Experience Malaysian Homestay By Rail (Ipoh, Homestay Kg. Beng and Kuala Kangsar)

The song ‘To Know Malaysia is to Love Malaysia’ sang by one of Malaysia Best Female Vocalist in the 80’s, Fransissca Peter just get stuck in our head. This is the song used to promote the very 1st Visit Malaysia Year way back in 1990. Listening to the rhythm and lyric of the song, we couldn’t denied any further that to get to know the place, you have to love it.  One of the best way to explore is to experience diversity of cultures, traditions and to get to know the locals.This is definitely what a local homestay programme could offered where it’s rare opportunity and chance to experience the charm and tranquillity of ‘kampung’ life.

A homestay programme is a unique experience that encompasses ‘kampung’ lifestyle. Visitors get to live with a local family  in a ‘kampung’ house and learn a close-knit relationship. Not to forget the scrumptious home cooked foods and discover the day-to-day ‘simple’ lifestyle of the villagers. Every homestay presents a different experience based on what they could offered, varied by locations and the settings too.

Recently, we were given a chance to experience a homestay in Kampung Beng, Lenggong Perak in conjunction of the launching of Railway Tourism Package. Railway Tourism? Haven’t heard anything about it before? It’s a homestay programme with a rail journey in order to give tourist an enrich experience throughout their journey to the participating homestay.  Hence, it does not only give tourists a chance to experience the ‘kampung’ life but it includes the exciting experience of riding the train to the designated locations.

The KTMB ETS Train which goes directly to Ipoh, Perak

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An experience in ETS Train cockpit with the captain.

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Official launching of Railway Tourism Packages at Ipoh Railway Station before we depart to the homestay location. It’s official launched by YB. Dato’ Seri Mohamed Nazri Abd Aziz, Minister of Tourism and Culture, Malaysia.

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One Malaysia, unity in diversity.

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Beautiful water fountain at in front of the Ipoh railway station.

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Homestay Kampung Beng is located in Lenggong, within Tasik Raban. At a glance, it doesn’t look any much different from other traditional ‘kampung’ but the magnificent panorama view save it all. It’s a popular film and advertisement shooting spot among producer and director. Did your remember the famous Petronas Raya advertisement ‘Janda Anak 7’ directed by the late Yasmin Ahmad when the 7 siblings came back with a whole cow? A Hollywood’s Production, Anna and The King starring Jodie Foster and Chow Yun Fatt?  Our local film, Sara starring Ida Nerina and Shamsul Ghau Ghau? The shooting of the films and advertisement mentioned were made within the location.

Furthermore, what make it unique is the whole village is surrounded by lake. Thus, the main mode of transport is by boat or ‘sampan’. It’s a common sight where you can see lines of boats parked right in front of the villagers house.

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Most home stay villages are also filled with orchards where you can pluck and sample a variety of seasonal or non-seasonal tropical fruits such as rambutan and others.
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With these, you can actually savour local dishes and learn how to make one with your foster family.
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Besides waking up to the crowing sounds of a rooster and birds, walking around the village and a jungle trekking to the nearby waterfall, this is definitely what we would like to suggest – Sit back and enjoy the breathtaking panoramic view of the lake spread right in front of your eyes!

Do enjoy a short video by Ramble and Wander on Homestay Kampung Beng, Lenggong ,Perak.

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We were then crossing under the Raja Nazrin Shah Bridge at Tasek Raban, travel all the way to the Royal Town, Kuala Kangsar to visit some of the local attraction there. If you have an opportunity to come here, don’t forget to visit The Archaeological Heritage of the Lenggong Valley (AHLV) a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Our first location is definitely the Victoria Bridge built-in the early of 1900’s or known as Enggor Bridge (as it is situated in sleepy town, Karai near Enggor). We were told that Victoria Bridge is a single railway bridge that cross Sungai Perak and one of the oldest railway bridges in Malaysia.

The Victoria Bridge remained in use until 2002, when a wider concrete girder bridge built parallel to the old bridge was completed to take over the role of handling rail traffic. The new bridge is significantly wider, with room to support a second track, but in its early life it was only required to handle a single track until double tracking and electrification was conducted between the IpohPadang Besar line. While the old bridge is closed to rail traffic, its adjoining footbridge is still publicly open to motorcycles and pedestrians.

