Before i begin my story, i need to warn you of the length of this review. This is simply because i’ve come to like this small and unique town located down south of Malaysia. Here it comes…
The name Kluang derives from the Malay word ‘keluang’ which means a type of flying fox or rather a type of fruit bat. These used to be plentiful in the district decades ago. They have almost completely disappeared due to the combination of hunting and destruction of their natural habitat. I was told by a local friend that pictures of bat can still be seen on road signages and boards. Kluang is a town located roughly in the middle of the state of Johor in Malaysia. The population of Kluang district is considered small but has now exceeded 250,000 residents with more than half are centralized in the town itself.
Kluang had a very interesting World War 2 history when the Japanese soldiers once relocated their headquarter from Kuala Lumpur to Kluang in 1942 and later used the airbase to launch air attacks on targets ranging from Singapore to Sumatra.
Me and a worker (maybe the boss) of Kluang RailCoffee
The famous Kluang RailCoffee outlet
Worker preparing the food and drink
Roti bakar, Coffee, etc
The shop and its patrons
Kluang Railway Station
One of the charming places to visit in Kluang is the Kluang Railway station. The railway is surely the main highlight of this town as it cuts the town into two halves when the train passes through Kluang town. This will lead to temporary closure of the road to the town for the the train to pass. It is a common saying among local residents that when the trains approach Kluang Railway station, the entire Kluang town stands still. The station itself withstood the test of time and should be of interest for those who have passion for nostalgic photographs.
Kluang Station Coffee
It is widely claimed that the famous coffee shop at Kluang Railway Station, serves the best coffee in Malaysia (plus the shopâ€™s specialty â€œRoti Bakarâ€ – toasted bread with half boiled eggs). This local dish is available for breakfast between 7.00am and 12.00noon and for afternoon tea between 2.30pm and 6.00pm. The coffee shop now has expanded into franchise business and more outlets are available in major cities including Kuala Lumpur.
Tong Fong Cafe
Also worth taking note is an authentic coffee shop located in no. 56, Jalan Lambak by the name of Tong Fong Cafe (a.k.a. Eastern Cafe) which was very popular with the British soldiers during the heydays when Malaya was still under British rule. The operator is a second generation descendant of the owner and the coffee shop has been operating since 1954. Good coffee amidst nostalgic environment where orders are still being shouted from patrons to the back of the shop where each cup of beverage is being concocted the old traditional way, retaining the original flavours. Coffee can still be ‘doggie-bagged’ via used milk tins with a raffia string as loop for the dainty finger. It is worth a visit for visitors and regulars.
Gunung Berlumut & Gunung Lambak
Gunung Berlumut and Gunung Lambak are popular with jungle trekkers like me.
The area of Machap (on the road between Simpang Renggam and Air Hitam) is well known for its pottery and porcelain
Best Way to Get Around:
Car: This is your best option as the town is small and easy to move around.
Taxis: They can be scarce and difficult to locate when you need one. Mind you…you need to bargain with them as they don’t use their metres.
A signboard at Gunung Lambak. Take note of the bat picture on top
Me at Gunung Lambak
One of the smaller ponds found up at Gunung Lambak