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Friday, June 30, 2017

Permaculture Perak Jungle Farmstay: Day 1

We went on a jungle farmstay holiday from 25-27 June 2017 at Permaculture Perak in Lenggong, Perak. What was once a tea plantation with abandoned buildings is transformed into a permaculture farm. Antonia and Aileen joined us on this trip.

On 25 June 2017 (first day of Hari Raya), we arrived at Rumah Rehat Lenggong (Lenggong Rest House) at around noon. We were met by our host, Ladia, and had lunch in Lenggong town with his wife, Amy, their two small children, and two other guests.

After lunch, we visited the popular caves of Lenggong - Gua Kajang, Gua Puteri, Gua Asar, and Gua Ngaum. Gua Kajang was excavated for archeological purposes in 1917.

[Cave entrance]

[Cave interior]

At about 4.00pm, we were back at the rest house to load our luggage onto Ladia and Amy's 4WD vehicles, leaving our car at the rest house for the next 3D/2N. The ride to the farmstay was an adventure by itself as the terrain was really very rough at some stretches. Situated about 500m above sea level, the farmstay is not very far from Lenggong town but the terrain makes it rather remote and inaccessible.

[All set for the rough ride]

[View of the farmhouse from the access road, hidden by lots of vegetation]

[Looking away from the farmhouse]

[The farmstay is about 300-400m away from the transmission towers that overlook Lenggong town]

Instead of staying in the rooms in the farmhouse, we opted for indoor camping on the upper floor of a neighbouring building - what is known as the "Kilang", i.e. of what must have been the factory building of the tea plantation. Between the 8 of us, we shared 3 tents with beddings in each tent.

[Entrance to the Kilang]

[Indoor camping on the spacious upper floor of the Kilang]

[Relaxing outside our tents]

Besides the use of the regular toilets at the farmhouse, the Kilang had a few composting toilets. Using it is a unique experience for the regular urbanite. You pass urine and/or motion directly into a bucket (a regular toilet seat was placed above it for comfort). After cleaning yourself with tissue paper (no water is used), you sprinkle a layer of sawdust over your pee or poop. When used properly, the smell from the toilet was minimal. After a certain period, the contents of the bucket is used as fertiliser.

[Composting toilet]

At around 5.30pm after we had settled in, we went for a dip in the farmstay's very own "jacuzzi" cum fish spa - a small pool just a stone's throw away from the farmhouse. The water comes from a mountain stream. Since it was already late evening, the water was icy cold!

[The farmstay "jacuzzi"]

[When all is calm in the jacuzzi, it's fish spa time!]

On our first night, we had a coconut shell-fire barbecue dinner of fish, pork, and corn. We also had mashed potatoes and lemang. We ate off banana leaves laid out on the table.


In the evening and night, it was cooling. At night, as we gazed skyward, we saw many many stars, far more than on an average night in urban areas.

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