Saturday, December 09, 2017

Kluang Itinerary - 2 Days, 1 Night Road Trip with a Rented Car @ The Heart of Johor [Malaysia] #kluang #itinerary

The wanderlust in me is strong and even though i have yet to finish 20% of my Hokkaido's trip in this blog, the desire to travel overseas continues to beckon and today, i am going to share with you my 2 days, 1 night itinerary to Kluang in Johor state, Malaysia!  

Departing from my usual style for itineraries, i shall concentrate on just a main itinerary and then the separate postings for each attraction, dining establishment etc. There wouldn't be details for each day and i guess that will help me in clearing my backlog.  

As indicated in the subject, it's a road trip which means we rented a car in the state capital of Johor Bahru and drove all the way to the heart of Johor state! I absolutely love being in control of where we can go and what we can do and without further ado, let's start with my short getaway from Singapore.

Day One (02 December 2017)

[7.28 am] Queuing to take the 8 am railway shuttle from Singapore to Johor Bahru (JB). With increased number of tourists visiting JB due to the stronger Singapore currency, taking the shuttle train will eliminate the frustration of being stuck in a jam across the causeway.

Tickets can be purchased via EasyBook and before you join the queue, do note that you are required to exchange for the physical ticket at the KTM counter near the Woodlands Checkpoint's taxi stand.  

In a journey that takes only about five minutes, we had arrived at JB sentral station! No further immigration required as all immigration procedures shall take place before you embark the train at Woodlands Checkpoint.

[8.57 am] Collection of the rented car was at 10 am and we decided to have a traditional Southeast Asia kopi and kaya toast breakfast at Hua Mui Coffee House

Thankfully we arrived earlier as the queue started building up about 30 minutes later! No review on Hua Mui as i blogged about it earlier this year. Please check out the review here

[10.00 am] After the usual filling up of form for confirmation of rental at Hawk Rent A Car shop in Menara Ansar, we were brought to our allocated Perodua Bezza 1.3 Auto!

[10.16 am] After the necessary checking for existing damages, we were off on our road trip! As we didn't opt for a GPS in the car, we relied heavily on the Google Maps in our phones! Technology rocks! 

Oh, the Paradigm Mall that has been in the news recently for being the largest shopping centre in JB with a floor space that's even bigger than Singapore's Vivo City.

[10.28 am] In line to enter the North South Highway; as toll fees would be imposed, do prepare a Touch N Go card for convenience; it works like Singapore's EZ Link card. 

Leisure drive along the highway; i am the designated driver given my experience of driving overseas (in Jeju Island, South Korea and the recent Hokkaido) and the lesson learnt. (i.e. car accident that is) 

Please be assured that i am not the one taking the photographs; Andrew, my reliable vehicle commander, was the one shooting the pictures. Our other companion, Joyce, was busy dozing on and off. 

[11.24 am] Less than an hour later, we took Exit 244 and arrived at a town that used to be a major stopover before the highway was completed; Ayer Hitam! 

Unfortunately, it's a transit point for us and we didn't plan / manage to check out what this ceramic town has to offer, other than ceramic. Maybe next time?

[11.33 am] Zenxin Organic Park - one of three major farm visits in Kluang, our purpose was more to check out the store selling organic farm products and decide if we should drop by the next day before returning to Singapore.

There's an entrance fee to enter the farm and while it's quite reasonably priced; we had missed the timing for organic farm walk and the restaurant didn't appeal to us as the place for our first meal in Kluang.

In case you are interested, there are tour packages for the entire family that you can book three days in advance. I am also appending the farm map for your reference. 

[11.52 am] The next attraction, UK Farm, was just a short drive away but the road condition was very different; dirt path, no street light and many potholes! 

Road seemed never ending! 

[12.03 pm] Drive from main entrance to UK Farm covered a distance of about 6 kilometers! By the way, i don't think the UK refers to United Kingdom. Nevertheless, it's the biggest goat farm in the whole of Malaysia and a visit to the farm was ranked number 2 on TripAdvisor! 

