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World of Phalaenopsis, Ulu Yam – Malaysia’s Largest Moth Orchid Farm with Its Own Hipster Cafe

What’s the best remedy for stress? Experts suggest that spending time in nature – a term coined ‘ecotherapy’ – can help to boost mental health and improve your wellbeing. It can be anything, from hiking and camping, to a picnic by the waterfall, or even a visit to a plant nursery.

If it’s the latter, then I suggest a day trip to Ulu Yam, where you’ll find World of Phalaenopsis, a plant nursery that specialises in phalaenopsis (or moth orchids, because phalaenopsis is a mouthful. lol). Tucked within a quiet kampung, about an hour’s drive from Kuala Lumpur, the nursery is home to thousands of orchids as well as a myriad of other plants — and it even has its own hipster-esque cafe called Florescence.

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There’s no admission fee, so feel free to waltz in, admire the blooms and get a plant or two (or a dozen – one can never have too many plants!) to bring home. Photos are allowed in the outdoor areas, but not in the dedicated air-conditioned sections, where they carry some of the more exotic plants.

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Moth orchids are a genus of orchids, of which there are over 70 species. They are native to places such as India, Taiwan, China, New Guinea and Australia, as well as Southeast Asia. With their bright colours (usually in hues of pink, white and purple) and large, shapely petals, these orchids are a popular choice for many gardens in Malaysia (which is why you’ll see them often at plant nurseries.

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But first things first – food. I had skipped lunch and was feeling famished (we got there around 3.15PM), so we made a beeline for the in-house cafe, Florescence. The interior was spacious and bright, thanks to glass windows which allowed for plenty of natural light to filter in. The windows also afforded diners with a nice view of the duck pond next to the cafe.

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The menu is rather limited, but what they offer, they do well. My Nasi Lemak with Rendang Chicken (RM13.90) came in a sizable portion, and although the chicken was a tad salty, it was tender and seasoned well. The rice was fluffy and the sambal added a nice kick, without being overpowering.

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Pop’s ordered the Assam Laksa. The cafe also has items like Mee Goreng Siam, pasta, and a variety of coffees and cakes. Moo got a Banana Cake with Ice Cream, which was excellent as the cake was not too sweet and still warm when served, which contrasted nicely with the chocolate ice cream. My iced chocolate drink was a disappointment, though, as it was powdery. Maybe you’re better off ordering one of their teas or coffees.

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The ducks in the pond outside looked clean, healthy and well fed. You can buy feed for them at the counter.

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After we were fed and watered, it was back to exploring the nursery. The moth orchids look lovely when they’re all lined up in a row together – you can walk in between the aisles and literally be surrounded by flowers.

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Most of the orchids are white, pink and purple, but there are yellow ones too.

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The orchids are for sale, and you can get a plant for between RM25 and RM40.

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A section dedicated to other varieties of plants.

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We spent about an hour soaking in the greenery. Didn’t buy anything though, because the fam and I don’t have green fingers, and any plant that makes its way to our ‘garden’ will just be in for a world of sadness.

World of Phalaenopsis is open daily from 9AM to 5PM. It’s best to drive there (Waze or Google Maps: World of Phalaenopsis), as there is limited public transport in the area. Ample parking can be found outside the farm.

WORLD OF PHALAENOPSIS

1017, Jalan Batang Kali – Hulu Yam Bharu, Kampung Sungai Kamin, 44300 Batang Kali, Selangor

Phone: 03-6075 1133

Website

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Things to Do at UK Farm Agro Resort Johor, Malaysia – Goat Feeding, Mushroom Farm, etc.

If you’re looking for an experience beyond the usual shopping malls and tourist spots, well. How about visiting a farm?

Established in 2003, UK Farm is located in Kluang Johor, a good three-hour-drive from Kuala Lumpur. Here, visitors can go on guided tours through the largest goat farm in the country.  It also has a mini zoo area, fruit/vegetable/mushroom farm enclosures, picturesque fields and a gimmicky Orang Asli Jakun (aborigine) village. The fam and I came here for a weekend trip, and it was an interesting experience for this born-and-bred city girl.

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The place caters mainly to Chinese visitors, as the tours are conducted in Mandarin and most of the signs are in Chinese. We waited in a park for the ‘bus’ to arrive. There was a giant goat statue in the middle of the park.

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There are horses on the farm, which are used to pull carts with tourists. This one was really sweet and gentle.

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The ‘bus’ was really just a converted lorry, with makeshift wooden beams holding up a roof. The ride to the first stop, the mill, took about three minutes.

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Here, a guide explained to us (in Mandarin.. earning confused looks from my dad who can’t speak Mandarin to save his life) about the feed process, whereby the bushels of grass are cut into smaller blades and fed through a grinder.

