Category: Pantai Leka

More than meets the eye at Bukit Mor

Pantai Leka Parit Jawa is a favourite spot for shutterbugs as well as nature and seafood lovers

LIM Jia En was a picture of joy moving around the temple in her village, stopping occasionally when something caught her attention.

The nine-year-old girl from Kampung Baru Bukit Mor also listened intently when village elder, Soh Kan, briefed StarMetro on the temple – said to be the oldest temple in Muar, Johor.

Dating back to 1872, Xian Shi Keng Temple is an integral part of the village.

Jia En may yet to fully understand its significance but the bond between the temple and the villagers, including her, is obvious.

The Xian Shi Keng Temple in Kampung Baru Bukit Mor was rebuilt in 1920.

There are many artefacts still kept inside the temple, including currency used during British rule, the Japanese Occupation and then Federation of Malaya.

“In the old days when the area was a jungle, many people came by boat to offer prayers in the temple,” said Soh, 78, pointing to a stone slab near the temple, which served as a landmark then.

Village chief Ng Hock Yong said plans were afoot to set up a museum at the basement of the temple, which is set to become a tourist attraction in the village.

“It is time to reinvent the village into a tourist destination.

“It takes time but we have to get started,” he said.

The villagers (from left) Tan Kim Leng, Soh, Ng, See Soo Teng and her daughter Jia En at the entrance to a water source in the village’s Xian Shi Keng Temple.

While it may be just a small village with about 200 houses and 1,000 residents, Kampung Baru Bukit Mor’s tourism potential cannot be underestimated.

“There are busloads of tourists who come here for durian when the fruit is in season.

“We also have the Musang King (variety) here,” Ng said of the King of Fruits that has become a hit in many established tourism areas such as Bentong and Raub.

The other attractions within or near the village include the 227m-high Gunung Bukit Mor where locals and visitors like to hike.

There are also fruit farms at the foothill, comprising durian, banana, rambutan and mangosteen trees.

About 5km from the village is Pantai Leka Parit Jawa.

The panoramic view from the beach, with an area for fishing boats to dock nearby makes it a favourite spot for shutterbugs.

A habitat for migratory birds, Pantai Leka Parit Jawa also attracts nature lovers.

There are also restaurants there that serve good seafood.

Some locals say they eat out very often because the food is good and affordable.

Pantai Leka Parit Jawa near Kampung Baru Bukit Mor is a dock for almost 200 fishing boats. There are also many seafood restaurants here.

Nearby, there is an 80-year-old temple, which is quietly drawing visitors from Asian countries.

About 200 busloads of tourists will throng Nam Ting Shi Temple annually to observe the temple’s celebration on the 23rd day of the first month in the lunar calendar.

They are mostly from Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Thailand.

In Parit Jawa, about 10km from the village, is an otak-otak (grilled fishcake) factory called Daily Happy, which locals say is the first otak-otak factory in Muar.

Tourists may find the place interesting as they can shop for some freshly grilled otak-otak and take a closer look at the preparation as well as visit the gallery.

Ang (left), who is the pioneer of the oldest otak-otak factory in Muar, wrapping otak-otak with her daughter-in-law Gan Ah Cheu (seated centre) and employee Toh Sze Leng (right).

Set up in 1981 as a home-based business, the family’s matriarch, Ang Mui Hiong, 82, is still working alongside her 20-plus family members and workers.

Work at the factory starts between 5am and 6am.

There are certainly enough things to do and discover on a one-day visit to Kampung Baru Bukit Mor.

It is also a place to gain insight into how the community has evolved over time and kept its culture and values intact.


Category: Pantai Leka