No matter how I try to adapt to homestays in a kampung environment, I just can’t get used to it. What can I say? I am a city girl through and through! I don’t mind visiting, though, to see how much the homestay business has improved over the years!
Our visit to Kampung Endah in Banting in the District of Kuala Langat was one of my better experiences, I must say. After all, the village, which is pronounced as ‘Indah’ despite its spelling, is one of the best villages – in 1989, they bagged the Best Malay Village title in Malaysia (national level) and subsequently, Best Malay Village in Selangor (state level) in 1994.
We were told that Kg. Endah swept so many awards in such competitions that the village headman was advised by the then Prime Minister of Malaysia Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad that they should stop participating in competitions so that other villages would have a chance of winning!
The village, which boasts about 500 families, mainly of Javanese descent was established circa 1950. Its original name was Kampung Pindah upon the integration with several small neighbouring villages and relocated to this current area. In 1971, the name Pindah (to move) somehow was changed to Indah (beautiful). To keep to their Javanese lineage, Indah was spelt as Endah, and the name has remained so until today.
Recently, we spent about half a day visiting the many attractions of the village, which consists of 33 houses enrolled in the homestay programme. These homes offer one or two rooms for guests who take up either 2D/1N or 3D/2N package. The fees charged are for accommodation only and extra fees are incurred for food, depending on the meals requested.
One of the stops we made was at the dodol (sweet & sticky confection) factory. The products are still made by traditional method; preservatives are not used at this factory.
Next was an oyster mushroom cultivation farm. As I had just visited a similar farm in Ipoh, I was particularly interested in this place.
We then visited the wet market and grocery store in the village, just to see how self-sustaining the dwellers are. Most of the vegetables sold at the market were planted by local residents themselves.
We also had the opportunity to learn how some Javanese food are prepared via cooking demonstrations. Two of the items were pecal (a type of spicy peanut sauce that goes with gado-gado) and kuih abuk-abuk.
My friends and I also had the chance to learn weaving. All in all, it was a wonderful time spent at Kg. Endah, wrapped up with a scrumptious lunch.
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