Malaysia / Perak

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Malaysia / Perak / The State

Map of Perak State
Photo: Map of Perak

Perak, the Land of Grace, covers an area of 21,000 squares kilometres and has a population of about two million.

The state is divided into nine districts and its major towns include Ipoh, Kuala Kangsar, Taiping, Teluk Intan and Lumut.

Kuala Kangsar is the royal town of Perak, while Ipoh is the administrative centre and state capital.

For centuries, Perak was renowned for its rich tin deposits. It is believed that the state derived its name, which means silver in Malay, from the silvery tin ore.

The discovery of tin by Long Jaafar brought about an influx of immigrants to Perak. It has developed into a harmonious multi-racial society characterised by a diversity in language, culture and heritage.

Perak has a proud track record making the best every circumstances. Despite the tin slump in 1983, it has succeeded in restructuring its economic development, resulting in continuous industrial growth. A sound infrastructure and facilities of international standard make it an ideal environment for business enterprise.

Originally an obscure kampung with dilapidated buildings, Ipoh, the town that tin built, has become one of the largest cities in Malaysia. Poised to become a focal point of industry, business, investment, education and social activities, Ipoh, the capital city reflects the overall progress and development that the state is experiencing.

There are many modern shopping centres and supermarkets in Perak especially in Ipoh and the major towns. Other places where you can pick up good bargains are at the pasar malam or night markets. These are street bazaars that stock everything from local handicrafts to folk medicine, from farm-fresh product to casual wear.

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Malaysia / Perak Museum, Taiping

Perak Museum, Taiping
Photo: Perak Museum, Taiping

Built in 1883, the Perak Museum is the oldest museum in the country. It houses an impressive collection of ancient weapons, aboriginal implements, ornaments and archaeological treasures. Also on display are artifacts from Perak's rich historical culture and heritage. An excellent place to begin an in-depth study of the state and its past achievements.

Visiting hours: 9.30 am to 5.00 pm.

Admission --- Free

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Malaysia / Perak / Taiping Lake Gardens

Taiping Lake Gardens</a>
Photo: Taiping Lake Gardens

This 62-hectares parks is one of the biggest and most beautiful parks in the country. It offers lush greenery, a beautiful lake abounding with freshwater fish, a gazebo and a colourful profusion of flowers.

The Taiping Zoo probably the oldest zoo in the country, is another attraction located within the Gardens.

Visiting hours: 10.00 am to 6.00 pm daily.

Admission is free

Admission to the other facilities available at the Gardens include a 9-hole golf course, fishing and aquabiking in the lake area.

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Malaysia/ Perak / Bukit Larut (Maxwell Hill)

Bukit Larut

Malaysia's oldest hill resort is located on Bukit Larut (formerly called Maxwell Hill), a mere 10-minute drive from Taiping. Situated at an altitude of 1034 metres, is accessible only by four-wheel drive vehicles. The road up twist and turns through tropical virgin jungle, and fresh green fragrance and cool air greeting you as you ascend.

At the summit you are treated to a spectacular view of the West Coast of the peninsula. Visitors can either stay at the Larut Resthouse or at the bungalows located at the Taiping, Tel: 05-886241. A Land Rover service at the foot of the hill is available at hourly intervals from 7.00 am to 6.00 pm daily. Fares are RM2.50 for adults and RM1.00 for children.

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Malaysia/ Perak / Ubudiah Mosque

Ubudiah Mosque
Photo: Inside the Ubudiah Mosque.

Located at Bukit Chandan, Kuala Kangsar, the Ubudiah Mosque is reputed to be one of the most beautiful mosques in the country and a symbol of pride and faith for all Muslims in Perak. The mosque's magnificent golden dome and minarets are testaments to the beauty of Islamic architecture.

The construction of the mosque began in the reign of Sultan Idris Murshidul Adzam Shah I, the 28th Sultan of Perak, but was interrupted a number of times. Once, when two elephants belonging to Sultan Idris and Raja Chulan ran over the imported Italian marble floor, and again during the first World War. The mosque was officially opened by Sultan Jalil Karaamatullah Shah in 1917.

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Malaysia/ Perak / Royal Museum

Royal Museum
Photo: The amazing architecture of the Royal Museum

Previously known as Istana Kenangan, Istana Tepas and Istana Lembah, the Perak Royal Museum is an amazing achievement in architecture. It was built without any architectural plans and without using a single nail. Situated near the Istana Iskandariah, the Sultan of Perak's official palace at Kuala Kangsar, the museum houses the Royal Regalia, photographs of the Royal Family, illustrations and artifacts of the past and present monarchy in Perak.

