Darul Ridzuan (Land of Grace)
Perak, the tin-mining state of Malaysia, is the second largest state in Peninsular Malaysia, bordering Kedah and Thailand to the north, Penang to the northwest, Kelantan and Pahang to the east and Selangor to the south. Perak means silver in the Malay language, and the state has rich deposits of the silver coloured tin. Perak was also the birthplace of the Malaysian rubber industry, a mainstay of the local and national economy. As Perak is rich in tin, it attracted many outsiders. The Dutch attempted to monopolise the tin trade in the 17th Century. In the 18th Century, the Bugis, Acehnese and the Siamese also tried to lay claim to Perak. Finally, the British established a colonial presence in Perak and took control of the tin mining. In 1874, the Straits Settlements governor Sir Andrew Clarke convened a meeting on Pulau Pangkor, at which Sultan Abdullah was installed on the throne of Perak in preference to his rival, Sultan Ismail. This Pangkor Treaty also required that the sultan accept a British Resident, who would control all administrative issues other than those pertaining the religion or Malay custom. In 1875, various Perak chiefs assassinated the British Resident James W.W. Birch, resulting in the short-lived Perak War of 1876. Sultan Abdullah was exiled to the Seychelles, and the British installed a new ruler. The new resident, Sir Hugh Low, was well versed in the Malay language and customs, and proved to be a more capable administrator. He also introduced the first rubber trees to Malaya. Perak gained independence from the British on 31 August 1957 after joining the Federation of Malaya in 1948.
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Sights – In the City of Ipoh > Go to Malaysia Map for Ipoh City Map
The capital of Perak State, Ipoh is Malaysia’s third largest city. In the old days it was the city of the rich where fortune from the tin mines of the Kinta Valley produced the expansive growth and the city’s elegant mansions. There are a few places of interests and the Old Ipoh Town located west of Sungai Kinta, and is worth wandering for the old Chinese and British architecture. The Old Town remains largely free from development and has one of the most extensive areas of later shophouse architecture in Malaysia. Rows and rows of old Chinese shophouses offer goods and services catering to the everyday needs. The many coffee shops with hawker food stalls have become very popular with the locals as well as from people as far away as Kuala Lumpur. The Ipoh train station, built in 1935, is a blend of Moorish and Victorian architecture, known locally as the ‘Taj Mahal’. It contains the wonderfully old-fashioned Majestic Station Hotel. Directly opposite is the Dewan Bandaran or Town Hall, a dazzling white neoclassical building of grand proportions. It was designed and built in 1916 by a government architect, A.B Hubback, who also designed the train station. Located at the end of the short Jalan Dato Maharajalela from the Town Hall, just a walking distance from the Ipoh Internal Bus Terminal, is the Chung Thye Pin building. The building belonged to miner Chung Thye Pin (1879-1935). This abandoned elegant three-story corner building dates back to 1907. It originally housed the Medical Hall established by Dr. R.M. Connolly, an Irishman trained in Trinity College. The Tudor designed Royal Ipoh Club and the imposing three-story school of St Michael’s Institution overlooking the field are some of the colonial buildings to be seen here. A short walk away on Jln Dato’Sagor is the memorial fountain of J.W.W Birch, the first British Resident of Perak. It is made of Ipoh marble and was presented to the public by the Chinese community of Perak. During the Japanese Occupation, the head of a man executed by the Japanese was exhibited on a spike at this spot.
Cave Temples of Gunung Rapat Sam Poh Tong is just a few kilometres to the south of Ipoh. It is a temple with a huge cavern and a small reclining Buddha and other smaller caverns. There is a turtle pond in a small natural courtyard. This temple is particularly busy during the Chinese All Souls Festival or Ghost Festival, where prayers and offerings to the dead are performed. The famous Tambun pomelos other local Chinese biscuits can be bought at the many stalls lining the highway. It can be reached by Kinta Bus No.66 bound for Kampar town.
The neighbouring Nam Thean Tong was established in 1867. A series of steps lead up to the upper chamber. Ling Seng Tong next door is a small chamber filled with black smoke from the offerings
Located in the vicinity of Sam Poh Tong, just 15 minutes away is the newer Kek Look Tong (Cave of great happiness) temple. The cavern consists of the Chinese Buddha of Future Happiness and three other Bodhisattvas. Behind the cave is an ornamental garden with manicured ponds and pagodas.
