Malaysia

Guide To Kluang, Johor: A JB Alternative With Farms & Cafes That’s Just <2H By Train From Customs

Guide to a weekend trip in Kluang, Johor by train


Venture 2 hours out of Singapore and you’ll be able to experience the countryside in Kluang, Johor. This Malaysian town is surrounded by nature, with multiple hiking trails, cafes nestled within forests, and coffee plantations. Plus, kiddos can get a taste of the farm life at places like Talula Hill Farm Resort and the UK Farm Agro Resort.

Having said that, it’s not that ulu that you need to start considering Johor car rentals if you’re not driving; we’re happy to report that you can simply hop on a train from JB Sentral to get there. Kluang train station’s central location makes getting around town pretty easy as some attractions are just within walking distance while others are accessible via Grab.

Here are some things to do in Kluang and how to get there by train from Singapore or JB.


Things to do in Kluang


From hikes and farm visits to tasting locally-grown coffee at cafes, here’s what you can expect:


Hiking


Image adapted from: @mayyyee.t via Instagram

Located a mere 10-minute drive from the station, Gunung Lambak is a popular hiking trail amongst locals and visitors alike. The hike up the mountain typically takes slightly less than 2 hours, following which you’ll be rewarded with a stunning view of Kluang city below.

Fair warning, though, parts of the trail can get quite steep but there are ropes along the way to make the ascend slightly easier. There are also muddy sections so wear proper hiking shoes.

Gunung Lambak on Google Maps

Hill & Heal is surrounded by the lush forest.
Image adapted from: @adda2664, @___pistachi0___ via Instagram

For some refreshments after the hike, you can head over to Hill & Heal, a quaint cafe located at the foot of the hill. Treat yourself to an Oreo Banana Peanut Butter croissant (RM21.90, ~S$6.28) or a Biscoff Marshmallow toast (RM14.90, ~S$4.27).

Sungai Yong Waterfalls.
Image credit: Ruzana Mazlan via Google Maps

For the fitter and more adventurous folks, you can also consider the 8-hour hike to the summit of Gunung Belumut. Towering over Kluang at 1010m, this mountain is better-suited for hikers with prior experience and those equipped with proper hiking boots. There’s also a campsite to stay overnight and rest your weary legs if you want to break up the journey. 

On the way back down, you can admire the Sungai Yong Waterfalls while cooling off in its many pools. Just be careful about leeches in the area – tuck pant legs into your socks and wear long-sleeved shirts to prevent bites.

Gunung Belumut on Google Maps

Hill & Heal
Address: 86000 Kluang, Johor, Malaysia
Opening hours: Thu 8.30am-5pm | Fri-Sun 8am-5pm (Closed from Mondays to Wednesdays)


Farmville, but make it real


Image credit: @zenxinorganicfoodmalaysia via Instagram

If you’d like to experience the Farmville life IRL, you’ll be delighted to know that Kluang plays host to many farms. 

Noodle-making workshop.
Image credit: Zenxin Organic Park

On top of the usual activities such as animal feeding and horse riding, some farms offer unique experiences that are kid-friendly too. These include Zenxin Organic Park’s noodle-making workshop (RM88, ~$25.21) or UK Farm Agro Resort’s sheep challenge (RM8, ~S$2.49).


Image credit: @ukfarmresort via Instagram

If you’re wondering what the challenge is, it’s basically to round up a flock of sheep in under 3 minutes. Trust us, it’s much harder than it sounds. If you manage to complete it in the time given, you stand to win a prize too.

Zenxin Organic Park
Address: 47A & 47B, Batu 9, Jalan Batu Pahat, Kluang 86000, Johor, Malaysia
Opening hours: 8am-5pm, Daily

UK Farm Agro Resort
Address: Plot 8, Projek Pertanian Moden Kluang, KM13 Jalan Batu Pahat, Kluang 86000, Johor, Malaysia
Opening hours: 9am-6pm, Daily


Sip coffee & snap pics of IG-worthy murals at cafes in Kluang


If the best part of waking up is coffee in your cup, you can head down to The Original Kluang Rail Coffee at the station itself.

