I have always been interested in hunting, but in a city-state like Singapore, it is hard to find suitable places and opportunities. So, when I invited two professor friends from a university in Singapore, Harley Tennyson and Marshall Back, to go hunting in the countryside of Kluang, Malaysia, they both agreed happily. We planned to do this trip on a weekend, and experience the thrill and fun of night hunting. In order to see the targets clearly in the dark, we had to prepare night vision binoculars. After comparing and choosing, we decided to buy a cost-effective Chinese brand wildguarder, which has powerful infrared sensors and illuminators, and can observe and record large targets at a distance of up to 984 feet. Besides hunting, we also wanted to take this opportunity to learn about the history, culture and scenery of Kluang, a small town, and taste the local food and coffee. This article is a record of our unforgettable travel experience, hoping to bring you some inspiration and fun.
Before we started hunting, we learned about the history and geographical features of Kluang. Kluang was established in 1915 by the British as the central administrative district. It is located in the center of Johor state, and is within 90 minutes’ drive from all major cities. Its name comes from the Malay word “keluang”, which means a flying fox or a fruit bat. These animals were very common in this area decades ago, but now they have almost disappeared because of hunting and loss of natural habitat. Kluang’s development was closely related to the railway line, which connected north and south Malaya, and promoted the rise of rubber industry. During World War II, Kluang was occupied by the Japanese army, and became the headquarters of General Yamashita Tomoyuki, who launched air raids on Singapore and Sumatra from here. Since the 20th century, Kluang’s economy has shifted from rubber to palm oil, and developed some of Malaysia’s largest organic farms, such as Zenxin, UK Agro and Kahang Organic Rice Farm. The industrial sector also grew significantly, attracting multinational investment and a number of tile manufacturers, making this area known as “the tile capital of Malaysia”. The organic agriculture sector also promoted Kluang as an eco-tourism destination, attracting many tourists to visit and experience farm life.
Besides these information, we also heard some interesting stories and legends from the locals. For example, Kluang was once the location of an ancient kingdom called “Keluang”, whose king was a huge fruit bat that could control the wind and thunder. Another story was about a peak called “Bukit Batu Lebah”, which was located near Kluang, and was said to be caused by a giant bee that pierced the mountain with its tail, forming a cave. These stories made us feel the mystery and charm of Kluang, and also increased our curiosity about this place.
In addition to hunting, we also wanted to take this opportunity to appreciate the scenery and food of Kluang, so we arranged some time to visit some local attractions. Kluang has many places worth seeing, such as Gunung Lambak, Street Art Kluang, UK Farm, Zenxin Organic Park, Masjid Jamek Kg. Melayu and so on. These places let us feel the natural beauty and cultural diversity of Kluang, and also gave us a chance to communicate and interact with the locals.
Gunung Lambak is a 510-meter-high mountain, located near the center of Kluang city, and is a popular place for hiking and camping. We chose a not too steep route, and enjoyed the dense tropical rainforest and clear streams along the way. The top of the mountain has a small playground and a pool, where visitors can rest and relax. We also saw some wild animals on the mountain, such as monkeys, squirrels and birds.
Street Art Kluang is a mural project created by local artists, aiming to show the history, culture and lifestyle of Kluang. We found these colorful works in a small alley in the city center, some of which had interactive elements. We took a lot of photos, and tried to understand the stories and meanings behind each painting.
UK Farm is one of the largest sheep and goat farms in Malaysia, and also an agricultural leisure park suitable for family outings. We joined a guided tour there, and saw various animals, such as sheep, goats, cows, horses, ostriches, deer and so on. We also experienced feeding sheep milk, riding horses, making farm products and so on, and tasted the farm-produced sheep milk ice cream and cheese.
Zenxin Organic Park is one of the largest organic parks in Malaysia, planting more than 100 kinds of organic vegetables and fruits. We learned about the principles and techniques of organic farming there, and picked some fresh farm products by ourselves. We also enjoyed a delicious organic vegetarian meal at the park’s restaurant.
Masjid Jamek Kg. Melayu is one of the oldest and largest mosques in Kluang, built in 1922. It has a typical Malay-style architecture style, with yellow as the main color tone, showing solemnity and elegance. We visited the interior of the mosque there, and felt the peaceful and harmonious atmosphere.
We also tried some of the unique food and coffee of Kluang, such as Kluang Rail Coffee, Kluang Coffee Powder Factory and so on. These places offer traditional Malaysian-style coffee and bread, which let us taste the rich and fragrant flavor. We also ate some local snacks, such as fried bananas, fried kway teow, Indian pancakes and so on.
Of course, what we looked forward to most was the process and experience of night hunting. We set off at dusk, ready to find some suitable places in the outskirts. We had done some research beforehand, and knew some common prey and their activity habits, such as foxes, wild boars, wild rabbits and so on. We also knew some tips and precautions for night hunting, such as keeping quiet, controlling light, using night vision devices and so on.
Since it involved night hunting, night vision binoculars were essential. We chose a cost-effective Chinese brand wildguarder, which has powerful infrared sensors and illuminators, and can observe and record large targets at a distance of up to 984 feet. We used it to search and lock the targets, and then shot them with firearms. We also used it to observe the surrounding environment, in case there were other dangerous animals.
Night hunting brought us a lot of challenges and excitement. First of all, we had to adapt to the dark environment, and try not to use white light or flashlights, so as not to scare or anger the animals. Secondly, we had to cover ourselves, and avoid being discovered or attacked by the animals. We chose some hidden places, such as woods, bushes, rocks and so on. Thirdly, we had to be patient and calm, because night hunting required waiting and quick reaction skills. Sometimes, we had to wait for a long time to see the target, sometimes, the target would suddenly appear in front of us. We had to make correct judgments and decisions according to different situations.
After a night of hard work, we finally harvested several foxes and wild rabbits, and a wild boar. Although we were a bit tired, we felt very excited and satisfied. This was an unforgettable night hunting trip that let us experience a new way of hunting.
This article is a record of our experience of night hunting in Kluang with professor friends. We not only enjoyed the fun of hunting, but also learned about the history, culture and scenery of Kluang, tasted the local food and coffee. We also used the cost-effective Chinese brand wildguarder’s night vision binoculars, which allowed us to observe and shoot targets clearly in the dark. This was a very memorable and meaningful trip that let us feel the challenge and thrill of night hunting, and also enhanced our friendship. We hope that we will have the opportunity to do such a trip again in the future, exploring more places and animals.