By Jeremy Khalil on August 21, 2020

 

In July 2020, the Selangor State Cultural Council (MKNS) and the Selangor State Economic Planning Unit (UPEN Selangor) kicked off the programme called #KitaKeKampung, which comprises a series of familiarisation trips to selected traditional villages in Selangor with the objective of making the public realise that villages and rural communities still have significant role to play in this day and age.

The first #KitaKeKampung trip was to the villages of Kampung Hulu Chuchoh, Kampung Hulu Teris and Kampung Bukit Bangkong – collectively called Banghuris – located in Sepang. Below are the 10 unique things that travellers should look for when staying at Kampung Hulu Chuchoh, Kampung Hulu Teris and Kampung Bukit Bangkong.

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Nasi ambeng

Popular among the Javanese communities in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore, nasi ambeng is a meal set served on special occasions consisting of fragrant rice, chicken, tempe (fermented soybeans formed into cakes), fried sambal (local chilli paste), coconut floss and fried noodles, all lumped together onto a large  tray that is meant to be shared among four or five persons. Traditionally, nasi ambeng is directly eaten from the tray simultaneously using the right hand, a practice believed to foster closeness and camaraderie among the diners.

Vegetables grown using fertigation

Rumah Sayur (‘Vegetable House’) is a greenhouse that grows leafy greens such as green mustard, water spinach and mung bean sprouts through ‘fertigation’ (from the words ‘fertiliser’ and ‘irrigation’) on elevated shelves. Fertilisers are injected into the layer of coconut coir on top of these shelves, serving as beds where the vegetables grow upon. Once ready to be harvested, these vegetables can easily be plucked out of their beds without the grower having to bend down since they are already at height level.   

Honey from stingless bees

Travellers can observe or even help in harvesting honey from stingless bees at Kampung Hulu Chuchoh. The type of honey produced by stingless bees is nutritious and full of health benefits.

Dragon fruit

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Travellers should learn about the dragon fruit at HL Dragon Fruit Farm and savour the farm’s restaurant’s dragon fruit-based menu that include fruit popsickle, ice blended dragon fruit, jumbo-sized dragon fruit bun, dragon fruit fried rice, chicken cooked with dragon fruit, seafood cooked with dragon fruit and dragon fruit salad.

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Banghuris

One of the dragon fruit-based menus at HL Dragon Fruit Farm.

Admiring the Mah Meri at Kampung Orang Asli Bukit Bangkong

Travellers should drop by at a Peninsular Malaysian aboriginal village to learn about the Mah Meri tribe, located 10 minutes’ drive from Kampung Hulu Chuchoh or Kampung Hulu Teris. The name Mah Meri means ‘People of the Jungle’ because the tribe traditionally relies heavily on the rainforest for their livelihood.

Harvesting coffee

At Kampung Hulu Chuchoh, there exists a small coffee plantation where travellers should try their hand at coffee harvesting. The type of coffee suitable to be grown in Peninsular Malaysia is Coffea liberica and the coffee tree grows up to nine metres tall if not pruned and produces white and fragrant flowers. Its fruit, called coffee cherries, appear only after four or five years of growth. Once the coffee cherries ripen, you can pluck them and remove the skin of the cherries to get the beans inside. You can then pound the beans until they become powder and sift it to refine it further.

Flying traditional kites

Travellers who stay at one of the Banghuris villages have the chance to make and fly the traditional kites of Selangor called wau kapal (‘boat kite’), which has the shape of a boat at the kite’s trailing edge. Launching and flying wau kapal is an experience of its own because it requires technique and skill.

Purchasing local snacks at JFISB

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Local snacks

Local snacks.

Jamirah Food Industries (M) Sdn Bhd (JFISB) is one of the largest tapioca chip producers and sellers in Malaysia producing around 100 tonnes of local snacks per month, including banana and sweet potato chips. Those who buy snacks directly from JFSIB will be spoilt for choice in terms of flavours and textures!

Chewing on cattle skin  

Travellers to Kampung Hulu Chuchoh can witness the process of converting cattle skin into a food product, beneficial for skin cell regeneration. Cattle skin on its own does not bear any flavour but can be turned into a comforting dish when cooked with spices and coconut milk. Due to its rigorous and time-consuming process, cattle skin is not commonly available, therefore not cheap.

Learning about traditional remedies

Traditional medicine practitioner Madam Tusriah binti Saram provides briefings at her house to travellers about the importance of healing using age-old traditional techniques passed down through generations. She also demonstrates how to develop skin exfoliants made from natural ingredients like rice soaked overnight mixed with screwpine leaves, turmeric, kaffir lime fruit peel and lemongrass, which removes dead skin cells, improves blood circulation, and reenergises the body.

For more info about Kampung Hulu Chuchoh, Kampung Hulu Teris and Kampung Bukit Bangkong, contact Haji Basir Bin Wagiman (+6 013 300 3942 / Fax: +6 03 3142 1010), Madam Misriah binti Natijo (+6 019 391 9547), Mr Azizi bin Haji Basir (+6 019 649 7655 / +6 017 630 3601), or e-mail to banghuris_homestay@yahoo.com

 

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