Perak Tong is a popular temple complex consisting of a large complex of caverns and grottoes, with murals on the interior walls. It was founded by a Buddhist priest in 1926. There are Buddha figures and a huge bell can be found in the main chamber. A winding series of 385 steps lead up through the cave and outside to the balconied areas above. It is located 6km north of Ipoh. From the city bus station, take bus 141 to Perak Tong.
Cave Temples of Gunung Lanno One Indian temple, Sri Siva Subramanium is located here. Next to it is the Chinese temple Kong Fook Ngam which was established in 1884.
Muzium Darul Ridzuan This museum is housed in a 1926 tin miner’s mansion and showcases the history of tin mining in Perak with photos, documentaries and a model of a mine. It is about half a kilometer north of the Padang at Jln Panglima Gantang. Free Admission; 9am-5pm. (605) 2530 8906.
Geological Museum There are hundreds of mineral samples and fossils on display. For those who have an interest in minerals can take a Tanjung Rambutan bus from the city bus station to the museum, which is located 3km east of the town. Free Admission. (605) 557 644, Jln Sultan Azlan Shah 8am-12.30pm & 2-4pm Mon-Thur, 8-12.30pm Sat, Closed Sun.
Sights - Perak’s other attraction
Kellie’s Castleê This old unfinished mansion, nicknamed Kellie’s Folly, was commission by a wealthy Scottish rubber-plantation owner William Kellie Smith. Seventy Hindu artisans were brought from India to work on the mansion. Smith died of pneumonia in Lisbon in 1926 on a trip back to England and the house was left unfinished. Now, the imposing six-storey structure with a lift shaft is well tended and attracts a fair number of visitors. It is interesting to walk around the castle and into the rooms, with views of the surrounding countryside, can be seen from the accessible rooftop. An underground tunnel is closed to the public though. In close proximity across the courtyard along a covered walkway, no more than a few yards form the castle, is the remains of their first house. Adult/Child RM5/RM2. 8.30am – 6pm.
About 500km form the castle is an old Hindu temple, built by Smith for the Hindu artisans. There is a statue of Smith, with white suit and helmet, among the many figurines adorning the temple. Getting there From Ipoh, the best way to get there is by taxi if you do not have your own car. The castle is situated on the way to Batu Gajah town at the Kinta Kellas Rubber Estate, about 30-minute drive and 14 km south of Ipoh City. There is no direct public transport to Kellie’s Castle.
Gua Tempurungê This is a limestone cave which offers an interesting visit. It stretches 1.3km and made up of 5 dome with various formations of stalactites and stalagmites. Take the dry guide which takes you through trails in the cave. The guide will point out to you the many different shapes that resemble humans or animals and even an “aircond room”. Unfortunately, some of the guides may not explain things in English and may leave English speaking tourists dumbfounded. If possible, try to get a local to explain to you or ask the guide if he can explain it in English. If you choose the dry and wet trials, this package extends from the dry trial to include going through streams of water and mud, sometimes actually swimming. It is quite an unforgettable experience. Do bring extra clothes for change.
Tours available are:
Catwalk Tour , Golden Flowstone Tour, an easy and exciting tour for about 40minutes. A journey from the entrance to the golden Flowstone (Platform 2) and back. Fee: adult-RM6.00 and children RM2.50
Top Of The World, a slightly strenuous journey for about 1 hour 45 minutes from the entrance to the Top of The World Cavern (platform 5) and back. Fee: adult-RM9.00 and Children RM4.50
Catwalk & River Adventure, Top Of The World & Short River Adventure, the challenging two and a half hour tour to The Top Of The World (platform 5), and back through the underground river. Fee: adult RM11.00, Children RM 6.50.
