Monday, April 12, 2010

Ayer Hitam Town and its Tropical Village

We heard about Ayer Hitam being THE place if you need to shop for all types of potteries, Malay Wedding crafts, artificial flowers and all sorts of Malaysian junk food (i.e. ‘kerepek’ and ‘manisan’). Thus, we headed to this town on one fine Sunday morning not for any of the reasons above, but just to ‘look-see’ the place.

As we reached ‘pekan’ Ayer Hitam after about an hour’s drive from JB, we could see a lot of stalls selling the items I mentioned earlier along the roadside. We parked our car and started walking from one stall to the other. It was such a long stretch, and it was so damn hot! Poor Adam, he couldn’t afford to take the long walk under the hot sun, so we had to stop at one of the restaurants somewhere nearby that area to grab some fresh juice for him.

My hubby tried out their Otak-Otak Muar (a typical Johor specialty, made from fresh fish meat (usually mackerel) mixed with a mixture of spices consist of chillies, garlic, shallots, turmeric, lemon grass and coconut milk, wrapped in a special leaf and grilled to perfection). The aroma was so tempting that he just had to order it to taste it. Somehow the taste was not too bad, perhaps a bit on a spicy side.

We bought some local junk food as well - a few which I’ve had never tasted before. We were spoilt for choices as there were hundreds of options to choose from. And not to forget, we bought some cheap toys for my son too to make him happy. He was a bit cranky throughout the jalan-jalan, mainly because of the heat. And he was sweating profusely too :-(.

We continued to discover Ayer Hitam by car soon after the restaurant break. We saw a road sign showing ‘Tropical Village’, so that was our next stop. It was a Mini World Theme Park where many Wonders of The World were on display, albeit in miniature sizes. We could have chosen for a drive-in tour but we opted for walk-in instead. We had to pay for the tickets before we entered the park i.e. RM8.00 per adult and RM4.00 per child.

The place was rather quiet. We saw only small groups of people that had made their way earlier before us. Amongst the display were the Great Wall of China, Statue of Liberty, Taj Mahal, Eiffel Tower, Pyramid, Hollywood Hill and Sleeping Buddha, to name you a few. It was around 4.30 pm and the weather was just nice for us to walk around the place. My son had a terrific moment of learning about those spectacular World Wonders, all in one place. We took a few photos, and some of them turned out to be surprisingly great ones! So, do enjoy the photos below.

For a first-timer like us, I felt that the Ayer Hitam Tropical Village is indeed a nice place to visit with your family. However, personally, this would definitely be one of those one-off tours for us. I don’t think we will ever come back again to this park that soon. Apart from the miniature world architecture, the park really, really needed some good maintenance. Overall, it looked rather run down and it also badly, badly needed a food kiosk too. :-)

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