Review: Alila Bangsar – A Zen-Like Oasis in The Heart Of The City

Tucked in a quiet corner of the Brickfields neighbourhood in Kuala Lumpur, Alila Bangsar is a relatively new boutique hotel by Singapore-based luxury hotel and resort chain Alila; the brand’s first in Malaysia. The hotel has been gaining a steady clientele, mainly business folks and couples looking for a chill place to relax within the city, but still close enough to business and entertainment hubs.

IMG_2414

N and I checked in for a weekend staycation, and I was very impressed by the hotel’s distinctive look and design. Modern and zen-like, the lobby on Level 41 was decorated with lots of greenery, and there were floor to ceiling windows which allowed for plenty of sunlight to filter in + offered great views of the surrounding skyline.

We checked into a King Bed Studio Room with Balcony, which was extremely spacious at 38 square metres. The design followed the same vein as the rest of the hotel spaces, with lots of wood, as well as calming, subtle white and beige tones with darker accents.

IMG_2394

Among all the places I’ve stayed at, I think this has got to be my favourite hotel room by far! I’d be happy to come home to a studio apartment like this, to be honest. 🙂

I liked how areas such as the bathroom and the ‘balcony’ (essentially a small living room/work space) were partitioned, but still very open so as to give a sense of added space. Everything was also neatly tucked away, like the fridge and tea/coffee making facilities in the cupboard next to the TV. The warm, ambient lighting added to the overall cosiness.

IMG_2388

A very Instagrammable workspace

 

IMG_2382

 

IMG_2412

Large bathroom with not one but two lighted mirrors!

IMG_2403

I liked the fact that the rain shower and the toilet were separate. No bathtubs since they’re big on being sustainable/environmentally-conscious here. Which means you don’t get the tiny bottles of shampoo and whatnot, but instead refillable pump bottles. They also don’t use plastic bottles, so you pour water from a glass bottle when needed.

IMG_2368

The King-sized bed was so massive I think four thin people could have fit on it! Pillows were soft and fluffy, as was the duvet although it was a tad too warm even when the room temperature was set to 20 degrees. In-room facilities were good too, with many channels to choose from and plenty of plug points for charging, ironing board, weighing scale, laundry bag, bathrobes, etc.

20191012_154122

Guests will find an Alila bag in the room. If you have any items you’d like to leave behind such as clothes, you can put it in the bag and place it into a receptacle/bin on the ground floor. The clothes will then be recycled or donated. The bag can also be purchased for RM35.

20191012_162438

After checking out our room, we made a beeline for the pool, which is located on the 40th floor surrounded by a stunning three-storey atrium. This is one of the hotel’s prettiest spaces, surrounded by loungers and decorative plants to evoke a resort-like vibe, with sky-high views of the neighbourhood. The pool is not covered so you will not be able to swim when it rains (exactly what happened to us after about half an hour in the water).

20191012_193615

Night view.

20191012_193532

 

20191012_183446

Dinner that night was at Botanica + Co, the restaurant downstairs which serves Western and Asian fare. Our order of a seafood pizza was ginormous:  loaded with shrimp, mussel, squid and cheese. Quite tasty.

Unfortunately we did not manage to visit the bars. For those who would like a sip or two, Alila Bangsar has two very nice bars; Pacific Standard on Level 41, and Lido on the rooftop.

20191013_072343

Woke up early the next morning refreshed after a good night’s sleep. Time to hit the gym! The hotel has a small gym. Not exactly state-of-the-art, but adequate, with mostly cardio equipment.

20191013_092648

Okay, we know the real reason we worked out was so we could eat more at breakfast! Morning meals are served at Entier, which doubles as a French semi-fine dining restaurant for lunch and dinner. The chef used to work at a 2-star Michelin restaurant under world-renowned celebrity chef Joel Robuchon, so he has some serious chops.

Entier offers breakfast set meals and a small buffet selection; which I think is great as it reduces wastage.

20191013_092902

Buffet consists of typical breakfast items: cold cuts, pastries and breads with jams, cereal, cookie, salad and fresh fruits.