So what did we do? We had lunch (i had a great lamb chop), fed the goats / kids, watched a goat milking process, fed the ducks, the chickens, the ostriches, the deer and the rabbits and visited Jakun village.

Weather was insanely hot but i did have fun; it was like a trip down memory lane as it reminded me of my kampong days when i was a kid and we even got to take an old, refurbished bus. More pictures and information can be found here.

[3.47 pm] Farmland spotted along the way. Do allocate a few hours if you wish to take up the RM 47.70 (per adult) farm tour at UK Farm. A child (age 3-12) ticket cost RM 37.10.

[4.26 pm] Hotel Anika - our accommodation for the night! For more pictures and my review of this hotel (ranked #1 out of 9 Kluang hotels) can be found here

Hotel Anika  is quite easy to find as it's not common to have a building over 10 storeys high in Kluang. Alternatively, you just need to look out for the purple-themed Milky Cake House building; the hotel is right across the road. 

[4.50 pm] After throwing our belongings in the room, we rushed out to Tong Huat Confectionery! My sister did some research beforehand and the traditional bakery was said to be famous for its tau sar piah; problem was, it closes at 6 pm and it doesn't open on Sundays! 

[5.10 pm] Sadly, the tar sar piah had sold out and sensing my sister's disappointment, we took to the road again to another as famous confectionery; Yuen Fatt Biscuit! Even though it also sells tau sar piah, the signature product was the odd-shaped Shanghai mooncake! Heng still have stock. 

[5.30 pm] Another mad rush to the retro looking Star Coffee House & Restaurant as we had made a reservation (thanks to my Malaysian friend, Louis Ling) for 5.30 pm at this popular eater that's well known for its crispy duck! Our dinner was extremely good and i can't imagine that we paid less than S$30 for four dishes.

[6.45 pm] With a full tummy, it's time for shopping and a few doors away from Star restaurant was The Store! I thought it's only two floors; turned out there were like five or six floors of merchandise! 

So much to see, so much i want to buy yet i couldn't as i would have to carry them back on public transportation after i returned the rental car in JB! Hence, i am careful and only bought a pack of Old Town Extra Rich 3-in-1 coffee for only RM 11.99...

[7.40 pm] The Star restaurant and The Store were right beside Hotel Anika and after our sweaty farm tour at UK Farm, there's a need to take a quick shower before we drove out again. This time, it's to the best shopping centre in Kluang; the Kluang Mall

We can't compare its scale and offerings with shopping malls in the cities; however, it is equipped with a cinema and counts notable brands like H&M, Uniqlo etc as its occupants. I even managed to purchase six tees and three shirts! 

[9.21 pm] Supper time at Restoran Tan Ching Hing! It was crowded although it's past dinner time and my objective that evening was to get my tummy stuffed with the supposedly outstanding Ah Fu Satay before ending the night.


Day Two (03 December 2017)

[7.40 am] Crawled out of bed for this fantastic view of Gunung Lambak! I could have awakened earlier to catch the sunrise but i was, simply put, exhausted.

[8.06 am] Out of the hotel for breakfast and saw this huge ass motor vehicle parked at the hotel's carpark; from the license plate, i gathered it hauled from the heilongjiang province in China; that's far! 

Woah, didn't know Kota Tinggi is along the way. Maybe i could plan my trip next time to include Kota Tinggi too. There are so many places to visit in Malaysia and most Singaporeans are only fixated in just a selected few. 

Standing on the road divider outside Hotel Anika; our breakfast destination was right ahead at the end of the T-junction. How many meters away; 300? 

[8.12 am] Many Kluang visitors came via train and the first thing they would likely do when they disembarked was to seek out the Kluang Rail Coffee shop

Frankly, i often confused Klang with Kluang. While the former is synonymous with bak kut teh, Kluang is well known for its coffee and the Kluang Railway Coffee is always prominently featured on travel shows and documentaries for its timeless decor, kopi, toast and nasi lemak! 

