Places of Interest
Perak, the Land of Grace, has long been renowned for its tin deposits. In fact, its name "Perak", which means silver in Malay, is derived from the silvery tin ore that was found and mined in abundance here until the turn of the century. The state of Perak is subdivided into 9 districts and covers an area of 21,000 sq. km, with a population that exceeds 2 million. Major towns include Taiping, Teluk Intan, Lumut, Sitiawan, and Kuala Kangsar, the royal town, while Ipoh City is the state capital and administrative center.
Hence, whilst remaining very much a business center, Perak offers the visitor everything that one would want, from history, culture, nature and adventure to its ever charming hospitality.
Belum Valley, located in the northern region of Perak state, is a rich natural heritage bristling with flora and fauna. Belum was once the battlefield between the Malaysian security forces and communist bandits. Known as the Bamboo Trail, an infiltration route for the communist terrorist into Malaysia, the trail passes through secondary forests, bamboo forests and lowland primary jungles. Virtually untouched by mankind and with the lifting of the curfew in 1991, Belum is slowly exposing its well-kept secrets to the outside world. This last frontier of Malaysia beckons the adventurous to its everlasting charm.
Ipoh Clock Tower, which was erected in 1917 as a memorial to J.W.W. Birch, the first British Resident of the state who was assassinated by a group of Malay chieftains in Pasir Salak in 1875. Ironically, there is another memorial built on the very spot where Birch was assassinated, but this one is dedicated to the Malay warriors who murdered him.
Bukit Larut is located approximately 9km from Taiping. It is Malaysia's oldest and smallest hill resort, which stands at 1,035m above sea level. Accessible only by government-owned four-wheel-drive vehicles, the road up twists and turns through tropical virgin jungle with the fresh green fragrance and cool air greeting you as you ascend. At the summit, one is greeted by a spectacular view of the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia. The hill abounds with groves of evergreens and vibrantly colored flora and fauna. Roses, dahlias, daisies, pansies, petunias, lupins and marigolds abound in profusion. The cool climate also favors golden sunflowers with reputedly the largest variety in the country.
In Bukit Merah Lake Town Resort, there are various lake and outdoor activities for guests to participate. Straddling an area of 11 acres and also it is the largest water park in the region of Peninsular Malaysia. This premier waterfront resort is just next to the Bukit Merah Interchange and a mere 35 minutes drive south from the Penang Bridge along the North-South Expressway.
Located in the heart of Ipoh, the park is known for its scenic beauty and recreational facilities. It boasts of several recreational fields, an artificial lake of various types of fishes, a nursery for potted plants and a children's traffic playground. There are also beautiful arches, modular framework, shelters, pedestrian circulation and the Ipoh tree which gave the city its name.
The latest addition is the newly landscaped Japanese Garden featuring a typical Japanese Carp pond. The fresh atmosphere and variety of flora are also part of the main attractions of this park.
Long before British rule, the Dutch had built this fort that still stands at Kampung Gedung. This 300-year-old fort was built to store tin from the state. It was also one of the Dutch strongholds against pirates and local Malays. The fort was abandoned after it was ferociously attacked by a local warrior, Panglima Kulub and his followers. A short distance from the fort is Batu Bersurat (Sacred Rock). On this massive rock, drawings of a tiger mauling what is believed to be a child can be found. Local history has it that the boy was the son of a Dutch dignitary who disappeared and was believed to be attacked by a tiger.
F.M.S Bar & Restaurant was created as a European miner and planter bar. It was set up in 1906 by a Hainanese immigrant. The building has been in use since 1923. Today, it also incorporates a café serving Hainanese food.
One of the must see destination by the locals is the “Fu Ling Kung” temple dedicated to one of the eight immotals of the taoist faith - Li T’ieh-Kuai. The temple is situated on the side of the hill just off the main road in Sungai Pinang Besar. One will find a minature “Great Wall of China” at the back of the temple and ponds fill with carps, tilapias and giant arapaima from the amazon at the side and also cages of other wildlife.
