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Rural Tourism: Visit These 8 Malaysian Kampung and Experience Village Life Away From the City Buzz

16 Mar 2023
Discover the authentic beauty of Malaysia by visiting these 8 charming kampungs. Immerse yourself in rural life and escape the city buzz with a unique and unforgettable experience. Read now to plan your next adventure!

1. Pulau Ketam (Selangor)

People have to travel by boat to Pulau Ketam (🤔hmm...maybe Mr Krabs have some Malaysian 🦀relatives here). It is an island located near the coast of Port Klang. The locals in this kampung are mainly Teochew and Hokkien Chinese. Upon arriving, you will come across a fishing village with stilt houses standing on the water. One interesting thing to note is that, although this is an island, there are no sandy beaches in sight. Instead, the coastline has been formed by mangroves.

Rural Tourism: Visit These 8 Malaysian Kampung and Experience Village Life Away From the City Buzz: Pulau Ketam (Selangor)

Wake up to the sound of boats and bicycle bells ringing, with no car exhaust smoke and no car engine sounds when you stay overnight here. (ah~peace~😌). Yes, there are a few hotels and homestays here for tourists to sleepover😴. With this, you can experience what it feels like to stay in a village for a few days. It's perfect for a weekend getaway for people staying in the Klang Valley because the boat ride is only around 30-40 minutes from the Port Klang jetty to the Pulau Ketam Jetty. Plus, visitors can purchase the tickets on the spot!

You can rent a 🚴‍♀️bicycle and bike around (some hotels even provide free bike rental!) while enjoying the sea breeze. Fresh local seafood products are sold here in the market area and sometimes on the house porch. Pulau Ketam gives a homey feel and you won't feel like a tourist at all as you can pass by freely in front of the inhabited houses (just don’t tak tau malu and trespass the houses -lah). For more rural tourism experiences, feel free to chat with the locals. There are also a few restaurants all around the island that serve fresh seafood!


2. Sekinchan (Selangor)

Rural Tourism: Visit These 8 Malaysian Kampung and Experience Village Life Away From the City Buzz: Sekinchan (Selangor)

Sekinchan is well known for its paddy fields, fishing village, and white sandy beach. There are many rural tourism attractions that you can see and experience around here.

Rural Tourism: Visit These 8 Malaysian Kampung and Experience Village Life Away From the City Buzz: Sekinchan (Selangor)
Shu En (IG)

Many people from the cities around the Klang Valley like to drop by the fishing village in Sekinchan once in a while to get 🦐fresh local seafood. Prices are pretty reasonable, and the fish will be cleaned, cut, and then packed and sealed for you to bring home and enjoy. Sekinchan is also one of the favorite spots of professional and amateur photographers. The docked fishing boats and the vast paddy fields are all interesting subjects to the 📸lens.

Located in the middle of a lush paddy field is a rice mill. Within the rice mill is a gallery that allows tourists to visit and learn about rice and how it is processed. There are also plenty of paddy fields in Sekinchan which are suitable for wedding photoshoots. However, do note that the green paddy fields are seasonal (you probably don't want to come to a brown and barren paddy field). The best months to come are around March to April and September to October. If you feel like staying overnight, there is a vibrantly painted container homestay in the middle of a paddy field.

Pantai Redang Sekinchan is a small beach where tourists can take Instagram-worthy photos (This is not Pulau Redang yea...don’t later say we scammed you🤪). However, please note that swimming is not allowed here. There is a wooden treehouse (sort of) by the beach where people can relax on swings and hammocks while enjoying fresh coconut drinks. Within walking distance from the beach are a Chinese temple and a wishing tree. The tree is covered with red ribbons as more and more people throw them up on the tree when making wishes. About a 30-minute drive from the beach is the famous sky mirror and blue tear viewing site.

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3. Bagan Datuk (Perak)

This small town's main economic activity is fishing. Located just about an hour from Teluk Intan, Bagan Datuk is a good choice of rural tourism attraction (especially for Perak-ians) to go to for another sky mirror, blue tear viewing, and firefly watching tour. Stop by the picturesque waterfront Bagan Datuk for photo sessions (especially the colorful and brightly painted shoplots). As you walk around the shoplots, you will discover various interesting murals. It is recommended to go in the evening so that you can watch the 🌅sunset by the sea.

At the fishing village of Bagan Datuk, you can expect nothing less than 😋fresh seafood. What's more, you can personally hunt for your sea treasures by fishing and clam digging! You can even bring them to the nearest restaurant and request the chef to cook them for you so that you can enjoy the freshest 🐟seafood experience ever.

Don’t forget to drop by the sunflower garden at Sungai Burung too. It is a great rural tourism attraction where you can spend hours strolling through the fields, admiring the rows of vibrant sunflowers, and taking in the fresh air. The 🌻sunflower garden is particularly stunning during the blooming season, where the entire garden is filled with golden petals and the air is filled with the sweet fragrance of 🌻sunflowers. You just have to pay RM5-13 (according to age) for the entrance and you will get a complimentary packet of food to feed the 🐟fish and 🦆ducks! There are many other photogenic backdrops at the garden to visitors take 📸photos. So, men...you guys better drink red bull for breakfast to help your wife/girlfriend get their best IG photos!

