Stir-fried broccoli with garlic is so crunchy. On top of this warm rice, I also add pieces of omelette and anchovy sauce.
“This broccoli and cauliflower are the products of this village,” said the village head, when I was having breakfast at his house.
Then, I close my breakfast with a cup of coffee which is also the result of village plantations. The cold in the village located at the foot of Mount Kaba instantly disappeared.
I’m always happy #ComeKeVillage. Especially if you have the opportunity to live in people’s homes. Like what I just did in Sumber Urip Village, Bengkulu Province some time ago.
This village, which is located in Rejang Lebong Regency, Bengkulu province, does not yet have an official title as a Tourism Village. However, the two days I was there, it felt like the local government really needed to seriously work on the tourism potential of this village.
For us millennials who were born in the 80-90s and live in urban areas, tourist villages feel very pleasant because they offer a very different experience from the routine of the city.
In various provinces, tourist villages have become destinations to be reckoned with. Like Penglipuran Village in Bali or Senaru Village in Lombok.
What’s going on in this Sumber urip Village?
Because of its location at the foot of Mount Kaba, the village land is quite fertile. Active volcano with altitude 1,952 meters above sea level it has a very beautiful view of the crater.
There are two hiking trails on Mount Kaba. The first path can only be passed on foot for two hours. The other route is partially asphalted, although many are damaged, so we can take an ojek to the top in less than half an hour.
This mountain has just been managed professionally by the Village Owned Enterprise (BUMN).BUMDes) Urip Jaya since January 2017. This mountain has the official name of Bukit Kaba Nature Tourism Park. They also work closely with the Bengkulu Province BKSDA and local youth organizations.
From the initial capital of 41 million taken from village funds, BUMDes can carry out the development of Bukit Kaba tourism. Trainings such as tourism management, English, and other development training can also be used
“Alhamdullilah“People, especially young people, have additional income because they participate in managing tourism,” said Yadi Sutantothe village head of Sumber Urip who has served for two terms.
From the entrance ticket to Bukit Kaba for Rp. 6,500, half of which is used for salary village youth who guard the climbing post 24 hours in turn. Tourists who visit Mount Kaba are mostly domestic. From the cities of Bengkulu, Palembang, and Jambi. Especially the nature lovers community.
“But sometimes foreign tourists, usually from Germany, also come, sir,” said Rizky Johan, a youth youth organization I met at the Bukit Kaba climbing post.
I was also curious to go up. Because it was too late, I chose to take a motorcycle taxi. It costs around 100 thousand rupiah for a round trip.
This Bukit Kaba motorcycle taxi is not an ordinary motorbike. The model is motor cross which is indeed used for the field off road. However, regular mopeds also exist. Of course, the tires and suspension have been modified to be able to walk on this rough terrain.
The track is no joke. We passed a narrow road with an incline of almost 45 degrees. Sometimes my feet get caught in the trees because of the dense forest. Several times I had to get off the motorbike because the incline was too dangerous to pass on a ride.
About half an hour on a motorbike that made my hands sore, I arrived at the last post. From here I had to climb about 307 steps to get to the crater rim.
Some of my friends, such as Mas Barry and Mas Fahmi, seem to be tired. No wonder when viewed from the waist circumference. Oops.
From the top of Mount Kaba, the gaze is truly captivating. I don’t know how many kilometers the diameter of this crater is. But it looks very wide and the colors are not monotonous, gray like craters in general. There is still a little vegetation at the bottom of the crater rim. Very beautiful.
Maybe if I come when the sun is up, this will be one of the photos that I post on Instagram and get a lot like. But alas, in the morning it was foggy and it was raining.
Not far from Bukit Kaba, the village of Sumber Urip also has an ‘onsen’ aka hot springs. His name is Grojokan Sewu. Feels very Javanese, doesn’t it? Even though this village is in Bengkulu.
No need to be surprised, because most of the residents of Sumber Urip village are transmigrants from Java! The vernacular in this village? Java of course! Some of my friends, like Mas Bajindul, immediately looked like they were in the interior of Central Java. Even though we were in Bengkulu.
This place, which just opened in 2018 Eid, only has about 500 visitors per month. But on holidays, for example on August 17. Visitors can reach 5000 per day!
The place is beautiful in the form of a terraced river under the valley. Several pipes are channeled to several artificial pond points and are made like waterfalls. Soaking here immediately disappears, the feeling of soreness after a day of playing in the village is gone.
There are also lots of ornamental plants in the village of Sumber Urip. I just hope that there will be no place for artificial photos.instagram-able‘ that will decorate this place. Because in my personal opinion, artificial photo spots like that actually reduce the natural value of this place.
We also visited several chili gardens and honey farmers in this village. Both of these products are one of the main sources of village income.
I sometimes find it difficult to distinguish between real honey and mixed honey. Some say that real honey won’t be swarmed by ants, but that’s not entirely true.
“Usually if there is foam, the honey is pure and still fresh,” said Dedi Susanto, a bee farmer I met.
I was immediately told to try honey straight from the hive. It tastes really fresh. Sweet but not artificial at all. At least now I can tell which honey is real and which one has added sugar.
I bought about 330 ml of honey filled into a bottled water bottle. It turned out to be very heavy compared to ordinary water! The farmers here also often receive a lot of training from experts so that they can maintain their quality thanks to village funds.
Bani Kota Town Village
Kota Bani Village, another village we visited also made very good use of village funds. This village is even ranked number 6 out of 100 best village in the Building Village Index.
The use of village funds is indeed used to assist development from below. Kota Bani Village uses it to build a concrete walkway into the garden so as to speed up the delivery of agricultural crops, renovate PAUD buildings, help fishermen upgrade their fishing gear, and provide various kinds of outreach and training to the community.
Village funds help support the economic activities of the residents of Kota Bani villages, so it’s no wonder the poverty rate has fallen in Kota Bani villages. In 2015, there were 120 underprivileged families in this village. This figure continues to decline until in 2018, there are only 63 heads of pre-prosperous families. Great huh?
This Bani City Village is also increasingly independent and prosperous because it already has a large source of income. That is from the management of the village’s oil palm plantation area of 14 hectares. From this village garden, last year, the village was able to get an income of Rp. 245 million and this year as of September 2018, it has managed to provide an income of Rp. 135 million for village treasury.
This income is used as much as possible to improve the welfare of the villagers of Kota Bani.
With this village fund, I also hope that in the future the village economy can progress, all villages can become independent, and there will be no more areas that we call underdeveloped villages.
So, when are you #ComeToVillage ? Because everything must start #StartDariDesa!
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