KUALA LUMPUR: With the dawn of the new year, homestay operators throughout the country are excited about promoting the uniqueness of Malaysian village life to tourists in conjunction with Visit Malaysia Year 2014 (VMY2014).
They said besides must-do activities like cultural performances, new activities had been planned to make the tourists’ homestay experience a memorable one.
Coordinator for the Haji Dorani homestays in Sungai Besar, Selangor, Abd Rahman Daud said in conjunction with VMY2014, the coconut tree would be made the main tourism highlight instead of the padi field, chosen previously.
“There are many coconut groves but they are neglected. Rather than remaining a waste, it’s better to make the coconut tree a tourism product as it has numerous uses,” he said.
Abd Rahman said besides plucking young coconuts and drinking the refreshing water, tourists would also be able to see how coconut oil was produced the traditional way, as well as making of handicraft from the coconut trunk and shell.
According to him, the villagers would also be introducing a traditional Javanese dish called Sambal Tahun, said to have got its name from its long-lasting quality, remaining edible for a year from the date it was cooked and even getting tastier from being repeatedly heated up.
Coordinator for the Kampung Temenin Baru homestays in Kota Tinggi, Johor, Zainoh Musa said in conjunction with VMY2014, tourists would be taken on a trip tracing the history of the Johor Sultanate.
He said spots to be visited included the tomb of Sultan Mahmud Shah II, the last Johor ruler who descended from the Malacca Sultanate, and the tomb of Laksamana (Admiral) Bentan who stabbed the sultan to revenge the killing of his wife and unborn child.
Zainoh said besides experiencing the culture of the Javanese community in the village, tourists could also observe the culture of the Minangkabau community of Kampung Temenin Lama nearby if they joined the cycling activity.
Coordinator for the Kampung Baru Salong homestays in Pekan, Pahang, Bakri Abu Talib said the village community viewed the homestay industry not only as a source of income, but also as a responsibility to assist the nation increase revenue through the tourism sector.
“We feel honoured that tourists are willing to come to our village. We enjoyed serving them kampung dishes like ikan patin masak tempoyak. The tourists also partook in grilling corn on the corb that had just been plucked from the farm operated by the village youths,” he said.
Bakri said to attract more young tourists to the area, the villagers would offer activities like climbing the 641m high Bukit Chini with an overnight stay at the foot of the hill. — Bernama