Category Archives: Tourism

Pengkalan Hulu

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Formerly named Kroh (or Keroh), Pengkalan Hulu, a small town located in Perak’s northern most district of Hulu Perak, is more popularly known as the gateway to Thailand’s paradise town, Betong.

Little is known about Pengkalan Hulu’s tourist attractions. Therefore, in this issue of Perak Tourism Newsletter, we will attempt to unravel places of interest, both known and unknown, found in this quaint, hilly provincial town, which is covered in thick fog in the morning and where the air is always fresh and invigorating.

Pengkalan Hulu 1

FOREWORD

Nolee Ashilin Radzi,  State Executive councillor for Tourism, Health and Culture

Nolee Ashilin Radzi,
State Executive councillor for Tourism, Health and Culture

Visit Malaysia Year 2014 is soon upon us in the blink of an eye. It will be launched with a bang in Kuala Lumpur during the first week of January.

Meanwhile, we in Perak have been very busy with promoting our state and working extra hard, especially these past two months, including distributing promotional materials such as buntings and CDs to hotels and travel agents, to assist in their promotional efforts.

Not only are we trying to entice domestic travellers, we are also ‘selling’ our tourism products to the international market. In November, we participated in Travel Malaysia Exposition 2013 in Singapore and World Travel Mart 2013 in London.

In Singapore, we also took the opportunity to hold a corporate presentation. It was a platform for buyers and sellers to meet. Over 40 travel agents from Singapore and six product owners from Perak participated in this event.

While in London, we had our own booth at the Malaysia Pavilion to promote Perak. Hosted by the Malaysian Ministry of Tourism and Culture, we were quite successful in introducing Perak to travel agents from Europe. They were particularly interested in the Royal Belum.

Also, it is with pleasure to announce that our mobile application, TravelPerak, is ready for downloading at Google Play and iTunes. Yes, it is available for both Android and iOS platforms! We look forward to your feedback on ways to improve it.

We have also revamped our online presence with a new website which is accessible at www.travelperak.com, and boosted our social media presence. Connect with us on Facebook (Perak Tourism), follow us on Twitter (@PerakTourism) or contact us at our email: perak_tourism@yahoo.com.

 

GETTING THERE

Driving from Ipoh, take the North-South Expressway, exiting from Kuala Kangsar. From there, get on the trunk road to Gerik and continue north to Pengkalan Hulu, following the sign boards by the left side of the road. This stretch is uphill and winding all the way, as Pengkalan Hulu is some 380m (1250 ft) above sea level. So drive carefully, especially when it is raining. About 190km from Ipoh, this road trip takes approximately 3 hours.

Pengkalan Hulu 2 

ACCOMONDATION

As said, Pengkalan Hulu is a small town, encompassing only 873.70 km² of land. Despite this, there are about ten motels, hotels, rest houses and chalets for visitors to choose from. Popular among tourists is Chalet Air Panas (Hot Springs Chalet), just 2km from Betong. VIP chalets range from RM85 per night for four persons to RM162 per night for one person. Budget-friendly accommodation is also available in the form of normal chalets and dormitories.

There are two hot spring pools here. Although some claimed the water is too murky, well, that is its natural state.

 

For further information, contact Chalet Air Panas at:

Tel: +604-4770579
Fax: +604-4778422
Email: chaletairpanas@gmail.com
Website: http://chaletairpanas.blogspot.com
Office hours: 8am – 9pm (Monday – Friday)
& 8am – 5pm (Saturday & Sunday)

GPS Coordinates: N 05° 43.423 E101° 00.888’

 

GUA GENDANG

Pengkalan Hulu 3

Gua Gendang (Cave of Drums) is Pengkalan Hulu’s most unique tourist attraction.

This limestone cave is located in Kampung Tasek, some 9km from Pengkalan Hulu town. Together with Gua Itik, a smaller adjacent cave, these caves make for serious jungle trekking and cave exploration activities for hardcore outdoor buffs.

Surrounded by lush tropical forest, Gua Gendang is believed to be used as a hideout by communist terrorists during the Malayan Emergency (1948 to 1960).

Those who brave the trail down to the cave, descending some 120 steps, will be rewarded with the best that Mother Nature has to offer.