Here, you can sip a warm cup of Kopi (RM3, ~S$0.85) and munch on Roti Bakar (RM3.20, ~S$0.92) while trains rumble overhead. Dishes such as Mee Hoon Soup (RM7.90, ~S$2.55) are available too, should you be looking for a hearty way to start your day.

Image adapted from @jackson_yew, @nyera_ewears_veve via Instagram

Coffee aficionados will be glad to know that they can join guided tours of the nearby Kluang Coffee Powder Factory. A mere 5-minute drive from the train station, the factory is where one can learn more about what it takes to produce a cup of java, before checking out the large variety of coffee beans on sale. 

Have a go at making your own cup of joe.
Image credit: @itsyeecheng via Instagram

These are available in 500g bags, and range from the locally grown Liberica (RM46, ~S$13.18) variety to South American Arabica (RM38, ~S$10.88) beans.

Image adapted from: @emily_chiong, @jaja_farezaa via Instagram

Alternatively, you can head over to Jalan Merdeka, which is home to the iconic Kluang Street Art. There, you’ll find that the generic, nondescript walls of a back alley have been given an IG-worthy makeover by way of the many colourful murals.

The Original Kluang Rail Coffee
Address: KTM, Jalan Station, Kluang 86000, Johor, Malaysia
Opening hours: Tue-Sun, 7am-6pm (Closed on Mondays)

Kluang Coffee Powder Factory
Address: 76, Jalan Besar, Kampung Yap Tau Sah, Kluang 86000, Johor, Malaysia
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 9am-5.30pm | Sat-Sun 9am-5pm


How to get to Kluang by train


Now, if you’re not driving to Malaysia, you can still conveniently get to Kluang by train. From Woodlands Train Checkpoint, hop aboard one of the 13 KTM Shuttle Tebrau services. The ticket for the 5-minute crossing from Singapore to JB Sentral will set you back RM17.70 (~$5.07).

From JB Sentral, you’ll need to transfer to either the Ekspres Selatan or the Ekspres Rakyat Timuran

The former only has one train that departs for Kluang at 8.35pm so you may want to spend your day exploring JB cafes or checking out JB supermarkets. The malls JB City Square and Komtar JBCC are both conveniently located just opposite JB Sentral station too.

The Ekspres Rakyat Timuran departs thrice a day, at 8.30am, 2.40pm, and 6.05pm. 

Since the first Shuttle Tebrau from Singapore only pulls in at 8.35am, the only way to catch the first 8.30am train to Kluang is to stay the night in JB. Fortunately, though, there’s a host of late night things to do in JB, if getting some shuteye isn’t on your list.

Booking your train tickets is as simple as logging on to the KTM website and choosing your preferred timings.

Alternatively, the KITS app (App Store | Google Play) is also a convenient on-the-go option. Here, you can check seat availability and train timings across different inter-city train services including KTM Intercity and ETS, before booking your desired option.

Kluang Station.
Image credits: 迷迷鼠 via Google Maps

Tickets for the 2-hour trip to Kluang cost RM14 (~S$4.01), one way, and payment can be made using a credit card, the KTM Wallet, or Touch ‘n Go eWallet.

As no food is served on board, make sure to grab a bite to quell your hunger pangs before starting your train journey. 


Travel by train to Kluang


Whether you’re looking to chase sheep instead of deadlines, aiming to challenge your physical limits by summiting a mountain, or just want some quiet R&R time, Kluang has plenty to offer. What’s more, with the trains to JB, you don’t need a driver’s licence to get there. It’s time to venture slightly further north of the border.

Book your train tickets to Kluang

More epic journeys by rail:


Cover image adapted from: @jackson_yew, @adda26664, @emily_chiong via Instagram

Mattias Tan

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