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Jom Jelajah Kampung
Located about 80km northwest of Kuala Lumpur, Kampung Sungai Sireh is an agricultural village. It has a population of about 7,500, where seventy percent of the population perform padi-planting, 5% does fishery and the remaining 25 per cent involved in other agricultural activities.
A little more than an hour drive from Kuala Lumpur, Kampung Sungai Sireh is known to be one of the top 3 best homestays in Malaysia.
As we entered the village from Route 5, we began to see extensive blocks of paddy fields on our left and village houses appearing on our right side along the road leading to 1. Pusat Agro, which was the meeting point for guests visiting Kampung Sungai Sireh.
This tour offers an experience of the 2. Homestay programme in the country. The homestay manager checked us in and handed us over to the host family. This is a chance to blend into a local community in our home country and observe the locals’ way of living for two days.
Our 3. Room was equipped with all the necessary basic facilities and we were free to mingle with the members of the host family to understand and experience the lifestyle of the villagers.
Sungai Terusan Besar
Kampung Sungai Sireh is situated along 4. Sungai Terusan Besar, which is the main water source to the farmlands in the village. We took a 5. Cruise along Sungai Terusan Besar that cuts between Kampung Sungai Sireh and Sungai Karang Forest Reserve. The calm water cruise offers tourists the opportunity for bird and animal watching such as eagles, pigeons, swiftlets and monkeys.
Tourists are also offered 6. Kayaking along the river. Parents with young children might find the water activities in Sungai Terusan Besar conducive as the river is not a main waterway for water transportation. Boats are rarely seen zigzagging the river. It is mainly used by the villagers.
After taking the cruise, we hopped onto a van heading to Kuala Selangor, the destination is best known for firefly watching. The 30-minute van ride took us first to 7. Bukit Melawati.
Royal Burial Ground
The hill was the administrative centre of the Selangor Sultanate in the late 18th and early 19th century. Other than giving visitors the panoramic view of Kuala Selangor from the hill top, the historical site has a lighthouse, 8. Cannons, museums and the 9. Royal Burial Ground of the first three rulers of Selangor. Situated at the end of the Sultan’s palace garden, is a 5 x 5 x 1 ft flat stone 10. Batu Hampar believed to be used to behead traitors in the past. There was also another belief that the stone was a place of relaxation for Sultan Abdul Samad to savour the panoramic view overlooking the township of Kuala Selangor.
The hill is also a place for the sighting of “New Moon”. A designated building, known as 11. ‘Baitulhilal’, was constructed specifically for the purpose of sightings of the “New Moon” to determine the beginning of Ramadhan and Syawal.
Bukit Melawati is also home to the 12. Silver-Leaf Monkeys and 13. Long-Tailed Macaques. The monkeys moved freely on the hill and tourists are allowed to get close to them. The vegetarian Silver-Leaf Monkeys are known to be gentle that even tourists could feed and touch them. The Long-Tailed Macaques, however, are more aggressive and can be dangerous when provoked. Tourists are advised to take extra care of their personal belongings when feeding the monkeys.
As the night sky slowly descended to replace the light of day, we found ourselves at the jetty, anticipating our 14. Firefly watching experience. The sampan that we boarded drifted slowly and quietly on the surface of the dark waters and into the darkness. Before we knew it, we were surrounded by fireflies from both sides of the riverbanks.
The lifespan of a firefly is only 7 months. The light generated from the fireflies is believed to last for only three months out of its entire lifespan. Firefly watching is a unique experience that we would recommend for everyone to try at least once.
Our busy fun-filled tour on the first day did not end with the firefly watching, but with a 15. BBQ dinner at the front yard of the homestay. The BBQ dinner was a lot of fun when you’re trying out your BBQ skills in a group and enjoying the dinner with the rest of the host family.
The second half was as interesting as the first.