Besides the opportunity to check out the formations of amazing rock textures, stalactites and stalagmites, the roaring water cascading into the cave from the seven nearby waterfalls simultaneously beating against the interior walls of the caves is like a wondrous drum performance, hence the name of the cave.     Turn off your torchlights, close your eyes and feel the beat of the drums. It is so ecstatic!

But that is certainly not all that Gua Gendang has to offer. Imagine exploring a cave that is half submerged in water, and at some points, you may even have to “commando crawl” through some of the narrower stretches inside the cave.

A good nature guide is required, and safety precautions have to be taken, because the final part of the cave requires one to dive underwater before emerging in Kedah, the neighbouring state!

An expedition to Gua Gendang, first by a four-wheel drive vehicle, then jungle trekking, followed by cave exploration, is definitely not for the faint-hearted. But for those who seek challenges and thrills of this nature, Gua Gendang is the ultimate destination in Pengkalan Hulu.

GPS Coordinates: N 05° 38.736’ E100° 57.793’

 

GUA KHALID

Pengkalan Hulu - Gua Khalid

This still unexplored Gua Khalid near the development of PPMS Tanah Hitam, is also known locally as Gua Komunis because, like Gua Gendang, it is believed that the communist terrorists used the cave as their hideout during the Malayan Emergency years, 1965 to be precise, based on what had been written on the wall.

This cave, located some 10 minutes’ drive off the main Gerik – Klian Intan Road, is accessible only by four-wheel drive vehicle. Another 10 minutes of trekking over a treacherous trail is required before one reaches the cave.

Although some adventurous locals like to come by for a picnic, the exploration of this cave is more suited for those who wish to research on the Emergency period. There are many Mandarin texts found written on the cave walls. But Mandarin-speaking locals have not been able to decipher the real messages behind the writings.

GPS Coordinates: N 05° 36.985’ E101° 01.283’

 

Oldest & largest open-cast tin mine

Rahman Hydraulic Tin

Visitors to Pengkalan Hulu should not pass up the opportunity to visit the oldest and largest active open-cast tin mine in Malaysia, operated by Rahman Hydraulic Tin Sdn Bhd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Malaysia Smelting Corporation Bhd.

The tin mine, situated in Klian Intan and encompassing a land area of 700 hectares, was started in 1907 by the British. It now has a staff strength of 700 people, producing 250 metric tons of tin ore per month.

More of an educational tour, visitors are first taken to the viewing deck for an overview of the mine pit. With Gunung Paku in the background, it is most scenic, especially in the morning before the thick mist clears.

Rahman Hydraulic Tin

Besides checking out the different stages of the mining process, the guided tour includes a stop at the plant nursery and fish pond, a major greening and land rehabilitation effort with assistance from the Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM).

Although the tin mine is open to visitors since 2006, only group visits are encouraged, with a minimum of 15 to a maximum of 30 persons per group. Prior permission has to be obtained from the management of Rahman Hydraulic Tin.

GPS Coordinates: N 05° 37.861’ E101° 01.818

 

Pong Dam & Hydro Power Station

Pong Dam & Hydro Power Station

Not much is known about both the Pong Dam and Pong Mini Hydro Power Station, except that they were built by the British circa 1924. The power station is some 40 minutes by 4WD from the Gerik – Klian Intan road, first passing through the Kg. Bukit Asu aboriginal village, before reaching Kg. Pong, a Siamese village. The dam is a further ten minutes’ drive away.

Today, both are properties of Rahman Hydraulic Tin. The dam was an ex-mining pond and it supplies water to the power station, which generates 11,000 kilowatts of power per day to the company’s tin mining operations in nearby Klian Intan.

GPS Coordinates (Pong Dam): N 05° 31.477’ E100° 59.195’

GPS Coordinates (Pong Hydro Power Station): N 05° 31.648’ E100° 59.709’

 

S.J.K. (C) Kung Li

S.J.K. (C) Kung Li

By itself, this Chinese primary school in Klian Intan is like any other school in a small provincial town. However, it is in the spotlight because it was built at the site that was used by the Japanese Imperial Army to teach Japanese language during the Japanese Occupation. Although the original wooden building had long been replaced by a concrete block, it is believed that the stairs with 288 steps that connect Jalan Besar to the school at the top of the hill are still the original ones constructed by the Japanese.

S.J.K. (C) Kung Li has a student enrolment of less than 40. It is open from 7am to 2pm from Mondays to Fridays only.

