Delegates of Kembara Cuti-Cuti 1 Malaysia, a programme organised by Gaya Travel Magazine, supported by Tourism Malaysia and Tourism Malaysia Negeri Sembilan, woke up early one morning feeling enthusiastic about that day’s activities. Well, except for me because I can neither cycle nor swim!
After a quick warm-up session, each of them hopped onto a bicycle and went on their merry way, escorted by PRDM (Polis Di Raja Malaysia) and JPAM (Jabatan Pertahanan Awam Malaysia) personnel. Cycling in Malaysia is unfortunately unlike cycling in Holland. There are no dedicated bike lanes and so, having the traffic police and paramedics at hand were helpful.
The entourage’s first stop was Balai Undang Luak Jelebu, where delegates were briefed by Datuk Lembaga on the Malay Customs governing body. The cyclists proceeded to their next stop, Homestay Klawang for more fun. It was a rather torturous ride due to the undulating terrain. Moreover, Jelebu is located at an elevation of 142 metres above sea level, and that certainly did not help with the respiration of cyclists! Thankfully, the air was clean and crisp, and the view, breathtaking!
And as cliché as it may sound, there’s always light at the end of the tunnel – the delegation was greeted with food to fuel up! After a rest, it was time to play!
The delegates spared no time going into Sungai Ulu Jelebu for some fish (tilapia), catching with their bare hands (mengoca)! It didn’t seem difficult because the water was shallow. It is hard to imagine that this river, which was called Sungai Lumut previously, used to be an important waterway for commerce, so much so that toll booths were set up illegally along the banks of the river.
Next up was river dipping, locally known as cempogho. Someone brought a ball along and a make-shift game of water polo ensued. Although we soon lost count of the number of goals scored, the important thing was that all participants enjoyed themselves, including the spectators who had a good laugh at city folks playing like village kids.
Those who needed to clean up were taken home by host families, and then everyone was treated to an amazing lunch of local dishes and fresh fruits as dessert.
Homestay Klawang in the district of Jelebu within a Malay and aboriginal community, was established in 2006. This homestay programme is participated by 29 households.
Depending on the number of guests in a group, activities which could be arranged for them, besides mengoca and cempogho, include cultural performances and mock wedding. Guests would also learn about the local customs, particularly Adat Perpatih (Matrilineal Custom).
Readers who wish to know more about Homestay Klawang or make a reservation may contact the Homestay Klawang committee, at the phone numbers enclosed below.
Asli Mahat (Deputy Chairman) – 0111-4787254
Masliana Abu Bakar (Secretary) – 019-3665486
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