If you have plan to visit Malaysia, please drop by a district in Johor State called Kluang. Then if you choose to drive by your own, you can go through North-South PLUS Highway and make your exit at Air Hitam, Johor. Turn right after the toll and you will reach Kluang town by 25 minutes driving. You can take KTM train to Johor or Singapore and get off at Kluang Station. If you choose to go there by coach or bus, you need to buy tickets and depart from Terminal Bersatu Selatan (TBS).
Saya Backpacker suggest 5 things you can enjoy during your visit to Kluang, Johor.
1. Hiking Mount Lambak and Mount Berlumut
– Mount Lambak located 10km from Kluang city, meanwhile Mount Berlumut is 30km from the city.
– Public transport like buses only available at the main roads. It’s quite far from the main roads to the mountain especially Berlumut. There’s no rental facilities like bicycle and motorbike to reach this area.
– It’s preferable to rent a vehicle (car, mpv etc) to reach these 2 mountain. If not, you can also rent a taxi from Kluang Bus Station but it might a little bit pricey. The price might exceed more than RM30 (USD 8.5) a trip. Please make sure that the taxi will wait for you or will return to fetch you back to the town.
– You need to estimate at least 6-7 hours hiking at Berlumut, meanwhile Lambak is around 3 hours hiking.
– No permit needed to hike Mount Lambak. But for Berlumut Mount, you need to register at Gunung Berlumut management office at the entrance of the forest. You can get the details here, http://www.forestry.gov.my/johor/index.php/en/development/amenity-forest/hutan-lipur-gunung-belumut.
2. Enjoying Waterfall and River at Gunung Belumut Amenity Forest
– You need to pay RM2 (USD 0.60) per pax for the entrance fee. Parking fee varied based on vehicle type. If you use a car, its only RM2 (USD 0.60) per entry.
– At the entrance of the forest, you can find shops and restaurants to buy some foods and swimming attire/equipment. There are also other facilities such as toilets, changing rooms and prayer room for Muslims.
– There are nice river, cascade and waterfall that you can enjoy over there. Picnic and camping area at the forest are also provided. Have a nice dipping and swimming activities with your friends and families at Berlumut Amenity Forest.
3. Kluang Rail Coffee
– This is the trademark of Kluang town. This coffee shop or popularly known as kopitiam located at Kluang Railway Station. It’s still maintain the old building and it’s become one of the unique element of this kopitiam. The coffee shop shares the same building with KTM (Railway) management.
– The coffee bean is processed by the kopitiam itself and the taste suit the local taste. Few years ago, there was an issue regarding Halal certification of the coffee but the issue being solved and the coffee was certified as Halal by JAKIM (Department of Islamic Understanding Malaysia).
– The toast bread is the most popular menu and I promise you the toast is really tasteful. The homemade coconut jam taste awesome too. Another famous menu is Nasi Lemak, a coconut milk rice served with chili paste and wrap with banana leave. This is a must-try menu that you can eat over here. Its only cost you less than USD3 for a cup of coffee, Nasi Lemak and a plate of toast bread.
4. Try Local Foods
– There are lots of restaurant that you can try at Kluang town. One of the popular restaurant among local is Nasi Daun Pisang Restoran NSM. Nasi Daun Pisang is Indian cuisine serving rice on top of banana leaf, no plate. The rice served with curry and dal poured on top of it. You can choose fried chicken or fish, or even lamb, fish or beef curry to eat with the rice. They have unique style of serving the food.
– Char Kuey Teow Ketam Kluang located at Batu 4, Jalan Mersing, Taman Makmur, Kluang. It’s only few kilometres from the town. Get a taxi to reach this restaurant. It is a Malaysian pasta, as local called it Kuey Teow, fried with some chilli paste, soy sauce and crab.
– You can also get your lunch at Nasi Gulai Kawah & Asam Pedas Haji Ishak located at Perumahan Flat Haji Manan. This restaurant was built at old apartment building located at the corner of the town. It serves rice with beef curry cooked in a large pot. You can also choose other Malay’s menu here. Please make sure you get the table before 2 pm because the food always sold out early.
– There are some restaurants serving Western, Chinese and Korean cuisine at Kluang town but these three local food’s restaurants are worth to try.
5. Shopping at Kluang Parade and Kluang Mall
– It might not as big and happening like Kuala Lumpur and other places but its worth to shop here. The price also cheaper than the malls at big cities.
– I used to go to Kluang Parade to find DVD’s and CD’s, almost all movies and TV series are available there, just name it. Kluang Mall is bigger by size and have lots of nice restaurants. There are cinema and groceries at the mall as well. If you travel buddies reluctant to follow your hiking activity, just leave them at the malls.
This is not the only activities that you can enjoy at Kluang. But for now, Saya Backpacker only suggest these 5 activities. Please visit Kluang, Johor and experience the southern part of Peninsula Malaysia.