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4. Homestay Rumah Panjang Annah Rais (Sarawak)

Rural Tourism: Visit These 8 Malaysian Kampung and Experience Village Life Away From the City Buzz: Homestay Rumah Panjang Annah Rais (Sarawak)

What is a visit to Sabah or Sarawak without a visit to the rumah panjang? The Rumah Panjang Annah Rais, located near the border of Sarawak-Kalimantan, Indonesia, in Padawan, is a Bidayuh longhouse built in 1818 (203 years? Gasp!😲).  It has been constantly expanded until today. In the beginning, there were only 3 doors at the longhouse. Now, it has extended to more than 150 doors! Currently, this longest longhouse in Sarawak has more than 1500 residents. If you don’t feel like staying the night here, you can choose to drop by for a day trip too!

Before coming here, don't forget to fatten up your wallet! You'll find a variety of local products and handicrafts for sale, such as tuak, keropok, and an abundance of beaded crafts. These are all produced by the longhouse residents.


5. Orang Asli Village @ Taman Negara (Pahang)

There is a small number of Batek and Semaq Beri families here. They are the aborigines, or Orang Asli, and most of them live in Kampung Tersek Baru and Kampung Dedari in Taman Negara. Practicing a semi-primitive lifestyle, the Orang Asli only visit the town once a month to purchase daily necessities such as rice, cooking oil, coffee, etc. Otherwise, the jungle is their "supermarket" as they can find most of their needs in nature.

Rural Tourism: Visit These 8 Malaysian Kampung and Experience Village Life Away From the City Buzz: Orang Asli Village @ Taman Negara (Pahang)
Amelia Mustaffa

Most of the ladies are shy, but the kids, on the other hand, are very welcoming. Some of them warmly greet visitors while others run around the kampung naked. Visitors need to take a boat to reach the village, and some of the activities available there include blowpipe and fire-starting demonstrations. The small tourism fee and sales of handicrafts are their main source of income. Although Orang Asli Village is not well-known to many Malaysians, it is quite popular among foreign tourists. So, don't you think it’s time for more locals like us to visit them?


6. Gemalai Village @ Laman Padi (Langkawi)

Stay in a picturesque village surrounded by traditional Malay kampung houses perched on a paddy field! Gemalai Village is a hidden gem near Pantai Cenang, Langkawi, that not many people know about. There are 3 double-story and 3 single-story kampung houses, which add up to a total of 6 traditional kampung houses. These houses are all connected by wooden boardwalks above the mostly water-filled paddy fields.

The Gemalai village is a rural tourism spot where you get to experience the “air”(💨udara not 💧water) of a kampung without stripping off modern comforts, such as air-conditioning, hot showers and more! (Be prepared to hear from your mom on how harsh her life was when she grew up in a kampung) Guests can enjoy a breakfast served in a rattan basket on the porch while admiring the beautiful blue sky and expansive green paddy fields. The rooms are clean and the beds are comfortable. It's not an exaggeration to say that this place is underrated.

There are free fishing rods available for guests to do some fishing (🎣fishes are to be released back to the water, so don't chomp on them like 🍣sashimi ok!) There are also free 🚲bike rentals. Don't be alarmed if you are awakened in the middle of the night by the sounds of buffalos and cats, as they are part of the Gemalai Village residents.


7. Mah Meri Cultural Village (Selangor)

The Mah Meri Cultural Village is situated on Pulau Carey (yes, the name sounds so vogue right...). Despite being separated from the mainland only by a river, Pulau Carey is not considered an island by the locals. Visitors to the Mah Meri Cultural Village are required to pay an entry fee of RM20.

The Mah Meri people are renowned for their intricate hand-carved woodworks, especially their expressive face masks. These masks are usually worn during traditional dance rituals to represent their ancestral spirits, known as moyang. Visitors to the Mah Meri Cultural Village can see the artistry of these masks, along with other handicrafts, in the galleries located there. In fact, 22 of these wooden masks have been awarded the UNESCO Seal of Excellence.

There are slingshot and blowpipe games that visitors can try out. Plus, visitors also get the opportunity to experience the traditional wedding ritual by wearing traditional Mah Meri costumes and participating in traditional dances. As you walk around, you will come across a souvenir shop where you can purchase intricate wood crafts made by the Mah Meri people. If you're feeling hungry, there's a spacious café and restaurant where you can relax and replenish your energy.


8. Kuala Sepetang (Perak)

Also known as Port Weld, Kuala Sepetang well-known for its fishing villages that thrive through fish farming. There are several lodgings and inns here, so tourists can take their time exploring Kuala Sepetang. When you're in Kuala Sepetang, don't forget to try the famous Mee Udang that has everyone raving. It is famous because restaurants here often serve the dish with 🦐large prawns!

Some of the must-visit rural tourism spots include the Matang Mangrove Forest Reserve (the largest mangrove reserve in Malaysia) and the Khay Hor Charcoal Factory. At the Matang Mangrove Forest Reserve, visitors can take a boat ride for RM30-40 per person and experience an eagle feeding tour. As for the Khay Hor Charcoal Factory, the owner will take you on a tour of his factory and show you the traditional kilns used to turn mangrove wood into charcoal.

At night, visitors can observe the fireflies. There are also several other interesting attractions here, such as the Wonder Mushroom Farm, Hun Leng Heong Hang (a Chinese dragon joss stick workshop), the "Port Weld" railway station signboard, and many more

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Take some time to unwind from your busy city life and plan a trip to one of these 8 Malaysian kampungs so that you can experience a village life away from the city buzz. Do share this blog post with your friends because who knows, they might need it!



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