Experience a countryside getaway at Kampung Sarang Buaya

16 Jan 2023 04:51pm

In Malaysia, the concept of ‘homestays’ has long been introduced and well-received by many local, as well as foreign tourists.

Homestays commonly refer to homes located in villages which can be rented for a certain period. The homes also come with host families who own these properties. (However, they may not always stay in the same house with the guests but usually live next door in a different home or in an ensuite within the same building).

Like some ‘bed and breakfast’ properties in Europe and other parts of the world, Malaysian homestays often provide the authentic ‘kampung’ or countryside living.

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One of the best places to experience such a stay would be at the Kampung Sarang Buaya homestay in Muar, located in the southern state of Johor, Malaysia.

Though geographically marked in Muar, Kampung Sarang Buaya is actually at the border of the Muar and Batu Pahat districts.

Getting there takes slightly more than three hours by car from Kuala Lumpur. As you get closer to the area, the trail is filled with lush greenery and serene scents of nature.

Upon arrival, guests are often greeted by the warm welcome of local villagers and respective host families.

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And nothing is more welcoming than a delicious traditional shared meal. As Kampung Sarang Buaya is predominantly made up of locals of Javanese descent, they take pride in their culinary ‘piece de resistance’ which is the ‘Nasi Ambeng’.

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‘Nasi Ambeng’ is a traditional dish made up of rice, chicken and vegetables served in a big round tray. This tray is then shared among a few people depending on the portion of food placed within it. Commonly, a round tray caters up to four to six people.

The purpose of sharing the meal in one big tray symbolises the close bond families have by sitting together and eating from the same platter. It is made extra special as everyone eats with their hands while sharing each other’s portions as they take refreshing sips of coconut water.

Though the kitchen floor is a common spot to have family dinners among the Malays, some villages and homes also build wooden roofed platforms (sometimes known as ‘Penanggah’ in Malay) outside the house which serves as a common area for the villagers to gather and usually prepare (as well as enjoy) meals together.

One of the traditional homes which stands out at the Kampung Sarang Buaya Homestay project is Teratak Kasih Nilam. At first glance, it fits the category of a typical traditional Malay village home with a slight contemporary twist.

Complete with a living room, bedrooms and modern-day shower and toilets, it fulfils the needs of most guests. Coupled with its strategic location in the heart of the village, many activities take place here.

For instance, right next to Teratak Kasih Nilam, guests can witness the process of making ‘dodol’, a sweet toffee-like sugar palm-based confection commonly found in Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent. Originating from the culinary traditions of Indonesia, it is also very popular in Malaysia.

The village is also known for several types of local products including coffee. Just a few minutes’ drive from Teratak Kasih Nilam is Kopi Ajes Factory. Owned by one of the locals, the factory produces coffee for retail purposes. Accompanying the factory is also a café known as Kupi Nang which serves some delicious beverages (including non-coffee drinks).

After a nice cup of coffee, guests can enjoy some water activities by going kayaking at the stream right behind Teratak Kasih Nilam. That’s right, they even provide kayaks for guests who wish to spend a tranquil evening by taking in the sights and sounds of the small village.

However, the highlight of Kampung Sarang Buaya has to be the never-ending stretch of paddy fields. From Teratak Kasih Nilam, drive down to Sawah Sungai Balang, where another homestay can be found perched by the side of beautiful paddy fields.

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Stroll along the fields as sunset slowly creeps and immortalize these picturesque moments in photos and videos for your keep. We assure you; you will never get enough of this vista.

As night falls, be sure to be back home for dinner with your hosts and then enjoy an amazing performance of Pencak Silat, the Malay world’s acclaimed form of martial arts.

Then after witnessing all the adrenaline, have some fun by playing various traditional indoor games in the comfort of your jammies, in your homestay living room!

Re-live the olden days by engaging in ‘Congkak’, a game using marbles and a carved wooden board, or ‘Batu Seremban’, involving pebbles and balancing skills of the hands among other traditional indoor games.

The next day, check out D’Impian Agro Farm, a local farm which has become a tourist attraction.

The farm allows visitors to witness live animals like a mini zoo. Though most of these animals are bred for commercial purposes, visitors can participate in feeding them with the help of a guide.

From adorable rabbits, to goats, sheep, horses, deer and even ostriches, the farm is a great place to learn about animal rearing.

Naturally, guests can also learn how the vegetable grown here are prepared for commercial produce. Aside from that, there is also an area for guests who wish to try out archery while touring the vicinity.

Clearly different from the average resort, homestays provide a different kind of holiday which may be just as, or if not more fun than the usual hotel vacation.

So, if you fancy a more affordable holiday in the countryside of Malaysia, this may just be what you’re looking for!

For further details whatsapp +60 11-3978 8817