Taiping is the second largest town in Perak after Ipoh. It used to be the state capital of Perak before Ipoh was given the honour.
Unknown to many, Taiping is a town of many firsts. It’s home to the first railway line, first museum, first newspapers in English, Malay and Tamil and, of course, the first zoo in Malaysia.
Although many would regard it as a quiet town, it’s not lacking in attractions that would leave the visitor with a memorable holiday.
Lonely Planet has recognised Taiping as one of Malaysia’s most well-preserved colonial towns. That doesn’t mean its attractions are limited to old world charms. Taiping is much more than that as you shall soon see.
Here then are the top attractions worth checking out on your next visit to Taiping.
Formerly known as Maxwell Hill and named after Sir William Edward Maxwell, the then British Assistant Resident of Perak, Bukit Larut is a favourite getaway among locals and foreigners despite the popularity of other high-profile hill resorts like Cameron Highlands and Genting Highlands.
Boasting a rainfall of more than 500cm a year, it’s blessed with luxuriant jungle greenery featuring the rare huge fishtail palm, tulips and the largest golden-blazed sunflowers you would have ever sighted.
Bukit Merah Orang Utan Island
Many would remember the orang utan, Wira, as the official mascot of Visit Malaysia Year 1990.
Orang utans are gentle and intelligent creatures to be found only in Malaysia and Indonesia
If you haven’t had the opportunity to witness the ‘people of the jungle’ in close quarters, the best opportunity to do so would be at the Bukit Merah Orang Utan Island which is a 20-minute boat ride away from the Bukit Merah Laketown Resort jetty.
Established in 2000 it’s the first ex-situ orang utan conservation facility in Malaysia with the first batch of the primates brought in from Borneo.
The island currently houses 24 orang utans with 16 born on the island.
The Perak Museum is the oldest Museum in Malaysia, built in 1883 in a fine British Art Deco architectural style.
It houses 5,074 cultural collections, 523 nature collections and 2,877 miscellaneous collections. Some are rare items of more than a hundred years old like the animal species benturong and pulasan.
If you’re keen to explore the history of Perak, the Perak Museum would be the ideal place to start. Located just 3 kilometres away from the town centre, it stands opposite the Taiping Jail and is close by the Taiping Lake Gardens.
Kuala Sepatang Mangrove River Cruise
Kuala Sepetang was formerly known as Port Weld, a fishing village well-known for its fresh seafood. It is also famous for its mangrove reserves along which visitors enjoy boat rides.
On the river cruise you have the opportunity to catch sight of the Chinese white dolphin popularly known as dugong which is fond of swimming close to the river mouths.
On a night river cruise trip, you get to see fireflies lighting up the surrounding trees with their mesmerising glow.
Matang Mangrove Eco Education Centre
If you’re into eco adventure, check out this gazetted mangrove forest which stretches right up to Seberang Perai. It’s internationally recognised as the best managed mangrove forest in the world.
Grab the opportunity to watch a documentary at the Eco Education Centre to gain a better appreciation of mangroves.
Apart from facilities available for campers, there’s a canteen and a convenience store. For those wishing to stay longer, accommodation is available.
Taiping Zoo and Night Safari
A unique thing about Taiping Zoo is that it’s located in a natural setting amidst the Lake Gardens.
Occupying an area of 34 acres, it houses over 180 animal species ranging from tigers, lions, elephants and even orang utans, to name a few. Visitors get to feed the giraffe, kangaroo and interact with the monkeys.
You should definitely not miss the night safari experience which allows you to view animals in a simulated moonlight setting.
Kg Dew Fireflies River Tour
Witness one of the most exciting firefly colonies you’ll ever see anywhere. Fireflies congregating around the nearby trees give them a lighted Christmas tree effect.
This is definitely a sight to behold on your river tour. The best time to experience the firefly ‘performance’ is after dark, from 7.00pm up to 11.00 pm.
Your Taiping Holiday
Now that you’ve learnt of the top attractions in Taiping, take the next step and start planning your holiday.
To simplify your planning process and save time and hassle, check out our exciting travel packages which cover the attractions mentioned above.
Have a wonderful Taiping holiday!