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“A memorable farm visit that engaged my 3yr old and nurtured his connection with nature!”

Sawah Ladang Bintan
Ranked #6 of 20 Tours in Bintan Island
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Attraction details
Owner description: Sawahladang is the sustainable tourism in Bintan island, the one and only organic farming in this island. SawahLadang cultivate paddy rice field, vegetables, fruits, horticultures, etc. Together with local community, SawahLadang offer agriculture experience, nature knowledge, as well as feel the village atmosphere of real eco-friendly Indonesian farm. Enjoy the hand on activities and healthy fresh food during the visit. Either you as family, student, school group, company group, or even personal may feel the tranquil of this village. By visiting SawahLadang you involved on giving benefit to local community and environmental.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Singapore
Level Contributor
18 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“A memorable farm visit that engaged my 3yr old and nurtured his connection with nature!”
Reviewed 27 January 2012

We were in Bintan for a 1 night getaway from Singapore with our two young children aged 9mths and 3yrs. I am so happy we made this lovely discovery of Sawah Ladang, a humble, community owned, organic farm in Bintan, that recently opened to visitors for educational tours in March 2011. I personally love love love community owned, sustainable ecotourism so I was excited when I found their website and read their reviews. So I dropped them an email, got a short reply from Luckfi and we are all set for the 3hr tour, which was a simple farm visit, organic planting session, and lunch at $35 per adult. It turned out to be a the perfect half day activity for my 3 year old boy, who is very curious about nature, and have been learning about how plants grow. Luckfi is great with children (having young boys of his own) and he totally engaged my boy with lots of hands-on and sensory experiences during the visit.

Arrival: We were picked up the ferry terminal by Luckfi, who runs the organic farm with the help of 3 workers. He is a friendly and articulate Indonesian who is passionate about organic farming. My son quickly warmed up to him as he told us about the things we were going to do at his humble farm... It was a 20mins drive out of the Bintan Resorts strip and into what Luckfi calls the "real Indonesia". When we arrived we were pleasantly surprised by how simple and serene the place was. Its not fancy, and the only hint that this is open to tourism is the pretty flower lined path leading to a humble hut with handmade tables and chairs. We sat down and were served a warm lemongrass & ginger drink, which Luckfi tells us are produce from the farm. The first thing we noticed were the butterflies!!! There were many fluttering around the hut, yellow, brown, black.... like they were welcoming us. I immediately loved the place.

The tour: Luckfi took us around the small farm, where everything was being grown organically, showing us various plants, trees, vegetables, fruits, root vegetables. He is very observant and pointed out a caterpillar and its cocoon for us.. which really captured my son's curiosity, reminding him of his book The Very Hungry Caterpillar. It was a sensory experience for him, touching the various types of leaves and fruits, smelling fragrant roots used for aromatherapy and listening to the sounds of the birds chirping. We spotted some farm animals which roam freely (so you only see them if you are lucky!); the noisy goose, the pretty ducks, roosters, and my son's favourite, the fierce-looking solitary cow (Luckfi tells us his friends were slaughtered over Eid Adha festivities). Luckfi proudly showed us the farm, where they were growing long beans, spinach, kangkong etc. He talked to us about how organic farming is done vs conventional farming, and why it is better for the earth, and for us. He also showed us the paddy that they sowed last year but sadly got washed out over the very wet Christmas weekend. For us it was a reminder of how working with the earth requires patience. Very humbling for as city folks, where we want everything to be fast and demand immediate results for everything.

