Bintan Eco Village, learn about sustainable farming

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We visited Bintan Eco Village in Indonesia recently. Unlike normal holidays, Eco Village provides an edutainment experience for families.
Bintan Eco Village

Fun is only 1 hour of ferry ride away, it might even be faster than JB, no traffic jams 🙂

Ferry leaves from Tanah Merah Ferry terminal, and car park rate is only $20 max per day. Do prepare extra wear for kids as the 1 hour ferry ride can be cold.
Tanah Merah Ferry terminal parking

Enroute to Eco Village, we had a satisfying lunch at Ayam Presto. This is Indonesian style Fried chicken, and everything is deep fried till crispy, you can chew on the bones too. We dare you to try the power samba (chili).
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Appetisers and tidbits are available too, local favorite drink is Teh Botoh. This is actually Jasmine tea, but I told the kids it taste like Chrysanthemum with a tinge of herbal aftertaste.
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Their local night market is just opposite the eatery, anyone game for a Ferris spin?
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Most people come to Bintan Resorts to enjoy seaside and water activities, and massage too.

Our mission on this trip was to explore an Eco Village (one hour south of Ferry terminal at Senggiling area). Eco Village is a 350 hectares farm which helps to improve the community livelihood and environment through sustainable farming.

Sustainable farming techniques aim to minimise damage to the ecosystem and minimum wastage.
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This trip is not a normal holiday trip, as Eco Village aims to provide both education and adventure on its premises. Posters below indicate how coconuts and cloves are produced in Eco Village.

We saw cloves (丁香) and pineapple during our trip and learn about sustainable farming techniques too.
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Outdoor classroom for kids, our guide and teacher (Grace) showing the kids local produce. We identified how plants and seeds are used in our daily life.

We conveniently blush (pun intended) over Tongkat Ali’s herbal prowess :p
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We burnt a piece of Agarwood and the smell reminds us of incense (burning) and aromatherapy treatment.
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Bintan soil composite is largely made up of “bauxide” which is not suitable for clove farming. Farmers will add manure and compost to help create a suitable farming landscape.

We can use a simple kit to test the soil quality. If bulb lights up, it means soil nutrient (and compost) is good for plantation.
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Grafting combines two different species to help the growth of Clove tree. We understood Clove tree cannot grow on its own, thus it need to be grafted onto a “local” plant before it can grow. Amazing right !

I told the kids human skin can also be grafted too, example burns victim can use their buttock skin to replace burnt tissue somewhere else (Kids were sceptical!)
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To help retain the amount of water for grafted clove to grow, farmers will place a compound called Aquasorb near the roots.
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We got to taste local produce too.
But Clove Tea is too nourishing (bitter) for me, taste like a strong dose of Teh Halia.
Rose tea (Rosella) is more appealing for us (a bit like Ribena).
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This is our Eco village farmland.
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Kids wera actually eager to plant their “own” trees! I should engage them in Singapore tree planting events next time. I teased them to engrave their name and come back to claim the tree in 3 years :p
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A grown Clove tree and seed.
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Little scientists ran a series of tests to measure water quality (acidity or alkaline), visibility and oxygen level. This test allow us to know whether the water can sustain an ecosystem.
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Video (link) : The drizzle could not stop our Fun!

Kids had their first fishing experience, we caught some mini tilapias.
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We had our dinner at Plaza Lagoi before heading back to rest.
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Getting ready for room checkin, we will share more about Bintan Lagoon Resort in the next post.
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If you are looking for an unique type of holiday, more details about Bintan Eco Village can be found at this link http://bintan-resorts.com/visitors/educational/eco-village

Eco Village programme can be booked through BRC tours (http://www.brctours.com)/ brctours@bintan-resorts.com )
Programme cost : $28 without lunch / $33 with lunch at Asli & Yang (Ayam Presto)

Anyone game for a 2D1N camp?
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Fiji itinerary – White Water rafting Upper Nuava River

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I was happy to find White Water Rafting in our Fiji itinerary.

From our face (and sandwiches) , you can sense our group had a lot of Fun! But believe me when I tell you we were dead tired and shivering after 2 hours of paddling (halfway point only)!
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Earlier, we arrived dry and ready to taste the class 2 rapids.
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Very hard for our raft to flip as rapids is class 1 and 2 only. Joyce (middle) is very proud to survive the water ordeal! (Click for my kids’ Sabah white water experience).
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After a short 15min hike (25min if you are less fit), we reached the water entry.
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Our group is the last one haha.
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Love the narrow canyon as we row along. The sheer steepness on both ends are nothing short of spectacular. Shout and hear your echo along the corridor. And songs we did hymn and sing along, so many talented singers in Team Fiji (checkout our video below).

I shall spare you the dialect “Greetings” (haha cultural exchange) between Singaporeans and Fijians!
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They call this the Christmas rock, because it fell from the cliff around Christmas period. Look at the massive boulder!
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Wannanavu! (Fiji for AWESOME!). Must remember to have FUN and Joy otherwise you will only be complaining about cold weather and bulging biceps :p

Our guide Joe, thank you for hosting us Rivers Fiji!
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The funny thing for me (and most guys) are hearing the gals complain about their messed-up hair, eye-liner etc wahaha! Their favourite term is CUI (3) (similar meaning as cannot-make-it, smashed, or devastated).

Yet, all their modeling-like poses look so chill and chio! Talk about professionalism 🙂
(obviously, you will not see me posing some CUI photos on this blog haha)

Ok, I digress.

The beautiful scenery along the way does distract us from the constant paddling. (one more time, Row Row Row your boat).
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A handmade leaf filter wahaha! Love the authentic effect 🙂
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We will see at least 5 to 6 waterfalls, some are more majestic.
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Video (link): Cui, Singing, Paddling, having an awesome time!

Two boats for the Singapore team.
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Anticipation and tension, as our raft inch nearer and you can hear the roaring rapids.
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Beautiful “lagoon-like” stopover, our picnic venue.
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While the lifestyle bloggers were bravely posing for their OOTDS, I did two jumps into the water and could not hold my GoPro straight! (I was shivering with COLD! Checkout video above 20 second segment).
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Thousands of layers of sediments. Some of the rock faces look like embedded skulls? (Hint : Do not strain your eyes too much haha)
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Chill. Literally haha! The splashing water will really shake you up, SHIOK!
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White Water rafting is my favourite activity in our Fiji Itinerary, even though it soak up 5 hours of paddling 🙂
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I have already Dayre up to day six on SengkangBabies, Day 4 link . Do pop by Nuffnang Dayre recap of our Fiji itinerary too (link).
Fiji itinerary

Fiji trip photos on our Fanpage albums:
Day 1 and 2 (Arrival and Radisson Blu)
Day 3 (Sigatoka River, Village and The Pearl Resort)
Day 4 (White Water rafting)
– Day 5
– Day 6

Blog:
Day 1 and 2
Day 3

Our trip is sponsored by Fiji Airways and Fiji Tourism. Vinaka!
#NuffnangSGxFijiAirways

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