Saturday, June 29, 2013

Pahang homestays




It is often said that the best way to get a finger on the pulse of a country is by spending some time amongst its people. A stay for a few days in a hotel just doesn’t cut it. It was for this reason that the Malaysia homestay program was launched way back in 1995.
The Malaysian homestay program was first rolled out in the town of Temerloh in Pahang state, as intrepid tour operators who conceptualized the program, believed that a homestay was the best way to showcase the friendliness and hospitality of the Malay people. During a typical Malaysian homestay, you get the chance to spend a day or two living with a chosen Malaysian family. You are expected to eat your meals with them and take part in their daily economic and social activities. Homestays promote great cultural exchange, and enable visitors a chance to view at close quarters, the ‘real Malaysia’ by actually living amongst its people.
This Malaysia homestay program was a great success and it soon came to be extended all over the country as it was soon recognized by the Malaysian Ministry of Tourism. Today, the Malaysia Homestay program is well regulated and organized to offer homestays at carefully curated abodes in more than 150 kampungs(villages) throughout the country. However, one of the highest concentrations of homestays in Malaysia can be found in the state of Pahang, the third largest state in Malaysia and the birthplace of the homestay program.
Listed below are some popular destinations in Pahang which offer homestay facilities.
Homesaty in Pekan, Pahang
Pekan, which is known as the royal town of Pahang, is named after the Bunga Pekan flower that grows in abundance of the banks of the Pahang River.  Famed as the birthplace of Malaysia’s second prime minister and father of development, Tun Abdul Razak, a homestay in Pekan, offers visitors a chance to escape a bustling cityscape as they experience the traditional kampung way of life.
A homestay visitor will eat all his/her meals with the foster family and enjoy activities like touring Lake Chini, jungle trekking, mountain climbing, visiting a dragon fruit farm and an Orang Asli(indigenous people) village. Also on offer in Pekan is the chance to take part in traditional games and view how local handicrafts like tanjaks(local headwear for men) are made.
Homestay in Sungai Pasu, Pahang
Kampung Sungai Pasu, is a traditional village which is home to Malays of Javanese origin. The village today is however equipped with various modern amenities and hence is a thriving homestay destination. Sungai Pasu is located at a distance of 13 km from the nearest town of Ruab, on the main road to Kuala Lipis so it is easily accessible by taxi or bus service. A homestay in Sungei Pasu gives visitors a chance to avail of various activities like learning to make satays and banana crackers, taking part in social gatherings or kenduris and enjoying cultural shows featuring much traditional song and dance. Other recreational activities offered include white-water rafting, fishing, visiting attractions like Sungai Pasu Lake, Lata Jarum waterfall, an Orang Asli settlement and taking a day trip to Fraser’s Hill, a prominent bird-watching destination in Malaysia.
The above mentioned destinations are just two of the many destinations in Pahang, which offer homestays packed with many cultural and recreational activities.
If you feel inspired enough to consider a homestay on your next visit to Malaysia, do visit http://www.pahangtourism.org.my/  for information on how to plan and book a homestay in Pahang.

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