My family and I have been doing quite a lot of traveling these days. We went to Genting for Fantastica 2 and Stars on Strings back in Nov 2013, followed a media trip to Banghuris Homestay in Sepang with Sahabat Media, hop over to Bentong for an impromptu road trip, head all the way North of Malaysia for Christmas and last but not least, the most recent one, we hit the road for Perak.
Ooopps, my bad. Not the road, but the rail. My family and I were given a chance to experience the newly launched Railway Tourism Package to selected homestays in Perak. The trip was sponsored by KTAM and endorsed by Malaysian Board of Tourism.
Our trip was 3D2N stay in a homestay in Perak. Departure was from KL Central to Ipoh Railway Station via ETS. The journey took approximately 2 hours in Gold Class Coach. The journey to Ipoh Railway station was non stop. Tourism Minister, Datuk Seri Nazri was with us during the trip.
Bloggers were served with in-train meals. They had the local fried rice and pasta. My wife and I opt for one fried rice and pasta respectively while our son had some of the kuih. Apparently the food wasn’t good enough for him. He was complaining it was rather cold. Hmm…nothing gourmet and not much to comment about the in-train food. It was something I would described as just to fill the tummy and not something for you to enjoy. Picky eaters won’t like the meals.
Anyway, I’m not sure if meals are provided in that Railway Tourism Package as there is always ‘extra stuff’ for us during media trip. So be sure to check with your travel agent prior booking.
We arrived at Ipoh Railway Station at about 8pm and were ushered to dinner and the launching of Railway Tourism Concert before we were sent to our respective homestays. Despite some hiccup with the bus etc, ( mismanagement by KTAM, I believe)we managed to arrive safe and sound at Bukit Gantang Homestay.
At about 2 am…Yes, you are reading that right. 2am, we gathered at the Bukit Gantang Community Hall before we were handed over to our respective foster family.
Ours was Pn. Noriah of Kampung Pauh. A single mother who doesn’t really talk much or mingle, but took care of our needs in the most diligent manner.
Day 2- Breakfast with our foster family. What’s in the menu: fried mihun, cucur durian, and coffee and tea. Specially prepared for us by our foster mother. It perks us up immediately and definitely fuel us up for the next agenda: Lenggong Food Festival. Great experience here. We get to try a lot of exotic dishes like kebebe, pindang ikan sungai, nasi daun lerek, gulai pisang and many more. We missed the media lunch and some activities though. There was no proper briefing given to us by our tour guide in charge and therefore we were quite clueless on what to do.
Day-2 Lenggong Food Fest is not a part of the 3D2N Railway Tourism Package. It is merely an iniciative done to introduce authentic Perak traditional delicacies by Malaysian Tourism Ministry in conjunction of Visit Malaysia 2014.
Day 2-Fruit feast awaits us when we get back home after the Lenggong Food festival. Our foster mother has taken the trouble to collect the fresh fruits for us from her orchard. Love the creamy fresh durians while my wife enjoyed the mangosteen the most.
Day 2- Kampung walk was part of the agenda. A very refreshing thing for us to be able to walk around the kampung and yet not feel tired. Unlike the city, the air was fresh here in Kampung Pauh.
Day2- After refreshing ourselves, it’s time to join the rest for mock wedding. One of the most interesting highlight Bukit Gantang Homestay has to offer. A full fledge Malay wedding were hosted for tourists to experience. One of our Sahabat Media from Iran was picked to play the bride while the groom was a student from Indonesia. There was marhaban, an energetic silat performance, live band etc. And just like a real Malay wedding, we enjoyed the food served to us by using our hands. The mock wedding will be forever embedded in my memory. It was so real and fun.
Day 3- Aftter breakfast and saying gpodbye to our foster mother, we head over Victoria Bridge Green Day in Krai, Perak. Another thing that is not included in the 3D2N package but something we members of the media get to experience. There was some gotong royong to beautify and clean the river going on. Abit about the bridge: it’s haunted. At least to the bloggers and the members of the media. Anyway, despite of some unpleasant experience we media had to go through while crossing the bridge. We arrived the other side safely. We were given selempang as a symbol of warm welcome.
Day 3- Makan berhidang for us. Nice food. 🙂 there was plenty of assorted Malay curries and traditional delicacies.
Day 3- The last thing on our agenda was a very short sightseeing in Kuala Kangsar and departure back to KL. We went back by using Silver Class Coach. The train make plenty of stops before we arrived in KL Central. In-train food was not provided this time around by KTAM. But lucky for us, people from Mmode and Gopeng Homestay sponsored us some packed rice to enjoy on the train. Again, I would like to remind you to check with your travel agent regarding meals should you sign up for this Railway Tourism Package.
The Railway Tourism Package starts from RM500++ per pax. Do check KTAM’s website for more info about it.