The drive to the ostrich farm (Taman Burung Unta) took about 30mins. It is located near the SE corner of Johor and appeared to be a family business run rather informally inside a kampung. Before we entered the farm proper, the lady boss gave us a brief introduction to ostrich eggs and baby ostriches. We were also shown the kind of vegetation that they grew to feed these hungry, fast-growing birds. These creatures stand at 7 feet upon maturity.
Inside the farm proper, the owner rattled on and on about ostriches. He was one passionate and committed ostrich farmer. It’s not easy to run the place with hundreds of birds running around on the sand. My No. 1 had quite a few questions for our guide. He seemed especially interested in the mating rituals and the power of their lethal kicks. He was lucky on this day.
After having a good look at the ostriches, it was time to eat them. Ostrich meat is red and looks a lot like beef, but in texture, it’s definitely closer to chicken. The taste was familiar yet unfamiliar. My No. 2 loved the ostrich satay and No. 1 tried out the ostrich burger. The omelette, however, was not remarkable. It tasted just like chicken egg.
Outside the ostrich farm, our taxi driver Wahid waited patiently for us to finish our lunch. He then drove us back to the bus terminal at Bandar Penawar. I decided not to head back to the resort as it was still early. We took a public bus to Kota Tinggi. It cost only RM5.60 per person. From the bus terminal, we had to take a taxi for another 14km to reach the entrance where we had to pay RM15 each to enter. It took us a little over one hour to get there. The star attraction of Kota Tinggi turned out to be a bit of a letdown.
The waterfall would have been splendid if the place were better maintained. There was litter everywhere and the toilets were in such a sorry state, with broken showers and all. I can’t imagine what the place would look like on weekends. Anyway, it’s still worth a visit if you happen to be nearby like us. Forget about going all the way to Kota Tinggi just to visit the waterfall.
Sadly, the most interesting part of our trip to Kota Tinggi was the shopping. Compared to Bandar Penawar and the resort, Kota Tinggi was bursting at the seams with convenience stores, provision shops and other amenities. We greedily stocked up on bottled water, snacks and other goodies. There was also a small shopping centre here. It was rather quiet, but there were good bargains. I bought some clothes for the boys.
The good thing about Kota Tinggi is that the McDonald’s, shopping centre, makan places and bus terminal are all within a radius of 100m. We had dinner at an Indian restaurant and managed to catch a bus back to Bandar Penawar at 1700.