GPS Coordinates: N 05° 38.035’ E101° 01.219’

 

BOWLING

Bowling

Bowling is a popular indoor sport here. The 12-lane Pengkalan Hulu Superbowl charges a flat rate of RM3 per game. So, it is not surprising to see families and groups of friends converging at the arena every evening.

Opened since July 2011, the arena has just kicked off the Pengkalan Hulu Superbowl Cup, a challenge trophy with a cash prize of RM200 for the winning team. Weekly mini tournaments are also held, where cash prizes of RM150 are up for grabs.

Rental of bowling shoes is RM1, while socks are RM2 a pair.

Business hours:
2pm – 12 midnight (Monday – Thursday)
3pm – 12 midnight (Friday)
12 noon – 12 midnight (Saturday / Sunday / public holidays)
Add:  Dewan Sultan Idris Shah II, 33100 Pengkalan Hulu, Perak.
Tel: +604-4778200
GPS Coordinates: N 05° 42.170’ E100° 59.858’

 

GOLF

Pengkalan Hulu - Golf

The 9-hole Kelab Golf Pengkalan Hulu was opened to the public in the 1990s. It was formerly an airstrip used to resupply troops in the forward bases during the Emergency years.

Membership fee is RM2,000 for the public and RM1,500 for civil servants. Non-members are charged RM30 green fee a day. Current membership stands at some 100, from Perak, neighbouring states and even Thailand.

Said to be one of the more challenging golf links in Perak, the club hosts about four major golf tournaments annually. They are Piala OBJ Perak in May, Piala Presiden, Piala YDP and Club Championship in December.

The only golf club in the district of Hulu Perak, it has recently expanded to offer accommodation under the name of the Good View Motel. With 19 rooms, the motel can accommodate up to 40 guests at a time. Room rates start from RM70+ per night.

Add:  Jalan Pejabat, 33100 Pengkalan Hulu, Perak.
Tel: +604-4779663
Fax: +604-4778177
Golfing hours: 8am – 3.30pm
GPS Coordinates: N 05° 42.166’ E100° 59.704’

 

Dataran Gading/Tasek Takong

Pengkalan Hulu - Dataran Gading /Tasek Takong

A long time ago, when Pengkalan Hulu was ruled by Raja of Reman, a small pond was built to enable his elephants to bathe. The water was always murky, which was how the town got its name, Kroh.
This pond has since been developed into Tasek Takong, with a square at the entrance of the lake named Dataran Gading (Ivory Square).

This recreational park is well-utilised by the locals, especially in the evenings and on weekends. It is also the venue for the annual fishing and decorative raft competitions.

GPS Coordinates: N 05° 42.166’ E100° 59.704’

 

Eating out

Restoran Terapong

A popular eatery among the locals is a floating restaurant by the name of Restoran Terapong, just by the bank of Tasek Takong. Open from 4pm to 1am daily except Wednesdays, it serves a wide variety of local, Thai and western food. The dish to try here is the Thai-style seafood tom-yam.

Add: Jalan Padang, Taman Tasek Takong, 33100 Pengkalan Hulu.
Tel: +6019-5920732 (Razman)
GPS Coordinates: N 05° 42.174’ E100° 59.775’

Pengkalan Hulu - food

Restoran Terapung No. 2

Just a short distance away from Restoran Terapung, near Kelab Golf Pengkalan Hulu, is Restoran Terapung No. 2. Despite its name, these two restaurants are run by different owners.

Open from 10am to 2am daily except Saturdays, the signature dish here is “nasi goreng terapung” (floating fried rice).

Add: Jalan Tasek, 33100 Pengkalan Hulu.
Tel: +6019-5654539 (Akib)
GPS Coordinates: N 05° 42.044’ E100° 59.744’

 

Pengkalan Hulu map

Contact

Those interested to visit the attractions highlighted in Pengkalan Hulu, but do not fancy the hassle of arranging their own trip, may contact En. Haniff Faiz bin Misnan from the Pengkalan Hulu District Council (Tourism Unit). His mobile number: +6017-846 5346.

 

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Flying Fox Airways

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A new airline will take off from Sultan Azlan Shah Airport this November. Flying Fox Airways, the first airline to register in Perak, was launched in early October by State Exco for Tourism, Culture and Health, Nolee Ashilin Mohd Radzi. Also present at the launch was UPEN Director Dato’ Abu Bakar and Flying Fox CEO Danial Lee.