Planting activity: After a walk around the vegetable farm and paddy fields, we returned back to the hut where we were served cold drinks. Then its time for hard work! Luckfi taught us how to plant tomato and melon seeds using banana leaves (instead of plastic).. I was grinning from ear to ear cos this was a practical lesson for Eric Carle's The Tiny Seed for my son. My son helped fill the little "pots" made of banana leaf with soil, planted the seed, poured water on it. He then carried one of the little seedlings (planted by previous guests) over to a little plot of land which was designated for our little family. Luckfi showed him how to loosen the soil, and plant the tomato seedlings and tapioca stems in the soil. It was such a fun hands on experience for my little one! Luckfi says he will keep us updated as our plants grow :)

Lunch: While waiting for our lunch, Luckfi disappeared for a while and came back with a bunny rabbit! He told us there was a rabbit farm nearby but its hard to walk into so he got permission from the owner to bring one to us, for my boy! So sweet of him! Lunch was served and it was a simple spread but so very very yummy! Organic rice wrapped in banana leaf, soup cooked with vegetables from their farm, served with ayam bakar, tahu and tempeh. What could be better? Seriously, some of the best meals we have had on our family trips are these simple kampung meals. It was also nice to be able to remind my little one, after the planting activity, that everything on the table doesn't just arrive on the table without the effort and hard work of the humble farmer.

Conclusion: We loved the experience, and would love to go back for their full day farming tour (with more "hard work" like rice planting demo). Highly recommended to other parents or eco-loving individuals, who enjoy serenity, and love giving tourist dollars to community efforts like these. Luckfi if you are reading this thank you once again for such a lovely day... we are not kidding about sending our to you for a farmstay and free labour in 7 years time!

Visited January 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank ummumar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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8 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Singapore, Singapore
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Farmers, you have my full respect.”
Reviewed 29 November 2011

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.

Visited November 2011
Helpful?
1 Thank RLPF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jakarta, Jakarta Raya, Indonesia
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Amazing Place to Visit”
Reviewed 25 October 2011

Been in Sawah Ladang is such an unforgettable experience. Instead of the beautiful place, peaceful, relaxing, they also serve a tasty and Indonesian's traditional food. Luckily at that time I met the owner of the place, Mr. Luckfi. He was very informative and campaigning how to live healthyly by consuming organic food. This place is a such a perfect place to spend your time with family, office mates or with your own. Why would I say that, because they also provide such folk games which suits for kids (and adults of course), playing in the mud, planting rice, learn how to use the tractor, etc. Should you just need to spend your time alone, just bring a book or laptop, feel the atmosphere and write down your feelings or even you can create a novel because the place was very inspiring and peaceful.
After spending time with mud and sunlight, you may take a shower over there. They provide a clean and tidy restrooms or bathrooms in traditional looks. When you visit Bintan, it is recommended to see the real Indonesia in Sawah Ladang.

Visited October 2011
Helpful?
2 Thank Diah13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Great learning trip, food was simple yet very yummy!”
Reviewed 27 September 2011

Unusual destination to visit for city folks. Great opportunity to learn about the nature. Also a good place to hang out and relax!

Helpful?
1 Thank Shirleeeeeeey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HKG
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Informative and get dirty”
Reviewed 17 August 2011

If ya are in Bintan and miss this one, ya have no fun at all.

To start with, this is an eco-tour, unlike the one organized by Bintan resort, which is high commercialized. This one is down-to-earth and organized by local. And ya know what, Luckfi is very informative and knows what he's doing.

Being a city-boy, visiting a farm land is something new, let alone working on a padding field. I joined the farming package and with that, got a tour to walk around and get to know what plantation they have. Ya will then be served with a Indonesian food. By all means, use folk and spoon. Still, how about try it in Indonesian way -- have it with your bare hand ... er ... right hand only :> Food is great and ya'll have some idea what traditional Indonesian have.

Being fed, time to labor -- collecting water spinach and padding rice. Collecting veg is easy but padding on rice field is something very different. Slippery, back pain, sweat. and the sun. It's fun to give it a try but tough to work. Got dirt here and there? No problem all as they have fabulous showers. So, bring along spare clothes and a towel.

After that, kids will have a chance of mud-ski -- sitting on a tub while being drag by handheld motor plow. Though it is easy to drive that thing but ... HELL NO. Ya have to
balance on a padding field while holding the plow, which is quite heavy. Ya have to make turns and keep balance. Ya have to keep ur eyes on the road and keep balance. It's fun to be on the tub but ... driving it ... well .. try it urself.

Now I have an idea why it's tough to be a farmer!

Visited August 2011
Helpful?
1 Thank aardvark_super
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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