16 Jul - 17 Jul 2011 Kluang

Southeast Asia
Flawed-Democratic Federation of Malaysia
Johor Darul Ta'zim
Clean twin room, with air-con and wifi, for MYR 53.- or US$ 17.70 per night.
Friendly staff.

Click below for an interactive road map of the White House Hotel in Kluang, which we would highly recommend, and for directions:

Exploring the traditional shop houses and bustling kedai kopi of the prosperous and clean country town Kluang, distinctly Chinese in flavour, whose name comes from the Malay word keluang, which means a type of flying fox or rather a type of fruit bat, and whose major cash crops are rubber and oil palms, and checking out the nostalgic Kluang Railway Station Coffee Shop +60378471513, operated by the Lim family since 1938 CE, which sells great roasted coffee and delicious but fattening Hainanese roti kaya (toast with a spread of home-made, creamy coconut jam made from coconut milk, chicken eggs which are flavoured with pandanus leaf and sweetened with sugar).

Celebrating the beginning of the annual durian glut (...many male Malays believe that durian is an aphrodisiac: “When the durians go down, the sarongs go up...”) with quite a few impromptu eating binges of this fragrant and creamy “king of fruits” (from only MYR 3.- or US$ 1.- per kg) at the many road-side farm stalls between Kluang and the east coast, becoming confirmed durian munchers and fully agreeing with the 19th-century British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace who famously described its flesh as "… a rich butter-like custard highly flavoured with almonds … but intermingled with it come wafts of flavour that call to mind cream-cheese, onion-sauce, brown sherry, and other incongruities ... then there is a rich glutinous smoothness in the pulp which nothing else possesses, but which adds to its delicacy … it is neither acid, nor sweet, nor juicy, yet one feels the want of none of these qualities, for it is perfect as it is … it produces no nausea or other bad effect, and the more you eat of it the less you feel inclined to stop … in fact to eat durians is a new sensation, worth a voyage to the East to experience...”; yes, indeed.

"...by all accounts it was a most strange fruit, and incomparably delicious to the taste, but not to the smell. Its rind was said to exude a stench of so atrocious a nature that when a dorian was in the room even the presence of a polecat was a refreshment. We found many who had eaten the dorian, and they all spoke of it with a sort of rapture. They said that if you could hold your nose until the fruit was in your mouth a sacred joy would suffuse you from head to foot that would make you oblivious to the smell of the rind, but that if your grip slipped and you caught the smell of the rind before the fruit was in your mouth, you would faint. There is a fortune in that rind. Some day somebody will import it into Europe and sell it for cheese..."
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