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Live cannon shooting by local which something that you seldom see everyday.
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Last but not least, the beautiful Masjid Ubudiah of Kuala Kangsar located in Bukit Chandan Royal Mausoleum. We got fascinated looking at the exterior and interior especially the main features of the mosque which is the golden dome and minarets. It shared the same designer and architect of Ipoh and Kuala Lumpur Railway Station.

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Our new friends, a group of students from Indonesia enjoying the delicious and famous dessert, Cendol Kuala Kangsar.

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For more information about Railway Tourism Packages please visit Railway Tourism Association Malaysia (RTAM).

Our compliments goes to Railway Tourism Association Malaysia (RTAM), Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Malaysia, KTM Berhad, M-Mode Berhad and Coordinator of Homestay Kampung Beng, Lenggong, Perak for organizing and inviting us to the familiarisation trip of Railway Tourism in conjunction with VMY 2014.

Zara AB & FF
The Province of Chroma

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Homestay Kampung Peruas – Part 2

On our second day there, we woke up to the sounds of the rushing water of the river. We then headed to our initial plan by the organiser which is the ‘Rafflesia Walk View’. Again, we jumped into a back portion of a pick up truck.  As mentioned, the discovery of the Rafflesia flower (which is the biggest flower in the world) have made Kampung Peruas famous of activities related to the research and recreational. There are two species which are ‘Rafflesia Centleyii’ and ‘Rafflesia Azlanii’.

With the famous doodler, AzreenChan (Miss Insectopedia). Ain’t she sweet and cute DSCN9247-2

Let’s the journey begin!
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The overall view.
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A short jungle trekking are required to get to the place. So, do wear proper shoes and comfortable clothes!
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Finally, things that we’re waiting for!
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Unfortunately, it’s just not our luck this time around. We didn’t have the chance to see the blooming Rafflesia. InsyaAllah, perhaps next time! Not much regret since this is definitely our first time to see the real Rafflesia. Seeing the ‘Baby Rafflesia’ was an amazing opportunities not to be missed.

Rafflesia is a genus of parasitic flowering plants. It contains approximately 28 species (including four incompletely characterized species as recognized by Willem Meijer in 1997), all found in southeastern Asia, on the Malay PeninsulaBorneoSumatraThailand and the Philippines.

Source: Wikipedia

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Some wild mushrooms in the jungle.
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Next was the ‘Bunga Kantan’ or the Torch Ginger orchard. For real, that was our first time and we bet to the rest of the teams as well! ‘Bunga Kantan’ is in the ginger family and has a very aromatic smell. It is usually used in Assam Laksa, Kerabu and other type of cooking. It can grow several meter in height.

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In overall, this is one kind of place that you could spend with your family and even friends. But, the only negative things about this place is that there’s no 3G connection and WiFi. We tried hard checking out the connection and end up looking like a ‘3G Connection Freak’. Hope it will improved in the future.

For more info on Homestay in Kampung Peruas, Ulu Dong, Raub

Homestay Coordinator :
En. Amran bin Hj. Husin
Tel: 011-11024660
E-mail: amranhusin@gmail.com
Website: Homestay Kampung Peruas,  Kompac Chekas,

TourismPahang

Simply us,
Zara AB & FF
The Province of Chroma

Homestay Kampung Peruas – Part 1

Assalammualaikum and Hi there!

We finally reached Homestay Kg. Peruas after an hour journey from Kuala Medang, Kuala Lipis. Kampung Peruas is actually a traditional village situated in Sub-district of Ulu Dong, Raub, Pahang with a distance of approximately 36km from Bandar Raub and the nearest town is the town of Dong located 18km away. As for this programme, we are going to stay in Kompleks Pelancongan Homestay Pulau Chekas (KOMPAC) run by the JKKK.