The state of Perak (“Silver” in Malay) takes its name from the glinting tin ore for which it was once famous. Ipoh is the state capital, which was built on the profits of the tin mines, and is today a pleasant city with many colonial legacies. The tree-lined padang (square) is overlooked by the mock-Tudor Royal Ipoh Club, are nearby are the elegant facades of the City Hall and the Railway Station. Ipoh nestles among limestones hills, many of which contain cave temples, such as Perak Tong (6km north) and Sam Poh Tong (5km south), with its statues of Buddha.
Ipoh City is the home to many a miner who has made a fortune during the heydays of tin. Once a small kampung with dilapidated buildings, Ipoh, a town that tin built, did not pass with the demise of the tin industry. Instead, it has grown with the country's economy. Poised to become the focal point of industry, business, investment, education and social activities, Ipoh reflects the overall progress and development that Perak is experiencing.
Bearing a close resemblance to its Kuala Lumpur counterpart, the Ipoh Railway Station is an impressive landmark, which combines Gothic and Moorish architecture with modern embellishments. Hence its nickname, the Taj Mahal of Ipoh. Its compound comprises of the famous "Ipoh Tree", a poisonous tree whose sap is used by the natives in the olden days to make fatal darts for their blow pipes. Surrounded by a beautiful floral garden, it also serves as a charming welcome to visitors arriving by rail.
Apart from Penang, Ipoh is the other name that is constantly at the tip of the tongue when the subject matter concerned is food. The early Chinese immigrants who poured into the state brought with them the cooking styles of their provinces, most of whom were from the southern provinces. These cooking styles blended well with the local air and a new breed of food came about, such as the Ipoh "Hor Fun" or flat rice noodles. The writer is also of the opinion that Ipoh has the best fish balls in the country.
The locals call it the “Taj Mahal of Ipoh” due to its grand façade. It was built during the height of Ipoh’s tin-mining success in the early 1900s. This impressive landmark is said to rival that Ipoh with its Moorish architecture and beautiful flora garden.
This beautiful landscaped garden, designed with a Japanese flair, features Japanese carp pond, rock garden as well as a refreshing atmosphere and beds of colourful flora. Established in the early 1960s, the park is a popular site for couples and those wanting to take wedding photographs.
This public park recreates the aesthetics of a Japanese garden. A small Japanese house, a koi pond and a wooden bridge across a stream are some of the elements. The grounds are lush with a variety of beautiful tropical flowers, plants and trees. An idiosyncratic attraction is the colourful solar-powered floral clock on a slope, which was imported from Holland.
Weekends - 9am to 9:30pm
This crumbling monument to the unrealized dreams of a wealthy British planter perches on a bluff above a small river. The four-storey Moorish mansion was begun in 1915 for William Kellie Smith, but remained unfinished following his death in 1926, and now stands in picturesque decrepitude. Nearby is a small Hindu temple, complete with a figure of Smith on the roof, built to appease evil spirits after several laborers died of a mysterious disease. Its mysterious and romantic allure has down visitors from the world over, even filmmakers.
The Keris Memorail was erected in 1963 to mark the installation of the Sultan of Perak, Sultan Idris Shah. This monument is shaped like a keris.
The Kota Tampan is located between Kuala Kangsar and Grik, near the town of Lenggong. It is a Paleolithic or Stone Age site. Archeological excavations have unearthed stone artifacts that date the site at between 250,000 and 500,000 years old, the only such site in Peninsular Malaysia.
Kuala Gula is famous for variety of exotic birds which cone here to nest. Over 100 species of birds, some of them protected and have been sighted in this area. Variety of land and sea mammals can also be seen here.
Kuala Kangsar, just 48km north of Ipoh on the Perak River, is the royal town of Perak. It is dominated by three buildings: Istana Iskandariah, Istana Kenangan and the Ubudiah Mosque.
The Istana Iskandariah, located on a hill overlooking the river, is the palace of the Sultan of Perak. Istana Kenangan, which was constructed as a temporary residence during the Iskandariah's construction is known for its beautiful architecture. The Ubudiah Mosque is an impressive structure topped with a constellation of bright golden domes.
