Malaysia: Pelegong Homestay in Negeri Sembilan


KL Commuter

Planning a trip can be challenging and one of the many things we consider is the place we'll be staying. It could be a budget hotel or a luxury hotel. But have you ever thought of living with the locale also known as homestay? 

I would like to make this trip an experience of a lifetime so I asked myself if living in the community or a family could give me a different kind of experience? That's when I decided to included homestay programme in my itinerary.  


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Homestay is a programme where guests  experiences local’s lifestyle. It was the highlight of my recent visit in Malaysia. 

Two days before our flight to Kuala Lumpur, I started booking for homestay via email which I got from  go2homestay.com. I actually emailed two - Homestay Pachitan and Pelegong. I only got an immediate response from Homestay Pelegong though. 

Homestay Pachitan is located near Port Dickson, the longest beaches in Malaysia and a popular place on Peninsular Malaysia’s Southwestern Coast. It’s about an hour drive from Seremban, the capital of Negeri Sembilan


Homestay

On the other hand, Homestay Pelegong is the nearest in the town of Seremban. It’s about 20 minutes drive to Seremban. 


Our Backpacker Accommodation in Chinatown, Kuala Lumpur


It was around 11PM when we arrived in Kuala Lumpur International Airport, unfortunately, we were not able to catch the last train at 11pm going Negeri Sembilan so we decided to check-in in a small yet clean and air-conditioned backpacker room in Chinatown

We got a room at Backpackers Traveler’s Inn worth 45 Malaysian Ringgit (wince we're three, each will only pay 15RM or about P200), that’s the cheapest I guess!

Backpackers Traveler’s InnBackpackers Traveler’s Inn
Displayed is Philippine Map at Backpackers Traveler’s Inn

Look what I just found at the hallway, a Philippine map!



Off to Negeri Sembilan!


Paser Seri train station is about 10 minutes far from Backpackers Traveler’s Inn. There’s  a bridge going to KL station, the best way to reach Pelegong Homestay is to drop off at Torio Station, fee is 5.50RM. 

Tiroi, a station after Labu and before Seremban.



Tiroi StationTorio Station
Me and LetsGoSago with a friendly staff at Torio train station

We met a friendly train staff at the ticketing station of Tiroi. He gave us little info about the place including the mobile network that has a good signal in Sembilan. We were really grateful when he even offered us to use his phone so we can call our contact for the homestay. 


Tip #1: Make sure to book earlier if you want to include homestay programme in your itinerary. Notify the agent or your contact of your time and date of arrival.  In our case, our foster parent fetched us at Tiroi station.

Experienced Homestay Programme

A warm welcome awaits us at our foster parent’s house. We were greeted by his wife and grandchildren. Their house is quite big and can accommodate four or more homestays (guests). Not too long, they served us lunch – our first meal in Negeri Sembilan!

Hj. Abu Hassan Arjak of Pelegong homestay is a 73 year old man, our foster parent during the entire stay in Negeri Sembilan. Although we have some difficulties in communication, he remained kind and friendly. 


Hj. Abu Hassan Arjak with Jonel of LetsGoSagoHomestay PelegongHomestay Pelegong Homestay Pelegong

I don't know if many travelers will consider homestay especially now there are affordable backpacking rooms and luxury hotels offering special discounts and packages.


Why you should do homestay? 


For some, they already found their homes here. As for me, even for a short period of time, I it was something I will never forget. It was a different kind of travel experience. I went out of my comfort zones without sacrificing the objective of my travel. There were challenges along the way though and it was where learning comes. 

Challenge No. 1
  • I guess for a person who’s not into spicy food staying in a place where almost every food served are spicy would be a big problem. Here in Malaysia, Negeri Sembilan is known for its spicy food. The place where you'll find the spiciest of all spicy food in Malaysia. 

Pelegong Homestay
The family prepared  chicken curry, chicken with thick red sauce, spicy fried chicken and spicy sautéed vegetables.
I though I was safe with the veggie so I had it first but was surprised to find out it has a lot of spices compared to other dishes! I can’t remember how many glasses of grape juice I consumed to wash away the spiciness in my mouth. My lips burning and tongue painful and I'm starving. 