20191013_093142

Loved the cold cuts ! Especially the smoked duck and the salami.

20191013_093834

N had the Western / Continental set which consisted of scrambled eggs, chicken sausage, beef bacon and potatoes with mushrooms and cherry tomatoes, baked beans and a pancake with strawberry jam. I had the Asian set of congee with fried crullers, mihun goreng, soft boiled egg and chicken dumplings. Tastewise, not particularly impressive but pretty tasty.

All in all, there are a couple of things that I think they could improve on, but it was still a very enjoyable stay. If you’re looking for a calming, resort-like setting that is still close to the city, then Alila Bangsar ticks all the boxes.

What I Liked: Amazing design, contemporary spaces, the whole ‘sustainable’ vibe, very comfortable bed

What I think they can improve on: Service; staff are eager to please but seem a little inexperienced. Also I don’t think this is something they can ‘improve’ on but the lifts are pretty troublesome. There is a lift from the carpark to the ground floor, then one from there to the lobby, and then guests have to take another lift from the lobby to their rooms. So a total of 3 lifts just to get to my car or out of the hotel to the nearby LRT station.

Shuttle services are available to places such as Mid Valley and KL Sentral.

Rooms start from RM430++ per night.

ALILA BANGSAR 

58, Jalan Ang Seng, Brickfields, 50470 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur

Reservations: alilahotels.com/bangsar

 

 

First World Plaza, Resorts World Genting

Located just an hour away from downtown Kuala Lumpur, Genting Highlands is a cool retreat for many locals, especially over the weekends. Many years ago, a wealthy Chinese businessman called Lim Goh Tong made a gamble to turn the then unexplored hilltop into a casino/theme park. The bet paid off, as Genting is now a popular tourist attraction and entertainment center, right in the heart of the mountains.

20160730_135820-tile

There are many hotels at Genting, but the parents wanted somewhere quiet, so we stayed at the Chin Swee Cave Temple Hotel, about 10 minutes from the hill top. The hotel/temple is built into the hillside, with some parts designed to follow the natural contours of the cave.

20160730_135910-tile

We entered through the back entrance, through a small shrine. The lobby is on the 12th floor.

20160730_135923-tile

20160730_141310-tile

View from lobby. The rooms were very basic, with no TV. We had to cram into a triple room (one double, one single bed) coz they didn’t have any more rooms. Reception was bad, let alone Wifi… this is truly a place to ‘get away’ from the city.

A quick rest and shower later, we drove up to First World Plaza, which is part of Resorts World Genting at the hilltop. The theme park has been closed for renovations and will reopen sometime next year as FOX Studios (wow!). For now, guests can enjoy the busy world-themed shopping center and numerous casinos within the complex.

20160730_171743-tile

20160730_181111-tile

Why ‘world-themed’?Well, the complex has various replicas of landmarks from around the world, such as a stage with Times Square and a statue of Liberty in the middle. Some restaurants are also surrounded by a moat, like the canals of Venice, with bridges and arches running through them.

20160730_172511-tile

Food in Genting is expensive. The cheapest options are the food court on the top floor, or fast food chains such as McDonalds. I love the fried chicken from Marrybrown, which is a homegrown fast food chain. They don’t have many branches in KL, so I have to have this while in Genting! 🙂 The chicken was fried to crispy, golden brown perfection and had salty, crunchy skin wrapped around juicy, tender and piping hot meat on the inside. The fries are well-salted, and I like that they have gravy to go with the meal. Idk why but Malaysians don’t seem to like gravy with their fried chicken. 😡

20160730_181411-tile

There are loads of entertainment ‘centers’ in First World Plaza. You can get on rides, such as a mini reindeer ‘coaster’ and colorful flower ships on rails that give you a birds eye view of the place. There is also a Ripley’s Museum, a haunted house, Snow World, bowling center, and numerous arcades. The prices are all jacked up. Would be a nice place for youths, but since the parents weren’t impressed, we didn’t go for anything lol.

Bought some snacks to munch on at the hotel later, then headed back.

20160730_185709-tile

It rained, so the weather was really cold. Temperatures regularly dip below 12C at night, so its a nice place to sleep.

