Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Kluang, Malaysia: 4 Reasons to Visit Kluang

Why visit Kluang, you ask? Excellent question. 

 1. You get to take the train from Singapore to Kluang (or drive).

Kluang is the place to go if you have only 2 days and 1 night to spare (includes, but is not restricted to, weekends). Of course, you can spend more time there, but for the time it takes to get you there (including clearing customs), spend at least one night lah. If you manage to get train tickets, good for you, but I'm not sure how you can get around the town (maybe Uber?). If you drive, all together now with me, "ROADTRIP"!

A chance to enjoy the scenery, when you're not the driver (and your friends don't trust you to drive them)

  Kluang

Kluang

Kluang

2. THE Food
(the main reason why Singaporeans travel to Malaysia, especially when the exchange rate is oh-so favourable)

A concise list:
Day 1 Brunch: at Zenxin Organic Farm
Day 1 Lunch: Food court in mall
Day 1 Dinner: Uncle Frog Dessert & Snack
Day 2 Breakfast: Kluang Rail Coffee
Day 2 Lunch: Restoran Teoh Heng Bak Kut Teh, Gerai Makan Botak Curry Noodles
Day 2 Tea: Quan Xin Kedai Makanan & Minuman
Day 2 Dinner: (in Johor Bahru) Jalan Wong Ah Fook streetside seafood

After we visited Zenxin Organic Farm, we headed to the mall. I'm not sure which now, but there aren't that many malls. Malls have the regular entertainment options like cinemas and bowling (I can't verify the bowling claim but vaguely?)
Here's some food court fare - comfort food!

Kluang

Kluang

For dinner, we had Uncle Frog, which really has more to offer than just dessert and snack. They have dimsum and sweet potato fries, plus pork chop - very eclectic.

  Kluang

Kluang

Kluang

Kluang

Kluang

Kluang

Kluang

 I know, that's pretty weird dinner food, and everything for RM63!

  Kluang

The next morning, we had breakfast at the railway station, then some Bak Kut Teh at Restoran Teoh Heng.

Kluang

Kluang

Not for eating, we just happened to stumble on a cage full of birds.

  Kluang

 Then we also had curry noodles at Botak's. Clearly, the owner is a collector, just like my sister, who really needs a shop to display her treasures.

  Kluang

Kluang

Kluang

Kluang

Kluang

Kluang

Kluang

Kluang

Kluang

Kluang

Kluang

Time for some tea at Quan Xin - traditional cakes. We actually got kind of lost finding this place because we had an old address in Google Maps, so we did ask some locals who led the way in their car. #thankyou

  Kluang

Kluang

Kluang

Kluang

Kluang

Kluang

We then left for more shopping at Johor Bahru (I only recall because I recognise the Secret Recipe cake box in my loot photo). On the way back, we had dinner at Jalan Wong Ah Fook. Of course, if you prefer there are many other options for meals in JB!

  Kluang

Kluang

Kluang

Tong Huat Traditional Confectionary - a worthy mention. By the time we came for some 豆沙饼/ dou sha bing/ tau sai piah/ red bean cake, they were SOLD OUT, but still open. What I admire most, is this idea of "enough" (or contentment if prefer). They could really churn out pastries and milk this for all its worth, by expanding and opening franchises and factories, but they don't.

Next time, I'm making reservations or coming earlier for these, afterall, 物以稀为贵 - the rarer, the more precious.

Kluang

Kluang

3. Shopping 

 What you can find in Singapore, you probably can find in JB; what you can find in JB, you can probably find in Kluang.

 But OLD SCHOOL SNACKS? And WHOLESALE? #justwhack #downmemorylane
I'm pretty sure there are wholesale snack shops in Singapore (think beyond Sheng Siong) and other parts of Malaysia, but this was such an unexpected find, plus it has almost all my favourites from my childhood. Almost the entire collection, in one convenient location. Disclaimer: I snapped shots of everything from my childhood but I am a discerning snacker, so not all are my favourites.

P.S. I'm kind of reluctant to share the exact location (but you can make some good deduction from the pictures - hint, it's located near the Bak Kut Teh restoran). I suggest you go in a group and share your loot, I mean, sure you want to reminisce your past, but that many packets? I know I can and will finish everything if I buy the full pack, then regret what I did last night.

P.S. How many snacks are from your childhood?

Before London Choco Roll there was Hiro and Apollo.

  Kluang

Kluang

Kluang

Kluang

Kluang

Kluang

Before Kinder Surprise, there was Ding Dang (and Tora?)!

Kluang

Kluang

Biscuits in metal tins - cutting down on packaging, before it was trendy to go zero packaging.

Kluang

Kluang

Kluang

There is this shell-shaped snack with a green packaging and a clear window... I couldn't find it! That would have completed my childhood!

Kluang

Kluang

Kluang

We get our stash usually from Japan, and we call it Bang Bang. My sister says it's from her childhood but I don't recall...

Kluang

Kluang

Old school but still innovating with seaweed flavour

Kluang

Kluang

Kluang

Kluang

Kluang

Candy

Kluang

Kluang

Kluang

Kluang

Kluang

Kluang

Kluang

Kluang

Kluang

Kluang

Push Pop.

Kluang

Kluang

Kluang

Kluang

Kluang

MILK CANDY! I'm quite sure there was a change in recipe or supplier, because it just doesn't taste the same anymore (ahem, I can tell Coca Cola and Pepsi apart). I always try to give it a chance, but I'm usually disappointed and left with many, many packets of disappointment.

Kluang

Kluang

Chinese snacks - typically found at relatives' homes during Chinese New Year.

Kluang

Kluang

My grandma always had a pack of mandarin peel, always!

Kluang

I'm quite sure someone was brandishing this and trying to convince us to share this much lemon tablets. Note that I don't even use the word "many" to describe it. It's no longer countable.

Kluang

Kluang

Kluang

For someone who gets serious motion sickness, seriously.

Kluang

Kluang

Kluang

Once in a while, you chance on something healthy. Then you ask yourself whether it is indeed healthy.

Kluang

A teacher? A party hostess? Look no further.

Kluang

Kluang

Kluang

Kluang

Kluang

Kluang

Balloons! The kind you have to blow with a mini straw, and keep pinching to seal holes.

Kluang

Kluang

Kluang

Kluang

And there is a selection of local delights (土产) - tea, coffee, coke (in the old school bottle), instant noodles...

Kluang

Kluang

Kluang

Kluang

Kluang

The entrance and surrounding area

Kluang

Kluang

Kluang

Kluang

My complete loot from the trip (not just the wholesale snack shop, please give me more credit than that).

Kluang

4. For coffee kopi aficionados

Be clear: come here for kopi, not coffee. I think they offer tours but we were late (either that or they didn't offer tours), so we had to contend with harassing speaking to the staff and buying kopi (the next best thing).

As you can see, it's an icon of Kluang leh.

Kluang

  Kluang

Kluang

Price list, plus uncle was so nice to draw map and give us directions to.... I don't remember anymore (probably some food place).

Kluang

These many tins of kopi.

Kluang

Kluang
And a kopi kitty at the karpark.

Kluang

Kluang

As you can see, as navigator, I got a bit paranoid about offline google maps not working (no worries, it worked fine during our trip!). Here is a rough distribution of the places featured in this and other posts on Kluang. (No embedded Google Maps because quite a few places are coordinates and I have no idea what coordinates they are of.)

Kluang

Kluang

In closing,
If I had a weekend to spare (and a car or train ticket), it's definitely something I would consider as a short getaway (point 2 should be good enough to convince you)!

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