"Ayer Tawar - Fresh Water" Ayer Tawar by gnh

Ayer Tawar Travel Guide: 21 reviews and 83 photos

Ayer Tawar

My hometown Ayer Tawar lies on the road from Ipoh to Lumut, a quaint small town of the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia. Here is the Chinese Methodist Church which in 1966 became the first air-conditioned church in Asia, mind you ! Only snag was that the whole town would be plunged into semi-darkness when the airconditioners were turned on! The photo shows the old church building ( 1966 ) and the new ( and even larger ! ) building completed around 1999, unlikely to be missed by anyone passing by.

Commerce is mostly centred on the Main Road, where shops line the 2km of highway on both sides. Back-street activity is hardly of any significance, though the only decent ( ? 2 Star ) hotel in town is to be found there.

Hawker centres are quite a few, and you can safely spend a whole night out with less than RM 10 in your pocket - with big-screen TV too ! There are certainly more than 30 Chinese family-run restaurants which offer ordinary value-for-money fare. Three or four of them could surprise you occasionally with sumptious food ! Want to try Fuzhou cuisine ? Here is your chance !

The People

Ayer Tawar has a population of 30 000 mostly rural Chinese farmers of Fuzhou ( Fujian ) descent. The major dialect used is Gutian ( Kutien ). The shopkeepers are usually Hokkien ( Fujian ) whilst the shoppers are mainly Malay farmers and labourers from the surrounding kampungs. Chinese New Villages are situated nearby, with the main Ayer Tawar New Village home to about 5 000.

There is a substantial number ( up to 20 % of total population ) of Indian ( Tamil ) labourers in the oil palm and rubber estates.

Lately many new housing estates have sprouted all over the town, and many new dwellers are Malays who have begun their urbanisation process. Ayer Tawar is almost 30 % Malay today ( 2005 )

In this place, you can speak Fuzhou, Hokkien, Malay, Tamil, or even English, and you will be understood.

The Land

Oil Palm plantations and estates greet the traveller upon approaching the town. Malay kampungs occupy the road to Ipoh, and plantations continue all the way to Lumut.
The land is almost completely flat, and there are no hills for kilometres around.

From Ipoh, Ayer Tawar is only 1 hour away by road, and if you continue the journey you will reach Lumut in another 15 min. Ayer Tawar by itself rarely offers any thrill to the first-time visitor, so make sure you have some local friend to show the the famous KomPiang ( fire-baked pastry ) and Loo Mien ( noodles ).

For the truly curious, there are beautiful landscaped gardens in all the New Villages - Ayer Tawar New Village, Kg Raja Hitam New Village, Kg Merbau New Village, and Kg Jering New Village.

The whole tour of Ayer Tawar should not take more than 3 hours - including lunch. The gardens of the surrounding New Villages are more worthy of a short photo-stop.

Do drop by !


Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Enough Food For The Traveller
  • Cons:A Little Too Small For Excitement
  • In a nutshell:Unique Small Town
  • Last visit to Ayer Tawar: Jun 2005
  • Intro Updated Jul 28, 2005
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Reviews (32)

Comments (5)

  • pres_16's Profile Photo
    Dec 14, 2007 at 1:13 AM


  • vivien_sf's Profile Photo
    Sep 28, 2007 at 2:42 AM

    really very lousy food and place

  • anoum's Profile Photo
    Dec 13, 2006 at 12:40 AM

    I live in Teluk Air Tawar, Butterworth, so I couldn't resist peeking at your home page! By the way, my husband is of Fuzhou dialect and I hope we can visit your town to sample the delicacies of Fuzhou people, now that I know it isn't too far from Ipoh.

  • deecat's Profile Photo
    Mar 18, 2006 at 11:54 AM

    Fascinating page on your home town. I always visit the home town to picture the person there. Great restaurant tips. The "trap" TIP was rather sad, really...the guy looks like a walking skeleton.

  • Wild_Orchid's Profile Photo
    Jul 4, 2005 at 2:33 AM

    nice town, nice tips. drove past here, had some ice kacang by the school field...I think so!

gnh Lives Here!


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