THE TREE TOPS FARM EXPERIENCE
- Sustainable tourism and back to nature accommodation -
1. SUSTAINABLE TOURISM
Tree Tops Farm is a very basic place built on a principle of blending with the environment with no compromises; that is natural accommodation in norms with the surroundings. Our aim is to develop a radical eco lodge combined with agriculture and community participation to help conserve our environment.
We are still in an early phase of a long-term process, which hopefully will show that responsible tourism can benefit - not spoil - it's surrounding nature and culture. First of all we are preoccupied with conserving the elephants habitat; the jungle around us, and reduce the poor villagers need for hunting protected animals. The solution is 'sustainable tourism' by attracting a limited number of paying guests at Tree Tops Farm, so we can create a new source of income amongst the local community.
Our concept is also called 'eco tourism', a much used fashion word nowadays. However, we don't really regard ourselves as 'eco tourism professionals' - we are not doing 'eco niche-business', targeting an 'eco-segment'. We are ambivalent with the 'eco word' because this concept has been used in creative or misunderstood ways by the tourist industry, and standard eco products are certainly not always characterized by the holistic way of thinking, which is involved in the original concept of ecology. To some degree the eco-word has been twisted, used to 'green wash' well known standard products - old wine in new bottles.
Nevertheless we don't hesitate to promote Tree Tops Farm under the umbrella of eco tourism as we are totally basic at the moment - it's easy, we have nothing to green wash!
2. BACK TO NATURE ACCOMODATION
Our buildings blend naturally with the environment: the forest, the animals, and the villagersí houses.
We use local materials, even living trees as part of the structure of the buildings. Huts are made from wood and clay mixed with cow dung - or elephant dung from our land - resulting in a simple architectural style, but aesthetically very satisfying, enhancing the atmosphere of living in harmony with nature. The materials make a breathing house, healthy and cool in spite of the hot climate.
Village folk are employed as trekking guides, night watchers cooks, etc. Our staff is not hotel school trained! However - grown up in the jungle these shy people are well fitted for the duties of Tree Tops Farm; they manage this wild place.
If you are a serious nature lover - or just like a real 'get away from it all' place, we offer a fantastic location with complete silence - except for the sounds of the jungle around us. Our nearest neighbor is 1.5 km away, in the direction of civilization. No human made sound pollution and your music will be Nature.
A pollution meter check has confirmed the purity of the atmosphere: the reading was 0.2 - 0.3% pollution. This would mean very clean air.
We cook food in the native style using firewood collected from the jungle - an easy and cheap source of energy. This is also a matter of taste as the open fire kitchen enriches the flavor of rice and curry. Our guests are most welcome to participate in the cooking, the local cooks are inspiring; especially for those preferring vegetarian meals.
The chief cook - a housewife of the area - loves to use herbs and spices found in the jungle.
Meals consist mainly of rice combined with a variety of vegetable curries. We use a lot of different tropical and highland vegetables - unlike the one-sided 'tourist rice and curry' in restaurants (usually based on - for Westerners well known vegetables like carrots, beans, and potatoes) We do not forget to make the tasty curries made from banana flowers, manioc, green bananas, jack nut and jack fruit, etc.
Our bathing facilities are - in one way - very much at the down to earth level. Guests are expected to BATH IN HARMONY WITH NATURE at the freshwater well, which is fed from the pores of the Arahat Kanda hills. But don't worry! This bathing style feels luxurious - pouring buckets of clean water over your head in the middle of nature with beautiful views - is a wonderful experience. the water from this well is rich with a variety of minerals.
Nights at Tree Tops Farm are something special. From sunset onwards, the jungle will take you on a different experience with the crystal clear skies displaying the shining stars of our galaxy. And suddenly the silence might be disturbed by a wild elephant breaking branches close to us.....
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