Grand Tour, a complete catwalk journey from the entrance with full-length underground river adventure. It is a very challenging and strenuous tour, takes about 3.5 hour. Entrance fee: adult-RM22.00 and children-RM11.00
Call for enquiries : -
APT Consortium Sdn. Bhd, No. 8A, Laluan Rokam 15, Pekan Razaki, 31350, Ipoh, Perak. Tel: 05-313 3595
From the North-South Expressway, exit at Gopeng Interchange, and follow the Federal Route 1 which is located 25 km south of Ipoh. Drive towards Kampung Gunung Mesah Hilir for about 5 km and follow the Gua Tempurung sign to the cave.
Tambun Cave Neolithic rock paintings are a definite attraction in the Tambun Caves situated at Tambun, which is just outside Ipoh. The 5,000-year old paintings, which were first discovered in 1959 by more recent rock artists, speak of early dwellers of the Malay Peninsula. Most of the paintings are quite clear; there are wild boar and a dugong, a tapir and some deer. The deer are particularly interesting, they all have the appearance of pregnant does, and one even has a small infant drawn inside its swollen belly. At one time, this gallery of pictures extended for more than a hundred feet, but time and the weather have obliterated a great number. Enough remain to demonstrate that at some time men living in Lembah Kinta, although unsophisticated, were able to paint and draw vividly and realistically. Perched high among hill peaks, visitors to these caves can enjoy a panoramic sunset view of Ipoh City.
By car, From the North-South Expressway, exit at the Tambun Interchange.
Tambun Hot Springs It is located at 8km northeast of Ipoh, beside a lake, at the base of a limestone cliff. These natural thermal springs have various hot pools. There is a charge for taking water. Regular buses form Ipoh’s city bus station to Tanjung Rambutan pass the hot springs.
Places to Stay
Sun Golden Inn (605) 243 6255, 17 Jln Che Tak
Wanwa Hotel (605) 241 5177, 32 Jln Ali Pitchay
Hollywood Hotel (605) 241 5214, 72 Jln CM Yussuf
Merloon Hotel (605) 254 1363, www.pvghotels.com
Syuen Hotel (605) 253 8889, 88 Jln Sultan Abdul Jalil
Majestic Station Hotel (605) 255 4242, www.majesticstationhotel.com
Hotel Excelsior (605) 253 6666
Grand View Hotel (605) 243 1488
Lucky Hotel (605) 254 7777
By Car : Exit at the Ipoh Selatan, Jelapang or Ipoh Utara Interchange from the North-South Expressway. There are signage’s to guide you to Ipoh town.
By Bus : The long-distance bus station is south of the train station. Numerous bus companies operate from this station, going to most of the smaller towns in Perak and other state capitals in Malaysia. Prices
range between RM5 to RM40, depending on your destination. The city bus station is located in the vicinity at northwest of the long-distance station.
By Train : Ipoh’s train station is on the main Singapore-Butterworth line. It goes all the way to Hat Yai in Thailand. (605) 254 0481. Jln Panglima Bukit Gantang Wahab.
Pulau Pangkorê Pangkor island can be reached with a short ferry ride from Lumut. It is an 8 sq km island with a village population of 25,000. East coast of the island, facing the mainland, is the village of Sungai Pinang Kecil, Sungai Pinang Besar and Pangkor Town. There are fine beaches at Pasir Bogak, Teluk Nipah and Coral Bay. Pasir Bogak is the most developed beach, with a string of big, mid-range hotels and a few restaurants. Teluk Nipah has most of the budget accommodations. At the north end, near the airport, lie Pangkor’s up market resorts. At Teluk Belanga, the Pantai Puteri Dewi beach is pleasant but restricted to Pan Pacific Resort guests only. Outsiders need to pay a fee to use the beach. Snorkeling gear, boats and jet skis can be hired at hotels or on the beach at Pasir Bogak and Teluk Nipah. Boats can be hired to take you snorkeling at small nearby islands or Pulau Sembilan, a group of nine islands where sports fishing is popular. Jungle trekking in the million year old jungles is another activity that can be organised from most guesthouses.
