Kluang 2014: UK Argo Farm Review (4)

After our guided tour we were back at the main reception area. There is still about 45 minutes before dinner will be served, so we decide to bring the kids to the chalet for a shower.

The Chalet
The chalet provides very basic furnishing though it was pretty big. There was a TV (though reception was poor), a desk, a queen-size bed and a single bed. As we booked a room for four, they provided an extra mattress at one corner of the room. There is also an attached toilet which is pretty big, but unfortunately no bath tub and only standing shower. The room is equipped with air-conditioning which I think is necessary since we are unlikely to open the windows and invite the insects in at night. Wi-Fi is also available in the room and the signal strength were pretty good as we notice a router just outside our room.

The sparsely furnished chalet room with the added "bed" right at the corner. (Photo Credits: My SIL)
The sparsely furnished chalet room with the added “bed” right at the corner. (Photo Credits: My SIL)

A point to note is that the “sound-proofing” of the chalet is quite bad. I could hear the conversation going on between my BIL and SIL next door and even the snoring (LOL). So if you are a light sleeper, you may need ear plugs to have a good night rest.

Tip: Remember to keep the bathroom door tightly close, as there is a window inside the bathroom which can let the insects fly in. And avoid opening the front door for long period of time. I sprayed some insect repellent in the air before we leave for our dinner and regret not spraying more when we returned. Cause the girl got badly bitten in the middle of the night. So put on mosquito patch and apply insect repellent before you go to bed.

The Dinner
The dinner was a simple affair of buffet-style “ready-to-eat” and BBQ food. There were rice and bee-hoon as staple. The “ready-to-eat” food include things like hotdogs, nuggets and fries. The BBQ food include otah, honey-glazed chicken wing, and chicken and mutton satay. There was also curry vegetables to go along with the staple.

The kids definitely enjoyed the dinner because of the nuggets and fries.
The kids definitely enjoyed the dinner because of the nuggets and fries.

The food is generally on the oily side, but we gave two thumbs up for the otah and chicken wing. Particularly the otah. The staff there told us some visitors bought uncooked otah from them before they leave the farm. Chubby also mention that the mutton satay was good.

Kong Ming Lantern
The farm was very kind to arrange a letting go of 天燈 (aka Kong Ming Lantern) activity after the dinner (not stated in the package). They provided each room with a set of天燈. If you have not let go of a天燈 before, basically, it’s like a wishing lantern. You write your wishes on the lantern, bring it out to the open, light it up and let it fly to the sky. It’s usually tie to religious purpose, but if you are not too staunch I think it’s actually quite fun to involve the kids and also taking the chance to explain the science behind how to fly the lantern.

Chubby letting go of the 天燈, which I got the boy to write his own name on it.
Chubby letting go of the 天燈, which I got the boy to write his own name on it.

Night Walk
The farm also conduct night “walk” that is outside the package. It cost RM3 for each pax. They will bring you around in the bus and see if you can spot some wild creatures.

The "signage" they put up on the reception counter about the animals you MAY see at the night walk.
The “signage” they put up on the reception counter about the animals you MAY see at the night walk.

As the timing of the walk is a little late, plus the girl is a typical urban child who is afraid of the wild-life, I stayed behind at the chalet with her while Chubby brought the boy for the walk. Much to the disappointment of the boy, they only manage to see the firefly and monitor lizard. As highlighted by the staff (prior to the purchase of tickets), these are wild life creatures so it really depends on your luck on what you get to see.

And I still have more info about the trip. Join us for the next post as we share some activities that we did the following day.

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Kluang 2014: UK Argo Farm Review (3)

Continuing from my previous post, we have the 2nd part of the guided tour.

Ostrich Park
From the milk processing factory, we took a ride on the bus to the Ostrich Park. Along the way, we bypass their fruit plantation and Uncle James kindly explained what fruits they are growing in the plantation. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the peak season, so we can’t really see much. Plus, fruit picking (to the boy disappointment) is never part of the itinerary.

