Travel: True meaning of Malaysian hospitality in Kluang

Kluang is a town and district located in the state of Johor, in the southern portion of peninsular Malaysia. The city is named after the fruit bats that were once common in the region.

Andrew Ng checks out a few of the many attractions that draw tourists to Kluang. If you’re a coffee lover, read about 멀라이언쿠기 (Merlion Cookie)’s journal about HER visit to Kluang.

* All the pictures in this article were taken by Andrew.

Kluang Coffee Powder Factory workers roasting coffee.

Kluang Coffee Powder Factory workers roasting coffee.

It was a trip down nostalgia. The last time I took a train to Malaysia, I was still in high school a few decades ago. Back then, I boarded the train at the former Tanjong Pagar station.

Grooving to the tune of Cek Mek Molek in the entertainment car.

Grooving to the tune of Cek Mek Molek in the entertainment car.

Fast forward to 2013, I had the opportunity to relive that memory when I was invited to make a trip to Kluang.

The event was organised by the Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board, at the direction of Noor Aine Ismail and assisted by Putrie Rozana Soraya.

I have to say, Malaysia pulled out all the stops to ensure the participants experience a Truly Asia hospitality.

(from the right) Dato' Husni Zai Yaacob, High Commissioner of Malaysia in Singapore; Jamaluddin Mat Lazim, Locomotive Inspector; Mohd Zain Mat Taha, General Manager KTM Intercity.

(from the right) Dato’ Husni Zai Yaacob, High Commissioner of Malaysia in Singapore; Jamaluddin Mat Lazim, Locomotive Inspector; Mohd Zain Mat Taha, General Manager KTM Intercity.

From the moment the High Commissioner Dato’ Husni Zai Yaacob welcomed us at the Woodlands Train Checkpoint, to the coach bus dropping us back in Singapore, it was just non-stop exuberance!

Stacks of Cap Televisyen Kluang Kopi-O cartons on shipping pallet.

Stacks of Cap Televisyen Kluang Kopi-O cartons on shipping pallet.

Rail travel is a good way to draw a tourist into the tropical charm of Malaysia.

As the forestation zipped by through the windows, it is so easy to cast yourself as an adventurer exploring this great Southeast Asian country.

With all the singing and merry-making inside the entertainment car, we did not realise that two hours had passed and we already arrived in Kluang.

With a brief stop for brunch at the famous Kluang Rail Coffee shop right at the station, we boarded a coach bus to our first stop – Kluang Coffee Powder Factory Sdn Bhd.

Kambing (goat) being roasted on a barbecue rack.

Kambing (goat) being roasted on a barbecue rack.

While at first glance it looked like any ordinary food processing plant, the company’s products impressed coffee connoisseurs with its rich and fragrant aroma and a pleasant aftertaste.

Young innocent goat in cage.

Young innocent goat in cage.

It is no mean feat to roast coffee beans at large commercial scale, as attested by the army of muscular men pounding away to mix the beans.

UK Agro Resort Farm was next, where we had a feast of roast kambing (“goat” in Malay).

After the sumptuous lunch, the owner himself Goh Un Keng gave us a guided tour of the many facilities which include feeding pens, milk processing, homestay chalets, and even the “Sheep Challenge.”

Yes, folks – you do get a medal if your team of 3-5 manages to catch a goat. Somehow, I had this feeling that the goats are smarter. Hmmm…

Goat milk at HACCP standard.

Goat milk at HACCP standard.

Though we were already stuffed with food and drinks from our gracious hosts, the Tourism Board managed to squeeze in the finale of Putu Bambu, Chendol, and durian crepe at Ayer Hitam.

Bagus!

Bagus!

It was already nightfall by the time we crossed the border back into Singapore, after a fascinating 12-hour trip into our neighbouring country.

I could not help but be amazed at how much fun I had within such a short span of time – ride the rail, eat, drink, reach Kluang, eat, drink, visit coffee factory, eat, drink, visit goat farm, eat, drink, stop at Ayer Hitam, EAT, DRINK!

Reflections

As I pen this journal the next morning, it is not the train ride, nor the makan (“eating”) sessions nor sceneries which is stuck in my mind – it is the faces of all the Malaysians who along the way showed me what true hospitality is.

Of course, not to mention that cup of piping hot Kluang coffee in my hand, hee hee… 🙂

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14 Responses to “Travel: True meaning of Malaysian hospitality in Kluang”

  1. Peter Lim says:

    Wow, never thought there was anything in Kluang. Actually, where exactly in Johor is it? Might just pop by when we drive up to KL during Christmas.

    • tech4tea says:

      Yah, I didn’t know either, although my wife’s masseur is from Kluang and she told her before that Klang is actually quite touristy! Kluang is at the centre of Johor State. About halfway between Johor Bahru and Segamat. It’s a good idea to stop by a few hours as a break from the drive up north.

  2. Lee Mei Juan says:

    That baby goat look so innocent lah. Hope he’s not the one that ended up on the bbq rack 🙁

  3. Linda May Ford says:

    Thanks for the article. We were just surfing to look for short trips for the school hols. Is the coffee factory open to visits from the public? How do we arrange a visit, do we need to call ahead? is there a contact number?

  4. Albert Tay says:

    What are the opening hours for the Agro Resort Farm? Looks like a good place to stop over a few hours when we drive to Ipoh next week. btw, what’s a UK farm setting up shop in little Kluang?

  5. Lindsay Harrison says:

    Wats “HACCP standard”?

  6. […] Andrew Ng checked out Kluang’s attractions last Saturday courtesy of Tourism Malaysia Singapore. […]

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