What we thought to be a NORMAL family retreat turns out to be horrendously wrong.
Tiong Trove Family Farm, a small enclave in Kampung Perlok Lama, Sungkai, Perak that offers you so much that you’ll miss it even before you leave the place.
Our short drive from KL was pretty smooth despite the big numbers of vehicles on the highways. We reached our farm stay at about 10.45, Friday morning, greeted by our excellent hosts. We had the specially prepared cold lemonade (lemon grown on-farm here) to quench our thirst after being on the road for two hours. After checking into our lovely guest house, we had a short fun briefing by Pak Dollah and Kak Muni on what Tiong Trove have to offer and the activities that have been lined up during our stay. The day haven’t even started yet but the kids and adults were practically ecstatic and can’t wait to get up and wander around Tiong Trove.
Shortly after the briefing, the kids carried on with the activities that have been specially planned for them. Do not have a slightest worry if your kids wont be entertained. Ella who takes over the kids is excellent with them and in fact has tons of experience working with kids. She told us that she just came back from a course in Langkawi teaching water board to kids from Singapore. You’ll have to see her navigating her kayak in water. Wait for the second part of this post!
Moving on, the rest of the adults were brought around the farm for a get-to-know your plant tour. And let me tell you, it’s not a boring and hambar tour like you would get when visiting a farm! It was very informative and I learned a bit more of plant varieties and even ulam-ulaman we never knew existed. Huge thanks to Pak Dollah who patiently entertain all of our not so intelligent questions.
Pak Dollah is an aquaculture professor as he has been into aquaculture for most of his life. So you don’t try to kelentong-kelentong him when it comes to fishes ya. Fish species like tilapia, siakap and baung are grown-up here. The tilapias are brought to Seksyen 6, Shah Alam market for sale during weekends. Nothing better than a grilled tilapia, lightly charred on the outside but tender and juicy on the inside! We were so fortunate to get to taste the fresh tilapia grilled right out of the kolam for BBQ dinner.
Lunchtime. Tasty lunch generously prepared by our hosts. We get hosts of ulam-ulaman, freshly picked from the farm to taste. They were amazing! On the first day, our lunch consists of ikan kembung taucu, ayam goreng and sayur goreng. And no lunch is perfect without the fiesty sambal belacan to dip your fresh ulam-ulaman. I had my first taste of Ulam Ketumbar Jawa and I’m sold! Kak Muni, Pak Dollah’s wife was so kind to give me some to try and grow it back home. Insyallah!
After the pleasant lunch, the kids continued their activities with the art class conducted by the talented teacher Neesa and they really enjoyed it. They made a wooden frame and put everything they found like dried leaves and flower from the activities done in the morning. If you remember some time ago I post about my cactus plant, well Neesa and her husband is the master of growing cactus. This art pondok is full of cactus and you can actually buy them there. I had to tahan not to buy since I’ve bought a few of them already. I accidentally killed one of them at home-lah haaaa! I am still learning and need to master on how to take care of them cactus! [bukan green hand].
Neesa is also an outstanding makeup artist. I wish we had more time to spend there. Maybe in the future, we can do a simple makeup tutotial session with the ladies (men are also invitied) and have fun kot Neesa? Just an idea.
Check out teacher Neesa’s Instagram here.
Tiong Trove is surrounded by various fruit trees. There are passion fruit trees scattered around, papaya, bananas, pineapple, nangka and chempedak. Lime and lemon trees are well grown here. Make sure to come here when the fruit season starts.
Sumptuous BBQ dinner for the night. And what a way to end a beautiful day with roasted marshmallows as dessert. The kids and adults were all excited as we sit around the campfire sharing jokes and laughter till the midnight hour. Stay tuned for the day two highlights which is flatwater rafting along Sungai Sungkai. You won’t want to miss it!
Life is so urgent it necessitates living slow – Ann Voskamp
Take a moment here and breath slowly for a minute. Focus on your breathing and try to imagine you are in front of the campfire, listening mindfully to every sound. The sound of the wood burning. The warmth of fire touches your skin. The sound of the forest. Night birds having conversation. The smell of sweet marshmallows, that candied breath of sugar. It’s all sensory experience. Calm your tired mind and body and be with nature at Tiong Trove Family Farm.
Okay folks, see ya on Day 2 soon!