For an urban dweller in S'pore, we (young and old) don't have much chance to experience the kampong / farmer's life. This is definitely a great eye opener for the young and old. Very memorable as well. We were worried initially as we have a 3 year old boy and 10 months old baby in tow. Surprisingly, both enjoyed themselves and Luckfi is nice to cater to our needs (e.g. making the lunch non-spicy for the kids, providing chairs for my husband who had to walk around with the baby on the sling carrier,...). We chose Farming Adventure Package on 25 Nov 2011, 0830hrs to 1500hrs.
Our resort is 1hour away from Sawah Ladang. Luckfi, our Sawah Ladang guide, arrived on time at our resort at 0830hrs. He introduced Bintan and Sawah Ladang during the journey. IF YOU HAVE A BABY IN TOW, CARRY HIM/HER IN A SLING CARRIER.
We were welcome to the main hut with mineral water and Jambu fruits. Then given insect repellents and chinese bamboo hats (which immediately made us look like farmers) before Luckfi brought us to visit surrounding village areas, introducing all the trees, plants, flowers and fruits. We got to taste some fruits and flower petals plucked directly from the trees and plants. Surprisingly, my boy enjoyed himself and within the 1st hour, Luckfi became his friend.
After a walk around Sawah Ladang which took an hour, we had a short break at the main hut with more mineral water, while Luckfi and the villagers prepare for our hands-on farming experience. The restrooms are very nicely designed and well maintained.
As Sawah Ladang is an organic farm, Luckfi taught us how to make our own 'pots' with banana leaves, instead of plastic bags. My parents, my boy and I had lots of fun with this hands-on experience, while my husband and baby sat and watched. We planted tomatoes, brinjals, melons and pumpkins into the handmade pots. Then we were brought to our small plot of land to scatter the tiny celery seeds. To let my boy have hands-on experience, Luckfi asked the villagers to bring a small shovel and an improvised watering can for him.
After spending 1.5hours planting the seeds, we had our break while waiting for the villagers to prepare our lunch. We, especially my boy, had loads of fun playing with the slingshots. We were served yummy authentic Indonesian food. It was simple but tasty. My parents love the chilli paste very much. My boy loves the salted fish and chicken. My baby enjoyed the rice, soup, fried tofu, karedok and chicken.
After lunch, we headed down to the padi field. My dad made the grids and we, including my boy, went into the muddy padi field to plant the padi. It was an unforgettable and memorable experience. WEAR SHORTS IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO GET YOUR PANTS DIRTY. After spending an hour in the padi field, the villager got the tractor ready for my boy to mud ski, which he enjoyed the most. LET KIDS WEAR CLOTHES WHICH YOU INTEND TO THROW AWAY IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO GO THROUGH THE HASSLE TO WASH OFF THE MUD STAINS.
Then we were brought back to the main hut to change and wash up. Note : Cold water for bath. BRING TOWELS AND EXTRA CLOTHES. Shower foams are provided. Had traditional snacks and coconuts freshly plucked from the trees by the villagers.
Our whole experience ended at about 1400hrs and Luckfi sent us back to our resort. I captured all the photos with my DSLR which wasn't a chore to carry around such environment. Alternative would be a normal digicam. But it may not be able to capture the beauty of Sawah Ladang and surrounding areas. We all wore beach slippers and my boy wore Crocs sandals, which are perfect for the whole experience. We all enjoyed the whole experience. We had 1 conclusion : It's not easy being a farmer.
Anything to pick and fuss about Sawah Ladang? Hmm... Maybe a farm stay and also to make the package price (for family of 3 adults and 1 toddler) cheaper. Overall, it's still 2 thumbs up!
Going to Bintan for holiday is not only about water activities.
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