Pelegong Hometay: Chicken Curry Pelegong Hometay: Pelegong Hometay: Spicy VeggiePelegong Hometay: Fried Chicken
Food is one of the most exciting part of traveling. Surprisingly, I was able to  adjust easily. The next day everything seemed ordinary.  Interestingly, even their dessert has spices! We had guava-like fruit drizzled with fine peppers.  

Trivia: Did you know that Negeri Sembilan serves the hottest and spiciest food here in Malaysia.


Challenge No.2
  • Bahasa Melayu is their national language. There are some who can speaks and understand English though. It was a challenge for me to express myself and communicate well with my foster parents since they don't speak English but it wasn't a big deal. With facial expression and gestures, he was able to understand me and vice versa.
  • It’s interesting to learn a few words.  I just have to catch up when he speaks very fast. Simple gestures or signs like eating, praying, tea drinking, short or distant. Members of the household may look shy and reserved, I guess we need to respect that and remain to be sensitive. 
with Hj. Abu Hssan
Challenge No. 3
  • I would like to say this is not actually a challenge but a great experience. Homestay is where you live with the local, join and learn their culture and respect their beliefs and religion. When I visited the State Mosque in Sembilan, we were welcomed by our Muslim brother, Zambri who gave me Muslim dress to wear.  He also showed us the interior and gave us a brief information about their activities.
State Mosque, Negeri SembilanState Mosque, Negeri Sembilan

Tip #2: When planning to visit a mosque, make sure you’re in proper attire perhaps bring a Muslim dress.
Challenge No. 4
DG sim
  • Today, almost everyone wants to stay connected with their families and engaged in social networking sites. I also wanted to be online most of the time.
The phone and internet signal is not as strong but you can still browse using your smartphones from time to time. I guess, you just need to position your phone to get the best result. Perhaps, homestay gives us the chance to free ourselves from these gadgets and take the opportunity of living with the basic - no internet, weak mobile network! Indeed, it was a place quite different from the usual hotel and backpacking rooms in the city.

Tip #3: Bring an "open line" phone and purchase a local sim card. Unfortunately, my phone was locked so I just relied on WiFi connections to update my social networking sites.

Challenge No. 5
  • No one is an island” in Pelegong homestay! If you’re new in this village and don’t have a car going in and out, then you need someone who will bring you wherever you want. I am grateful Hj. Abu Hassan assisted me when I needed to see the nearby towns of Sembilan. 
Pelegong Homestay, Negeri Sembilan
Wife makes breads and pastries at home. 
Pelegong Homestay, Negeri Sembilan
With fellow homestayer, Carrie
Pelegong Homestay, Negeri SembilanPelegong Homestay, Negeri SembilanPelegong Homestay, Negeri SembilanPelegong Homestay, Negeri SembilanPelegong Homestay, Negeri Sembilan

My journey in Negeri Sembilan does not end here. There are still a lot to share.  Unfortunately, we were not able to see traditional attire and dance performances but I got some photos of these activities from Carrie. 

**photos below from Ms. Carrie’s mobile phone,  a fellow homestay at Pelegong Homestay

Malaysia: Pelegong Homestay in Negeri SembilanMalaysia: Pelegong Homestay in Negeri Sembilan


According to the villagers, they usually gather and present these traditional music (Caklempong or Taklempong) and dress up in a large group of people. 

Perhaps on my next visit. 

Special thanks to Tourism Malaysia and Zest Air for this wonderful experience.

For more information about Homestay, you may visit http://www.tourism.gov.or Tara na sa Malaysia on Facebook.

Follow me on my journey on FacebookTwitter Instagram


Backpackers Traveller’s Inn# 60 Jalan Sultan, Kuala Lumpur Homestay PelegongHj. Abu Hssan B. Arjak, PMC, PJKKoperasi Homestay Kg. PelegongN. Sembilan Berhad+6017-746-9624





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