The Sun (Malaysia)
Ecotourism boom for Orang Asli village in Perak
Kampung Beswok chalets a hit with guests with its waterfall, clear rivers and natural surroundings appeal
Mohd Daud Anjang, who leads the Orang Asli Temiar ethnic group at Pos Yum in Kampung Beswok, has had his hands full over the past six months.
The 57-year-old was kept busy responding to phone calls and hundreds of messages daily for reservations to stay at the Kampung Beswok chalets.
Public demand for the chalets, which are jointly managed by residents and located about 65km from the Sungai Siput town, has been growing steadily.
“The chalets are our new source of income since they were open to the public in 2019. We have been experiencing brisk business, with double digit demand growth during the school holidays, festive seasons, weekends and public holidays.”
The main attractions at the village include the Telei waterfalls, crystal clear river waters and a lush green landscape.
Kampung Beswok is situated about 90km from Ipoh, complete with communication facilities and accessible via tarred roads, Bernama reported.
Mohd Daud said there were challenges at the start in uplifting the community’s socioeconomic status through ecotourism, especially in changing their mindsets from being dependent on forest products and agriculture as a source of livelihood.
“However, positive signs were shown once villagers helped develop the ecotourism sector here. Despite earlier protests, they were happy to see their efforts bearing fruit with encouraging sales for their craft products.”
Mohd Daud soldiered on despite zero bookings during the initial three months. With patience and determination, he began to receive encouraging response from guests.
Three chalets were not enough to cope with the demand, so the community was roped in to jointly develop the ecotourism project.
“We decided to pool our resources with the financial aid we received from the government. From three chalets, we now have 19 and a homestay. A total of RM4,000 was spent on each chalet and about RM50,000 overall.
“We provide campsites, park benches and a reading facility for visitors. The income generated augurs well for the community and we also have our cocoa and rubber tree plantations, fish breeding operations and handicraft products to add value to our ecotourism packages.”
The business gained momentum when they tapped into social media platforms to promote the village as a holiday destination for families.
A Kampung Beswok chalet costs RM70 per night, and RM100 for a homestay, equipped with cooking facilities, toilets, beds, mattresses and pillows.
Those interested can make reservations on WhatsApp or via text messages to 016-4747 882.