One of the benefits of traveling is learning faster about the place, people and culture you visited. When I was in Kuala Lumpur, I appreciated the architectural landscape, urban lifestyle, modern living and the diverse culture of Malaysia. But there’s a place in Pahang, where I learned a different facet of Malaysia, that shows the authentic, countryside and “home-feel” atmosphere of Malays – this is the Kampungstay Desa Murni in Temerloh.
Kampung, when translated to English, means village. So Kampungstay, in essence means staying in a village with Malay folks.
Kampungstay Desa Murni, a 2-hour drive from Kuala Lumpu situated in Temerloh, Pahang, is a resort-type village stay for tourists.
WHAT TO EXPECT
If you’re expecting some modern-ish hotel-type accommodation in a huge building made of concrete, definitely, you’re in the wrong place. Kampungstay Desa Murni’s facility is comprised of traditional Malay houses converted to tourist accommodations. So, you will feel like you’re really just visiting a relative, a friend in the province.
Kampungstay Desa Murni lets you choose between staying in the Rumah (home in English) in the resort or in a residence of a foster family.
In our case, we stayed in the resort at a Rumah with 4 rooms, each having own bathroom and toilet. Plus, a wide living area and a separate dining and kitchen space. It is spaciously convenient even for the 6 of us who stayed there. Each Rumah cost around RM 250 to 700 per night depending on the number of rooms and amenities.
WHAT TO DO
Though the mood in Kampungstay Desa Murni might be so relaxed that you’d like to just probably sleep, which is not a bad idea, but you’ll miss a whole bunch of things if you do so.
After we settled in our Rumah, father and son tandem Sahariman Hamdam and Khairul Hakimkim of Kampungstay Desa Murni, excitedly toured us at the resort.
And since it was a holiday when we arrived there, Hari Raya, many of their relatives and friends visited them.It was as if we were distant relatives, and not guests, that Sahariman and Khairul introduced us to their visitors.
After the tour in the resort, we drove a minutes away from Kampungstay Desa Murni. As part of Hari Raya, we visited some of their relatives as Khairul give portions of the slaughtered cattle to other people. In the Muslim tradition, affluent families offer their best cattle/s as sacrifice. The meat from the cattle is divided into three portions: 1/3 for the host family, 1/3 to relatives and 1/3 to people in need.
Then we headed to a farm where assorted trees were planted such as durian, rambutan, coconut, langsat and rubber.
It was an interesting experience to see how sap is extracted from a rubber tree to get the elastic material that we know as rubber. As Khairul stated, that’s the smell of rubber is the scent of money. Hahaha.
Just be sure to wear long dresses and to apply mosquito repellant.
After the farm tour, we went to their relatives house to take a quick munch of merienda before heading out to the resort.
Part of the whole Kampungstay Desa Murni experience is being able to sit down, dine and talk to the foster families. This way, you can learn a lot from the stay. We visited three different homes as foster families during our stay – each being a host of our food (dinner and breakfast).
WHAT I LEARNED
- With many of their relatives home for the holidays, I saw how Malay culture is similar to us Filipinos. They do the same custom of showing respect to elders with “Mano” like the Filipinos wherein a individual kisses or presses an elder’s hand to his or her forehead to accept blessing from the elder.
- The closeness of family are very much like the Filipinos as well, even up to the extended family.
- Many of their foods are similar to Filipinos.
- When entering their homes, remove any footwear you have.
- Malays are hospitable and warm to guests like Filipinos.
- There are areas in Malaysia wherein the state protects the ownership of lands only to Malays
They are so warm and very accommodating. I remember how excited they were to introduce to me and fiancee Cristelle their wedding venue inside one of the foster families’ house and had us sat on the chairs for couples.
HOW TO GO THERE
- Kampongstay Desa Murni just located 10 minutes from Exit Temerloh Toll Plaza of East Cost Highway/Lebuh Raya Pantai Timur (LPT) and 45 minutes from Jerantut town. Located nearby the main road and clear signboard, you will have no trouble to find our location. Turn right after LPT Temerloh Exit and after 3 kilometer you will see BHP Station on your right. First Kampungstay junction is on the right before the BHP Station then there will be another three (3) junction with Kampungstay sign. Just 500 meter going to Kmpungstay. ( LOT 1674 JALAN HOMESTAY, KAMPUNG DESA MURNI SANGGANG, 28020 TEMERLOH PAHANG)
- Either fly to Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) or via Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Airport,located at Kuantan, Pahang. Both of it will take approximately 2 hours to reach Temerloh Toll Plaza.
Kampungstay Desa Murni
Lot 1674, Jalan Homestay,
Desa Murni Sanggang,
Pahang Darul Makmur.
Phone Booking: +609 – 284 7949 (9.00 am – 5.00 pm)
+6012 – 553 4715 (SMS/Whatsapp)
Pahang is accessible via Kuala Lumpur. There are flights going to Kuala Lumpur from the Philippines. AirAsia currently has two (2) flights daily to Kuala Lumpur from Manila.
But starting Ocober 29, AirAsia will have Manila-Kuala Lumpur flights 3x daily while 4x weekly Cebu -Kuala Lumpur flights 4x starting Oct 30, 2016.
So any trips going to Kuala Lumpur, Pahang or any other Malaysian destination from the Philippines can be connected via Manila-Kuala Lumpur or Cebu-Kuala Lumpur trips.