The Ostrich Park was also kind of disappointing. There were only 3 Ostriches around. Except for 1, the rest are not interested in the corn that was provided to us for feeding. Uncle James was kind enough to bring us a type of grass which the Ostrich love. The boy manage to get a small bunch and fed the Ostriches, though he was very scared that the Ostrich will peck him.

2 of the 3 Ostriches in the Ostrich Park
2 of the 3 Ostriches in the Ostrich Park

Tip: A few visitors in our group tried putting the corns at the top of the fence as they saw corns left behind by the previous group. That is a wrong move, as the corns were too high up for the Ostrich. Uncle James, kindly told us to put our hands just below the first bar of the fence, which is the good height for them to eat. And don’t worry if the Ostrich pecks you. I got peck twice and it wasn’t really painful.

Asli Village
Next we took a short walk to the village near the Ostrich Park. They got an Asli there to demo to us how they use their weapons to hunt for monkeys on the tree. And also showed us the trap that they setup to catch tiger. I thought it was kind of boring, but the boy seems to like it and retold me about the scenes when we were back in Singapore.

There is also a treehouse in the village that allows visitor to climb up. The boy had fun climbing up and waving to us from “on top the tree”. However, he had issues getting down as the steps were a little too wide for his legs.

The tree-top house in the Asli Village which the boy tried to climb up to. There is a limit to the number of pax up in the house at one time. (Photo Credit: My SIL)
The tree-top house in the Asli Village which the boy tried to climb up to. There is a limit to the number of pax up in the house at one time. (Photo Credit: My SIL)

Fruit Mart
This is another disappointing stop. It’s basically a rest area that allow you to purchase some coconuts, rambutans and guava for consumption. We tried the fresh “thai” coconut, but it taste weird since it’s not chilled. And the guava taste similar to what we have in Singapore and those in Taiwan beats it hands down anytime. The kids had passion fruit jelly that return with mix reviews.

Mushroom Farm
Lastly we were brought to the Mushroom Farm. Again, I thought it would be boring for the boy, since he is more an animal lover than a plant lover. But he did had some fun “feeling” the mushroom in the farm.

The boy feeling the mushroom in the little farm.
The boy feeling the mushroom in the little farm.

At the end of the mushroom farm, is a small area for you to sample the mushroom salad and Lingzhi drink that they made. You will have to use your coupons to exchange for the sample. And one coupon for each sample, i.e. either the salad or drink. Both taste quite nice to me.

The yummy mushroom salad!
The yummy mushroom salad!

Further up, there is a small plantation area which you can stroll in. There are lavenders, pineapples, corns and pumpkins planted inside. Unfortunately, most were not bearing fruits and again no picking of fruits allowed.

One of the few pineapple we spotted in the little plantation.
One of the few pineapple we spotted in the little plantation.

What attracted the kids there, is the treehouse, swing and hammock just in front of the “sample” area. The kids spend some time playing there while we enjoyed our samples.

From there, it is a short walk back to the main lobby. As the reception staff suggested, we brought the kids back to the chalet for a quick shower before we go for the dinner. In the next post, I will cover the chalet room, the dinner, as well as some after dinner activities. So stay tuned!

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Kluang 2014: UK Argo Farm Review (2)

In my previous post, I covered the background of the trip to UK Argo Farm. In this post, I will cover the guided tour itself. As mention, the tour and the feeds required (found in the “goody-bag”) is included in the package stay. And we were brought around the farm in this “bus”.

I like how "open" the bus is. But too bad there weren't free roaming animals around.
I like how “open” the bus is. But too bad there weren’t free roaming animals around.

Tip: DO put on mosquito patch and/or insect repellent before you embark on the trip. In fact, I helped the kids put on both once we reach the farm. There were quite a fair bit of insects around.

The itinerary of the guided tour.

A snapshot of the tour displayed at the main lobby.
A snapshot of the tour displayed at the main lobby.