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Nolee with Lee at the launch of Flying Fox Airways

Nolee in her address stated that the introduction of this new airline would see an increase not just in tourism but international trade and investment. “I welcome the airline with open arms and for opening a route through Ipoh to Medan and Dhaka. We hope to explore an alternative route to China via Medan.”

Noting that there were three travel agents and an airport authority from Medan present at the launch, Nolee expressed the hope of “tapping more into the Medan market especially for medical tourism”.

Flying Fox Airways’ maiden flight will touch down at the Sultan Azlan Shah Airport on Friday November 8 and its destination will be to Medan. For November there will be two flights per week to Medan on Monday and Friday. Subsequently in December the flight frequency to Medan will be increased to four times per week and will also introduce an Ipoh-Medan-Dhaka, Bangladesh route.

According to CEO Danial Lee, Flying Fox Airways is a code sharing partnership with Sriwijaya Air of Indonesia, one of Indonesia’s leading airlines. The airline will use Boeing 737-400 aircraft with a seating capacity of 152 passengers. Flights into Medan will touchdown at the newly-opened Kuala Namu Airport.

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The airlines tagline ’Flying Just Got Easier’ reflects the convenience for Ipohites to use the Sultan Azlan Shah Airport, explaining the ease of going from home to the airport as compared to having to travel to KLIA.

Lee added, “The Medan flight is just the beginning. The long-term plan is to increase flight frequency to daily and to expand to international destinations like Thailand, China and Japan. We are currently working with tour agencies in Medan and Ipoh to develop packages and promotions for Ipoh to China, Thailand and Japan”.

During the launch, representatives from the private hospitals were present. Nicholas Chan, Senior Manager Business Development with Pantai Hospital acknowledged that there was plenty of potential to grow the scope of medical tourism. “We can’t expect to grow overnight but initiating a regular direct flight to Medan is the first step towards maturing the medical tourism market in Ipoh.”

JAG

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Hornbill Feeding at Pangkor

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Pangkor Island, Perak’s idyllic and laid-back holiday destination, has another interesting product to offer its visitors. This is hornbill feeding where every evening at 6.30pm at the Sunset View Chalets at Nipah Bay, its owner Nordin Bakar, 56, will feed the island’s population of hornbills.

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Nordin feeding Hornbills at his Sunset View Chalets, Nipah Bay, Pangkor at 630pm.

 

Nordin has been feeding these birds for the past nine years beginning at a time when they ‘dropped by’ usually in the evening. Then one day he experimented calling them by whistling.

The initial response was lukewarm but after seven months, and after trying out various types and tunes of whistling, he would attract 25 birds. Now the birds arrive in batches. On most days the birds would number 25 to 30 but can total to 60 on some days.

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Nordin preparing bananas while an Hornbill audience awaits

Initially, he fed the birds with bread, papaya and bananas but eventually he standardized it to bananas as the birds seemed to like that fruit best. From 2kg of bananas in the beginning it has increased to 4kg per day due to increasing numbers coming to feed. His monthly cost is RM300.

Nordin has now fixed his feeding time at 6.30pm daily as he noticed more would come at this time. His daily routine now includes peeling the bananas at 6pm and by 6.30pm, the birds would fly in and perch around the dining room to watch Nordin while more birds would wait on the cables above the chalets.

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Nordin summons the birds by whistling and more would fly in.

Just before 6.30pm Nordin would whistle loudly and from nowhere more birds would fly in. It is quite a spectacular show as Nordin throws the cut bananas one piece at a time into the air as the hornbills catch the fruit while in flight. He also feeds them by hand.

The gathered audience would then join in to feed the hornbills, some throwing the bananas above while others fed the birds from their hand. I tried feeding the hornbills and at one try, saw three Hornbills flying down for one banana.

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Eating off the hand, the birds never bit my finger.

Incredibly the birds always took the banana but never bit my fingers at any time. Interestingly every time they swooped down to feed it was the strength of their wings that created a sense of a strong breeze over my head.

Once the birds had their fill they could be seen playing as they fenced with their beaks. By 7pm the hornbills had dispersed and so too the audience. The event was a lovely experience which visitors should view when they visit Pangkor.

For information you may contact Nordin Bakar  at The Sunset View Chalets, Lot 4461, Teluk Nipah, Pangkor Island. Tel: 605-6855448/012-408  2297. Fax: 605‑685 5449. Email:  sunsetviewchalet@gmail.com.

