Discovering Benut: Unveiling a Malaysian village's rich heritage

06 Oct 2023 12:00pm
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Nestled within the heart of Malaysia lies a village steeped in history, a testament to the enduring spirit of its people.

It holds a captivating history in the timeless essence of a truly Malaysian village as it uncovers the rich tapestry of traditions, culture, and heritage that defines this remarkable place.

Benut, a tranquil gem in the Pontian district of Malaysia, beckons travellers with its untouched beauty and warm hospitality.

Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of city life, Benut promises an authentic experience of rural Malaysia.

If the tourists are wondering how to embark on this enchanting journey, the most convenient way to reach Benut is by car from Kuala Lumpur or Johor Bahru.

Follow the North-South Motorway (PLUS) until it reaches the Second Link Motorway; take Exit 253, which leads to Benut.

The well-maintained roads offer a smooth and scenic drive.

Furthermore, if they prefer public transportation, they can take a bus from major cities like Kuala Lumpur or Johor Bahru to Pontian.

From Pontian, local buses or taxis are available to take them to Benut, which is just a short distance away.

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However, the nearest major airport is Senai International Airport in Johor Bahru.

As you journey towards Benut, be prepared to leave behind the urban landscapes and embrace the serene countryside.


This quaint village promises a unique experience, from its revitalised homestays to its rich cultural heritage and delicious traditional cuisine.

Tourism Malaysia Package Development Division Director Shahrin Mokhtar says one of Benut's best-kept secrets is its array of traditional homestays that offer visitors an opportunity to immerse themselves in the local way of life.

"Among the homestays in Permatang Bestari, Puteri Menangis, and Pari Tengah, we have managed to strengthen our bond with the village residents.

"This demonstrates that when we work together, we can share the essence of Pontian and make it one of the preferred destinations for visitors," said Shahrin.

Unfortunately, due to the impact of COVID-19, the homestays have been significantly affected.

There are plans by Tourism Malaysia to give it a fresh new take by introducing new activities.

These homestays, scattered across the village, provide an authentic glimpse into the warm hospitality of the locals.

As it navigates through this charming network of accommodations, it will explore the advantages of staying in these traditional homes and discuss how tourism can play a pivotal role in reviving tourism post-pandemic.

On the other hand, Benut is not only blessed with natural beauty but also boasts a rich cultural heritage that has been cherished and passed down through generations.


When tourists visit Benut, they will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the vibrant tapestry of traditional art forms and games that define this charming village.

Visitors can witness captivating Wayang Kulit performances, rhythmic Tarian Barungan dances, and thrilling Gasing Pangkah.

Wayang Kulit, or shadow puppetry, has a long and storied history in Malaysia.

It is a traditional form of entertainment and storytelling that dates back centuries.

The puppets, intricately crafted from buffalo hide, depict characters from ancient epics and local legends.

Watching a "Wayang Kulit" performance is like stepping into a mystical world, as the shadows cast by the puppets, accompanied by traditional music and storytelling, create a mesmerising and enchanting atmosphere.

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"Tarian Barungan" is a traditional Malay dance that has been performed for generations during festive occasions and cultural celebrations.

It embodies grace, rhythm, and the spirit of unity; witnessing a "Tarian Barungan" performance is a true cultural delight.

The dancers' colourful costumes, graceful movements, and synchronised steps tell stories of tradition and harmony.

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"Gasing Pangkah", or spinning tops, has been a favourite pastime for Malaysians for centuries.

It was originally a friendly competition among villagers to see who could make their top spin the longest.

Participants skillfully launch their spinning tops into action.

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It's a thrilling display of dexterity and precision that showcases the village's enduring traditions.

For the more adventurous, there are activities like Baling Tin, Bowling Kelapa, Lari Guni, and Tarik Tali that promise unforgettable experiences.

Participating in these traditional games and witnessing cultural performances allows tourists to not only have fun but also gain a deeper appreciation for Benut's heritage.

It's a chance to connect with the local community and create lasting memories of their visit to this remarkable village.


No trip to Benut is complete without indulging in its traditional cuisine, delighting the taste buds with Nasi Ambeng and the delectable Botok Udang, and gaining insights into how these dishes are prepared from the locals themselves.

Nasi Ambeng, a traditional Javanese dish, is renowned for its hearty and communal nature.

This flavorful dish is a harmonious blend of various components.

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On the other hand, Botok Udang is a steamed shrimp (udang) dish, lovingly wrapped in banana leaves and filled with a rich and fragrant mixture of ingredients.


Benut, with its undeniable charm and multifaceted attractions, is a treasure trove waiting to be explored.

Beyond its cultural riches, this quaint village nestled in the heart of Pontian has so much more to offer.

It is a place where tradition and nature coexist harmoniously, creating an enchanting backdrop for travellers seeking an authentic and immersive experience.

One of the standout features of Benut is its extensive pineapple plantations that sprawl across the landscape.

These verdant fields are not just a sight to behold; they also lay claim to the prestigious title of having the largest private pineapple property in the region.

As it meanders through the village, the tourists will find themselves surrounded by these lush pineapple fields, each corner adorned with the vibrant green of this tropical fruit.

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It's a visual feast that paints a picturesque panorama, perfect for leisurely strolls or capturing postcard-worthy photographs.

For those with a penchant for culinary adventures, Benut has a delightful treat in store: Ladang Madu Kelulut.

This local delicacy is a testament to the village's commitment to preserving its heritage.

Kelulut honey, sourced from stingless bees native to the region, is renowned for its unique flavour and medicinal properties.

Tourists can savour this golden nectar in various forms, from drizzling it over delectable dishes to enjoying it as a sweet treat on its own.

Exploring the world of Kelulut honey is not just a gastronomic journey but also an opportunity to support local beekeeping traditions.

As the sun begins to dip below the horizon, adrenaline junkies will find their hearts racing at the BMX Racing Track.

This venue is not just an ordinary racing track; it's a hub of excitement and thrills.

It hosts a series of thrilling events that draw participants and spectators alike, whether they're experienced or not.

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