Mention Perak and surely images of rustic kampong charms along with beautiful mountain valleys will come to mind. But did you know, beyond that, Perak has lots more to offer? Perak has it all: rich history, a host of attractions and most definitely an extensive list of local delicacies to satisfy your taste palate. Formally known as Perak Darul Ridzuan, this state located in the west coast of West Malaysia consists of three prominent towns, namely Ipoh, Taiping and Kuala Kangsar. Also not forgetting Pulau Pangkor; this laid back island is renowned for its sandy beaches.
The existence of this state however goes back to as early as the Paleolithic age. Research and studies, including discoveries of remnants and even human bones, proved that it was already occupied as early as the Stone Age. It is widely known that the name ‘Perak’ (meaning ‘silver’ in Malay) was derived from the shiny silver tin-ore deposits, which was in abundance in the state.
And it was because of the richness in this particular resource that caused the state to be of interest by several parties in the past. Throughout its history, the Dutch, British and Japanese have occupied Perak, before it returned to the British until the independence of Malaya on 31 August 1957.However, tin ore was not the only produce – rubber was introduced and nurtured by the English, creating a new business industry and economy.
Perak has been a thriving cottage industry, particularly in Kuala Kangsar, with traditional crafts being their main production. The most popular souvenir item is the ‘labu sayong’, which is a unique gourd-shaped flask made from clay. Other worth of sighting handcrafts includes batik, ‘tekat’ (golden-thread embroidery) and bamboo carvings. Ipoh, on the other hand, is known as the capital of rare Chinese cuisine. Among the well-known dishes this town is famous for are Sar Hor Fun, Hor Hee, Dim Sum and Hainanese Chicken Rice.
One of the main attractions in Taiping has to be the Zoo Taiping and Night Safari; the former is a significant feature in Perak simply because it has been the very first zoo to be held in the country. The first of its kind in Malaysia, the Night Safari uses a kind of special lighting to mimic the moonlight for a rarely unique experience. Pulau Pangkor is gifted with some of the exciting sights worthy of your visits such as the scenic fishing villages, beautiful beaches, sparkling turquoise waters and several historical memorials such as the Dutch Fort and Batu Bersurat (ancient inscribed stone).
LOST WORLD OF TAMBUN is a theme park that bears the promise of memorable time for the entire family! It offers fun water activities that will keep the kids busy, while adults can venture outdoors, and also enjoy a spa treatment and dip in the mineral hot springs thereafter at the Lost World Hot Springs & Spa. Also conveniently located within the venue, is the Lost World Hotel.
KELLIE’S CASTLE is one noticeable fixture of Perak that should have not missed if you are visiting Perak. It has an interesting story to tell behind it – built by William Kellie Smith in 1915, construction of this grand mansion was stopped in 1926 due to the untimely death of Smith while he is on a trip to Portugal. It’s majestic stature aside, what manage to make it more appealing are the rumors that the spirit of the late William Kellie Smith still remains within those walls!
BUKIT MERAH LAKETOWN RESORT offers a handful of attractions, including a waterpark and eco-park all within one facility. Families will surely enjoy the exciting rides provided there, and the rare chance to get up close with the animals. Don’t miss the Orang Utan Island where, together with a guide, you will be able to interact and befriend with the gentle orang utans, most of them born and raised within this facility.
TANJUNG TUALANG TIN DREDGE SHIP was once just an old operational tin dredge, lifting up bucket loads of tin bearing soil and processing it to extract tin. Located in Jalan Tanjung Tualang, Batu Gajah, it has been converted to museum later, educating visitors with the many leftovers and images that are left behind when the tin industry have finally been folded.