By Tan Mei Kuan and Ili Aqilah Yus Amirul
Discover and rediscover Teluk Intan as we unveil the attractions ranging from the newest, the hidden as well as the go-to spots that you (photography aficionado, food enthusiast, nature lover, history buff or adventure seeker) must visit.
The town of Teluk Intan is located on the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia (4°N and 101°E) at the south of Perak where the Perak River meets the Bidor River.
Originally called Teluk Mak Intan after a merchant from Sumatra who founded the town in the 19th century, it was later changed to Teluk Anson after General Archibald Anson who was the English governor. Effective January 1982, it was called Teluk Intan.
Let the journey begin!
Teluk Intan – On and Off the Tourist Trail
Teluk Intan River Cruise
Chan Shi Lin (fondly known as Ah Loon), who is all about preserving the history and ecosystem of his hometown, started the first ever river cruise in Teluk Intan as his part-time hobby.
“When I first started from scratch, I ate instant noodles every day in order to afford more boats for the river cruise. A lot of tourists and even locals don’t realise that Teluk Intan has more than just good food and a leaning clock tower. Thus I founded this river cruise,” Ah Loon shared.
A member and national coach (for boating) of Blue Sky Rescue who volunteers in disaster relief, rescue and humanitarian assistance, he is a mechanic by profession, fixing 60 per cent of the boat engines in Teluk Intan for over 20 years.
Well-versed yet humble, Ah Loon has the detailed explanations by heart as the river cruise swings by Blue Sky Island, shipyards, historic marine structures, fish farms and stilt houses. In the late evening, one would be able to see trees full of fireflies, stunning sunsets and over 35,000 birds of various species returning to their nests in flocks in a V-formation. For instance, the trees will be alive with egrets, dotting it till it resembles large cotton trees.
“If we are lucky, we can spot the water hyacinth flower (pic) which blooms only once in its lifetime,” the amiable Ah Loon added.
Each tour lasts for three hours and 40 minutes from 5pm, it is priced at RM40 (for adults) and RM20 (kids) with a minimum of eight people.
For booking, contact Ah Loon at 012 506 6576 or Ally at 012 469 1801.
Sin Joo Heong Confectionery
“My father, the late Lee Cheng Hoon, founded the tiger head brand biscuits. Our signature since 1962 is the sesame heong peah (crunchy sesame crust biscuit with maltose fillings) and we could produce up to 10,000 pieces in a day. We export to Singapore too,” Lee Joo Heng, owner of Sin Joo Heong Confectionery told Ipoh Echo.
How does one define a quality heong peah? “You have to use good quality maltose or molasses and sesame. Our dough has more layers yet each layer is separated thus you can feel the difference. Plus, we use more onion in the oil to make it more fragrant,” Lee explained.
Other best selling products include tau sa biscuit (mung bean pastry), durian heong peah, pineapple tart, soft peanut candy, yam mooncake and kuih kapit (wafer thin cookies) for Chinese New Year.
“It’s preservative free, colouring free and halal,” Lee added.
Sin Joo Heong Confectionery is located at 830-D, Jalan Mak Intan, 36000 Teluk Intan, and opens from 8am to 7pm every day. For more details, call 05 622 2472.
Anson Bali Cafe
While there are many new hotels and restaurants scattered around Teluk Intan, Anson Bali Living caught our attention, thanks to its Bali-like exterior. There too nestled its own café called the Anson Bali Café.
According to Lim Seok Bee, the person in charge of the hotel, the accommodation just had its opening during Chinese New Year. With its unique interior and exterior, Anson Bali Living is a one-of-a-kind hotel in Teluk Intan.
The cafe is located next to their lobby and can house over 100 guests (indoor and outdoor). Their menu ranges from western, fusion and even local favourites to cater to the needs of every hungry foodie.
Among their must try dishes are Grilled Chicken Chop at RM19.90 with black pepper or mushroom sauce and served with a side of steamed vegetables and tater tots. According to the person in charge of the cafe, Kenny Ng, the pasta recipes are created by him and the one that received the warmest feedback is his Truffle White Sauce Seafood Pasta that comes with a generous amount of prawns, squid and mussels (RM29.90). He also recommends his Aglio Olio (RM29.90).
“At the cake counter, we have over 21 different types of cakes on display. In total we have about 30 kinds of cakes. We also have an assortment of special drinks such as Super Berries Sparkler, Blue Ocean Sparkler, Pomegranate Fizz and Green Apple Fizz priced at RM10.90 per glass,” said Kenny.
Do try the special char-grilled Striploin with Ravifruit (frozen puree) Glaze priced at RM29.90 that comes with a side of vegetables and tater tots or the delicious grilled BBQ Chicken Burger at RM22.90 that is served with sunny side eggs and French fries.