We’ve mentioned in the earlier post that a homestay programme gives tourists the opportunity to stay with a chosen family, interact and experience the daily life of their homestay family and learn the culture and lifestyle of the rural community in Malaysia and it definitely cannot be classified as a lodging facility. So, you might wonder that what are we doing here in KOMPAC. As for information, the same coordinator / organization organized the homestay programme in Kampung Peruas and this chalet is a newly option that they offered to all visitors. You can even opt to stay with foster family as well. The choice is all yours!

Accommodation available at KOMPAC.DSCN9143-2

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Check out the room!
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Tea time! We got a chance to try new local dishes. Oh my, we definitely missed the ‘Ubi Rebus with Gula Kabung’ and ‘Pisang Wap’ at this point of time. Amazing!

‘Ubi Rebus with Gula Kabung’
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‘Pisang Wap’ made from pisang sematu. It’s not compulsary to use this type of banana, but as mentioned by local, it’s the best! They even demonstrated on how to cook this.

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Room CHECK! Tea time CHECK! So, it’s time for Kampung Tour. First stop – we visited the biggest chalet in Kampung Peruas which is Chemerkau Chekas Chalet owned by Haji Mustapha. You can even organised family day, team building and etc since they provide basic facilities such as multipurpose hall, dining hall, surau, activities such as flying fox and others. Eventually, the owner was out-of-town and we couldn’t ride the ‘Joy Barell Train’ invented by him using an oil drums. 😦 . Next time, maybe.

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The oil drums used as ‘Joy Barell Train’.
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The Chalet.
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Check out the interior of VIP room.
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We then drove all the way to Hutan Lipur Lata Jarum – the signature of the village! Cool and clear water it is! There is even a huge pool there and the water flow is quite impressive. From there, we walked down to Pulau Chekas Recreational Center.

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We then had BBQ for dinner followed by local performances by the village kids. What a day!

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Ohh, WE had karaoke session that night too. Does anyone remember who sang this?
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For more info on Homestay in Kampung Peruas, Ulu Dong, Raub
Homestay Coordinator :
En. Amran bin Hj. Husin
Tel: 011-11024660
E-mail: amranhusin@gmail.com
Website: Homestay Kampung Peruas,  Kompac Chekas,

We will continue our journey on Homestay Kampung Peruas – Part 2.

TourismPahang

Simply us,
Zara AB & FF
The Province of Chroma

Homestay Kuala Medang – Part 2

It was our 2nd day in Kuala Medang. Eventually, we only have half day to explore the rest of the place before we depart to Raub. We woke up early in the morning and had our breakfast with our foster family before we left for our outing.

Good Morning Kuala Medang! Rise and shine!
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1st destination of the day. A visit to the IKS centre (for small and medium industry) on food processing for ‘Mee Sanggul’ and ‘Sambal Hitam’. We are then welcomed by the whole team and they did a quick demonstration on the products. Oh ya, they even produced and processed Salak fruit as well which is  fruit juices and others too! Again, it all depends on the fruit season. 😀

‘Mee Sanggul’ in the making!
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Oven-dried.
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The end products. Voila! They even gave us a packet of ‘Mee Sanggul’ and a bottle of ‘Sambal Hitam’ as a complimentary gift! Nice! We’ve turned it to ‘Fried Mee Sanggul’ yesterday night and it taste good! You could even deep fry for a change and turning it into crackers too.

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The happy faces!
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We then stopped over at Kuala Medang campsite. Breathtaking view! It reminds us of Taman Negara Jerantut. Nature retreat! As mentioned by the homestay coordinator, the campsite comes with basic facilities such as toilets, multipurpose hall and etc.

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Deer Farm! All of us climb into a back portion of a pick up truck. To be exact, 7 of us. It was such a bumpy ride with a view of fruit orchard all the way.

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We hate this part the most but it’s time to say goodbye. It’s a wrap! Thank you Makcik Asiah. * Everytime I saw this, it reminds me of Azreenchan doodles. 😀
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For more info on Homestay in Kuala Medang
Address :
Homestay Kuala Medang,
Pejabat Penghulu Mukim Ulu Jelai,
Kuala Medang,26750 Kuala Krau,
Kuala Lipis

Website : go2homestay – Kuala Medang

TourismPahang

Simply us,
Zara AB & FF
The Province of Chroma