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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Experience an enlivening Kampung life at Homestay Kg Lonek

I was ecstatic when I was informed by Gaya Travel, the organizer of Jom Jelejah Koperasi Negeri Sembilan 2013 that Homestay Kg Lonek is included. This would be my fifth visit since my first invitation by Tourism Malaysia Negeri Sembilan back in 2006.

Homestay Kg Lonek is one of my favorite homestay in Negeri Sembilan because most of the houses are still traditional, unlike other homestays. It has been in existence since December 2004.  For the past 8 to 9 years, it shows an increase in arrival of 3,000 local and foreign tourists from Europe, Japan, Australia and Singapore. The villagers in Homestay Kg Lonek still maintain their “Adat Pepatih” customs in their daily lives, dialect and foods such as “Masak Lemak Cili Api” (Bird eyes chili cooked in coconut cream), “Daging Salai” (Smoked beef) and “Sembilang Goreng berlada” (Spicy fried Cat fish)

Traditional house at Homestay Kg Lonek
Traditional house at Homestay Kg Lonek
Traditional house at Homestay Kg Lonek
Traditional house at Homestay Kg  Lonek
Traditional house at Homestay Kg Lonek
With the latest development, Homestay Kg Lonek has been declared a Wireless Village or KTW -“Kampung Tanpa Wayar” by the SKMM (Suruhanjaya Komunikasi Multimedia Malaysia) or Commission Multimedia Communication of Malaysia. The wireless networks are available at the Homestay Kg Lonek Activity Center and Kampung Tengah Mosque. However, you need to register first.

Homestay Kg Lonek Activity Center
Since Homestay Kg Lonek is surrounded by paddy fields, the related activities such as “Mengoca Ikan” and “Pesta Mengemping Padi” are the favorites. Nature exploration activities, cooking demonstration, fishing, handicrafts such as rattan, “pandan”, “mengkuang” and bamboo, visit cottage industries such as soy sauce, chili sauce, “tempe” or soya bean cake, tofu and yellow noodles can be organized.

The history of Kampung Lonek

Kampung Lonek comprises of several villages, mainly Kampung Tengah, Kampung Tebat, Kampung Masjid Lonek, Kampung Sungai Taling and Kampung Lonek Seberang. This 1,246 acres area was opened in the 19th century by a group of settlers, led by Mr Hamzah and his wife, Tanjung. They planted trees named “Sempunek” along the river mouth or “Kuala” that flows through the Jempol River. Lonek is derived from the combination words of “kua-LO” and “sempuNEK”

A typical 2 Days 1 Night program at Homestay Kg Lenok are as follows

Day 1
10.30am
Arrived at Homestay Kg Lonek
+ Welcome ceremony by “Gendang Pacik”
+ Briefing
+ Divide to foster family
+ Lunch at Activity Center
2.30pm
Activities
+ “Mengacau Dodol atau Penanan”
+ Paddy flaking / “Mengemping padi”
+ Traditional games / “Sukan Rakyat”
+ Catching fish / “Mengoca Iikan”
6.30pm
Back to foster family house
8.00pm
Dinner “Makan jambar” at Activity Center
“Bongai” performance – Negeri Sembilan traditional music and songs

Day 2
6.30am
+ Aerobic session
+ Pot luck breakfast
9.00am
+ Finding bamboo sprout / “Mencari Rebung”
+ Rubber leaf activity / “Bunga daun getah”
12.00noon
Lunch with foster family
2.00pm
Depart for home

Welcome cremony of Gendang Pacik
Process to make traditional “Dodol”, the villagers named it “Penanan”

(1)    Pour coconut cream – extracted from 6 large coconuts - into a large wok

(2)    Add blended glutinuous rice – 1 kilogram rice, washed, soaked for half hour and blended

(3)    Add 2 kilogram coarse sugar

(4)    Lastly add 1 bundle of 5 large pieces of “Gula Enau” or Palm Sugar from the “Enau’ tree. This Palm sugar is different from “Buah Melaka” which is from ‘Nira” from Coconut tree. “Buah Melaka” is used to make Snack called “Onde onde” or “Kuih Buah Melaka” or the local name “Kelepong”

(5)    If you like, you can add fresh durian flesh or pine leaf “Daun Pandan” juice for extra flavor.

(6)    Constantly stir the mixture for an hour until it slightly thickens. For thicker texture, you need to stir for 5 hours.

The Penanan ready to be eaten
As mentioned by Miss Hadijah, our coordinator, according to “Adat Pepatih” the bride will bring a tray of “Penanan” as a gift for her groom.

