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Sleeping with Sheep at UK Farm




I first heard about UK Farm when my friend Jimmy posted a picture of him in front of sheep and the word “UK Farm” that was apparently a catchy signboard. He was there to witness Richard & Venice's wedding ceremony when UK  Agro Resort newly operated. UK Farm is a sheep and goat farm in Kluang, Johore named after the ambitious owner, Mr. Goh Un Keng. I was attracted to its beautiful sunrise and sunset view and real sheep (yes, black and white woolly SHEEP exist in Malaysia!), so I decided to explore the farm with friends on 3-4 December 2010 by invitation from Mr. Ozzy, the UK Agro Resort online manager. 

   
I was expecting to see just sheep, barn and chalets, but instead, was impressed to find a beautiful wooden built lobby, restaurant, BBQ pit, stage and conference room that forms an UK Agro Resort, which began operations in May 2010. The farm's spacious interiors allow kids to roam free with tame animals :P. I could smell natural aroma of live sheep and goats at their barns, and hear loud lulls of “baa baa”s and “meh meh”s that I thought my friend made a noise behind me! I was amazed to see several huge sized Jamnapari, Saanen and Nubian goats– almost as tall as me at 163cm when standing on two feet! It was amusing to see the sheep, goats and ostriches’ teeth sticking out and tongue licking when grabbing our feedings – funny to see them enjoying hays or grass as opposed to little kids that would pout at sight of vegetables for meals!

Joy overwhelmed me when hundreds of sheep and goats were escorted by a sheepdog and three workers out of the gated grazing area (also a campsite) and back into the barn they called home. The same scenario repeated itself when another hundreds ran out from a barn on the opposite side to the grazing area. They ran in the same speed and direction like torch runners! What a sight to behold to see a multitude  of 4,000 sheep and goats in UK  Farm's barns and 130 acres grazing land! We entered inside the gated campsite to have close -up photographs of them. The Barbados, Santa Ines, Dopper, Malin & Cross Breed sheep and Toggenburg & British Alpine goats mixed with one another and they ran away in flocks whenever we tried to approach them. And I managed to touch a fat sheep’s fur!






The open dormitory stay was a kampung feel experience - sleeping on mattress placed on the wooden box above knee level in a room that can accommodate 18, 24 or even 30 people per room. The modern toilets and bathrooms have PVC doors, thank God! Although the whole dormitory was fully occupied by 150 people, the night was peaceful to sleep in! Each room was equipped with a mosquito trapper hanging on the ceiling. During the whole day outdoor, I did not feel any mosquito bites! According to Ozzy, the tall lalangs surrounding the farm were sprayed with a drug to prevent from snakes.
 


As a hiker, I found the Cultural Village tour informative where a friendly aborigine demonstrated his survival skills especially making animal traps, and I got my hands on long pipe shooting! At that time, the Cultural Village development was in progress and once ready, tourists can choose to have a taste of aboriginal lifestyle. Goat catching (and watching) injected a high adrenaline in me after a long day – this was especially true for young boys and men in catching game while the women cheered. 

UK Agro Resort conducts farm tours- consisting of sheep & goats, ostriches, passion fruits, herbal plants, mushroom, pineapples and organic vegetables- in Mandarin and Bahasa Melayu. English speaking tour guides will be provided upon request. It also caters activities for children and adults such as DIY dessert making, archery, horse riding, goat catching, karaoke, child-sized kong ming lantern flying, and harvesting. There are also free and easy activities, including walking, jogging, gazing stars, fishing, playing swing and trying their goat’s milk products including ice cream!




UK Farm is probably the first animal farm in Malaysia to operate as tourism centre, after Cameron Highlands. This unique concept offers special overnight packages for group of 20 people and above, and thus, make a destination for schoolchildren science tour, company trip and team building. This trip is definitely great for families with little kids, schoolchildren and landscape photographers- if not any of these, you would be interested in encountering sheep & goats or try their special goat's milk products! You see, goat’s milk has significantly less fat and more Vitamin A than cow’s milk. I was there mainly for its sunrise and sunset view but the weather was cloudy. Yet, it was a memorable sight, smell and touch in such a close encounter with the handsome farm animals  me. I recalled the huge goats, ostriches and a horse staring at me adoringly, and they came to me pretty close, for my camera lens in front of my face!  :)



To get there, drive towards the South on North-South Highway where you exit at Air Hitam/ Batu Pahat toll. Then follow the direction heading towards Kluang and drive past several farms until you come across their large, catchy UK Farm signboard near the Ministry of Agriculture’s Pertanian Moden Kluang guardhouse. Turn left and drive straight along the dusty farm trail for 6km until you reach its entrance. It takes 3 hours drive from Kuala Lumpur. For those coming from Singapore, it takes only an hour's drive.

For accommodation reservation and tour enquiry, contact +607-759 7555 or 759 5018, or log to http://www.ukfarm.com.my/

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