To explore Pangkor island, it is best to rent a motorcycle, bicycle or ride on Pangkor’s pink minibus taxis, which operate between 6.30am and 9pm. Going west to the west coast and up north is the Lin Je Kong temple at Coral Beach. It is adorned with numerous statues including a giant turtle, mermaid, Donald Duck and a scary Mickey Mouse guard. When in Teluk Belaga continuing eastward, the road crosses over headland through some superb and deserted jungle. Women travelers should take precaution or avoid this lonely stretch. On the east side of Pangkor are the villages Sungai Pinang Kecil and Pangkor Town. The long existing local industry of salted fish, ikan bilis produce, dried shrimps, shrimp paste is still alive and well here. Nearby there is a colourful South Indian Hindu Temple. In Sungai Pinang Besar, is the Foo Lin Kong temple worthy of a quick look. There is a mini version of the Great Wall of China behind and also a small pond with tortoises. Towards the south of Pangkor Town at Teluk Gedong lies the Kota Belanda(Dutch Fort). It was built by the Dutch in 1670 as a stronghold against pirates and local warrior chiefs, which repeatedly attacked them. Swallowed by jungle until 1973, it was reconstructed with the remaining bricks and a canon. On the right of the fort is a path leading to the Tiger Rock or Batu Bersurat in Malay, a big boulder carved with the symbol of the Dutch East India Company, VOC(Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie) and an ancient graffiti depicting a tiger stealing a child.
The island is a very popular get away for the locals and can get very crowded during school and public holidays. It is best visited during the weekday.
Pulau Pangkor Lautêêê The smaller neighbouring island of Pulau Pangkor Laut is a privately owned island. The only resort on this island is the Pangkor Laut Resort, located at a beautiful horseshoe-shaped bay called Emerald Bay. The accommodations are spacious 148 Malaysian styled hillside and seafront luxury villas. The luxurious Spa Village is a collection of low buildings and structures, featuring both indoor and open-air spaces, spread over 4 acres on a quiet bay between the sea and the rainforest. This exclusive and up market resort offers full service and amenity and is a favourite getaway for famous personalities the likes of Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti, Joan Collins and Nick Faldo. Signor Pavarotti officially opened the Spa Village in 2002. Pangkor Laut Resort has won the ultimate accolade at the Condé Nast Traveler UK Readers’ Travel Awards, taking the ‘Number One in the World’, as well as winning the ‘Best Overseas Destination Spa’ category for the year 2003. There is a helicopter charter from Kuala Lumpur, where you can charter from their website. www.pangkorlautresort.com
By Car : From Kuala Lumpur to the town of Lumut where the jetty is located, the journey is approximately 250km and will take around 4 hours. Take the North South Expressway, starting at the Damansara toll plaza, heading for Ipoh. Exit at the Bidor toll plaza. The rest of the journey will be on trunk roads. You will pass through Bidor where there is a Shell petrol station on your left if you need to refuel. Follow signboards stating “Pelabuhan Lumut” or “Lumut Naval Base”. You will then need to follow signboards to “Teluk Intan”, “Setiawan” and “Pulau Pangkor”. The journey from Bidor town to Lumut jetty is approximately 110 km, or 1 ½ hours. The long term car park behind the shell petrol station, next to the bus station charges RM10 per day.
By Bus : Lumut is 83km southwest of Ipoh. Take the bus in Ipoh to the Lumut bus station, which is right by the ferry jetty. On Pulau Pangkor, buses to Ipoh can be booked from the agent located at the town’s Chuan Full Hotel.
Direct buses to Lumut from other states are possible as Lumut is well connected to other destinations, and many bus companies have an operation here. There is not much to see in Lumut, besides Teluk Batik, a good beach 7km from Lumut town. Lumut is better known for the Malaysian Navy’s principal base.
By Air : Berjaya Air is operating on a DeHavilland Dash 7 (48 seats) aircraft between Kuala Lumpur Subang Airport (SZB)* Terminal 3 and Pangkor Airport (PKG), on the neighbouring island of Pulau Pangkor. A 30 minute flight will take you to Pulau Pangkor Airport. For flight booking or charter flights, please log on to www.berjaya-air.com.
