Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Penang Homestay Program on the way

Malaysia has a Homestay programs where visitors can stay in traditional villages and experience the way the locals live. There are already a number of villlages participating in the program. According to a Star news article, there will soon be another Homestay program in 4 Malay and Chinese kampungs (villages) - Kampung Sungai Sembilang, Kampung Kuala Juru, Kampung Tok Kangar and Perkampungan Juru, all in Bukit Tengah, Penang (Pearl of the Orient). This is in preparation for the Visit Malaysia Year 2007. According to Bukit Tengah assemblyman Ng Siew Lai, Sungai Sembilang and Kuala Juru are typical Malay fishing villages famous for cockle culture, mee udang (prawn noodles) and ikan bakar (barbequed fish). There is also a quaint floating restaurant in Bukit Kecil. They are also in the process of building several stages for cultural shows there.

Perkampungan Juru is a typical Chinese village with cottage industries, and has about 10 Chinese associations and guilds. There is a pewter factory. Many villagers are involved in making traditional cakes such as kuih bakul, kuih bahulu and nyonya kuih. There are also several cicada farms that supply bait to fishermen.

Additional information: Host families usually gets between RM60 (USD17.11) to RM120 (USD34.21) per day per head.


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