Bekok is a sub-district of Segamat, Johor. It was originally a forest, and only Orang Asli dwell here. Between 1886 to 1896, Chinese loggers found good quality Chengai wood in this forest that could be sold to the Malayan Railway Company to make railway tracks, and so they stayed and developed the area.
The origin of the name itself has two stories. Some said that Bekok is derived from the Hakka dialect word ‘mukok’, which means corner. But was it the corner of the Endau Rompin forest? or corner of two larger towns nearby (Chaah and Labis)? No one knows for sure. The other saying is there were a type of large bird prominent in this area, called Burung Bekok. In their old age the birds would retreat in the forests among the mountains, and when the Orang Asli found these birds dead under the trees here, they thus name the place as Bekok.
During the pre-independence period this small town was a “Black Area” known for strong communist resistance against the British government. Today, when you could see the old wooden shops still standing strong in the town where local communities continue to live in them.
Today, generally the Chinese settles in ‘new villages’, Malays in FELDA villages, Indians in the rubber tree plantations, and aborigines in the Orang Asli settlements. All ethnic races live together in peace and mutual respect, and crime rate is very, very low in Bekok. That being said, food wise, it is still prominently a Chinese food area, where one can still enjoy delicious handmade noodles, traditional coffee and toast, deep-fried kway teow (a must-try local specialty), and chicken rice, just to name a few.
Bekok residents enjoy basic civil amenities, like a market, a bank, a petrol station, a police station, but they are especially proud of their voluntarily-run fire station. Though it is run and funded by locals with some subsidy from government, the facility and skills could be compared to the government professional fire stations. It withstood the test of time and numerous fire incidents of Bekok.
If you are looking for an escapade from the city bustle, come to Bekok by train to have your kampung experience. The train ride is only 3 hours from JB Sentral. Zenxin Travel offers a 2 days 1 night tour package to Bekok, with an additional stop in Labis on the second day so you could enjoy a health-improving hot spring dip before returning to Singapore. Our young local hosts will bring you around their beloved town and share more stories about the life in Bekok.
Take a look at our tour offer for Bekok and Labis here. With just a small group size of 4-to-go, you could enjoy a weekend differently at just $138/adult and $118/child.
If you have children, book with us now to secure your chance to a memorable adventure for this June school holidays!
P.S.: Go in a bigger group and you can enjoy the thrill of visiting the forest and farms at the back of a lorry!