Traditional Bamboo Building Workshop
Bamboo Bale Building: Build your own accommodation, then get to stay in it!
Saung Segong is a few acres of revegetating far east West Java. It is nestled on the fringe of Segong, a tiny southern hinterland village, and overlooks the valley of Cibodas (meaning white water). At Saung Segong we grow food and medicines without chemicals and live simply without walls separating us from our garden. We sleep on mats as people have traditionally always done, and attempt to maintain traditional Sunda culture as much as we can. Not only is this way of life immensely satisfying and sensible, it keeps the value of simplicity and sustainability high in the eyes of local villagers. It also acknowledges the richness and importanct of Sunda culture. We believe, for future, this is crucial work.
Bales (pronounced ba-lay) are dotted across the Indonesian landscape. In West Java, these small shelters, usually elevated and made from natural materials, are often seen in rice fields. Here, they are places to take refuge from the beating sun or torrential rains – they are somewhere to rest, to nap, to break for food.
At Saung Segong, they will be places for visitors, wwoofers, workshoppers, eco tourists: anybody wanting to experience living closely with Earth. And they are for you, the builders.
The build will be guided by two Sunda (people of West Java) instructors, Mung Pipit and Mung Karamba. Mung Pipit is renowned in the Pangandaran district as the primary bamboo building artisan and rattan specialist. Mung Karamba has worked alongside Mung Pipit for many years.
On average, bales take about a week to construct. You will work on your bale with one other workshopper. Mung Pipit and Mung Karamba will provide constant expertise and support.
During the build, we ask that workshoppers BYO tents.
Following the build, workshoppers are invited to stay on in their bales for one week (bedding and mosquito nets will be provided). Bales can accommodate two people.
Three locally prepared traditional meals (vegetarian) will be provided per day for the first week.
In the second week, workshoppers can choose to either shop locally and prepare food for themselves in our kitchen, or pay Ibu Roh to cook with them. Ibu Roh is a local villager who could take interested people on a journey into all the techniques, flavours and aromas that make Sunda eating so irresitable.
Getting to Us
No matter what direction you are coming from, the key is getting to Pangandaran which the Lonely Planet can help you with.
If you are coming from Jakarta the Gapuraning Rahayu bus service runs from Kampung Rambutan Terminal Bis (the rural bus terminal in Rambutan) to Pangangdaran. This can take 9 to 12 hours. If you stay on the bus in Pangandaran it will take you to the Gapuraning Rahayu depot in Cikembulan. It might be worth handing the driver or conductor a written destination: ‘Gapuraning Rahayu Terminal Cikembulan’, to prevent being deposited in Pangandaran. From Cikembulan, ojegs (taxi motor bikes) are available for transport to Cibodas.
If you are coming on a different bus service from a different location, getting off in Pangandaran is important. From here you can catch becaks to Pasar Cikembulan (the Cikembulan markets), and an ojeg to Cibodas. Once in Cibodas everyone knows where we are and it is just a couple of minutes walk away.
While Staying with Us
We will help to offset your travel by planting a tree on your behalf.
We would be grateful if participants used only natural products on our property (toiletry and otherwise).
Saung Segong is a smoking free area.
We encourage screen fasting from visitors.
Families are encouraged.
We would love to know a little about you. Could you provide a written introduction about yourself, and why a natural build in remote West Java appeals to you?: