Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Trip to Bario, Sarawak: Pineapple Hill, Rice Mill, Paddy Field

During my stay at Ngimat Ayu Homestay in Bario, we have a tour guide to bring us around Bario. I'd call it a Bario discovery trip, because this journey opens my eyes to many different experiences that I have not seen before!

 PINEAPPLES!!!

I bet it is a common fact that Sarawak is famous for its juicy sweet pineapples. Well, I have been eating them everyday from Bario all the way to KL, and simply can't resist its honey-like sweetness. But this is the first time of eating pineapples that I pluck by myself! 
The pineapple hill is owned by one of the friendly villagers, who allow us to climb up her hill and pluck her pineapples! I am so surprised to hear that, because in KL who on earth would allow a stranger to cross her territory and steal her fruits? I may be accused and sued for stealing -.-

In Bario, it is a total different story. We can chill as long as we want on top of the pineapple hill and pluck as many pineapples as we can carry down the hill! Oh ya, you must be wondering how can we sit by the thorny pineapple plants? 

Interestingly, the leaves of pineapple plants here are thornless! They are thick, silky smooth and waxy, but soft and will not cut the skin at all. On the hill, we learn some pineapple knowledge from Uncle Harry. Red pineapples are very young ones, so do not ever pluck them ;)

Pineapples here are sold as cheap as RM2 per kg, meaning only RM1 per piece because of its petite size!

Although the pineapple harvest season has passed in July, we are lucky to be able to pluck some fresh pineapples from the hill! But that's definitely not enough...I bought loads of pineapple jams and fresh pineapples home!

Do you know that the shoots of the pineapples are edible? They are equally juicy and crunchy like the fruit itself!

*Feeling happy that I conquer the pineapple hill!*

Another famous souvenir from Bario is the Homemade Pineapple Jam (RM5 per bottle)-- Purely made of real fruit, without blending the flesh. Therefore the pineapple spread is loaded with shredded pineapple flesh that adds some crunchiness to it.

Good to go with plain pancakes for breakfast too!!

PADDY FIELD
Does "Beras Bario" sound familiar to you? Here is the land of producing high-quality rice under mountainous landscape and cool temperature, and I'm glad to be here exploring the paddy fields on the high terrains of Bario.

It is fun to see the seedlings growing into young paddy stalks! But I'm slacking while the others are busy "working" on the puddles of water. According to Nenek, the rice here is very labour-intensive to cultivate due to the lack of modern technology, and I'm proud of her for being able to work on the paddy field by herself!

RICE MILL
Being the heaven of rice, Bario rice factory is a must-visit place here! As an incentive to the villagers, there are plenty of high-tech machinery to process their fruit of labour. From separating the stalks and rice to packaging, everything is done here before being exported to the rest of the country. 

Say Hello to the giant!

My favourite brown rice!! I also bought few packs of brown rice home,
 despite of the crazy high price, because I believe in quality and health.

The special 1kg package is exclusive for tourists to bring home as souvenir! I don't mind carrying few more kilos back, although I heard it is available at some organic shop in KL (But at a higher price, of course!)

And finally I know this is the authentic Beras Bario used by Borneo Soap for its natural homemade organic soap. The painstaking process from growing the rice to moulding it into soap bars makes me appreciate the minerals-loaded rice soap more!

That's all for Part 3 of Bario Discovery Trip; Stay tuned for the next post
for a more adventurous journey!

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