The school holidays are just around the corner. Have you made plans yet? If not, here are some ideas that you can utilise to spend a great time in the state of Perak, World of Wonders.

Even if you already have things going on at the end of the year, there is no harm going through my Perak itinerary because it’s Visit Malaysia Year 2020. Perak should feature in your travel plan next year because of the many touristic gems that are available.

Thus, follow my 4-part 4D/3N journey which takes you from Ipoh to Kuala Kangsar, Royal Belum, Taiping, Kuala Sepetang, Gopeng, Batu Gajah and Tanjung Tualang.

I was on this tour recently at the invitation of Tourism Perak to get an update on these attractions. No doubt, I have visited most of them before, some on several occasions. However, no one’s going to say no to a holiday, right? Certainly not me!

So, are you ready to follow me on this journey?

Day 1 – Kuala Kangsar & Royal Belum

cultural music performance

cultural music performance

The day started early from Ipoh because our first stop was the Royal town of Kuala Kangsar, no, not for the usual photography sessions in front of the postcard-perfect Ubudiah Mosque, to visit its museums and galleries, or to shop for gold thread embroidery products and labu sayong.

typical Malay brunch

typical Malay brunch

Instead, our presence in Kuala Kangsar was to immerse ourselves in the Malay kampung lifestyle experiences in Labu Kubong (village), Kuala Kangsar.

blacksmith shaping a knife

blacksmith shaping a knife

If you are someone who is more adventurous and wish to delve deeper into the kampung lifestyle, then feel free to book a stay here at this award-winning homestay community.

newspaper craft

newspaper craft

Kampung Labu Kubong, which was established as a registered homestay since 2014 and recognised as Best Homestay in Malaysia in 2017, to date has 20 units of homes open to all guests.

gaharu trees

gaharu trees

gaharu incense

gaharu incense

Spending a night at a kampung homestay is certainly different from a city homestay. A stay at Kampung Labu Kubong means exposure to a village lifestyle, including its food, art, culture as well as day-to-day living.

assam (tamarind) slices

assam (tamarind) slices

Of course, these village activities are optional, as you’re at liberty to lepak with your adopted family without going around the village, where annual events and community sports are also organised.

 Azam Elky madu kelulut (stingless bee honey)

Azam Elky madu kelulut (stingless bee honey)

During my visit, I was given a preview of the experiences on offer, and they included:

1. newspaper craft
2. blacksmith’s expertise
3. stingless bee honey
4. gaharu perfume
5. making of assam
6. bedak sejuk (cooling powder)

making bedak sejuk (cooling powder)

making bedak sejuk (cooling powder)

If you are someone who likes to know how things are done, this is one tour that’s not to be missed. Here are some of the queries that would be promptly answered.

1. How does one make attractive baskets, bouquets of flowers, or just about anything using old newspapers and magazines?
2. How are blades, knives and parangs shaped?
3. How is honey produced by bees?
4. What are the benefits of gaharu?
5. How does an assam fruit look like?
6. What is bedak sejuk (cooling powder) made from?

living room of a homestay

living room of a homestay

Interested to stay or go on a tour around Kampung Labu Kubong? Contact Lin at +60163298534 or log on to its official website www.labukubong.com.

Reservation is highly encouraged, as the homestay receives an average of 30000 visitors annually. The community can only accommodate a maximum group size of 40 pax concurrently.

Malay lunch

Malay lunch

Although a lot of time could be spent enjoying a kampung lifestyle, we had to make a move to Royal Belum, after a hearty lunch of local cuisine, with a dessert of tropical fruits.

Kampung Klewang Sungai Tiang

Kampung Klewang Sungai Tiang

welcome to Kampung Klewang Sungai Tiang

welcome to Kampung Klewang Sungai Tiang

Tok Batin (village head) of Kampung Klewang Sungai Tiang

Tok Batin (village head) of Kampung Klewang Sungai Tiang

I am no stranger to Royal Belum, having explored many areas of the state park in the course of my writing career. However, my last trip there was in 2016, and Kg. Aman Damai has since moved to a new location. Therefore, my recent trip to Royal Belum was still a refreshing visit for me.

tarian sewang demonstration

tarian sewang demonstration

a typical house

a typical house

visitor tries out blowpipe

visitor tries out blowpipe

If you didn’t know yet, Kampung Aman Damai is now known as Kampung Klewang Sungai Tiang. It’s been two years since relocating, when Aman Damai was devastated by a flood.

the village store that sells tongkat Ali and kacip Fatimah, among other herbal items

the village store that sells tongkat Ali and kacip Fatimah, among other herbal items

children and a cat

children and a cat

Worry not, Kg. Klewang Sg. Tiang is also open to visitors, and the hospitable Jahai tribespeople still gladly share their culture and tradition with guests, from food to blow-piping.

football

football

 life is simple but can be happy also

life is simple but can be happy also

volleyball

volleyball

How does Kg. Klewang Sg. Tiang look like? Exactly like Kg. Aman Damai, if you asked me. Seriously, if I didn’t have the information beforehand, I wouldn’t be any wiser.

Temenggor Lake

Temenggor Lake

Also, this time, instead of staying at one of the chalets in a base camp or at Belum Rainforest Resort, we were put up for the night at Casuarina Houseboat @ Temenggor 1 (or boathouse), with catered meals.

heading out

heading out

checkpoint at the entrance of the Royal Belum State Park

checkpoint at the entrance of the Royal Belum State Park

It’s pricey to experience a night’s accommodation on a houseboat because one needs to charter it. Therefore, guests should travel in a larger group. I was informed that the rental is in excess of RM8,000 per night, so better get your gang together to share out the cost.

arrival at Sg. Papan base camp

arrival at Sg. Papan base camp

back to houseboat

back to houseboat

If you have been to Royal Belum prior and felt slightly jaded, then this is one unique holiday experience to try. Casuarina Houseboat @ Temenggor 1 is a three-deck boat with sleeping quarters on the lower deck and first deck.

Elias, one of the crewmen, guided me on posing at every corner of the houseboat

Elias, one of the crewmen, guided me on posing at every corner of the houseboat

houseboat control room

houseboat control room

The upper deck is where guests have their meals, or just hang around with the sea breeze in your face. Although I have spent many a night at sea before, this was my first experience on a houseboat.

karaoke set

karaoke set

upper deck

upper deck

Frankly speaking, I did not know what to expect, but everything exceeded my imagination. We had running water, air-conditioning, electricity, and a proper bed. My Celcom mobile data even worked on the upper deck. Hurray!

guest room

guest room

For more information on Casuarina Houseboat @ Temenggor 1, including making a reservation, log on to this official website: HERE.

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With love

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