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Just next door was the pen, which housed hundreds of goats. They were mostly white, and there were two distinct types – the one with pointy ears and the ones with long droopy ears like Anjali from The Hunchback of Notredame.

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We fed them grass, and while attempting to take a selfie, one of the goats mistook my hair for food lol. I know I don’t have luscious locks but come on.

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The goats were really sweet and didn’t bite at all (except if you counted the one that tried to chew my hair off.)I felt a bit sickened at the thought that they were destined for the slaughterhouse. I guess it feels different because I actually got to see them on the farm. A lot of times people (myself included) ignore the fact that these are animals raised for their meat – because we often get our meat nicely packaged, sealed and cut up. We forget that these are real, live animals.

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It is not common among Western cultures to eat goat meat, but goat is common in Malaysia, especially when cooked with curries and spicy sauces, as it tastes strong and gamey.

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And wtf these kids were so cute all huddled up in a bundle while they were sleeping. T-T

I shall refrain from consuming mutton if I can help it.

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Another short bus ride later, we got to the ‘milking station’. The goats were all lined up in a row with their butts facing the handlers. Their udders were full and swollen at this point, so the workers placed them in a pumping machine and the milk just started squirting out.  The workers then helped by squeezing any remaining milk left over until the udders were saggy and thin again.

The guide said that it didn’t hurt the goats… because if you left the milk in the udders, it would hurt them even more coz they’d get swollen and uncomfortable.

One goat can produce about 1.5L of milk per day. That’s a lot!

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Pasteurised goat milk. It tastes kind of gamey. Goat milk apparently has a lot of beneficial properties, especially for those who can’t take cow’s milk and are lactose intolerant.

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We hopped on the bus to our next stop – the ‘Ostrich Farm’.

The pens were fairly big, but there was only one ostrich out and about. The other two were resting in the shade. We were given corn feed, but the poor ostrich must have been overstuffed because there were too many people attempting to feed it. Annoying, ill mannered children threw the feed into the ostrich’s coat and it clucked at them impatiently. disapproving grunt. I don’t remember being such a pain in the ass when I was young. Kids these days #youknowyouoldwhenyousaythat 

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Just a minute’s walk away was the ‘Orang Asli’ (aborigine) village…. although technically, there was only one ‘villager/employee’ there. He introduced himself as one of the Jakun people from neighbouring Pahang state. The quaint wooden houses with atap roofs were reminiscent of traditional Orang Asli homes. Everything was very basic, with only one room per house.

The kids loved the tree house. I was too big to climb up.

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They caught a ‘wild’ animal lul.

The guy also demonstrated how to shoot a dart using a blowpipe, by bursting a balloon far up in the tree. Wouldn’t want to mess with him

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We stopped by for a rest at a restaurant/souvenir shop area. What are these creepy masks

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Then there was the mushroom farm, where they had a pretty ‘wishing tree’ complete with small wooden gazebo on top and hundreds of prayers from visitors.

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Inside the damp and dark mushroom farm area. I didn’t know they grew them in bottles stuffed with wood shavings and moist earth. They even had ‘lingzhi’, which is a type of fungus prized for its medicinal properties (and very expensive!)

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We tried a few mushrooms snacks, like monkey head ‘satay’ sticks and spicy mushroom/vege salad.

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A board where visitors could leave messages and doodles.

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Our last stop was a mini ‘zoo’ area near the entrance, where chickens, ducks and fowls ran rampant. There was a paddock where visitors paid money to try and catch a herd of goats (?). You get a medal if you manage to catch one. Most of the times, they didn’t but it was hilarious watching people attempt to lol.

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Most. Informative. Board. Ever.

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Le fluffehz. They kept twerking their little butts, so cute.

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We finished our tour with some refreshing passion fruit drinks and goat’s milk ice-cream. The whole visit took about three hours.

If you’re bored and would like a day trip, UK Farm is a good choice to spend a few hours. It’s also educational, both for adults and children – a great place for family or student trips. The entry price is RM47 for adults and RM37 for children; including a bottle for goat feeding, corn and grass feed, as well as snacks.

I think the owners of the farm have excellent entrepreneurship, because aside from just running the farm, they’ve created this tourist destination where people can come and buy products, mingle with the livestock and get educated on the farming process. They even have chalets available for rent, for those who would like a taste of farm/country life.

GETTING THERE 

There are no buses servicing the route, so if you’re not driving, a taxi is your best choice. If you are coming from KL and using the North South Expressway, take the Air Hitam exit. Further down the road there will be many signs guiding you to the farm.

UK FARM/AGRO RESORT 

Plot 8, Project Pertanian Moden Kluang, KM13 Jalan Batu Pahat,
86000 Kluang, Johor, Malaysia.
Tel : +607-759 7555
Fax : +607-759 7991
H/P : 013-778 7235 / 013 – 722 2299
Website: www.ukfarm.com.my
Email: info@ukfarm.com.my