Not too long ago, Malaysian hip-hop rap duo Dose Two wanted to make a music video. Their chosen location? Permaculture Perak. Permaculture is an off-the-grid sustainable farm and farmstay offering both educational and leisure getaways. The farmstay is run by Ladia, his wife Amy, and their adorable baby girl, Yanka. With everything booked and arranged, I quickly jumped at the chance to not-so-shy-shyly tag along. The drive from Kuala Lumpur to Lenggong took about 3 hours, where we parked our city cars and were picked up in a beaten-up pickup truck by Ladia. Bouncing up and along a steep off-road track, we arrived almost as beaten up as the truck, but what’s an adventure without a couple of bruises? We unloaded what little we had – it was an overnight stay, not a 10-day cruise – and tossed them into our welcoming and colourful rooms. Perched high on a hillside with stunning views, materials of brick, cement and wood formed our quaint abode. As soon as we had settled in, the guys immediately wanted to get started on filming. Ladia suggested a short hike to a small waterfall, of which we didn’t need any convincing. The hike took us through dense jungle plants the likes of bamboo and leafy overhang. We wriggled through a narrow rough-cut path, punching down plants with our boots to get through. I nervously tried to avoid acquiring leeches the whole time, which didn’t quite make the hike as enjoyable as I thought it would be, but it became well worth my stress when we got to the waterfall. And yes, a leech had found its way into my boot. Whilst they filmed, I anxiously scouted around my boots in case another leech beelined for my skin…those bloodthirsty wrigglers. Though, to be fair, it’s just the thought that grosses me out. You can’t actually feel them when they suck you like a human lollipop. We trekked out the same way we came in, and the guys took a break to plunge into the river, or “natural jacuzzi” as the crew at Permaculture like to call it. I didn’t partake, instead trigger-happily snapping photos of dogs, various farm animals, and the view. Ladia and Amy later made us a warming lemongrass tea concoction and a hearty laksa for dinner. When darkness fell, so did the temperature (a welcome goose-pimply respite from the heat of the day). Cold-shower shocks ensued before bed, and the noise of the jungle eventually lulled us to sleep after an active day in nature. Following a delicious breakfast of home-made bread the next morning, we took a stroll to the barn. The mountain ridges greeted us a good morning as morning clouds filled the valley below. The barn was filled with goats and chicken on the ground level, above which educational workshops are held for sustainable living and organic farming. As the sun rose above our heads, we sadly packed up and trundled our way down to our cars. On the way, we picked jambu and spotted Malaysia’s national bird, the hornbill. Ladia was nice enough to have one last meal with us, and took us to Restoran Tasik Raban, which serves mouth-watering Malay food. Honestly, it’s so good I’d take a trip out there just for the makan. Our trip left us relaxed, revitalised, and inspired; an example of how the real jungle trumps the concrete one. For more pictures of Permaculture Perak, please click here.