Farm Stay

Hundreds of sheep happily heading out to
graze in the paddock!
Did you know that you can go to UK without a passport?  Yes, you can but only in Johor – more specifically, to the 100-acre UK Farm Agro Resort near Kluang.  But why is this UK in Johor?  I later discovered that U and K are the initials of Goh Un Keng, the man behind the goat and sheep farm that also offers farm tours.

Aware that it is a popular holiday destination, my friends and I made prior reservations for an overnight stay and farm tour.  A short drive from Ayer Hitam towards Kluang took us pass fruit and vegetable farms and Ayer Hitam Animal Husbandry Centre, the Government dairy farm, before reaching the entrance into UK Farm.  The guard stationed here gave a polite reminder for us to follow the signage for 6km along the laterite road to get to the resort reception.

The farm has huge reception hall and parking areas
The bumpy ride along the stony and pot-holed laterite road not only rattled our bones but the slow ride also allowed us to enjoy the panoramic view of greenery and paddocks that bordered the road.  The spacious parking area and wide lobby at the reception clearly caters to large groups and I saw staff members, equipped with electronic earphones and hailers, milling around to manage groups arriving or leaving for farm tours.  By this time, we had collected our keys and car pass and following the directions to the chalets, we passed through another security gate to enter the farm.

Basic but comfortable accommodation with en suite baths
Two blocks of long-houses, divided into individual chalets for twin, triple-share and families or small groups, provide clean and comfortable accommodation.  I particularly appreciate the common verandah that encouraged easy interaction among guests and we enjoyed sitting outside for chit-chat under the whirring fans.  Just behind the block, a paddock with adjacent toilet facilities was the site for campers to pitch their tents for a more adventurous stay.

The reception building houses a meeting room, dining area and a souvenir shop that stock among other things, farm produce like goat’s milk and passion fruit products. 

UK Farm goat's milk ice-cream in various flavours
Near the dining area, chillers are filled with fresh and precooked lamb meals that can be warmed in microwave ovens and savoured there.  Even with many groups, the resort appears to be quite efficiently organized with a schedule for the visitors’ meals and farm tours. 

Identified by wearing coloured stickers, our group was ushered through a turnstile to board a mini-bus which is essentially a modified lorry furnished with recycled coach seats.  A number of such bone-shaker buses are used in a hop-on-hop-off circuit to ferry groups to and from each visitor attraction like the goat’s pen, herb garden, ostrich yard, Jakun village and mushroom farm.  Farm guides accompany the groups on board and at each attraction to provide visitor information but not every guide was multi-lingual so I was glad for friends who could interpret what the guide was saying in another language!

Boarding mini-bus for hop-on-hop-off tour
I learnt that there are some 4,000 sheep of various local and foreign species on the farm and in 2010 the farm was developed with different resort attractions and opened for farm tours.  This is a far cry from the 2-acre farm in Parit Yaani, where Goh first started breeding Jamnapari goats that were imported from Indonesia, for milk and meat and producing toiletries using goat’s milk in 2003.  After obtaining Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) certification for goat’s milk production in 2006 and halal certification in 2008, he ventured into sheep breeding on this 100-acre farm under the Kluang Modern Agriculture Project.

After our guide took us into a barn where she introduced animal feed products, we were ushered outside to await the release of sheep into their grazing field.  All eyes were riveted to the sheep pen as we waited patiently along with other groups, for the gates to be opened.  Then it was sheer delight to suddenly see hundreds of sheep trotting down the path in a daily routine to the paddocks, quite oblivious to our cameras clicking away!

Visitors are encouraged to try out the
wooden footpath favoured by the sheep
In our visit into a sheep pen, we were encouraged to walk quite awkwardly, up a wooden plank footpath that was used by the sheep.  Visitors observed how lambs were trained to feed efficiently from a milk trough and another farm attraction let visitors bottle-feed lambs for a fee. 

There were many interesting attractions in the farm but one of the most memorable experiences must be the opportunity to cuddle cute little lambs!

For your own UK Farm experience, take a drive on the scenic route from Johor Baru or via the North-South Highway and exit at Ayer Hitam toll and head towards Kluang.  UK Farm Agro Resort is clearly signposted at KM 13, Jalan Batu Pahat.  Visit website: or Tel: 607 – 759 7555, Fax: 607 – 759 7991 for reservations.

Campers pitching their tents in the paddock

Lambs feeding from a milk trough
Visitors exploring models of typical homes in the Jakun Village
Visitors are welcome to cuddle the cute little lambs!

Visitors can also bottle feed the hungry lambs!
A version of this article was published in The New Straits Times, Johor Streets, on 25 July 2012

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