Kuala Kangsar êê This is the seat of the Perak Sultan and royal town of Perak state since the 18th century. By the late 19th century, the rapid growth of Ipoh and Taiping overshadowed Kuala Kangsar and the town remains a quiet backwater steeped in Malay tradition. Located 50km northwest of Ipoh, Kuala Kangsar has a few sights worth visiting and the first is the stunning Ubudiah mosque. Its golden domes and minarets have a well-deserved reputation as one of the most beautiful mosques in the country. It has graced many front page magazine covers and postcards, and is a source of pride to the locals as well as a symbol of their faith. It is located at Bukit Chandan Recreational Park and was built during the reign of Sultan Idris Mursyidul Azam Shah I (1887-1916), the 28th Perak ruler. It was completed in 1917, after delays due to WWI and when elephants belonging to the Sultan and Raja Chulan wrecked some of the imported Italian marbles. Non Muslims are not allowed inside the mosque but it is possible to visit the compounds of the mosque. The royal mausoleum for Perak rulers since the min 18th century is located beside the mosque.
Close to Masjid Ubudiah is Istana Hulu. It is a substantial palace inspired by Victorian Architecture and mixed with Islamic styles. Built in 1903, during the reign of Sultan Idris Mursyidul Adzam Shah, the 28th Sultan of Perak. In 1954, the palace was taken over by the Education Ministry and was subsequently turned into the Istana Kota National School. In 1970 it was converted into the Raja Perempuan Mazwin School. It is now being transformed into the Sultan Azlan Shah Museum.
Overlooking the river is Istana Iskandariah, which is the royal palace of the reigning head of state, Sultan Azlan Shah. It is best viewed from the river side where the original building, built in 1933 can be seen. The style mixes art deco style which is elegant, functional, and modern with Islamic motifs. It is not opened to the public. There is a small community still living in these palace grounds and try to spot the few architecturally interesting Malay mansions in Bukit Chandon.
Very close by to Istana Iskandariah and farther east is Istana Kenangan/Royal Museum. This palace was the temporary home of the Sultan while the old Istana Negara was torn down and replaced by Istana Iskandariah. The whole structure is made of wood and the walls made of woven sliced bamboo. It was built without the use of nails and completed in 1931. This is a beautiful building is full of character and features traditional Malay architecture, which fortunately, has become the Muzium Di Raja, or Royal museum. Displays focuses on the state’s history and the Perak royal family. Opens 9.30am to 5.30pm, closed 12.15pm-3pm on Friday. Admission is by small donation.
The concept of having an exclusive Malay college for the children of Malay elite was first mooted by Sultan Idris Murshidul A’zam Shah (1849-1916). This led to the establishment of the Malay College north of Kuala Kangsar town in 1905. Is has quite an impressive colonial building located in 30acres of land. From the first enrolment of 50 pupils in 1909, it has produced many distinguished scholars, politicians, corporate leaders and statesmen to serve the nation. These include the country’s second Prime Minister, the late Tun Abdul Razak, the former Deputy Prime Minister, Dato' Seri Anwar Ibrahim, the former Inspector General of Police, Minister in Prime Minister's Dept., former Menteri Besars of Perak, and the late father of the Sultan of Brunei. It remains a centre of academic excellence.
Opposite the Malay College is the interesting looking but small three-storey Pavilion Square Tower. It was built in 1930 and used by royalty and VIPs to view polo matches in a vantage point.
Kuala Kangsar is the where it all started for Malaysia’s rubber industry. The second British Resident, Sir Hugh Low planted a number of rubber trees in his garden in Kuala Kangsar in 1870. Many of these trees and those from the Singapore Botanic Gardens provided the seedlings for rubber plantations when demand for rubber soared after the invention of the rubber tire in 1888. Thus, the oldest rubber tree in Malaysia, courtesy of Sir Hugh Low, can be seen at the Kuala Kangsar’s District Office compound, east of the Pavilion Square Tower.
Sayong is a quaint village famous for their labu air. Labu air is earthenware used mainly to store drinking water or for decorative purposes. The clay from Sayong is mainly used to make them. Labus are available in Black or brown colour. Nature motifs are sometimes carved onto the Labu before it is fired in padi husk. One can take a boat across the river to Sayong from Kuala Kangsar
Places to stay
Double Lion Hotel Tel : (605)7761010
Rumah Rehat Kuala Kangsar : (605) 7765872 / 7763872
By Car :To get to Kuala Kangsar from the North-South Expressway, exit at Kuala Kangsar interchange. From Kuala Kangsar town, take Jalan Istana heading to Bukit Chandan if you wish to visit the royal grounds.