Sheep Herding
The first stop is to witness the “Sheep Herding”. This is the process where they herd the sheep from one grazing patch to the other. Initially I thought it would be quite boring, but I was wrong. It’s quite a view seeing a big group of sheep moving from one place to another. And according to our friendly guide, Uncle James, some of the sheep at the end of the herd were actually pregnant. You can see the small belly that they have, which is quite cute. The kids definitely enjoyed the “scene” and having such close encounter (without cage or barriers) with them.

The sheep / goat running pass us.
The sheep / goat running pass us.

Feedstock Processing
Next, we walked a short distance to the “feedstock processing factory”. There isn’t much to “see” there but just feedstock. We can’t really see the process itself. But Uncle James provided some basic explanation about the feedstock, goats and the farm. It was quite informative, but maybe a little too long and not interesting enough for younger kids. The boy got a little inpatient near the end of the explanation.

The feedstock before it is being "processed". According to Uncle James, they will add vitamins into the feeds.
The feedstock before it is being “processed”. According to Uncle James, they will add vitamins into the feeds.

Tip: We were silly enough to stand quite close to the feedstock (cause Mommy wants to take photo for the blog). And we didn’t realize that there were many insects near it. They didn’t “bite” but can be quite irritating when they fly to your leg. So keep a good enough distance from it.

Goat Feeding
Behind the feedstock processing “factory”, is the goat pen. This is where the kids finally get some hands on. Feeding the goat! As mention, the feed was provided. So it’s time to take it out and have some fun feeding. And don’t worry, the goat don’t bite. According to Uncle James, even if they do bite, one row of their teeth are soft (think is the upper row), so it won’t hurt. But we didn’t encounter any that bite though. Oh, the farm is thoughtful enough to provide a bin for you to throw away the plastic bags for the feed and a tap for you to wash your hands if you are concern about hygiene.

The boy feeding the goat. His favourite activity for the tour.
The boy feeding the goat. His favourite activity for the tour.

Tip: We realize that the goat prefer the soft grass and wouldn’t really eat the twigs. So don’t bother about feeding them the twigs.

Milk Feeding
As we walk further into the goat pen, there are more goats waiting for us. This time round to feed them milk. You can exchange the coupon in the goody bag for the milk in bottles. Each person is entitled to only one bottle. This I find a little too little, I have to give up mine for the boy to have more chance of feeding.

In order to feed more goats, the boy was bad enough to pull out the bottle from the first goat he fed, and give it to another goat. Oh that poor goat...
In order to feed more goats, the boy was bad enough to pull out the bottle from the first goat he fed, and give it to another goat. Oh that poor goat…

Tip: The kids may not be tall enough to feed some goat. This is because the bottle need to be tilted in order for milk to flow through, much like the bottles human use. So go for the baby goat which are much shorter and ask the kids to raise their arms as high as they can.

Goat Milk Processing
The bus brought us to the milk processing factory. Here, they showed us step by step how they milk the goat. There is some “sterilizing” process to ensure there is no contamination. For the actual milking itself, they uses machines that reminds me of my Medela breast pump. So it’s a pity we won’t allowed to have some “hands-on” milking experience.

Blocked from the view is the breast pump...
Blocked from the view is the breast udders pump…

After watching the milking process, we proceed to the “factory” next to it and again Uncle James explain how the milk is being pasteurized and available for our consumption. Too bad the factory was not in operation when we were there, probably due to weekend. So it gets a little boring for the kids again.

After the short explanation, we were served with goat milk for us to try and purchase if you want. I took a small mouth and I think the “goat-smell” was rather strong.

The girl doesn't seems to mind the taste and had 2 cups. Difference between a milk lover and a normal drinker. (Photo Credits: My SIL)
The girl doesn’t seems to mind the taste and had 2 cups. Difference between a milk lover and a normal drinker. (Photo Credits: My SIL)

Looks like I’m unable to cover all the itinerary of the guided tour in one post. So stay tuned for part 3, where I will share the 2nd part of the tour!

Disclaimer: This is NOT a sponsored post.