Process to make Paddy Flake or “Emping Padi”

The paddy seed must be newly harvested. Wash and soak overnight. 

Fry in a pan without oil until it pops, like popcorn. 

Immediately pound rhythmically in a “lesong” till the husks and pounded paddy flakes are separated. 

Flip in a big round bamboo sieve “across” the gush of wind. The husks will be blown away to the ground and become chicken feed.


These paddy flakes is mixed with finely grated coconut flesh, chopped “Enau” Palm sugar and young coconut water. This popular snack is usually consumed during the “Pesta Emping” or Harvest Festival.


Traditional games or “Sukan Rakyat”

Getting ready for Traditional games at Homestay Kg Lonek
The traditional games organized by the Youth of Homestay Kg Lonek are coconut bowling – rolling coconut across the grass to knock down ten 500 ml water bottles, “tarik upih” – pulling your friend who sits on a big dried betel nut leaf and “Semakin Jauh semakin sayang” – throwing water balloon to your partner without breaking, each time both of you need to step back.

Catching fish or “Mengoca ikan”

"Mengoca ikan" at Homestay Kg Lonek
"Mengoca ikan" at Homestay Kg Lonek
"Mengoca ikan" at Homestay Kg Lonek
"Mengoca ikan" at Homestay Kg Lonek
However, the last activity of the day, “Mengoca ikan”, is the most enjoyable and unforgettable experience for the participants and spectators. Everyone has to get in a small irrigation canal; blocked on both ends and filled with lots of cat fish. The main purpose is to catch as many fish as possible using your bare hands. In order to do that you must “mengoca” or jiggle the muddy water as much as possible so that the fishes are dazed and will come to the surface. That way you can easily catch them. It is easy said than done! I can hear screams from Fadhli who is so ticklish at the touch of those slimy fishes at his feet. It takes him minutes to go down but only split seconds to jump up to the edge. He even screams when his team mates try to pass to him to put in the pail. It is also hilarious to see Gael Hilotin, a Filipino travel blogger and Siti Dimiati, Editor of Aroma magazine, catch the fishes using their tee shirts. The first time, the fish manage to jump out because neither of them had the courage to catch the fish. After the photo taking of their catch, all the participants wash themselves at the nearby river before returning to the houses.    

“Makan Jambar” dinner & Bongai performance

Spacious hall at Homestay Kg Lonek
"Makan Jambar" at Homestay Kg Lonek
During our dinner at Homestay Lonek, we were served the “Makan Jambar” style. We sat on the floor, in front of our dinner under a big round tray cover by the “’tudung saji” or food cover. It is 4 persons to one tray. 

Serving for 4 persons at Homestay Kg Lonek
Tempoyak Pucuk Ubi at Homestay kg Lonek
"Rebung masak cili api" at Homestay Kg Lonek
We had typical dish of “Tempoyak Pucuk Ubi”,young tapioca leaves cooked in a fermented durian, beef curry, fried chicken and “Rebung masak cili api”, young bamboo sprouts cooked in coconut cream and bird eyes chilli.

Homestay Lonek’s own Bongai band entertained us while we were having our dinner. They sang popular traditional Negeri Sembilan songs such as “Ayam Den lapeh”, directly translated as my chicken ran away and “Apo kono eh Jang”, meaning what is happening, Jang?

The next day, our aerobics session was conducted by Mr Hezri Mat Isa to the beat of the popular “Poco-poco”, “Sewang”, an aboriginal dance, “Jambatan Tamparuli”, a Sabah catchy song and other dance song. 

Breakfast "kampung"style at Homestay Kg Lonek
After 1 hour session, all of us are ready for a Pot Luck breakfast by our foster family at that open air communal hall. We are encouraged to ask for some helpings from other families. The main aim is to foster closeness amongst the communities.

Finding the young bamboo sprouts at Homestay Kg Lonek
Cleaning the bamboo sprouts at Homestay Kg Lonek
Slicing the bamboo sprouts at Homestay Kg Lonek
After the hearty breakfast, the activity of finding the bamboo sprouts and processing them is done. Next is making roses out of rubber leaf before we dispersed to our foster family’s house to refresh and have home cooked lunch. 

Things for the rubber leaf rose at Homestay Kg Lonek
There are more photos in our Company Facebook page – Leisure & Incentive Tours Sdn Bhd. If you have any inquiry, please call me (Miss Wan) at 03-2260 3667 / 4667 or email at leisureincentivetours@gmail.com









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