There’s another side to the hustle and bustle of Kuala Lumpur that not many people know. Luckily, there are those who do, and will take you on a tour to explore the hidden gems that make Kuala Lumpur what it is today.
“Unseen Tours Kuala Lumpur consists of walking tours created, designed and led by former street friends of Kuala Lumpur,” says Shyam Priah, founder of Yellow House KL.
The Unseen Tours take participants to unique places rarely covered by the conventional tour packages, making the tourists’ experience more memorable and exciting.
Candidates for the jobs are first recommended by a government-funded rehabilitation camp, called Kem Pemantapan Jatidiri (self-identity strengthening camp). They are then selected through a number of criteria—they must be free from substance abuse, have a certain level of education, and must possess the passion, commitment and discipline. They must also be Malaysian, and speak English.
“This is paid work for the guides,” says Priah. “They receive 60% of the fees. The rest is retained by Yellow House KL to help others who join the program,” she continued. It’s a way for the street sleepers and the homeless community to make an income, and also, gain some sense of dignity for themselves.
Since it was launched, more than 100 tourists have made bookings. “The testimonials and public perception have been encouraging. We have also been approached by heritage and tourism organisation in neighbouring countries inquring about how similar initiatives can be started there to increase the employability of the street community.”
There are three distinct walking tours; a haunted tour, a street art tour and a multicultural tour. Each participant pays RM55 and the tours last up to three hours.
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