How to Get There 

From KL Sentral, there are many buses/taxis that go up to Genting, and they shouldn’t cost over RM100. The ride takes about an hour. Alternatively, you can take a cab to the Skyway (cable car station) at Gohtong Jaya and ride it up the top.

 

Colmar Tropicale French Village, Bukit Tinggi Pahang

My mum had cataract surgery a few weeks ago. She’s been feeling cooped up in the house, so we took her for a short getaway to the hills of Pahang. Our first stop was Colmar Tropicale French Village in Bukit Tinggi, which is about an hour’s drive from Kuala Lumpur. It’s a perfect place to visit over the weekend, since it’s quite close to the city, but far enough to be a relaxing retreat.

20160730_104855-tile

Owned by hospitality and entertainment conglomerate Berjaya Group, the Colmar Tropicale is a small enclave on top of the hill fashioned after a ‘French’ village. The moats have mallards and ducks, as well as black and white swans. There is a spa near the village, and the buildings are made to look like old castles and turrets.

Despite being quite high up in the hills, the place was sunny and warm – not much different from KL. By the time we got to the village, I was hot and sweaty. Global warming has not been kind on Malaysia’s mountains and hills. I think it’s partly due to deforestation and rapid development. It’s not so bad in Bukit Tinggi, since the resort is run by one private company, but in places like Cameron Highlands, a lot of land is being cleared by companies cashing in on the tourism and agricultural boom. More hotels, more farms, more ‘gardens’. A lot of news exposes have been done on illegal logging and the rape of the hills, but as usual, money wins in the end..

20160730_104915-tile

But I digress.

Colmar Tropicale is small, with two rows of quaint-looking French-themed buildings, a watchtower and a ‘drawbridge’. The hotels are inspired by medieval designs, with suits of armour, wooden counters and charming old-style paintings decorating its walls.

20160730_104944-tile  20160730_105027-tile

At first glance, it does look like a charming little French village -colorful windows and tiled, slanting roofs. And then you have the ‘ketupat’ light decorations from Hari Raya that have yet to be taken down.. 😛

20160730_105309-tile 20160730_105341-tile 20160730_105344-tile 20160730_105409-tile

There are some chic cafes, French restaurants and bakeries scattered all around the area. But typical of tourist traps, everything is super pricey.

20160730_105430-tile 20160730_105620-tile 20160730_105800-tile

A ‘wishing well’ which I did not throw any coins into lol.

20160730_105902-tile

There seemed to be some team building/treasure hunt going on, as groups of people wearing the same type of T-Shirts were seen racing around the place, pointing and looking at maps.

20160730_105941-tile 20160730_110141-tile

Tucked at the end of the street is a small funfair-like area with game booths where visitors can try to win stuffed doll prizes.

20160730_110212-tile 20160730_110328-tile

View from halfway up the watchtower at the far end of the street. It’s about five storeys high and offers nice views of the valley below.

20160730_110706-tile

View from the top.

20160730_111444-tile

There is not a load of things to see or do here, but it’s good to stop by for an hour or two. Also, pretty photos!  If you’re around the area, there are other attractions like an Adventure Park, Japanese garden (we’ll be headed there next!), mini zoo and a temple which you can complete within the day.

Visitors to the Bukit Tinggi resort have to pay an entrance fee, which is RM13 per pax. Entrance to the Colmar is included, as is a visit to the Japanese Garden/Botanical Garden. Not sure about other attractions; you may have to pay separate fees.

 

Last Day in Phuket – Jungceylon, Bangla Road and Patong Beach

Time sure flies when you’re having fun! It was already H & I’s last day in Phuket. Since our flight was only at night, we planned to make the most of our time on the island. On we hopped onto our bike again!

20151109_122228-tile

First order of the day was brunch! We returned to Thanon Ratuthit Songroipi Road to get some lunch at Jungceylon Shopping Center. It was much quieter during the day.

20151109_122407-tile

Since it was our last day, we were running low on funds. We decided to get a cheap meal at the mall’s underground food court. Purchase a reload card at the cashier and simply swipe it at the food stalls. The balance will be refunded at the end of your meal.