The pork-free cafe also hosts parties and accepts advanced bookings. Anson Bali Cafe opens everyday from 8am to midnight. For cafe and hotel bookings, readers can Whatsapp 011 2629 1861 or call 05 620 5291 or visit their facebook page at www.facebook.com/AnsonBaliLiving.
Location: 1861, Jalan Manggis, 36000 Teluk Intan.
Hawaii (No. 1 Lo Han Kuo)
“My late father, Kim Yong, was selling the lo han kuo (natural herbal drink made of monk fruit) on the three-wheeler cycle along this street, Jalan Sekolah 37 years ago,” Janet Tang, owner of Hawaii recalled.
“Our lo han kuo is cooked for up to 12 hours and made of only natural ingredients without any preservative,” she highlighted.
“I opened this physical store seven years ago and expanded the menu. I named the place ‘Hawaii’ because coincidentally I created a very colourful shaved ice dessert made of fruits at the time. Other than lo han kuo, the signatures here are the ice kacang (shaved ice dessert), asam laksa (spicy and sour fish noodle) and mee rebus (noodle soup dish),” the amiable Janet elaborated.
There are 28 types of shaved ice desserts to choose from priced at either RM3.50 or RM4.20.
Located along 1063 Jalan Sekolah, it opens from 11.30am till 6.30pm. For enquiry, call 019 573 2023.
East Sea Dragon King Temple
This new, grand temple which pays tribute to the East Sea Dragon King is a burst of rainbow colours that leap out facing the river.
It is usually packed during the 15th night of the seventh month. Laced with red lanterns, the architecture of the single storey building is entwined with dragons from the roof ridge, pillar to its hall.
It opens from 8.30am till 6.30pm for weekends and 5.30pm for weekdays. Devotees and visitors are required to remove their shoes before entrance. There is ample parking space and a seafood restaurant just at the river bank.
Located at Lot 244, Imperia Central Business Park, Jalan Maharaja Lela, 36000 Teluk Intan, interested readers can call 05 621 0320 or visit the website: http://nagatunghai.gbs2u.com.
Teluk Intan’s iconic monument has got to be the Leaning Tower that was built in 1885 by contractor Leong Choon Chong. The pagoda-shaped building was also used as a water tank supply to the town and reserve during drought and fire.
What’s special about the tower is that although it may look like it is eight storeys but it is actually only three storeys high. Made out of brick and wood, the leaning historical building now serves as a clock tower where the clock was purchased all the way from London and designed by J.W. Benson-Ludgathy back in 1894.
Similar to its distant sibling, the Leaning Tower of Teluk Intan also slants leftward much like the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Standing at 25.5m tall, visitors can come inside the tower where there is a picture gallery showcasing the tower and its surrounding over the years. At night, colourful mesmerizing lights will gleam from the tower every day.
Visitors can get souvenirs such as the miniatures of tower, decorative magnets, notebooks, mugs, keychains and more.
Visitors can visit the tower for free everyday from 8am to 5pm for weekdays and 9am till 6am for weekends and public holidays.
Located right in front of the Leaning Tower, sits a famous food court called Medan Selera Menara Condong (Menara Condong Food Court), commonly known as the ‘Bumbung Biru’ (blue roof). A variety of food is offered throughout the day from morning till night. Visitors will be spoiled with options from cheap mixed rice, traditional cakes, noodles and western food. Upon our visit during the lunch hour, the area was packed with locals enjoying their meals despite the scorching hot weather.
We managed to try the signature mee kondo (noodles drenched with soy-sauce) good at RM3 and the butter-prawn rice at RM8 that comes with eight butter-fried prawns, rice and a bowl of soup. Visitors can also try the spring rolls, Gado-Gado, satay and mee rebus (noodles served in thick spicy gravy with hard boiled eggs, noodles and beansprouts). There are over 20 stalls and they open almost every day.
The food court is located at Jalan Pasar, Pekan Teluk Intan, 36000 Teluk Intan.
Gulam Rasul Nasi Kandar
While there are many mamak (Indian-Muslim) eateries in Teluk Intan, one can’t simply complete the tour in Teluk Intan without paying a visit to Gulam Rasul. One of the earliest established mamak restaurants, this shop is said to have the one of the best nasi kandar (mixed rice with curry) in town.
Get ready to be spoilt with a variety of choices from rice, bread, noodles, seafood, meat, vegetables and more. Among their must-try signature dishes is the ayam rempah (spiced fried chicken) that goes well with their biryani rice or plain white rice with several side dishes such as the crunchy pappadam (spiced crackers), mixed curry gravy; from chicken curry to fish curry to lamb curry and more.
While nasi kandar and fried assortments are available throughout the day, their selection of roti is only available in the morning till lunch hour and 3pm onwards.
There are a few Gulam Rasul outlets in Teluk Intan and they are open every day, all day long!
Location of the main branch: 55 Jalan Changkat Jong, 36000 Teluk Intan.