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)

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)
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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)

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)

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All Malaysia Info

“Yasmin How You Know?” Book Review: From a heart

A crony of a late Yasmin Ahmad is changed by memories of a filmmaker that have been gathered into a book.

Yasmin How You Know?
Publisher: Leo Burnett-Arc Malaysia,
192 pages

HAS it been 3 years given Yasmin Ahmad left us? It has, and we can’t trust it.

Yasmin How You Know?

Yasmin How You Know?

Her ever-inquisitive gawk stays clear in my mind, and her delivery of Christopher Cross’ song, Sailing, on that one stormy afternoon as we sat in her office, resonates in my ear any time we consider of her.

And when that happens, a pain of losing her always earnings and would never lessen but many bid – until we found condolence in this smashing book, Yasmin How You Know?

From it, we learnt that Yasmin sang and played a guitar well. As we kept reading a book, Cross’ strain resounded again, and we remembered one line in particular: “Well, it’s not distant down to paradise, during slightest it’s not for me.”

The initial design of Yasmin in a book had me shouting like a drain. It portrays splendidly her frolic and clarity of ridiculous: she has a simper on her face, her eyes shut, and a finger adult her nostril! Her hair is totally combed behind and a lines of her palm are prominent.

These lines, to me, are lines of wit and wisdom, many of that is fondly remembered by friends and splendidly gathered in this book by her colleagues in Leo Burnett-Arc Malaysia, where she worked for many years and where she done those oh-so-evocative TV ads for festivals and Merdeka Day.

As Yasmin would certainly have wanted it, this book is designed with simplicity, a beauty of that we usually came to conclude since of Yasmin. Speak some-more with reduction is what she taught me. And if we disagreed, as we would initially, she would fuss quietly, “Simplicity is a hardest thing to achieve, Abby.”

Indeed, her films showed she was right about reduction being more. Fittingly, all pronounced in this book is kindly recollected in abruptness that is nonetheless musical and enlightening.

“It is ideal to be imperfect, since soundness is done adult of many imperfections put together that creates it perfect.” What could be sounder? The difference are etched in a mind of Eugene Yong, Yasmin’s crony and colleague, and relate in cave as we continue to file my soundness with imperfections.

“What your right palm gives, even we left palm should not know”, was another element Yasmin always attempted to live by; it was usually after her genocide (of a cadence on Jul 25, 2009; she was 51) that stories began to emerge of her inexhaustible and unknown gifts of income to everybody from orphans to indie filmmakers. This element by distant strikes me a most, and now those lines on her hands also imply to me her many generosities, any kept from one another.

“For those who like that arrange of thing, that’s a arrange of thing they like” was Yasmin’s approach of observant that we do not need to heed to others whose preferences and beliefs differ from ours. Troubled newly by tellurian hideosity and mediocrity, we travel on now with palliate newly proficient by all a smashing anecdotes in a pages of this book.

Whether it is work, love, art, attitude, skills, or life, Yasmin approached all with a quirkiness that done all fun and training from her, intuitive. At a right impulse when her quirkiness poked during premonition and her frankness overwhelmed a heart, one would see a light during a finish of a hovel and take home a whole new opinion on life.

“A grin and kind word will get we further,” Sharifah Armani recalls, and Yasmin led by example.

“Don’t demeanour down on those next you. And don’t fear those above you,” fondly remembers Jo-Chan – we have privately witnessed many a time when Yasmin was kind to people next her.

“Do we wish a benevolence of food, or a benevolence of a one who puts benevolence in food?” Yasmin asked Ke-Cure, her crony who was improving from a viral fever. Like Ke-Cure, we wish both, and this book has both. It is food if food is homogeneous to books for book lovers, with a benevolence of a one who put benevolence into this book: Yasmin who lived life so generously, aesthetically, humanely, wisely, and many caringly.

Yasmin asked Ke-Cure to spin to God, for a provision is what God bestows.

“On no essence does God place a weight larger than it can bear.” Her spirituality was always inspiring. Hence, a book dedicated to a righteous Muslim must, understandably, embody verses from a Quran, one of a many pleasing being: “And a slaves of a Most Beneficent are those who travel on a earth in piety and sedateness, and when a ridiculous residence them (with bad words) they respond behind with amiable difference of gentleness.”

That was how Yasmin responded to a critics of her infrequently argumentative films; films that went on to win countless general awards.

This book is a collection of Yasmin’s pesan-pesan (messages). It also contains some of her poems and musings that are impossibly moving. They were created simply, in artistic poetry true from her heart, as she believed it is from a heart that we tell a many relocating stories.

“… let me ask we / Have we ever listened a harmony so rich, / or review a publishing so fine, / that it could prove craving improved than fish?” Yasmin wrote in one of her poems.

Well, we consider we have, Yasmin. Our craving once in a while for a small bit of your sold knowledge and wit to helps us cranky uneasy waters or overcome uneasy thoughts will be confident by this book.

Yasmin How You Know? is a “sincerity of unmanufactured pleasures” bestowed by many people fondly remembering a essence that over too soon. – By ABBY WONG

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Tourism Malaysia


January 31, 2012 during 12:00 pm

Parah‘ tells a story of 4 Form 5 students who are study in Kuala Lumpur. Melur, Hafiz, Mahesh and Kahoe are a best of friends notwithstanding entrance from opposite races. They positively adore unresolved out together and can mostly be found during Melur’s house, possibly study or only spending time together. These 4 youngsters are a summary of a ’1Malaysia’ judgment that everybody has been perplexing to maintain among a youths today.

One day, Melur detected that a page from a novel novel belonging to her mom had been ripped out. Curious to find out who did it, she approached her 3 friends though to no relief as all of them denied doing a deed. Piqued by Melur’s insistence on anticipating out a truth, a boys also turn extraordinary as to a essence of a ripped page from a novel entitled ‘Interlok‘. The 4 find themselves bombarded with many questions as they puncture further, questions that touches their personal identities. What energy does a word have in moulding reality? Is county nationalism probable in any multitude that is spooky with race?

The expel of ‘Parah’. This provocative play will be function during KLPAC from 1st compartment 6th Feb 2012

This play is desirous by Yasmin Ahmad’s final film, ‘Talentime‘, as good as Abdullah Hussein’s novel, ‘Interlok‘. A funny, provocative and relocating production, a play asks obligatory questions about love, home and belonging. ‘Parah‘ is presented by Instant Cafe Theatre Company and will be staged from 1st compartment 6th Feb 2012 during Pentas 2, Ground Floor, The Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre. Performances are scheduled as below:-

1st compartment 6th Feb 2012 during 8.30 pm AND 4th 5th Feb during 3.00 pm

Tickets are labelled during RM 38 (flat rate) for shows on Wednesdays AND RM 48 for shows on Thursdays to Sundays. The play is achieved in Bahasa Malaysia with English surtitles. For some-more information, greatfully call Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre @ Sentul Park during 03 4047 9000 or The Actors Studio @ Lot 10 during 03 2142 2009 / 2143 2009.

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