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Kluang 2014: UK Argo Farm Review (1)

Disclaimer: This is NOT a sponsored post

Two weekends ago, we went to visit a farm in Malaysia, Kluang. Its call the UK Argo Farm. The verdict? The kids have so much fun that the girl asked why we were not back at the “hotel room” when we reach home. While the boy asked the next day why we came back so early. He hasn’t got chance to feed the goats breakfast and lunch. For me the length of stay was just nice, as we have pretty much completed most of the activities. But kids can be easily satisfied when they want to.

Background
Some background of the getaway. There are two places where you can make your reservation of your stay online. Through their main website or through Agoda. Do note that the prices include the guided tour, some farm activities and 4 meals for your stay. So do specify the correct number of person.

Tip: We booked ours through Agoda although there is no “child” option as we calculated it was cheaper than booking from them directly. And also take note of on-going promotion that Agoda has with the different bank credit cards. We got ours at 7% discount.

My SIL and her friend left for the farm earlier in the day at about 10am, while we set off later as the two kids have enrichment classes that morning. It was a blessing because their friend got turn away at the Malaysia custom as they didn’t realize that their helper from Myanmar needs a visa to enter Malaysia.

Tip: If your helper is from Myanmar, China or India you will need to help them apply visa prior to their entry to Malaysia. They do not have visa-on-arrival service for Burmese and Chinese. Only selected Indians get to have the privilege. So just apply prior the trip to be safe.

Road Trip
We were at the Singapore custom at about 1:30pm on the Saturday. The traffic was pretty smooth and we arrived at the resort at about 3:15pm. Once you exit out of the highway and reach near Jalan Batu Pahat, you will see big signs directing you to the farm. So I think even without a GPS, you can still make it to the farm without getting lost.

Huge road signs along the way leading you to the farm (photo courtesy of my SIL)
Huge road signs along the way leading you to the farm. (Photo Credits: My SIL)

However, do note that there is a 6km drive from Jalan Batu Pahat to the farm. And the drive will be rocky as there is no proper road but muddy paths with stones, pits and bumps. Chubby was driving so slowly that it took us about half an hour to complete the 6km.

Tip: Don’t be silly like us who sent our car for a wash the day before the trip. It will end up very dirty after the 6km drive.

Reception
Upon arrival, there are two staff standing at the main lobby or reception area with cups of passion-fruit juice waiting for you. You can drink as many cups as you want. Or at least the girl did. They were quite generous with their servings of passion-fruit juice. The passion fruit juice is produce by the farm itself. A part of the farm is the passion fruit plantation. And they went a step further to process the passion fruits into juices and cordials for visitors to drink and purchase.

The friendly staff at the reception counter talking to my nieces. (Photo Credits: My SIL)
The friendly staff at the reception counter talking to my nieces. (Photo Credits: My SIL)

Behind the friendly staff that serve the juices, is the reception counter. You can do your check-in there and you will be presented with your “goody-bag” and chalet room key. Inside the “goody-bag” are the feeds for the animals and coupons for the stay. The friendly staff at the counter will explain them to you when to use what.

Loi showing the contents of the "goody bag". From left: Goat Feed, Ostrich Feed, Chicken Feed and coupons for feeding the goat milk.
Loi showing the contents of the “goody bag”. From left: Goat Feed, Ostrich Feed, Chicken Feed and coupons for feeding the goat milk.

As we arrive at 3+pm, the reception staff recommended us to go to the “restaurant” area at the back to have our tea-break while waiting for the 4pm guided tour to start. She say we can leave our luggage in the car and drive down to the chalet area after the tour which will end at around 6pm.

Tip: As you read, the chalet area is a short drive from the main lobby. So there is no need to bring out the luggage from the car until you are outside your chalet.

Tea-Break
The tea-break is part of the package for the stay. The day we were there, the tea-break consist of muffins and cakes made from goat milk, green-bean soup and tea. I tried the muffins and you can’t really taste the “goat-smell”, so for those who are afraid of the smell, it’s rather “safe” to eat.

That’s all for the part 1 now. We will cover on the guided tour in the next post. Stay tuned!

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