Our expectations were low as we drove from Kluang to Ayer Hitam to visit Tropical Village. The theme park was opened in 1993 and things can go downhill fast here in Malaysia, if not maintained properly things break and fall apart very fast indeed. Nature is quick to reclaim areas not used, and if you don’t cut the grass the plants and trees will move in and not leave without a fight.
So with that in mind we paid the entrance fee, RM 10 for adults, RM 5 for children (under 3 for free) and RM 5 for the car. On our visit it was hot and humid, which is the normal weather any given day here, so we chose to bring the car. Most people did. Or, the three other families that were there at the same time as us. As it was a Saturday and a school holiday as well we had expected it to be a bit more crowded. But as we drove and walked around in the park we came to understand why it wasn’t.
The years have not been kind to Tropical Village. In its glory days I believe it looked amazing. There are smaller versions of famous buildings and statues from around the world. We saw a pyramid, the Eiffel Tower, Statue of Liberty, the Taj Mahal and so on. All in dire need of some paint job and general cleaning up. There is a mini zoo, or there used to be. Now there is a peacock in a biggish cage and a monkey all alone in a small cage. It did not look happy. The manmade lake was green and did not look inviting at all. All areas of the park looked old and worn down, some were closed and looked like they had been for years.
I think our children found the small fishpond at the entrance to be the most interesting part of the park. The big cat fish was a success as it even caught a small shrimp right in front of us. Show off!
To be fair there were people working in the park, some were painting the statues in the cartoon character area and others were sweeping and washing the pathways. But the park looks old and run down, in a few years time it won’t be worth your time or money at all. As it stands today you can spend an hour there, if you have young children. They are not as picky as we adults are and therefore oblivious to the flaky paint on the Great Wall of China.