Assalammualaikum and Hi there!
What? Homestay Programme in Kuala Lipis and Raub, Pahang? It all started when we received a mail from the famous doodler (with a microscopic eyes), AzreenChan and PKBF whether we’re interested to join the homestay programme with other bloggers organized by Pahang Tourism. Without a second thought, we agreed to it! And we did not receive any itinerary at that point of time. So, we basically have no idea on what we’re going to overcome and endure during the programme.
With 6 AWESOME and AMAZING strangers (Azreenchan, LilyRiani, FieyAhmads, RAW and 2 other Pahang Tourism personnel – En Moni and En Shahrom) in a van, we left KL and headed to the destination. This is where the journey to the east started.
After 40 minutes of the journey via Lebuhraya Pantai Timur (LPT), we stopped over at Lemang To’ki near Kampung Chamang, Bentong and welcomed by the owner, Abg Man. This is definitely the best place to get ‘lemang’ on non-festival day. ‘Lemang’ will then been served with beef and chicken rendang. On average days, selling can go up to 60 and 70 no’s and on festival celebration, it can go up to more than 100 no’s.
They have other varieties of food too!
We then continued our journey to Kuala Medang. Our current view at that point of time – empty land, palm oil plantation, fruits orchard and etc. We just realized that we are almost there when we overheard En Moni telephone conversation. Again, we still have no idea what are we are going to do at the land that once known as one of the ‘Best Homestay in Malaysia’. Oh ya, if you are wondering what is Homestay Programme is all about, this is what it actually means:
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. A homestay programme cannot be classified as a lodging facility. It focuses more on lifestyle and experience, including cultural and economic activities.
The hall of fame and media review in local newspapers.
Our scrumptious lunch with signature dishes which is the Gulai Tempoyak Ikan Patin and Gulai Lemak Siput Sedut Sungai. That was our first time trying siput sedut sungai. Slightly bigger and darker that the normal siput sedut.
And this are the highlights of all! The boat ride to Kuala Serau, Kuala Medang. For your information, Kuala Medang is a traditional village situated in the bank of Sungai Jelai in Kuala Lipis, Pahang. It is situated 50 kilometers away from Kuala Lipis and 38 kilometers from Raub.
Check out the excited faces (hint – AzreenChan. She was holding the boat tightly)!
Welcomed with calm, quiet and magnificent river view in Kuala Serau.
We then make way to the nearest Salak Farm. We just realized that Salak is also known as ‘Snake Fruit’ due to the reddish-brown scaly skin. Ewwww! It was told that the trees need a high continuous water requirement. So, good drainage is an added advantage. It does not tolerate to full sun coverage too. Due to that, young trees might need protection from sun. To harvest Salak, it needs hand pollinate to the male varieties to female varieties and the fruits take about 4 – 6 months to mature.
The male varieties.
The female varieties.
From the male and female varieties, this is what you get. The creamy yellow colour fruit with a sweet taste, crisp and crunchy.
The fruit grows in clusters of 10 to 15.
The so-called farmers.
We then been demonstrated with the mengkuang weaving process. As far as we know, weaving has become a traditional craft among the village woman and it’s now one of the main products in the cottage industry. It really required patience, skills and determination. The spine and torn are removed in order to facilitate the weaving. The strip is then passed over a slight fire to soften it. Later, soaking and dyeing take place. ‘Lurut’ is then used to make it soft, smooth and even.
‘Jangka’ is used to cut the leaves into several parts.
The main tools – ‘Lurut’, 3 different sizes of ‘jangka’ and knife.
Not to forget, we are given a chance to try to experience the traditional games of ‘gasing’ (spinning top) too! Gasing are made from several types of hard woods such as Keranji, Tualang and others.
The group of professionals!
We headed back to the jetty and it started drizzling! We jumped into the boat and was given a fish pellets. There were actually ‘lampan jawa’ which is naturally breed in the river. Amazing! Nasib baik tak hujan lebat. But the whole boat trip was totally awesome. There goes our first day at Kuala Medang.
We will continue our journey on Homestay Kuala Medang – Part 2.
Zara AB & FF
The Province of Chroma