Besides the 1 Malaysia Cultural Village, a recreation of kampung (village) houses at the KL Tower Terrace, there’s the more authentic experience of the Mah Meri Cultural Village on Pulau Carey (about 90 minutes’ drive southwest of KL). Appreciate traditions of the Mah Meri, an indigenous group that are part of the Senoi people, who settled on the island over a century ago.
There are several cultural villages that welcome visitors, but to get away from the hustle and bustle of the island, make for the highland village of Penglipuran. A half-an-hour drive from Gianyar and 700m above sea level, the well-preserved village reflects the Balinese philosophy of Tri Hita Karana — the balance of relations between religion, humanity and the environment.
Gef Pa’go Chamorro Cultural Village is located in Inarajan and modeled after the Chamorro communities of the ’40s and ’50s. It’s staffed by historic preservationists and elder Chamorros, who are happy to share their knowledge on traditional arts, crafts and cooking.
The Cambodian Cultural Village isn’t exactly a preserved cultural community, but a theme park-meets-museum situated 5km from Siem Reap International Airport. Check out the wax museum, sit in for cultural performances and appreciate the recreated homes of the Cham, Chinese, Khmer and Kreung.
This article first appeared in the June 2019 issue of Smile magazine.