20151109_131237-tile

The place was nice and clean, with a big selection of food to choose from.

20151109_123623-tile

I was curious as to what Deep Fried Godzilla was, but I didn’t get to try it. 😦

20151109_124227-tile

Chicken and fries for 90B. The chicken had a teriyaki flavour, but was a tad too sweet.

20151109_124429-tile

Shared a fried oyster omelette with H. It had a mushy, gooey texture – quite different from the Malaysian Chinese version – but was loaded with ingredients. Almost every mouthful had oysters in it! It did get overwhelming halfway through as the item is quite greasy. 100B.

20151109_124232-tile

My last Thai Milk Tea in Thailand. 😥

20151109_132449-tile

After brunch, we decided to walk through Bangla Road again. The place was a shadow of itself in daytime, devoid of dancing girls, street walkers, loud techno music and flashy lights. The clubs were replaced by souvenir and clothing stalls.

20151109_132612-tile

A few bars were open but you can tell that there was no life to the party..

20151109_132709-tile

20151109_133110-tile

Just a short distance away was Patong Beach – one of Phuket’s most famous (and most commercialised) beaches. If you’re looking for calm and tranquility, this is not the place for you. The beach was crowded with tourists from all over the world and water sports enthusiasts. Although relatively clean, it lacked the pristine clear blue waters we saw at Phi Phi Islands. 

20151109_133445-tile

Beach was occupied with umbrellas and mats. There were many white tourists. Let’s just say I don’t envy how they burn in the sun. Some were really sunburnt but were still lying there to tan like there was no tomorrow.

20151109_133457-tile 20151109_133521-tile  20151109_134256-tile

20151109_134916-tile

Patong Beach was one of the worst hit areas in Thailand during the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, but has bounced back with tourists flocking to the place. Looking at the line of hotels, hostels, restaurants and bars lining the beach, it’s hard to imagine that this was all almost flattened by natural disaster and has seen many lives lost, once.

20151109_134927-tile 20151109_140837-tile

After chillin’ on the beach for a bit, we made our way back through Bangla Road to where the bike was parked.

20151109_141137-tile

Stopped by for some fresh fruits from an Indian peddler.

20151109_141140-tile

20151109_141402-tile

Wanted to get these as souvenirs, but was really running low on money by then..

20151109_141356-tile

Said goodbye to Thailand’s unique tuk-tuks.

We got back to the hotel and waited for our taxi to pick us up and drive us to the airport. The sun was setting as we drove past the winding, hilly beach roads, casting a beautiful orange light across the island.

20151109_172831-tile

Goodbye, Phuket. It has been amazing.

 

 

PS: H & I thought we had set aside just enough for our taxi trip, but it turns out we mistook some other currency for Thai baht ! O-O Good thing we had just enough money to pay the taxi guy, or we’d be in trouble… but that meant that we had no money to eat dinner (there were no money exchange booths in the airport wut??) until we got back to Kuala Lumpur. We were left with just 70B, and the cheapest food there (instant noodles) cost 80B.

Interesting experience, to say the least.

Beautiful Island Views @ Ya Nui Beach and Karon Viewpoint, Phuket

It was a beautiful Saturday morning when H and I set off for our tour of Phuket, Thailand. Our driver, Lek, picked us up from our hotel in Patong and from there it was a 40 minute drive to the south of the island.

The first stop of the day was a quiet beach called Ya Nui. We almost missed it, if not for the glimpses of azure blue water and sandy white peeking among the trees.

SAM_0857-tile

There was a rocky outcropping in the southern end of the beach. The beach itself stretches about 300ms or so, with crystal clear and blue water. There were also some food and drink stalls, shops renting snorkelling gear and the customary Reggae Bar.

Net searches say that the place is quite busy during peak periods, but it was quiet and tranquil during our visit (November- just after rainy season). Some families were out basking in the sun on beach mats, or playing in the shallow water. In the distance is an island called Koh Keyao Noi. 

SAM_0860-tile

Fishing boats and some water sports like kayaking and speed boats.