[9.06 am] Time to digest the food at the nearby Street Art Kluang! Having Joyce tagging along is fun, especially when you need a wide variety of expressions for photo taking! There's a reason why Joyvn is so expressive; genetic inheritance from the mom.

[9.41 am] Chanced upon a pet shop! When Rubee was still around, i would be mindful to walk into a pet shop whenever i saw one; in case there are treats or accessories i could buy to pamper him. 

Andrew is a cat lover and like me in the past, he would check out the pet store whenever he sees one! As i didn't have anything to buy, i went straight to the live pets section and my heart totally melted at the sight of super adorable munchkins.
Bomba?! A fire station is called a bomba in Malay? 

A coffee shop near Hotel Anika; if i am extending my stay in Kluang for another day or two, there's a high chance i would dine there as it did appear pretty crowded.

At the garment street next to the hotel; technically, it's beside the Milky Cake House and the street was thought out by me as i did notice quite a number of shops rolls of cloths, garments etc. 

Alex didn't join us as he couldn't get his passport extended in time and poor boy has to work on Saturday. If he were with us, i can guarantee you he would ask to have a meal at McDonald's!

Oh, didn't know Plaza Kluang Parade mall (with Parkson department store) was so close to Hotel Anika. Pity, we didn't have sufficient time to visit. :( 

[10.52 am] Drove out of the hotel's basement carpark and i knew i had to stop by the road when i saw this row of interesting shophouses! Instead of the stone lions guarding the shop on the ground floor, they were perched on the roof like gargoyles! 

[10.55 am[ As mentioned previously, Kluang is known for its coffee and although a visit to the Kluang Coffee Powder Factory is often recommended, the factory doesn't operate on Sundays! Fret not, there's always the affiliated Kluang Coffee Powder shop where you can continue to buy their signature coffee (be it in bean, powder, 3-in-1 format etc) and bring back to Singapore. 

[11.00 am] Taking another route to the North South Highway because Google Map said so! We didn't regret the choice as it brought us along a scenic road with palm plantations on both sides. 

[11.49 am] I think this is the Simpang Renggam toll station; we actually forgot about buying organic produce at Zenxin Organic Park and remembered only when we were halfway to this toll station. Oh well, my sister did say you can find Zenxin produce at supermarkets in JB. In addition, Zenxin actually exports to Singapore too. 

Highway where i can clock a speed of 110 kilometers without being fined. Nevertheless, safety comes first and it's always good to maintain a safe distance from the car in front of you.

A pickup truck loaded with pineapples; likely in anticipation of the coming Chinese New Year when demand for pineapple jam shot up! For those who are unaware, pineapple tarts are hugely popular as festive gifts for the Chinese.

[12.29 am] Roasted delights at Restoran Sin Keong Kee! The roast pork was epic and i was so taken in by their homemade sour plum sauce; it's a perfect dip for the roast duck! 

[1.23 pm] My first visit to Johor Premium Outlets (known affectionately as JPO) and it happened to be the weekend with even more discounts! 

I could have bought so much more but the queues outside the brands i am interested in were too long and i could only managed to secure a pair of Hush Puppies shoes! 

[4.21 pm] With any rented car, it's a must to pump back the petrol and ensure the tank is full before you return. We almost wanted to go for car washing as the car was actually very dusty; no thanks to the ride we made to UK Farm

[4.34 pm] Returned the rental car and given my overseas driving experiences, the car was obviously handed back in a good condition. Special thanks to Andrew who engaged me throughout the driving so that i remained alert and awake. 

Back to reality at the custom as i was stuck for about an hour at the Malaysian immigration. It's time for me to get an MACS card for fast track clearance as Joyce was out in like 10 minutes?! 

4 comments:

  1. 'Bomba' means fire brigade. 'Balai bomba' means fire station. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the confirmation, Aina! :)

      Delete
  2. Anonymous1:01 PM

    Thank you for sharing your travel to Kluang. Its very good, just the information that I need to plan for me trip there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. you are most welcome! do share with your family and friends if you find them useful. :) have a good trip!

      Delete

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