Continued from [the monkeys and fireflies of Kuala Selangor] [Putrajaya] [Malacca at a glimpse] [A Famosa and Saint Paul Church] [Taman Rama-Rama and its tortoises]
To visit Mini Malaysia was one of the random suggestions given by our guide while on our way to the heritage-rich Malacca. Considering that we “overtimed” in Taman Rama-Rama (from our 30 minutes intended visit turned to an actual 2 hours), “Do we still have time? Is it worth it?”, I asked. Before he can even respond, I inquired further and pre-concluded, “Why is it called Mini Malaysia? Is it a village showing the more traditional side of Malaysia or is it a museum showcasing miniatures of interesting places in Malaysia?” He simply replied, “You will like it.”
As we approached the entrance, we immediately noticed the flags of Southeast Asian nations. To the other side are the seemingly emptied flag hang ons waiting (used) to be filled.
(As we proceeded, we saw the flags of the states of Malaysia.)
Mini Malaysia is a cultural park and not a museum. I had an instant appreciation of everything that I saw right from the entrance. Showcased are replicas of traditional houses from the 13 states of Malaysia and a few from other Southeast Asian countries. Hence, this park is officially known as Taman Mini Malaysia and Mini ASEAN. Even though the inclusion of replica traditional houses from those outside Malaysia is a work in progress, the ones existing are already very representative of its neighbor countries.
At first glance, I thought that the houses are just the same. But with scrutiny, you will distinguish one house’s beauty and peculiarity from the others.
Our visit and the place itself became more meaningful with the presence of students. I learned that the “researchers” are a regular here since they are encouraged to augment their knowledge derived in the classroom through this. During our limited interaction with them, we felt their dedication and enthusiasm (some groups even came with their teachers, not necessarily a field trip) while embracing this classroom extension.
Any visitor is allowed to peek in each of the houses, with footwears removed. Inside are handicrafts originating from each of the state or country. There are also life-like figures of “inhabitants” for each house. Due to limited time, I deferred the chance of visiting each home. But I still remember how enjoyable it was from the minute I stepped on the “ancient” stairs (with the feeling that it might fall apart, where in fact it won’t) to feeling the wood flooring through my skin. It was significantly reminiscent of one of our used to be ancestral houses in my mother’s hometown, while in my father’s, to this date they managed to maintain (since they opted to keep it).
Inside Mini Malaysia, you would be trailing the entire “community”. It is like visiting your friends and/or families from each Malaysian state.
It is impressive that they recreated the very details of history and culture.
It really proves that it is worthwhile to check the seemingly less popular attractions. For all we know, we have different levels of appreciation and I go for the less explored and not so touristy. But in general, I think I am deep and shallow rolled into one that I appreciate anything – from a foodcourt to a historical site.
Taman Mini Malaysia and Mini ASEAN
Ayer Keroh, Malaysia
Contact numbers: +606-232 1331 / 1351
Open from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
(Best to drop by here en route to or from Malacca)
Entrance fees: Adult (RM 4), Children (RM 2)