Sungkai, Malaysia - Jentong & Chinggong Villages

Sungkai Travel Blog

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Jentong, Malaysia - A typical Malay house

Now, how in the world did I ever find myself in such an itsy bitsy village, called Jentong?!!!  Thanks to Arnaud . . . Again!!!  :)

It kind of brought back memories from our first encounter with the Mennonites in Belize . . . was I happy?!!  Well, I’d be lying if I immediately said Yes!!

The truth is I was a bit hesitant at first, as Arnaud jumped at the chance of living another unique and authentic experience.

You see, it was really by chance that we found ourselves in this small Malaysian village, with rural Malays. 

So, there we were getting a little bit closer to KL, as best we could, when our ride decides to let us in on a little treat. 

He says to us, "I have to make a delivery in this typically Malaysian village, where there are no Indians, no Chinese, just real Malays.

Jentong, Malaysia - Sunan, Arnaud et les enfants
Would you like to tag along?"  

And so, being that our schedule is open to anything, we delightfully agreed!!  

Funny thing is, I bet, he just thought we’d be intrigued by this new discovery, and was probably just happy to have shared this cultural experience with us. 

But, of course, as we’re strong believers that everything happens for a reason, we just couldn’t leave things at just a visit.  We had to take things further!! 

When we told him that we wanted to stay the night, he must’ve thought to himself, "Have they lost their minds?!"

But no, we weren’t joking, and although, he may have been concerned for our comfort, he went on his way and left us behind with complete strangers, who practically spoke NO English, only Malay.

Jentong, Malaysia - Toujours des enfants

No worries, though, these folks were great hosts; and despite the language barrier, we managed to communicate as best we could.  

It did help, of course, having Sunan, one of the inhabitants of the village, around to translate as best he could!!

What an adventure, indeed!  What was uncomfortable for me at first, turned out to be a truly memorable experience!

Lots of firsts for us here!  Had my first bath in a river, and I gotta say, it wasn’t so bad.  Quite a new experience, for sure. 

At first, when the women came to me, asking if I wanted to bathe (through hand signals, of course!!), I immediately accepted, considering the long sweaty day we’d had!!

But little did I know we’d all be going down to the river nearby to do so!! 

First, they told me to get undressed in one of the rooms in the hut, and then handed me this fabric they use as a wrap.

Jentong, Malaysia - Beautiful Malay kiddos
  I wasn’t sure how to put it on, so one of the ladies giggled, and helped me along.

Then, off we went through the forest, until we reached this stream, where the villagers do their washing and bathing.  A BIG bath tub, just for us!!!

And again, I must say, I was a bit hesitant, because there I was, with all these female strangers, who spoke no English, and their kids. 

And being that it was my first time bathing this way, I wasn’t sure how they went about it all. 

So, I just watched, and was immediately reassured when I saw that the women actually washed in this cloth-like thingy they’d given me. 

Pheww!!!  I was worried I’d have to get naked in front of all the village boys and girls!!! 

Unforgettable!!  A good first-time experience for me, and one I’ll NEVER forget!!

Now that we were refreshed and clean, it was time for dinner!!  Our hosts made us a lovely traditional meal, which though was a bit spicy, went down just fine .

Jentong, Malaysia - Hello there!!
. . Well, with lots of water, of course!!!

For dessert, though, it would prove to be a little less enticing for us . . . You see, ‘til then, we’d already heard lots of talk and seen this mysterious thing, known as the Durian fruit. 

The locals absolutely love it, but for most foreigners, just the stench of it, scares them away!! 

Folks had been trying to get us to try it since the start of our trip here, but we just were never up to it, nor brave enough, considering its strong smell!!

But now, guess what was for dessert??!!  The Durian fruit!!!  We’d finally be trying this fruit that many locals refer to as "The King of Fruits" or "Fruit of the Gods!!!!" 

We had to at least give it a try, especially if we didn’t want to offend our dear hosts.

Jentong, Malaysia - La pause cigarette d'avant match

Ok, so why not?  Why else would we be traveling if it weren’t to experience new things!!??  And what better way to experience this new sensation, than with the locals themselves!? 

I gotta admit, I was a bit nervous at first, and I had good reason for being so!!  The minute that spiky outer shell was cracked open, all I could do was take in the odor that reminded me of rotting eggs!! 

And that wasn’t even the worse part of it all.  The taste wasn’t by any means wonderful either!  The combo of the smell and texture just didn’t go down well for me at all. 

Rotten eggs and this feeling of eating this soapy-like flesh, isn’t exactly a delicacy for me!!  Not exactly strawberries!!

And after an eventful evening, the following morning we had to get going if we wanted to make our flight in KL.

Jentong, Malaysia - Un peu en retard la!
 

So we said our goodbyes, as best we could, exchanged contact information, as we hope to see these folks again some day, and off we went.

Sunna was kind enough to get a hold of a vehicle, in order to take us out of this village, which was off the beaten track, and get us on the main road. 

But before parting for good, just one more little adventure and treat for us.  He decided to make a quick stop at another village. 

This time, we’d have the honor of meeting his wife and 6 kids!!  We spent an hour or so in his very own village, Chinggong, before finally taking off on our own.

So, a big thank you, for this incredible experience, that’ll be cherished always and forever!!!!

Tout a commencé avec ce chauffeur livreur qui allait déposer du ciment dans un petit village.

Jentong, Malaysia - Mais il est ou le ballon?

Il nous expliqua que ce village en question, était un des rares où l’on pouvait rencontrer de purs Malaisiens, sans mix hindou ou chinois, 100/100 de Malaisie !!

Après avoir traversé un foret, passé un pont où tu te demandes encore pourquoi il ne s’est pas effondré, on arriva en plein cœur du village !!

J’essayais de trouver une personne parlant un peu l’anglais et Sunan s’avéra le bon. Un jeune maçon de 30 ans.

Je lui demandais donc s’il était possible de rester quelques jours. Il accepta sans hésitation.

Après la tente sur pied, une partie de foot m’était proposée.

Jentong, Malaysia - Priceless!!!
Après avoir endossé mes gants, je prouvais que mon 2ème prénom n’était pas Fabien Barthez !!

Après la partie, la douche dans la rivière fut extrêmement agréable, comme je disais, c’est un petit village de 400 habitants au milieu de la forêt.

Il ne faut pas non plus s’attendre au grand luxe. Il faut juste considérer la rivière comme une grande baignoire et le tour est joue !!

On nous prépara un bon repas typique, le désert était juste de trop, ce fruit « le durian » est fui comme la peste par tous les touristes, de part son odeur et sa texture.

J’attendais le bon moment pour le gouter et ici était l’endroit rêvé.

Jentong, Malaysia - Photo-time!!
Le goût, il est vrai, est assez fort, un mélange d’ail et de mangue.

La texture, quant à elle, est comme manger un savon !! J’irais pas jusqu’à dire que c’était bon, car 2 ou 3 bouchées suffisaient à me rassasier !!

On décida de partir le lendemain car on avait un avion à prendre. Nous avons passé des très bons moments dans ce petit village.

C’est pour vivre des instants comme cela que je prends énormément de plaisir à découvrir le monde.

esterc1019 says:
also I am crying from laughter, you had to bathe in the river. I wish I could see you. lol to funny
Posted on: Aug 15, 2008
esterc1019 says:
love your story and I was craking up when you had to eat the fruit. ha ha ha, too funny
love the picture of you and the kids. I see you with your children, I hope soon....
Posted on: Aug 15, 2008
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Sungkai
photo by: hayley_phoon