An $83 Groupon Travel Deal got us out of bed super early on a Saturday morning. All Johor Bahru Farm Explorers got picked up Ang Mo Kio MRT Station Taxi Stand in a mini van, past the customs checks and travelled a good 1.5 hrs to reach UK Farm Agro Resort. You either bring your own entertainment, sleep or bitch on the mini van.
The farm established in 2003 owns 4,000 sheeps till date with species include Jamnapari, Domba Garut, Damara, Barbados, Santa Ines, Malin and Dorper. Besides sheep rearing for mutton and goat milk related products, they have also ventured into passion fruit plantation and recently into the leisure farm tours business.
A fruits & vegetable stall selling their farm produce greeted us as we make our way to the main holding area. Very effective sales tactic for families, a few of them purchased fruits even before the tour starts. Gosh, need to be so kan cheong meh?
The farm seems really huge! It will takes us 3 hours to explore the entire place by bus!
After everyone got their tour stickers, it’s time to load up the errm.. bus (open air vehicle with kampong style roof shelter) and start the tour!
Our first stop brings us to the feedstock processing factory. This brown pile of feed contains essential vitamins and minerals required for the goats and sheeps growth and helps keep them healthy.
The feed is not easily available in ready form. All ingredients required are placed within this gigantic green machine to be grinded together and mixed throughly to produce the feed.
Now that we have seen what keeps these animals going, we walk over to the pens for an upclose and personal session with them.
The sheeps are kept in an orderly manner within the pen. There were sufficient space to move about but still it’s pretty sad to be caged up . Poor fellows.
Everyone was gathered to a corner to witness a milk feeding session for baby sheeps. These baby sheeps surprised everyone with their aggressive dash across the pen to suck on fake ‘nipples’ for their daily milk intake. Good thing the tour guide cleared everyone away from their path before releasing them. You won’t want to be caught in their rampage.
The nipples are actually linked to a rubber straw that delivers the fresh milk to these hungry babies. I suspect the reason why these poor babies are furiously slurping up the milk was because their session is timed by its keepers. After around 5 minutes, these young sheeps are pulled away to make room for the next batch.
Remember the feed mentioned earlier, each of us were given a pack to feed the grown sheeps. Shy initially, these sheeps will start tugging at your feeds once they get used to your presence. They seem to be constantly hungry and super practical – you will cease to be of an interest to them once the food runs out.
Along the way to our next farm stop, we chanced upon some sheeps grazing in an open field. It was quite a lovely sight. Wondered why the double standards between the pen treatment and this. Was this some kind of occasional reward for sheeps?
Next we move on to the farm’s Herb Sanctuary. Good for plant lovers but a little boring for us. The short tour around the place ended with a small cup of tea. The tea has a slight sweetness to it but the after taste made me feel a little nauseous. Not really my cup of tea….
All onboard the bus for the next location. We did change buses along the way so it’s important that you carry your stuff with you all the time.
The farm actually has its own Ostrich Park! Their feathers were not as well kept as those I saw in the Singapore Zoo.
We get to experience feeding these big birds by hand. They are not as docile as the sheeps. There was constant fear of them accidentally biting our fingers!
Next, we moved on to Jakun Village – a rather make shift ‘village’ that was supposed to showcase the Orang Asli ethnic’s culture. There was only 1 Orang Asli local and he was manning their souvenir shop. The other houses around were empty with no signs of anyone living in them.
The same guy who was manning the souvenir shop performed their native breath-taking blowpipe (Temiang) hunting technique on a balloon hang high up on a tree. Not too bad but need to add a little drama to spice the performance up a little. All visitors also received a small wooden souvenir from the Orang Asli as a gift.
Nothing really interesting from the Passion Fruit Station, it’s just another stop for a little camwhoring.
Wonder how they make the alphabets appear on the fruit. Pretty cool as a gift – imagine your own personalised passion fruit.
Sat around for a quick sheltered break from the hot sun and appreciate the beautiful flowers around the resting area.
Not sure why but we were brought to another sheep feeding station but this time round to feed the baby sheeps with a bottle of milk instead of dry feeds.
Feels nice being a giver.
Great chance to give a gentle pat on the little guy’s head.
Our final stop was Mushroom & Vege Farm where we saw mushrooms growing out of soiled bottles like some Alien incubator. Not a very pretty sight.
But the mushrooms that eventually sprout out of these bottles looks pretty amazing.
This is expensive stuff! Ling Zhi is used as a medicinal mushroom in traditional Chinese medicine for more than 2,000 years and the good ones commands a really steep price! The Ling Zhi here feels cold, smooth and slightly moist to touch.
This farm also has its own tree house but it’s more for the kids.
Feeling a little hungry, we made our way to the same cafe located in the farm for their free mushroom salad which was rather refreshing. We also paid for a stick of grilled mushroom. They warmed the mushroom up in the microwave for us.
The buses drove us back to the main farm entrance for our lunch. We were expecting to be served some of the local farm products but disappointingly no…
For a table of 8, we had a simple soup with not much ingredients.
A small plate of braised tofu
And fishes that the boss caught from the river the very same day so we were told. Thanks god for that else it will be even less substantial.
They did try to fill us up with a muffin and sweeten the deal with this goat milk ice cream. The ice cream tasted pretty normal initially but after a while we begin to notice a slight lamb aftertaste. Well, we only paid $83 dollars for the entire 1 day trip – can’t expect too much.
Thankfully, dinner after our shopping at Johor Bahru Premium Outlet at the Cathay Restoran was pretty decent.
We dropped off back at Ang Mo Kio MRT Stattion at around 8.30pm.
Overall not a bad trip. There was a good balance of nature & shopping for a decent price.
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