Have you been on a sleeper train or a Jungle Railway train? If you have not, you should at least try it once in your life! This train will take you through Gemas, the only intersection that connects Malaysia’s west and east coast rail lines. To see the jungle, you will have to ⏰time your journey so that the 🚉train doesn’t pass by the jungle at 🌛night when it’s too dark to see anything. Nomadic Notes has a detailed review on the type of trains to take and schedules to follow to get the best 🌄scenic views.
However, to see the jungle, you not only have to plan your journey right, but you might also want to do a mix & match of trains, as a sleeper train will not pass by the jungle during the 🌞day. The track follows the river closely, and you will be seeing mostly 🌄mountain and river views. Bisik Hujan has a complete sleeper train itinerary that you can follow.
If you encounter long stops along the way, don't freak out. That is because the 🚉trains here run on a single track. Due to that, sometimes a train has to stop to make way for the train that is coming from the opposite direction. Even though the trains are old and a bit run down, you can still enjoy a fairly comfortable ride with amenities such as the squat and 🚽sit type toilets, air-conditioning and a humble cafe (sleeper train). Besides the view, you also get to purchase fresh local produce at some train stations, such as the one in Gua Musang. You might not have a kampung to balik, but you might be sharing the train with some people who are there to "balik kampung". Maybe they have some interesting kampung stories to tell.
If you want to try a fancier train, you should consider the North Borneo Railway. The train runs on a 🚂vintage steam engine! However, do expect unexpected breakdowns where train rides are cancelled, as the train uses the oldest steam locomotive in Borneo. The North Borneo Railway runs 36 miles between Kota Kinabalu and Papar. It has multiple pit stops in the countryside where you can take beautiful 📸photos.
The train really takes you back to the early 1900s with its vintage carriages that come with classic train seats and wooden tables. Throughout the 4-hour journey, passengers’ meals will be served by stewards & stewardesses in penjajah British colonial attire. The ride also includes a local breakfast set and a hearty lunch set served in tiffin! Yes! The traditional metal "mangkuk tingkat" that is making a comeback recently.
The train will stop at some stations where passengers can disembark to enjoy the tourist attractions and take memorable 📸photos at some landmarks. Passengers also get to visit local markets and shops, which means that this tour is not just a train ride! Come and join the tour before the more than 100-year-old locomotive finally gives up for good.
You can now experience being in a kampung despite having no hometown to balik kampung! With 🦟mosquitoes too! Just kidding😜, you can always bring a mosquito repellant right? Head to the Gemalai Village at Laman Padi Langkawi and stay in one of the chalets built to look like an actual kampung house! What makes The Gemalai Village unique is the fact that it is built on a paddy field! So the paddy field is actually right underneath the walkway.
There are 2 types of chalets, namely Dangau and Teratak. Dangau chalets are single storey kampung huts, whereas Teratak chalets are double-storey kampung huts. Even though Teratak chalets have two storeys, it is actually more of an elevated hut with an open-air area to hang out downstairs. While the gabled roof huts might give you an ultimate kampung vibe, rest assured that you’ll be comfortable during your stay. That is because all huts come with comfy 🛌beds, air-conditioning, 📺TV and many more. Plus, the 🚽toilets are built-in, so you don’t have to go out in the middle of the night and walk some distance with a 🔦torchlight in hand to pee (unlike in kampung).
Throughout your stay here, you will be accompanied by the sounds of 🐃buffalos, 🐔chickens and 🐈cats. In fact, these sounds of nature might be your lullaby at night. Breakfasts are served in the room if you stay in a Teratak chalet. As there are only 6 huts here, we advise you to book early especially during the peak seasons. All in all, if you want to experience staying in a kampung but would still like to have some luxury, The Gemalai Village is for you.
You are not truly lost until you are at the Lost World of Tambun! The rides and attractions here will leave you feeling lost because there are so many that you don’t know where to start. Just like Sunway Lagoon(because it’s by the same company), Lost World of Tambun offers a variety of wet & dry attractions like water slides, wildlife encounters, an amusement park and many more.
However, what differentiates the Lost World of Tambun from Sunway Lagoon is that the Lost World of Tambun is surrounded by limestone hills and has a night park. That’s right! You can spend your time in the Lost World of Tambun until the 🌄sun has set. Some of the attractions at the night park include hot springs and a luminous forest.
There are so many attractions here in the Lost World of Tambun that spending a day here is definitely not enough to enjoy all the rides & attractions. We recommend spending the night here as they offer glamping experiences. Not only that, if you prefer something slightly more luxurious, you can book a room at the Sunway Lost World Hotel or even better, a floating villa!
Do you know where the world’s longest tube slide is? It is located none other than in Malaysia! The slide measures up to 1,111 metres long and it was even awarded a Guinness World Record. You can find the long winding slide at Escape Penang, a theme park that also features other adventurous activities. The 4-minute ride will take you through twists and turns around the rainforest of Tanjung Bungah.
If you are not a fan of water slides, you can engage in the more exciting dry activities. At Escape Penang, you will find 40 exciting rides & attractions which include rope & obstacle courses, zip lines, climbing and much more waiting for you! Not only that, but you can also ⛺camp within a fenced area with BBQ facilities. A perfect way to spend time with 👨👩👧👦family and friends.
Those who do not have a kampung to go back to during Hari Raya can perhaps visit this 🎣fishing village. You can catch a glimpse of the routines of the residents here who rely on fishing for their livelihood. Not only that, but you also get to taste fresh sea products such as 🦐prawns, cockles, fish and many more at local restaurants.
Kuala Sepetang is a fishing village that is also well-known for its charcoal production, which happens to be one of the largest in Malaysia. This is all thanks to the Matang Mangrove Forest Reserve (MMFR), which is also the largest mangrove forest reserve in Malaysia! You can visit the charcoal factory to learn more about how they turn mangrove trees into the charcoal that we use for BBQ.
Overall it is a pretty laid back village where you can enjoy a relaxing trip with your family. There aren’t any adventurous activities, and you can enjoy a magical sight at the firefly tour at night. Kuala Sepetang makes a perfect trip that can be enjoyed by 🧓older people and 🧒kids.
If you are tired and bored of walking on land, why not try walking in the sea! Yup! You heard that right! The sea is not just for swimming, but you can also walk in it. Walk among the colourful 🐠🦈fishes and beautiful corals with a hazmat huge helmet on. The specially designed helmet will enable you to breathe comfortably while being underwater. As for the clothing, you can wear whatever is comfortable for you while being underwater.
Sea Walking is not a challenging activity, and even children as young as the age of 5 years old can join it! One of the best Sea Walking spot is located at Tunku Abdul Rahman Park, which consists of a group of 5 islands in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. Many people who join the Sea Walking activity also choose to visit Sapi Island and Manukan Island. Both islands are simply beautiful, and you definitely want to make your trip to Sabah worth it by visiting these 2 islands.
The Raya holiday is pretty long this year, and you might want to grab the opportunity to go "jalan-jalan". However, please remember that Covid-19 is still lurking around, waiting for you. Now that you know what to do during Hari Raya if you have no kampung to balik, remember keep yourself safe from the virus. Enjoy your holiday!