Perak, the land of grace, beckons visitors with picturesque islands and beaches, magnificent cave temples, exciting eco-adventures and diverse cultures. Steeped in history, this once tin-rich state is home to various races, evident in its fascinating cultural heritage.
Surrounded by rugged limestone outcrops and dotted by grand heritage buildings is bustling city of Ipoh, which is also famous for its gastronomic delights. Travelers to the state can select their accommodation from among various well-appointed hotels, five-star resorts and budget inns located in the city, towns and islands.
Getting to Perak
Ipoh’s Sultan Azlan Shah Airport is accessible via air from Medan. There are taxi and bus services from the airport to Ipoh as well as other major towns in the state. Several bus companies operate services from the north and south of the country to Ipoh while various taxis ply between Ipoh and major towns in the peninsula. As regular rail services are available, travelers can also take north-bound trains as they stop at major towns in Perak.
Places of Interest in Perak
This popular island offers visitors the unique opportunity to live near fisher folk and observe their lifestyle, savor seafood delicacies, or simply enjoy the sun, sea and sand at numerous beaches along its beautiful coastlines. Located nearby is the exclusive Pangkor Laut Island, noted for its world-renowned resort.
Visitors can enjoy the refreshing cool air and breathtaking view of the West Coast of Peninsular Malaysia at the summit (1035m). A former tea plantation, Bukit Larut, also affectionately known as Maxwell Hill by locals, is the country’s oldest hill resort.
Built as the royal residence in 1926, it was originally named Istana Kenangan. A unique wooden building constructed without the use of nails, the museum showcases Perak’s royal regalia as well as pictures and history of the royal family.
Pasir Salak Historical Complex
Within the complex are memorials erected in honor of Malay warriors such as Dato’ Maharaja Lela, Dato’ Sagor and Si Puntum. Other interesting sights include Mr. Birch’s memorial monument, the burial site of Si Puntum, Dato’ Maharaja Lela’s fortress and Lela Tentaka cannons used against the British army.
In 1915, William Kellie Smith, an English rubber planter commissioned the construction of this mansion which was never completed. It is believed that this mysterious mansion has hidden rooms and a secret tunnel.
Ipoh Railway Station and City Hall
The Ipoh Railway Station was completed in 1917 and features a mixture of Moorish and Victorian architecture. It has one of the best station hotels in the country known as the Majestic Hotel. Just across the station is the Dewan Bandaraya or City Hall, a huge white neo-classical building.
Kuala Kangsar’s crowning glory, the mosque was constructed at the turn of the country and features Islamic architecture in its magnificent domes and minarets.
Gallery Sultan Azlan Shah
It was formerly known as Istana Hulu which served as the state’s first concrete palace when it was first built in 1898. It mainly features a collection of gifts and awards presented to the ruler of Perak, Sultan Azlan Shah. A separate wing displays the Sultan’s vehicles, including those which formed the royal motorcade when His Highness reigned as the King of Malaysia.
Teluk Intan Leaning Clock Tower
The town of Teluk Intan is mainly noted for its unusual leaning clock tower. This pagoda-like structure has a leftward slant and stands at 25.5m. It was built in 1885 and was originally used as a covered water tank.
Covering a vast area of 117,500ha, the Royal Belum state park ranks second after Taman Negara. A wildlife haven, it possesses an immerse wealth of flora and fauna which includes large mammals such as elephants, rhinoceros, tapir and tigers.
Taiping Lake Gardens and Taiping Zoo
Taiping Lake Gardens is the oldest and among the most beautiful in the country. The large lake, lush greenery and diverse flowering plants are its major attractions. Located within the area is the Taiping Zoo which houses local and exotic wildlife species in excellent surroundings.
Kuala Gula Bird Sanctuary
The sanctuary is home to over 160 species of birds, including the rare Milky Stork and several types of migratory birds as well as a good variety of land and sea mammals.
These ancient caves stretch over a kilometer from the south of Sungai Siput to Kuala Dipang and comprise of five domes with ceilings that resemble coconut shells with various formations of stalactites and stalagmites.
Sungai Klah Hot Spring
Relax and rejuvenate at the family baths as well as swimming and therapeutic pools which are reputed to have healing properties. Also available here are a garden, pebbled reflexology path and water reflexology courses.
Come experience rural life in charming agricultural villages. Stay with the locals, take part in their daily activities and explore the scenic countryside. Homestay are available at villages in Bagan Datoh and Bukit Gantang.
Perak Tong Cave Temple and Sam Poh Tong Cave Temple
The Perak Tong Temple within one of the caves houses grottoes with statues and paintings of Buddha set into nooks as well as a 12.8 meter-high sitting Buddha. A passage leads to the cave’s 385 steps and opens onto a ledge which gives a view of the countryside. Another famous cave temple is the Sam Poh Tong Temple in Gunung Rapat which features various statues of Buddha set among natural stalactites and stalagmites.
Lost World of Tambun
This exciting water theme park features a wave pool, natural hot spring, children’s area as well as tube slides and speed coasters. Visitors can also take the opportunity to see the theme park’s tigers in action at the Tiger Valley.
Bukit Merah Laketown Resort
Within this fun-filled resort are a unique Orang Utan Island cum sanctuary, hotel, water theme park, an eco-park as well as water sports and entertainment facilities.
Shopping, Dining and Entertainment
Perak is well known for a local pottery known as labu sayong, gold embroidery, pandanus mats and batik. They are available at roadside stalls, shopping complexes, night markets and handicraft centers. The state offers both modern as well as traditional entertainment such as cultural performance. For those with an adventurous palate, mouth-watering Chinese, Malay and Indian fare can be sampled at various local eating spots while western food outlets are located in the city and towns. Another must-try is the Pomelo, a large juicy citrus fruit synonymous with the state of Perak.
Location, Driving Direction and Map for Getting Around Perak: