village area, let your host family take you to the various tourist attractions nearby such as the Kota Tampan Archaeological Museum (the museum displays a diversity of archaeological finds from the local area) and the limestone caves in Lenggong Valley.

Homestay Kampung Beng
33400 Lenggong, Perak
Contact person: Mr. Akmal (019 – 574 7160)
FB: https://www.facebook.com/pg/homestaykampungBENG

Article source: http://blog.tourism.gov.my/feed/

Categories
Travel to Melaka

Malacca Activities – Top 20 Things to do in Melaka

Christ Church among top 20 things to do in Melaka


This article was originally about top 10 things to do in Melaka but later it was upgraded to top 20 things to do in Melaka. The reason behind this is very simple as there are plenty of things to do in Malacca. It is one of UNESCO world heritage sites in Malaysia, so historical sites are on the menu. Food and local culture of Melaka is also unique.

Things to do in Melaka

Thus, keep this top 20 things to do in Melaka list for you in case you cannot remember them at spot. You will find it handy when in Melaka.

1. Get enthralled at A Famosa Resort

Let’s begin the journey from past to present. Whether you are a history lover or not, A Famosa Resort is nice place to visit. It won’t take too long to reach the resort. You will be there in one and a half hour if the journey began from Kuala Lumpur.


A Famosa Resort offers accommodation and theme parks including Safari Wonderland, Water Theme Park (also referred as A Famosa Water World), Old West (Cowboy Town). You can also have fun with different fun activities in the resort including Achery, Horse Riding, Paintball, Rock Climbing, Go Kart, Cycling, Paddle Boat, Pony Riding, Horse Carriage, Target Shooting Fishing.

You will find it a great place whether you are visiting alone or with the family. 20 things to do in Melaka list without A Famosa Resort will be incomplete.

2. Take a Trishaw Ride

Fast moving cars, bikes and planes are fun but the slow and colorful vehicle Trishaw offers you a unique travelling experience. Getting around Melaka in a Trishaw offers you a sort of experience where you move about scenery of the city like. The best thing about the Trishaw ride is that you would be able to take pictures as you move. The colorful carriage sort of vehicle reminds you of the horse carriages.

3. Explore Cheng Hoon Teng Chinese Temple

Old is Gold. You would love telling your family once you are back that you visited the oldest traditional Chinese temple in Malaysia that belongs to the seventeenth century. You can probably impress your Buddhist friends too that you know a little more than them about their culture! After all you have seen the once robed effigy of Guanyin with your own eyes in the temple.

Read more about Cheng Hoon Teng Chinese Temple

4. Look into The Stadhuys

The Red Square or the Stadhuys is a Dutch architecture that takes the visitors on a trip to 1600’s. You will find Oriental buildings and a Museum of Ethnography in the Stadhuys. You can find daily routine items and goods as well as the bridal cultural items in the Stadhuys. The glory of past of the Malaccan people is evident for the costumes in the Red Square, so visit to The Stadhuys is one among the best things to do in Melaka.

Read more about The Stadhuys

5. Get on the River Cruise Melaka

Melaka River connects the two parts of city as well as past to the present. The river flows besides streets and you will remember the sails besides Jonker Street from where you could see the Ferry Wheel too. The specially designed boats float on the river between streets like a shadow of Venice. So, don’t forget to try River Cruise Melaka in your 20 things to do in Melaka list.

Read more about River Cruise Melaka

6. Explore Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum

The Chinese-Malay rich families left behind them a culture that is center of attraction for the tourists. Baby Nyonya Heritage Museum located behind the Jonker Street is a worth visiting place. One can see rooms, ceilings, wall and doors of the old houses telling about the rich architecture of the ethnic group.

Read more about Baba Nyona Heritage Museum

7. Cheng Ho Cultural Museum

The Cheng Ho Cultural Museum is maintained by a very warm staff that guides you about history of the place. Cheng Ho was a legend and the museum offers his history and fabulous maritime exploits. You can also find literature on Chinese maritime here in the museum. Don’t forget to watch the 5 minute video on the history of Cheng Ho in the museum.

Read more about Cheng Ho Cultural Museum

8. Shop in Jonker Street

Fun begins at Jonker Street but is never ends. The street is not as crazy as the water world in the A Famosa Resort but the fun is no less when you shop and dine with your buddies. History and culture can be experienced at their epic in the Jonker Street Melaka. Weekdays are fun but Saturday Sundays are the must have experience in the Jonker Street.

This street is so famous that now it is being referred as Jonker Walk Melaka Experience. There is also a Jonker Walk gate when this street will start. Without a visit to Jonker Street your 20 things to do list will always be incomplete.

Read more about Jonker Street

9. Visit the Malacca Sultanate Palace

Paintings, art depiction and the furniture of Sultans of Melaka can be found in the Malacca Sultanate Palace. The city had been home to Malay, Buddhist, Christian and Dutch cultures. This building of Muslim era is located near the St. Paul Hill. The building is made of wood totally and it is amazing to find that there are no nails used in it. The gardens beside the palace also reminds you of how gardens used to be in the old time.

Read more about Malacca Sultanate Palace

10. Stopover Christ Church

The Malaccan Churches had been home to Christians from different lands. Visit the church for its architecture and the history. The Church has been redesigned. You would love the spacious halls and the touch of local Melaka culture. It is a spiritual and historical trip to be in the Christ Church Melaka.

Read more about Christ Church Melaka

11. Flora de la Mar Maritime Museum

It would be nice to go to the Maritime Museum in Melaka where you can see the Portuguese ship called Flora de la Mar, which was sunk in the Melaka shore long time ago. There are many historical ships and ship related parts but the colorful depictions of the sea routes and sea trade are worth seeing particularly. The museum is within the walking distance of Jonker Street The Stadhuys.

Read more about Maritime Museum

12. Try Nyonya Food

Less chopped and more tasty Nyonya food is a must try experience in Melaka. After all you cannot stay hungry all the day especially when there is a great fusion food available. The Nyonya food in Melaka offers you a mixed taste of eastern and western dishes. You should try some of the unforgettable dishes like Asam Pedas, Curry Fish head (with sauces and salads), Otak-Otak, prawns soups and much more. A meal is not complete without Cendol (Melaka desserts) in Melaka.

For food lover, trying Nyonya food should be on top in best things to do in Melaka list 🙂

13. Stop by Kampung Morten and have a Snapshot

The Kampong Morten is a great place to stop by for a selfie or a family group photo. The place is great resort and educational development that guides the visitors and tourists about cultural way and traditional life in Malacca. The place is a living encyclopedia of Melaka.

14. Catch up on Portuguese History at A Famosa Fort

A Famosa fort is the 16th century wonder remembrance of the Portuguese arrival in Malaysia. Not enough is left of the fort, but the front still stands. There are canons placed in front of the fort too. The fort is one of great places to test your camera skills since it offers view of a historical place with background of sharp blue shy and green trees.

Read more about A Famosa Fort

15. Melaka Wonderland Theme Park

You may forgive yourself for not having been to Melaka Wonderland Theme Park, but your kids will not. It is a great place to visit in all the seasons, but summers are cooler in this Theme Park. Thrill rides and speedy water slides are the best fun services of the place. The park is surrounded by a natural recreational forest spreading over 360 hectares.

Read more about Melaka Wonderland Theme Park

16. Have a Homestay Experience

There is more than one reason for having a homestay in Melaka. Although it is nice to be in a hotel, yet the homestay is a better experience since you get a more comfortable environment. Normally the homestay sates are a little higher. But you can avoid bug bites of some old furniture’s in hotels by staying in the local residences as a paying guest.

Read more about Melaka Homestay

17. Visit Amazing Malacca Butterfly Reptile Sanctuary

The fauna of Melaka is attractive for both the locals and the tourists. There is a Malacca Butterfly Reptile Sanctuary that can be found in Ayer Keroh, which is also one of the best Malacca tourist attractions. It is an 11ha jungle area that is home to species of reptiles, butterflies and insects. You can see amazing sizes and colors of butterflies in the sanctuary. Another thing you are going to surely appreciate is the well maintained area that does not let your interest decrease at the place.

Read more about Butterfly Reptile Sanctuary

18. Melaka Zoo – The Second Largest Zoo in Melaka

Wanna visit one of the largest Malaysian Zoo’s? Melaka Zoo is second largest of its kind in the country. The zoo is a safari place where the visitors are introduced to over 1200 animals, most of which roam freely in the park. You will love to find over 200 animal species in the zoo that could not be probably covered in biology book too. You can bet your friends after visiting the Melaka Zoo that deer barks too! (Barking deer is an endangered species kept in the zoo).

Read more about Melaka Zoo

19. Sri Pogyatha Vinoyagar Moorthi Temple

The rich Malaccan culture is not only home to the Muslim, Christian and Buddhist cultures but you will also find some great Hindu cultural buildings as well. Posters, paintings and carvings of elephant head creatures (Ganesh) tell you that the place belongs to the Hindu deity Vinoyagar. The place tells you about one of finest use of colors in Hindu traditions especially the Chitty community that arrived here 600 years ago.

Read more about Sri Pogyatha Temple

20. Climb the 110 meter Menara Melaka

Riding the Menara Melaka should be either first or the last thing to do in Melaka. Reason? It offers you a 360 degree view of the city that should either serve as an introduction to the city or a review of the places you visited.

This is a great place for you to see a 360 degree panoramic view of the city. Believe it, aerial views of the city are great especially when you can circle over the tower to have a comprehensive view.

This 110 meters high tower or Menara does not make you dizzy, so take a ride and have an amazing 360 degree view of Melaka.

Read more about Menara Melaka

There are some of the best and recommended must-do activities and things to do in Melaka. If you want to recommend an activity, please do so by adding comments below.

Things to do in other Malaysian destinations:

Article source: http://feeds.feedburner.com/melakatravel