Kuala Who Jungle Park is located just 13km from Tapah Town. This tourist destination offers a trip back to nature with the diversity of its flora and fauna in its flora and fauna in its lush green tropical rainforest. For more adventurous, visitors may take a walk across the 30 meters suspension bridge across the Batang Padang River to enjoy breathtaking views.
Named for a prominent tin miner and property owner from Perak, the 1933 Art Deco building has shops on the ground level, facing the street and other, an oval courtyard.
The Lata Iskandar Waterfall, on the way up to Cameron Highlands from Tapah, is an ideal picnic area and favorite stopover. Its surrounding jungle is home to one of the largest variety of exotic insect and plant life in the world. Traditional earth pottery is crafted near here at Kampung Kerayung.
Lata Kinjang majestic waterfall is located a mere 18km from Tapah. This set of falls can actually be seen whilst traveling along the North-South Highway. The main attraction at this waterfall is the impressive series of cascading waters winding down a 100m drop. The area is also home for several areas inhabited by the Orang Asli, the aborigines of Peninsular Malaysia. It is also an ideal spot for picnickers.
Step into a hidden world of wonder and adventure set among the lush greenery, limestone hills and caves of Ipoh. Ride a river to the doorway of an ancient silver mine. Dodge water sprays, track down wild tigers, hurtle through the air in a mine cart or unwind in a pool fed by mineral-rich hot springs.
Situated about 84km south of Ipoh, the capital city of Perak, Lumut is well-known for its beautiful shell and coral handicraft. This quaint town boasts of a peculiar atmosphere even to many Malaysians who visit for the first time. Lumut seems contented with its own leisurely pace of progress. Old, elegant buildings still house some of the town's administrative offices. Mainly a fishing village, it is the departure point from the mainland for those who wish to visit Pangkor Island.
Matang Mangrove Forest is covering an area more than 40,000 hectares. It is recognized as one of the well-managed mangrove swamps in the world. A wide range of flora and fauna can be found here. Another attraction is the charcoal ovens, which produce charcoal from selected mangrove trees, fish rearing and fishing village.
Pasir Salak is located approximately 70km from Ipoh City. It is special importance in the history of Malaysia. Time seems to stand still in this little village beside a slow river. It was built along the Perak's river, Kampung Pasir Salak looks just like any other small village. Behind its peaceful rustic life, however, lies a bloody past. For Pasir Salak is the scene of early Malay rebellion against the British colonial powers some 120 years ago, which culminated in the killing of the first British Resident, J.W.W. Birch, and invited a violent reprisal from the British. Here stands a memorial dedicated to those who slew Birch.
It is generally recognized as the place where the original flames of Malay nationalism begun. Pasir Salak is well-known for its ancient Malay architecture and craft. Perhaps the most striking displays are the "Kutai (ancient) Houses". These structures are unique as they were built entirely of wood using special joints and grooves and totally lacking any metal or nails. The roofs are ridge-like. In olden days, the space between the roof and ceiling was used to store rice. It also offered a refuge for beautiful maidens trying to escape lecherous men. Today, these houses display various local historical and Malay culture artifacts.
Built in 1926, Perak Tong Buddhist Temple is nestled within the huge limestone caves of Gunung Tasek, 6km to the north of Ipoh. The temple, built by a Buddhist priest from China, houses more than 40 Buddha statues with the center piece being a 12.8 m high sitting Buddha. Beyond the main altar, one can have a panoramic view of Ipoh and the surrounding countryside by ascending a flight of 385 steps at the back of the cave. This temple serves Buddhist vegetarian fare too.
The Port Weld was once the main port for the export tin. Currently, the Port Weld is known as Kuala Sepetang, mainly used by fishing boats.
This breeding farm is located at Bota Kanan, 40 km south of Ipoh. The farm was opened in 1967 and its primary objective is to conserve the River Terrapin (Tuntung). Between November and March visitors can witness migrating river terrapins laying eggs along stretches of the riverbank.
The Royal Ipoh Club and the adjoining padang (field) have a venerable history dating back to colonial times. Both the building and the field have borne witness to many of the state’s historical events. Much of the original structure of the club remains.