20151107_095153-tile

I like how the beach is C-shaped, sheltered by soft, sloping green hills on both sides. The sand was fine and warm. Glad I brought slippers!

20151107_095145-tile

We didn’t go into the water because we still had to visit other places and I didn’t have a change of clothes… but the waves sure looked inviting.

20151107_094937-tile

After admiring the views for a short while, we hopped onto our car again and headed to Karon Viewpoint, a very famous viewpoint up on the hill.

20151107_092626-tile

In Thai, the place is called ‘Koh Sam Haad’, or ‘Hill of Three Beaches.’ There is a viewing platform and a gazebo where you get amazing views of the island’s west coast. True to its name, visitors will get to see the three bays, which are shaped like a fork – Kata Noi Beach, Kata and Karon beach.

12208823_10154489730649152_3813126698216915056_nSAM_0851-tile

Getting There 

Not accessible by bus. You can get a tuktuk to take you up, but the roads are hilly and narrow.. so your best bet is to hire a private driver or taxi. For those driving, the viewpoint is on the main road connecting Rawai and Kata. Look out for a big gazebo on the side of the road.  Admission is free.

Guinness World Records Museum Hollywood

SAM_7362-tile

There are countless museums and attractions along Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, designed to rip off the consummate tourist. However, once in awhile, the experience is worth the overpriced entry fees.

To save on admission, we got a Go LA card, a very useful online discount travel website that allows you to save on entry fees to attractions all around the United States. You can choose to buy a one week all access pass to many attractions, or tailor-make one for your own itinerary that helps you cut back up to 20%. 🙂

One of the places we popped into was the Hollywood Guinness World Records Museum. You won’t miss it while walking down the avenue – it’s the blue building with flashy neon signs.

SAM_7363-tile

Upon entering, visitors were greeted by several mannequins of music stars that have achieved world records: Michael Jackson and Elvis among them (for breaking CD sales or having most number of 1#hits…etc).The place was smaller than we anticipated and was close to deserted on a weekday.

Since we basically had the venue to ourselves, we had fun taking pictures with the models. I hate waiting in line, especially at tourist places where everyone wants nice shots, so this was great.

SAM_7367(1)-tile

The place was divided into several sections. We read up interesting info on people with bizarre achievements, such as longest beard, shallowest dive, most tattoos, etc. which were accompanied by static models.

I was quite disappointed as the exhibits were old, and some of the interactive quiz machines weren’t in working order. But then again, this place has been around since 1991, so..

SAM_7370-tile

(Left) Most tattooed woman and the ‘World’s Hungriest Sword Swallower’.

SAM_7375-tile

A newer room where you get to test your knowledge of Guiness World Records against your friends and other visitors.

Overall, I’d say that the Guiness World Records Museum fell short of expectations. We spent about an hour in the place, because there wasn’t much to see or do. Definitely not bang for your buck, and there are other museums around the area which are better.

GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS MUSEUM

6764 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028, United States

Phone:+1 323-463-6433

Hours10:00 am – 1:00 am

Admission (Adult): 16.99$

SAM_7390-tile

Just opposite the museum is a The Hollywood and Highland, a mall area with a mixture of ‘exotic’ decorations, including an ancient Egyptian inspired arch and elephant columns. If you’re not up to a trip to the Hollywood Sign lookout point, this is a good place to take pictures (with super zoom).

SAM_7392-tile

SAM_7396-tile

The famous Hollywood sign! 🙂

SAM_7401-tile

There is a nice mix of clothing and food stores here to stop by for lunch after your star-spotting on the pavement.

HOLLYWOOD & HIGHLAND

6801 Hollywood Blvd #170,

Los Angeles, CA 90028, United States

Avenue of Stars: The Hollywood Walk of Fame

If you grew up in the 90s, you’ll probably remember a popular show called Melrose Place which was set in Los Angeles. The show apparently got its name from this particular street: Melrose Avenue. 

SAM_7336-tile

A popular street within the city, it was known as the ‘birthplace of SoCal’s New Wave and Punk Cultures’. This is evidenced by indie shops, hole-in-the-wall cafes and bigger restaurant establishments, as well as a thriving theater, art and culture scene.

