- Johor Bahru & Nearby: Cheap things to do with Kids Part 1 – Forest City, Kukup, Pontian.
- Johor Bahru & Nearby: Cheap things to do with Kids Part 2 – Kluang
- Johor Bahru & Nearby: Cheap things to do with Kids Part 3 – Batu Pahat, Yong Peng
- Johor Bahru & Nearby: Cheap things to do with Kids Part 4 (Dim Sum, Durian, Porridge, Chee Cheong Fun)
Johor Bahru & nearby: Cheap things to do with Kids Part 2 in Kluang!
Kluang (bat in Malay) is home to several organic farms and has an old school charm.
Our trip this time round consisted of visiting Kluang, Batu Pahat and Yong Peng. After researching accommodation and attractions in each area, we chose to stay in Kluang and travel to the other areas during the day.
In comparison, Yong Peng didn’t have much activities and shopping centres to hang out at night (Kluang has 2 shopping centres with cinemas and an Aeon Big), and Batu Pahat was a longer drive away from the North South Highway compared to Kluang so it would be less convenient as a base.
On top of that, we wanted accommodation with private parking (instead of public roadside parking), a hotel located relatively close to the town centre and not too expensive.
Kluang Merdeka Hotel
We managed to find all these in an old but nicely located hotel called the Kluang Merdeka Hotel that had lots of space for private parking, plus breakfast included.
True to the old school vibe of Kluang, Kluang Merdeka Hotel also has the oldest elevator in Kluang.
The elevator can be so slow that we sometimes took the staircase. Breakfast is usually a simple nasi lemak or mee goreng, with toast and spreads.
Zenxin Organic Park and Farm
I first came across the non-caffeinated organic teas from Zenxin Organic Farm at Singapore’s Aperia Mall where there was a farmer’s market event.
Zenxin Organic Park and Farm is located a short drive away from the North South Highway. There is ample free parking.
You can choose to pay a fee to visit the farm (about an hour’s walk through the farm with a guide).
You can also purchase different packages to learn how to make your own noodles, curry puff and salad.
The photos below were sent to me last year. For the updated price list and available packages, do contact Zenxin directly.
BW Garden Café
Conveniently located behind our hotel, BW Garden Café is a beautiful 2 storey house with a patio and large garden which is common throughout Johor (I used to visit a similar house belonging to a granduncle and grandaunt in Johor Bahru).
BW Garden Café serves Asian and Western food and drinks which are more pricey than your typical coffee shop, but reasonable for the ambience.
You can sit in the main living room or enter another bedroom that has been converted to a more private room for diners to eat at.
Diners can also eat outside at the patio with various large soft toys and enjoy the spaciousness of the garden.
Further down the hill, there is a little windmill structure you can take photos at, but beware of falling durians from a nearby durian tree.
Kluang Coffee Powder Factory
Kluang Coffee Powder Factory was set up in 1966 in Jln Mersing and relocated to the current site at Jalan Besar in 2003.
Visitors can enjoy a cup of coffee at its cafe and shop for Kluang Coffee products as gifts for families and friends. You can also arrange for a factory tour or just walk around to take photos.
The company logo bears a television set. In the 1960s, owning a television set in Malaysia was a prestige and enjoyment as it brought families and friends closer together.
The founder, Mr Goh Tong Toh, used the television set in the logo to signify that Kluang Coffee Powder Factory produces coffee of the highest quality and prestige, and also brings families and friends closer together with a great cup of Kluang Coffee.
Kluang Coffee was also presented to the Sultan Iskandar of Johor who liked it, and requested his staff to place orders with the factory every month, hence it is also known as ‘Sultan Coffee’.
Restoran Heng Rich
You can find lots of Chinese food in Kluang. This meatball noodles are from Restoran Heng Rich near a supermarket. We also enjoyed wanton noodles and the chill atmosphere here.
Kluang Railway Coffee
We came here to enjoy a meal of eggs, toast, coffee and tea next to the railway tracks. Seating is limited so we were lucky to get this table next to the tracks. There is parking just next to the railway or at the main road itself.
Yuen Fatt Biskut shop also deserves a special mention for its long Shanghai lotus mooncakes and other puff selections. We didn’t take photos but there are many choices to buy back for family and friends.
Gunung Lambak Water Park
This water park is in Singapore terms ‘not for fussy’. It is an affordable water playground (RM5 for adults and RM3 for kids when we went) and it is popular with locals. You hardly see many tourists here.
There are showers available (manage your expectations) and various pool sections to explore. The floor can be slippery sometimes.
Park at the general carpark and climb a staircase at the far end of the carpark until you hear joyful sounds of children playing.
There are many other places in Kluang we didn’t get to visit. This charming town is worth a stay if you’re planning a road trip near Johor Bahru.
Apps we used to get from Singapore to Johor Bahru and then Kluang:
1. Booking.com – for Kluang Merdeka Hotel
3. Google maps – to search for places of interest, save the best ones and navigate the roads in Johor
4. Qoo10 – to buy a Malaysian international SIM card
Things to pack
These are some things we packed for our road trip besides our passports, ringgit, clothes and toiletries.
- Water bottles (as the weather is very hot)
- Insect repellent and/or mosquito patches
- Plastic bags to store extra food or as a temporary rubbish bag
- Touch N Go card
- Car sunshade
- S hooks because you never know when you need them