Open daily from 9.00 am to 6.00 pm

Admission is Free

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Malaysia / Perak Tong and Sam Poh Tong

A Chinese temple in Perak
Photo: A Chinese temple in Perak.

Within the huge limestone caves of Gunung Tasek 6 km to the north of Ipoh, nestles the Perak Tong temple. Built in 1962 by a Buddhist priest from China, the temple houses over 40 Buddha statues, the centre piece being a 12.8 metre high sitting Buddha. Beyond the main altar, a passage leads into the cave's interior. After a steep climb of 385 steps, the cave opens again to reveal a wonderful view of the surrounding countryside.

Another famous cave temple is the Sam Poh Tong temple, located in Gunung Rapat, 5 km south of Ipoh. The temple is an impressive work of art and faith, with various statues of Buddha among natural stalactites and stalagmites. There is also a pond where visitors can feed tortoises, (symbol of longevity) with stalks of vegetables and a wishing well for those seeking better fortunes. Outside the temple is a vegetarian restaurants.

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Malaysia/ Perak / Kellie's Castle

Kellie's Castle
Photo: The ruins of Kellie's Castle

About 30 minutes drive from Ipoh, near Batu Gajah, stands the ruins of Kellie's Castle. It belonged to William Kellie Smith, an English rubber tycoon during the late 19th century. The castle was never completed as Smith left for England in the midst of its construction, and never returned.

Shrouded in dark mystery, it is believed that Kellie's Castle has hidden rooms and a secret tunnel. The road which leads to the Castle follows the contours of the land in dizzying, maze-like fashion, adding to the mystery and romance of the place.

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Malaysia/ Perak / The Ipoh Railway Station

Ipoh Rai;way Station
Photo: The Ipoh Railway Station

The Ipoh Railway Stations bears close resemblance to its Kuala Lumpur counterpart and is affectionately known to locals at the Taj Mahal of Ipoh. An impressive landmark which combines Moorish and architecture with modern embellishments, it is surrounded by a beautiful floral garden which serves as a charming welcome for tourists.

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Malaysia/ Perak / Darul Ridzuan Museum

Darul Ridzuan Museum
Photo: The entrance to the Darul Ridzuan Museum.

Opened on 18th Aug 1992, the museum is located in Jalan Panglima, Bukit Gantang Wahab, Ipoh. The collections here include a history of Ipoh's expansion and development, the mining industry and forestry in the state of Perak. The museum building has its own remarkable history. It was built more than 100 years ago.

The building was used as the residence of Malay dignitaries in the Kinta District. When the British Administration took over the building, the British built several fortresses as war shelters around the building. One of them was opened to visitors.

The Museum Darul Ridzuan is open daily from 9am to 5pm except on Thursday when it is open for half a day and is closed on Sundays. Entrance is free.

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Malaysia/ Perak / Tambun Hot Spring

A 15-minute from Ipoh towards Tanjung Rambutan brings you the foot of a limestone hill where a rejuvenating experience awaits you - an invigorating hot bath from a natural spring. The bath is open daily from 3.00 pm to 12-30 midnight. The facilities include saunas and restrooms. Entrance fee is RM4.50.

Other hot spring in Perak are Sungkai, Pengkalan Hulu Kampung Ulu Slim in Slim River, Kampung Air Panas in Grik, and Manong in Kuala Kangsar.

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Malaysia/ Perak / Lata Iskandar Waterfalls

Lata Iskandar Waterfalls
Photo: The Lata Iskandar Waterfalls

The Lata Iskandar Waterfalls, on the way up to Cameron Highlands from Tapah, is an ideal picnic area and favourite stopover.

Its surrounding jungle is home to one of the largest variety of exotic insects and plant life in the world. Traditional earthenware pottery is crafted at Kampung Kerayung.

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Malaysia/ Perak / Pangkor Island

Perak Museum
Photo: Pangkor Island

The most popular island resort in Perak, Pangkor welcomes visitors with its serene, golden beaches crystalline blue waters and cool, refreshing breezes. Located about 90km south-west of Ipoh, It is largely inhabited by fisherfolk. They live in scattered fishing settlements along the coast especially on the eastern side, facing the town of Lumut and Teluk Batik, and their catch comprises mainly cuttle-fish and anchovies.

It takes 40 minutes by ferry from Lumut to Pangkor Island; the fare is RM3.00. The modern facilities make it an ideal gateway. A wide range of sun and sea activities are available: scuba diving, wind-surfing, fishing, snorkelling.