Sam Poh Tong Temple, an impressive work of art and faith with various statues of Buddha among natural stalagmites and stalactites, is situated in Gunung Rapat, approximately 5km south of Ipoh city. There is a wishing well for those seeking better fortune and a pond where visitors can feed tortoise (symbol of longevity) with stalks of kangkong, a type of vegetable. There is also a vegetarian restaurant outside the temple where one can enjoy a simple meal amidst tranquility.
The Sultan Azlan Shah gallery is located on Bukit Chandran, about 1.5km from Kuala Kangsar. The gallery features the many faces the now Sultan Perak, Sultan Ezlan Muhibbudin Shah, a collection, etc.
Opens Daily - 1000 to 1700
Friday - 1000 to 1215 & 1445 to 1700
Closed on Monday
A continuous village strip with a lot to look at: especially the colourful fishing boat unloading their catch of the day, fish being dried or frozen, “satay fish factory” and a colourful South Indian Hindu Temple.
At the Manderang vicinity of the Sungkai area lies a sprawling 100 hectares deer farm established and managed by the wildlife department.
Here, deer of various species are allowed to roam freely, as if in their own natural habitat.
Set up in 1978 jointly by the state and federal authorities, the farm also provides a reserved for certain species of birds and other wildlife, as a further effort towards conservation and to prevent their extinction.
A mere fifteen minutes drive from the Ipoh city district, Tambun Hot Springs have been an important tourist destination in Perak, where at the foot of a limestone hill a rejuvenating experience from the natural spring awaits you. Opens daily from 3PM till 12AM, and with a small fee of RM5, visitors get to enjoy the natural waters, as well as the surrounding facilities set up for convenience’s sake, such as hot water pools, saunas and rest rooms.
The 62 hectares Taiping Lake Gardens is one of the biggest and most beautiful parks in the country. With a beautiful lake abounding with freshwater fish, lush greenery, a gazebo and a colorful profusion of flowers, this is a favorite spot with visitors and locals alike. Other facilities available at the Gardens include a rest house, fishing and aqua-biking in the lake area.
Taipong Zoo & Night Safari is located close to the foot of Bukit Larut (Maxwell Hill) surrounded by the beautiful Taiping Lake Gardens which makes it a unique, interesting and special zoo. It is also the oldest zoo in the country. Its bird sanctuary and zoo are favorites among children.
Over 1,300 animals from 200 species of birds, reptiles and mammals with the open concept used in displaying the animals give the impression that the animals are in their natural habitats. Monkeys roam freely and are tame enough to be fed by the friendly hand. The main attraction is the Night Safari which nocturnal animals are display under lighting similar to moonlight, the beauty and splendor of nature is enhanced. Here, visitors able to experience the similar environment to the wildlife habitats where the sounds made by numerous creatures can be heard.
RM 5 (Adult)
RM 3 (Child)
RM 4 (Senior Citizens)
RM 5 (Video Camera)
RM 6 (Child)
RM 8 (Senior Citizens)
RM 5 (Video Camera)
RM 1.50 (Child)
The leaning tower is located 84km from Ipoh, this spectacular leaning tower is the pride of Teluk Intan. This pagoda-like structure was built by Chinese contractor, Leong Choon Choong in 1885. It was generally used as covered water tank to provide potable water for the town. The dominating 25.5m tower has a leftward slant. The wooden structure stands as an architecture oddity that attracts visitors.
Temenggor Lake is the largest man-made lake in Perak which located approximately 35km to the north-east of Gerik. It covers an area of 15,200 hectares. Visitors who love nature will be fascinated by its beautiful flora and fauna. It also scattered around this area are small Orang Asli settlements.
Ubudiah Mosque is located beside the Royal Mausoleum at Bukit Chandan, Kuala Kangsar. It is one of the country's most beautiful mosques. It was built in 1913; it serves as a symbol of pride and faith for all Muslims. The mosque was officially opened by Sultan Jalil Karamatullah Shah in 1917. It was commissioned by Sultan Idris Shah, who vowed to build a mosque of great beauty as a thanksgiving for his recovery from an illness that had plagued him in his younger days. The Sultan, however, did not live long enough to see his magnificent creation. The mosque's magnificent golden domes and minarets are testaments to the beauty of Islamic architecture.