Traditional Malay House
After enjoying the local breakfast served to us, we hopped on our bicycles for the cycling tour around the village. This is an almost 100% flat road ride. We cycled along the Jalan Terusan Utama village road passing by small cottages and 16. Sugarcane farms before making our first stop at the 17. Traditional Malay house 2.5km from where we started.
It is impressive to see the owner of the traditional Malay house utilizing every meter of his land planting fruits, vegetables and herbs. We were taken for a walk around his house compound and shown to all the plants he grew. For city dwellers, family with children and foreigners who have not seen a banana tree, 18. Coconut tree, 19. Papaya tree, 20. ‘Cili Padi’ and 21. Herbal plants, this is the place to visit.
Traditional Paddy Processing Equipment
The house also displays 22. Traditional paddy processing equipment, such as Lesung Kaki, Kepuk Padi, and Nyiru (Tampi), just to name a few, for tourists to try their hands on.
Regulator Sungai Burong
One hour into our tour, we continued our ride along Jalan Terusan Utama to the 23. Regulator Sungai Burong. It was a rare opportunity that we were allowed entry into the regulating station to take a closer look at how water is distributed from the river to the farmlands.
Paddy Harvesting Machines
About 7km into our ride, we took a turn to Jalan Parit 5 heading towards the 24. Paddy fields. We were fortunate that our visit to Kampung Sungai Sireh was at the right time of the season when farmers were harvesting paddy. Farmers and 25. Paddy harvesting machines were seen busy at work in the fields.
Birds’ Nests House
The paddy fields at Kampung Sungai Sireh and Sekinchan both locate a kind of tall, cemented building structures, placed sporadically across the vast expanse of paddy field. These 26. Buildings are specially built for the harvesting of birds’ nests.
These nests are produced by the saliva from male swiftlets during the breeding season and are believed to be rich in nutrients. Birds’ nests are mainly consumed by the Chinese and are considered one of the most expensive animal products consumed by human.
From the paddy fields, we cycled past Sekinchan town centre before crossing the busy Jalan Kuala Selangor - Teluk Intan to 27. Sekinchan Jetty. Observe traffic signals when crossing the main road as small and heavy vehicles often ply through this road at high speed. The Sekinchan Jetty is an interesting place to visit especially in the morning when fishing boats unload their catches from the Straits of Melaka.
Kari Ikan Sembilang (Curry Catfish)
Upon returning at Kampung Sungai Sireh, we cycled along village roads to Kari Sembilang Kg. Pinang Restaurant to taste the famous 28. Kari Ikan Sembilang (Curry Catfish) and 29. Lepek Pisang (local delicacy made of banana). After filling up our empty stomachs and resting our tired feet, we went back on the road and cycled another 7km back to Pusat Agro where we started.
Towards the end of the tour, the host prepared 30. Batik-colouring and 31. Handicraft-making classes. It was so much fun to be able to observe closely the batik process after having heard about it for one too many times.
This tour was filled with an endless list of activities that we barely had the time to lay back and stay idle. The 35.35km second-half is suitable for tourists of all ages. It is nicely packaged with not only sightseeing, but also with nature expedition, educational activities and familiarization with the ‘kampung’ life.
Cycling Route - Jom Jelajah Kampung
This cycling tour package is provided by: Agrotourism Homestay Sungai Sireh
Lorong AP/23 Parit 1, Kampung Ampangan, 45500 Tanjung Karang, Kuala Selangor, Selangor. Tel: +60 (3) 3269-7372
- Sungai Sireh
- Kuala Selangor
- Bukit Melawati
- Royal Burial Ground
- Batu Hampar
- SilverLeaf Monkeys
- LongTailed Macaques
- Firefly watching
- Traditional Malay house
- Coconut tree
- Papaya tree
- Cili Padi
- Herbal plant
- Traditional paddy processing equipment
- Paddy fields
- Paddy harvesting machines
- Sekinchan Jetty
- Kari Ikan Sembilang
- Lepek Pisang