PETALING JAYA: “Agriculture” and “fun” are hardly ever heard in the same sentence. Growing crops and making village crafts might help the economy, but such activities are rarely in anyone’s general interests.
However, the town of Sungai Panjang in Sabak Bernam, is changing this perception.
This scenic Selangor location has a thriving agro-tourism sector, which invites visitors to try unique activities that incorporate its rich agricultural history.
According to Sungai Panjang Agro Tourism Senior Coordinator Hairul Reazuan Asmayadi, the idea of agro-tourism here was mooted in 2020, but had been put on hiatus because of the pandemic. Now, however, agro-tourism is back in full swing, and tourist responses have been encouraging.
“I believe that people nowadays are looking for exciting experiences which are different from what they normally have at home. So I would recommend them coming here. It is one of the few districts in Selangor which still has beautiful paddy fields to view,” Hairul told FMT Lifestyle.
“There’s much to enjoy, from the food to the peaceful atmosphere, to the culture and the sights. Come down and try it, you’ll definitely want to visit again!”
FMT Lifestyle was recently invited on a media trip by Tourism Selangor to experience some of these agro-tourism activities. Here are four reasons why Sungai Panjang is the place to go for a truly “agro-tastic” time.
1. Rustic yet comfortable accommodation
Sungai Panjang is known for its vast and expansive paddy fields, which are also an exceedingly picturesque sight. The view, especially at sunrise or sunset, is breathtaking.
Certain places here are located close to or even within these charming spaces. One of these is Nazbell Cottage, a homestay where guests can stay in rustic English-style chalets surrounded by rice fields.
Here, there is a spacious dining area, a garden and even a swimming pool. It’s a great way to appreciate the beauty of pastoral life, while detaching from hectic city life.
2. Fun ways of transportation
Viewing the paddy fields of Sungai Panjang from a distance may be fun, but taking a ride to get up close with them is something else entirely!
Guests at Nazbell Cottage can rent bicycles to explore the area: most of the land is flat, resulting in a relaxing, mostly unchallenging ride. Just don’t not get too close to the ditches!
Adrenaline lovers can rent All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) while those who want a relaxing ride can hop on the local tram for a leisurely loop around the countryside. Regardless of your mode of transport, discovering the beautiful landscape here is truly invigorating.
3. Scrumptious food and drink
What’s a Malaysian trip without eating? One Sungai Panjang highlight is mulberry dishes from Sobirin’s Farm: most Malaysians rarely get the chance to try this sweet red fruit, so take the chance to taste the farm’s delicious mulberry drinks and pastries.
If time permits, hop down to the Selangor Smart Melon farm (MeloSel), where you can taste various varieties of melon, all grown through innovative smart farming techniques.
Also remember to stop at Aisyah’s Delicious Kitchen, which offers great Chinese-Muslim food: their Nyonya fish is a must try!
4. Fascinating local industries
Occasionally, various local crafts or tradespeople stop by Nazbell Cottage to demonstrate their crafting techniques. Often, the people behind these crafts are just as interesting as the crafts themselves.
Discover, for example, the art of mengkuang (screwpine) weaving from Aminah Naim, believed to be the last practitioner of this craft. Or admire ‘shibori’, a Japanese art of tie-dying, now used by Sungai Panjang artisans to make beautiful scarves and clothes.
If visiting on a Friday, pop by the morning market at Parit 13. You’ll be amazed at its great variety of wares, from fresh fruit and meat to car parts and even the free toys from fast food meals. This vibrant, bustling place is a great spot to interact with locals, many of whom are very friendly.
So there you have it – four fascinating reasons to pay a visit to Sungai Panjang in Sabak Bernam.