Building A Treehouse In The Rainforest

A while back, I posted about my visit to a place in Johor Malaysia where treehouses sit in the canopy of the rainforest. A few months later, I went back to help Ah Yao (founder of Rainforest Treehouse), Salim and Wira, two Orang Asli (literally “original people” in Malay language), build another treehouse. The four photos below show from start (left) to almost finish (right).


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Permaculture Perak: Living beside a Jungle

There are many organic farms in Malaysia, but I have been searching for one that is not growing commercially to sell to the market. I am more interested to see subsistence agriculture rather than market-oriented agriculture. Subsistence agriculture is when the farmer grows to feed the family and sell the produce only if there is excess. There is a big difference between both. Permaculture Perak is one of the few that I found. It is located in the state of Perak in northern Malaysia, a short drive from charming Lenggong town. To access the land, you would most likely need a 4-wheel drive because of the steep uphill climb into 500m altitude.

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Approaching the main house, with a fruiting durian tree beside it!

Ladia and Amy live on the land with their two year old daughter and newborn son. Their neighbours are gibbons, wild boars, snakes, scorpions, and every once in a while an elephant who ransacks the kitchen for soy sauce. The only human neighbours are far away, down in the town of Lenggong. Continue reading

Maejo Baandin – Building Houses with Mud

After leaving Mindful Farm on the second day of 2015, we once again hopped on to our neglected motorcycle and went on the road. After taking a few wrong turns, getting lost, and asking around, we finally got to our next destination – Maejo Baandin. Maejo is the name of the village, “baan” means home in Thai, and “din” is earth. Not surprisingly, we were greeted by many beautiful mud structures in the premise.

Found the entrance at last!

Found the entrance at last!

Maejo village is a remote village located 2 hours drive North of Chiangmai city. In this village within walking distance to one another, there are three places that promote sustainable living – Maejo Baandin, Pun Pun, and Panya Project. Pun Pun promotes mud building and seed saving for self-reliance. Panya Project is a community of volunteers and they regularly teach permaculture courses. Continue reading

Mindful Farm – Cultivating Oneself

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A sanctuary to calm the monkey mind

I ended year 2014 and stepped into 2015 at a farm a few hours northwest of Chiang Mai city in Thailand. From the name Mindful Farm, you can probably guess that it focuses on mindfulness and meditation. The farm was started by a former monk Pi Nan (literally meaning ex-monk) and his Japanese wife Noriko about 2 years ago. They have a baby girl Nobara who is very calm compared to most city kids that grew up with the ipad. Continue reading

Volunteering at Baliwood Organic Farm

Baliwood EntranceI was going to Bali for a friend’s wedding so I thought it would be a good chance to volunteer for a few days at an organic farm in Bali. Baliwood Organic Farm is run by a Singaporean family that decided to pursue a rural lifestyle away from the rat race in the city. The farm uses many permaculture concepts and it’s thriving with papayas, coconuts, bananas, eggplants, spinach, tomatoes, passionfruits, and your usual tropical suspects. I do think that there is a lot more space to grow even more food but the primary objective of the farm is to provide for the family. They do sell their excess produce at farmer markets but that is secondary. Continue reading