Approximately an hour away from Singapore-Johor, Malaysia border, lies the town of Kota Tinggi. Just mentioning the name of the place, most people can quickly associate it to the famous Kota Tinggi Waterfalls that many outdoor people may have at least visited it once.
It’s the same we thought so about Kota Tinggi, it’s the only attraction accessible from the town and maybe it’s nearby hills such as Gunung Panti and Gunung Muntahak.
No, we were so wrong until we make a trip there, embarking on a weekend visit on 2 wheels.
There aren’t choices of accommodation in Kota Tinggi yet we managed to find a decent one. We set off at 8 AM and soon within minutes, we rode into a road with minimal traffic. The wind is surprisingly cooling and we were told Kota Tinggi town is refreshing in the morning due to the surrounding hills. Little did we realized there is no traffic lights on this road. We cycled continuously for about 10 KM on generally flat road before just before the T-junction for a break.
From here, it’s another 8 KM before we reach Kota Tinggi Waterfalls National Park. Ride along some undulating terrain with rows of rubber trees on both sides of the roads. You may go as fast as you can or ride leisurely. Vehicular access is light and there are no traffic lights.
During our visit, the national park is closed for renovation due to torrential downpour in later 2019 and the state government decided to close it for assessment and renovation. The park has since opened on 14 March 2020.
Lunch is at a famous chicken rice stall operated by a friendly Muslim family frequented by a lot of tourists domestically.
We continued to Agro Farm Park on a some generally flat with some short roller coasters ride. Not too long a ride, we arrived at the farm nested below Gunung Muntahak. We toured around the farm park, tried organic honey straight from the hive, sampled fruits plucked right from the trees. Depending on the season, some fruits you may get to sample are coconuts, jambu, jackfruit, mangoes, just to name a few. Our ride ended here and we were transferred back to our hotel in a vehicle.
The next morning, we spent a good 3 hours around exploring the heritage town. First we visited Sultan Mahmud Mangkat Di Julang Mausoleum. He was the last ruler of Johor descended from the Sultans of Melaka. We continued to a local jetty that many fishermen launch their fishing boats to make a living. We dropped by the Village Head’s home as he welcomes us to his home and treated us with local eats.
The town centre of Kota Tinggi is full of surprises ! The mural wall arts are so pretty and reflected the lives of the people in Kota Tinggi. We had so much fun taking pictures. Then we must make a stop at the pedestrian bridge that crosses Johor River for a photo.
You will not believe that the town of Kota Tinggi was, not once but twice met with flood disasters. In Dec 2006, 4.9 M of water overflowed Johor River and almost sank the town. Then in Jan 2007, a 2nd wave of water came at 5.45 M and totally submerged the town for nearly two weeks. Kota Tinggi was isolated from other towns due to landslides and flooding. Looking at the structure built in remembrance of these 2 terrible events, we couldn’t imagine how the people had overcome the catastrophes.
We tried some local eats before riding back to our hotel and the ride of Kota Tinggi ended. There is some free time in the afternoon before we travelled back to Singapore.