Our hostel, Banana Bungalow, was located at the intersection of Melrose and Fairfax, so it was a short walk to the bus stop.

SAM_7339-tile

For convenience, we bought Tap cards, which work like our local Touch N Go cards. 25 bucks for a week; unlimited use on buses and trains. Pretty worth it. I’d recommend getting this if you’re not driving and are visiting LA. They’re available from the bus driver and at reload stations.

On the subject of buses, I was impressed with the efficiency of bus services in LA. Coming from a developing country like Malaysia, everyone knows that public transportation is unreliable and slow; hence the need for cars – which results in massive traffic jams. The inverse applies in LA. I have never encountered a single hold up in traffic throughout the three weeks I was here. (Coming back to KL jams was a nightmare!)

You can get virtually anywhere using buses and trains, although  it can be tedious switching between buses servicing different routes. The best part is that the buses are mostly on time. People complain if they’re a few minutes late… Americans have obviously never experienced how it is like in third world countries where you’d be lucky if your bus ride comes within the hour and not two hours later (!)

SAM_7343-tile

Since we were in LA – the entertainment capital of the world – no way were we missing out on sightseeing at the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The place was full of people even though it was a weekday, with mini tour vans and buses plying the route. The Chinese Theatre, which dates back to 1927, is a major feature along the walk.

It was opened during a time when cinema was just beginning to bloom and there was a high demand for ‘exotics’. An earlier Egyptian-themed theatre received critical success, so they came up with a Chinese theatre. It has featured many grand openings, like Star Wars and Academy Award ceremonies.

SAM_7410-tile

Just outside the Chinese Theatre were handprints/footprints + signatures of famous actors and actresses through the ages. Sorry for the random arms and feet… there were too many people crowding around the place for good pictures.

SAM_7411-tile

SAM_7415-tile

SAM_7349-tile

Many theaters lined the walk, along with idyllic palm trees, like how I’ve always seen it in TV shows and movies. The weather in LA is quite warm, except when the wind blows.

SAM_7354-tile

SAM_7348-tile

No walk down the Walk of Fame would be complete without spotting our favourite stars!Some of them include Tom Cruise, Sylvester Stallone, James Cameron and Walt Disney. There are over 2,500 stars embedded in the sidewalk.

SAM_7406-tile

SAM_7357-tile

Theaters, museums and overpriced attractions weren’t the only thing on Hollywood. There were a couple of rustic looking, mom-and-pop style eateries like this pizza place.

SAM_7382-tile

Do some exploring and you might discover charming nooks and crannies with small souvenir shops, cafes and bookstores.

SAM_7359-tile

Digressing here about the traffic again – American drivers are (more) polite and generally abide by safety rules. Pedestrians are given the right of way, and cars will stop to let you pass. Unlike in KL where asshole drivers are rampant. Stepping into traffic (even though you might have the right of way!) in Kuala Lumpur will probably get you run over.

SAM_7361-tile

SAM_7389-tile

More of Hollywood to come!

 

 

 

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.

SAM_4473-tile

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.

SAM_4475-tile

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

SAM_4486-tile

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.

SAM_4487-tile

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.

SAM_4490-tile

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.

SAM_4500-tile SAM_4503-tile

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.

SAM_4505-tile

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.

SAM_4507-tile

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.

SAM_4510-tile SAM_4511-tile SAM_4514-tile SAM_4521-tile

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.

SAM_4528-tile

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!

SAM_4531-tile

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.

SAM_4539-tile

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 

SAM_4541-tile

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.

SAM_4544-tile

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

SAM_4545-tile SAM_4557-tile

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

SAM_4558-tile SAM_4570-tile

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.

SAM_4572-tile

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!)

SAM_4577-tile

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

SAM_4580-tile

A board where visitors could leave messages and doodles.

SAM_4599-tile

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.

SAM_4592-tile

Most. Informative. Board. Ever.

SAM_4596-tile  SAM_4605-tile

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

SAM_4607-tile

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