The challenge in building resorts on Peucang Island is that we cannot just cut trees on the land. Although, we stand in the area of tropical rainforests where trees grow very tightly and layered. There is almost no gap from the ground to the top of the tallest tree. Soil is infested with vines and roots. The gap between the ground and the top of the biggest tree is filled with tree canopies which are getting shorter and shorter so that there is less space if we stand in between.
We were only able to cut the trees after the Ujung Kulon National Park Office conducts Vegetation analysis. Vegetation analysis is a method used to find out the distribution of various species in an area. We must not remove the rare and large trees recorded in the vegetation analysis. As a result, our bamboo house is always surrounded by trees and shaded by a large tree canopy
It is almost impossible to get photos for marketing our resorts without branches, roots or leaves blocking or as massive background. When using drones, our bamboo house is completely invisible from above. Nevertheless, we thought that keeping the area as it should for all of its inhabitants, including animals and plants, is more important than a resort that seems to have the ability to completely interrupt natural conditions for the sake of a function or aesthetics.
Being among trees is the practice of Forest Bathing
We all know that being in nature makes us calm and clear the mind. However, poor landscape planning, especially in the city, makes many people have few opportunities to enjoy walking in the shade of leaves. We realize a resort which is surrounded by dense trees that cannot be cut down is certainly not a weakness. Trees now are rare and much sought after.
Guests can walk casually among the branches of trees once they leave the room. Enjoying the rustling of leaves and the sunlight dancing in between while breathing fresh air. At the boundary of vegetation lie the Peucang white sandy beaches and a very calm sea. Enjoying special services from our resort in the middle of pristine nature then becomes our main offer. Evidently, enjoying nature has been scientifically established as a form of therapy called forest bathing.
Have you ever heard about Forest Bathing? Forest bathing is a literal translation of shinrin-yoku. In Japanese, shinrin means forest and yoku means bathing. Forest bathing is a concept popularized by Japanese scientists through various studies, for lifestyles associated with forests that have effects on disease prevention. Forest bathing is different from hiking. This activity is not a sport. Even when doing forest bathing you cannot run. Forest bathing is as simple as leisurely walking in nature, then trying to connect with nature by activating all our five senses.
In the article “Effects of Forest Bathing on Cardiovascular and Metabolic Parameters in Middle-Aged Males”, a study of nineteen middle-aged men who participated in forest bathing activities, which walked 2.6 km for 80 min each in the morning and afternoon on Saturdays, turned out to be significant. Those activities reduced pulse rate and significantly increased the score for vigor and decreased the score for depression, fatigue, anxiety, and confusion. These researchers spread the good news that even a small amount of time in nature scientifically improved can have an impact on our health.
How to do forest bathing and do we need a guide?
Dr. Qing Li, in his Shinrin-Yoku book: The Art and Science of Forest Bathing – offers this advice for the practice of Shinrin-yoku: “Make sure you have your phone and camera behind. You are going to be walking aimlessly and slowly. You don’t need any devices. Let your body be your guide. Listen to where it wants to take you. Follow your nose. And take your time. It doesn’t matter if you don’t get anywhere. You are not going anywhere. You are savoring the sounds, smells, and sights of nature and letting the forest in. “
Sounds very simple, right? But forest bathing is now one of the outdoor businesses that continue to grow by involving communities, therapists, and guides. According to the Association of Nature & Forest Therapy (ANFT), a guide training community for forest therapy activities based in the USA, there are currently around 800 guides in 48 countries. Does that mean we really need a guide in forest bathing activities?
In one of its articles, ANFT explained that we could go on a walk-in nature without a guide if we were deeply connected to nature, comfortable with moving slowly, and easily able to calm to the point of true relaxation. “But, there are many people who simply don’t know how to do these things. It’s not because they don’t want to; it is because they have forgotten how. They have spent so long being disconnected from nature that they’ve lost the ability to access the healing benefits of the forest. “
The guided introduction might be the ideal way to begin forest bathing or for those who need it. But unfortunately, not all of us live near a certified guide. In the map, the nearest ANFT guide opens his business in Singapore. There is no certified forest therapy guide in Indonesia yet. But of course, we can still do forest bathing ourselves. The first thing to do forest bathing is to find the right place like NIKKI Peucang Resort.