By Bus & Taxi :The main bus station is located at Kuala Kangsar town. Buses connect to Ipoh, Butterworth, Lumut, Taiping Kuala Lumpur and Kota Bharu. Taxis leave from next to the bus station.
By Train :The Singapore-Butterworth train stops at the Kuala Kangsar train station located out of town centre at northwest side.
Taipingê This rather large town is the oldest mining town in Malaysia and once the state capital of Perak. Just like Ipoh, it started out as a mining town, but has a rather troublesome beginning. When tin was discovered in the 19th century, it developed quickly, attracting large groups of Chinese settlers. These settlers formed Chinese secret societies and bitter feuds broke out with injury and killings taking place on all sides. This forced the colonial administrators to step in and take control of the town. By the late 19th century, Ipoh has begun to overshadow Taiping and the state capital was moved there in 1935. Taiping is now a low-key town with little development in the old town centre.
The many historical buildings of interest in Taiping are the neoclassical District Office on Jln Alang Ahmad, the perpustakaan Merdeka, established in 1882, which is just around the corner and the 1890 Old Clock Tower on Jln Kota(now the tourist information centre). Malaysia’s first railway line and train station is from Taiping to Port Weld. It opened in 1885 and ran a distance of 13.5km. The original train station is next to colonial King Edward VII school at Jalan Stesyen. On the same road, you can find the St George’s School, built in 1915, and the Town Rest House, built in 1894.
There are a few notable sights in close vicinity, namely the 62 hectare Taman Tasik Taiping or Lake Gardens, built beside the town in 1880 on an abandoned tin mine. On Jalan Bukit Larut is the colonial-era New Golf Club, dating to 1894. On the hills that rise above the gardens is Bukit Larut(previously Maxwell Hill), the oldest hill station in Malaysia. Formerly a tea estate, this cool and peaceful place, 1019m in altitude, provides fine views over Taiping and the Lake Gardens below. Take a 4 wheel drive up and walk down the road through the jungle is a long but pleasant activity. 4 wheel drive travels are hourly and no private cars are allowed. In the vicinity of Lake Gardens is Taiping Zoo and night safari. www.zootaiping.gov.my. All Saints Church, in Taiping is the oldest Anglican church in Malaysia. Built in 1886 and consecrated in 1887, nothing much has changed significantly since then as the gothic architecturally designed building still has the stained glass window installed in 1911 and the antique pipe organ. Its cemetery is laden with beautifully crafted tombstones of European settlers and young servicemen. The church has undergone some repairs recently to replace the leaking wooden roof. It is located in tree lined Taming Sari road. The Perak Museum is located further north of the All Saints Church in Taming Sari Road. It is housed in a colonial building and is the oldest museum in Malaysia, opening in 1883. Exhibits include traditional Malay artifacts, Royal items, costumes and Orang Asli(aboriginal) carvings. (605) 807 2057. Free Admission. 9am-5pm, closed 12.15pm-2.45pm. Opposite the museum is the Prison, built in 1885 to imprison lawless miners. Taiping has a Commonwealth Allied War Cemetery, with rows and rows of headstones, the resting place for British, Australian and Indian troops killed in WWII.
Places to stay
Peking Hotel (605)8072975, 2 Jln Idris
Hong Kong Hotel (605) 807 3824, 79 Jln Barrack
Aun Chuan Hotel (605) 807 5322, 25 Jln Market Square
Casuarina Inn (605) 8041339, 1 jln Sultan Mansur
Legend Inn , www.legendinn.com, 2 Jln Lorong Jafaar
Lagenda Hotel (605) 805 3333, 101 Jln Stesyen
Hotel Seri Malaysia (605) 806 9502, www.serimalaysia.com.my
Panorama Hotel (605) 808 4111, 61 Jln Kota
Hotel Fuliyean (605) 806 8648
By Car : To get to Taiping from the North-South Expressway, exit at Taiping interchange. It is 291km north of KL. Follow the signs to Taiping after the toll.
By Bus : From KL take the Transnational Coach from the Hentian Duta Bus Terminal. The express bus station is located in Kemunting, 7km north of Taiping. It connects to major towns outside Taiping. The local Taiping bus station is located in centre of Taiping, near the central market. It covers surrounding villages and Kuala Kangsar.
By Train : The train station is 1km west of Taiping town. It is on the Singapore-Butterworth line.
Taiping tourist Information center (605)805 3245; Menara Jam, 355 Jln Kota; 8.30am -5.30pm Mon-Fri
Teluk Intan Once known as Teluk Anson, after the colonial planner who developed it. A place of interest in this town is the pagoda-style leaning clock tower. It was built by a local Chinese in 1885 to house the town’s water tank. It is not opened to the public. Apart from that, it is a lazy town with a few fine colonial buildings and old Chinese shophouses. The District Courthouse, built as a church during the 1890s, is no longer in use. But despite modern extensions, its original facade is retained. Another interesting landmark is the Sri Thandayuthapani Temple (1899), founded by the Chettiar community. The first Chinese settlers were Penang Hokkiens who built the Hock Soon Keong temple in 1883. The roof ridge with beautifully decorated upturned eaves is characteristically Hokkien. Next is the Church of Saint Anthony (1894), a three-storey porte cochere tower topped with an elegant steeple. The simple cross plan of the church can be easily seen. The Teluk Intan Boatyards are located 1km from the town. The people of the coastal villages of Perak have for centuries been designers and makers of wooden boats, and the boatyards that dot this area continue to make the boats for the locals. The choice of wood used is chengal because of its toughness and durability. It is a unique wood that is found only in Malaysia. The central bus station is south of the clock tower.
Places to stay
Hotel Anson (605) 622 6166, Jln Sekolah. RM50/60
Kok Min Hotel (605) 622 1529 Budget Option.
Kum Ah Hotel (605) 622 1407.
There are direct buses from Ipoh and KL’s Puduraya station or Duta station (During festive season) to Teluk Intan.
Pasir Salak Pasir Salak is the site of the 1875 murder of James WW Birch, the first British Resident of Perak. This quaint riverside village contains the Kompleks Sejarah Pasir Salak. It consists of many old and restored traditional Malay houses such as the 2 rumah kutai filled with local and historical artifacts. Another house, over 120 years old describes the killing of unfortunate Mr. James. Another displays traditional Malay wedding customs and musical instruments. The largest house depicts Perak from prehistoric times to independence and more stories on Mr. James. A memorial marks the exact spot of the assassination. His killers, Maharaja Lela, a local chief and Dato Sagar, who were arrested and hanged, have been enshrined as national heroes, and the memorial dedicated to them in the shape of a traditional sundang.(broad sword). The grave of Sipuntum, the assassin, is also found here. (605) 631 1462. Admission RM2; 10am-5pm, Mon –Thurs, 10am-noon, 2.45pm-5pm Friday. Sat & Sun 10am-6pm.
Matang mangrove forest & Kuala Gula Bird Sanctuary For lovers of nature, mangrove forest is a unique river and seaside forest ecosystem that should not be missed. The Matang Mangrove Forest Reserve in Perak has been gazetted as a Permanent Forest Reserve in 1906, and since 1908, the Perak Forestry Department has intensively managed it. It contains rich diversity of wildlife and habitats that thrive throughout the mangrove and mudflat ecosystems. It is the largest single tract of mangrove in Malaysia. The Kuala Gula Bird Sanctuary is located north of the Mangrove forest reserve. During the migration season between August and April every year, more than 200,000 migratory birds representing some 50 species stop over here. You will also get a chance to spot the highly endangered milky stork here. There is a visitor centre with detailed educational programmes and displays of photos which highlight the local flora and fauna and the importance of preserving them.
From Kuala Lumpur, get onto the North South Highway, heading North. Once you reach Perak state, take the Taiping Utara exit and head towards Simpang Empat. From Taiping, you can get to Kuala Gula via Simpang Empat or Selinsing. From the North, take the Parit Buntar exit through Kuala Kurau.
Homestays in Perak
Stay in a traditional home instead of a hotel and get a feel of the kampung(village life). Please see homestay link.
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