JAG

Pangkor Island

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Located off the coast of Perak in the north-east of Peninsular Malaysia lies Pangkor Island (Pulau Pangkor), the largest of a small cluster of islands. Pangkor is a well-known tourist destination because of its beautiful beaches, said to be some of the best along the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia, with its still relatively well-preserved nature.

Pangkor Island

To enjoy Pangkor, it is suggested that tourists spend a minimum of 3 days and 2 nights on the island. Besides visiting the usual attractions what else can one do here? Find out in this issue of the Perak Tourism Newsletter.

 

 

Nolee Ashilin Radzi,  State Executive councillor for Tourism, Health and Culture

Nolee Ashilin Radzi,
State Executive councillor for Tourism, Health and Culture

Foreword

Perak have been given the honour to host the 33rd World Congress of Poets beginning October 21 to 25. To be held for the first time in Malaysia, the main venue is Syuen Hotel in Ipoh. However, poetry recitals will be held at other locations in the state during the 5-day event. They include Lumut and Pangkor Island, the featured tourist destination in this issue of Perak Tourism Newsletter.

This highly-regarded event on the international poetry calendar will be a convenient platform for poets from Malaysia and aboard to meet and network, and to exchange ideas. A total of 100 local poets will join in the occasion, alongside international poets from 30 countries such as Australia, China, Colombia, Ecuador, Hong Kong and Bosnia. With the theme “One World Through Poetry”, the reading will be in English, Malay, Mandarin and Spanish, making it a truly international event.

Participants will visit places of interest in Perak, such as Kuala Kangsar and Lenggong Valley. Therefore, it is a good opportunity for us to further promote Perak, both to Malaysians and our foreign guests. We ought to give these visitors a positive impression thus making their sojourn worthy and also memorable.

Last month, at the state-level Malaysia Day celebration in Tapah, I launched a web-based application which will bring greater accessibility to online references for visitors and tourists to Perak. Although some may consider it similar to the Discover Perak mobile application launched last year, this one, I am glad to note, is more user-friendly, and packed with even more information. It has also incorporated Google Maps, which I believe, will serve travellers well.

The application will be available on our web portal www.travelperak.com sometime this month.

Map of Pangkor

Getting there…

Vehicles are not allowed onto the island, except for motorcycles and bicycles. Visitors to Pangkor can take a ferry, which first stops at Sungai Pinang Kecil Jetty and then Pangkor Jetty, either from the Lumut Jetty or from the new Marina Island Pangkor Jetty.

The return fare is RM10 for passengers 12 years old and above, and RM5 for those between 4 to 11 years old. The first ferry of the day is at 7am, while the last is 8pm (Marina Island Pangkor Jetty) and 8.30pm (Lumut Jetty). The trip to Pangkor Island from Lumut Jetty is 30 minutes, with 45 minutes ferry intervals whereas from Marina Island Pangkor Jetty, it is only 10 minutes, but ferry intervals are an hour.

Pangkor Island - how to get there

Currently, Berjaya Air is the only airline operating in Pangkor, plying the Subang -Pangkor route. There are three flights per week viz: on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Each trip takes about 40 minutes.

GPS Coordinates:

Marina Island Pangkor Jetty: N 04° 12.759’ E100° 36.159’
Lumut Jetty: N 04° 14.205’ E100° 37.945’
Pangkor Jetty: N 04° 12.783’ E100° 34.520’

Once on the island, you will have multiple choices of ground transport. Bicycles, motorcycles, cars and vans are for rent. These are easily available as soon as you walk out from the jetty. As an example, rental for a day’s use of a motorcycle is RM30, while a round island trip for up to four people is RM70. Visitors are advised to only engage licensed transporters for safety reasons.

Getting around Pangkor Island

 

Island Hopping

One of the best ways to see and experience Pangkor Island is by chartering a speedboat, either from Teluk Nipah or Pasir Bogak. Usually, there is a minimum passenger count per trip, although some operators are flexible, especially during off-peak seasons. The cost is about RM20 per person.

A trip out may take up to three hours. Places that one could visit are Turtle Bay, Monkey Bay, Nipah Bay, Coral Bay, Mentagor Bay, Pulau Giam (Coral Island) and Pulau Raja.

While at sea look out for natural rock formations in the shape of a whale, crocodile, turtle, elephant, anaconda, and even a pair of human feet.

The trip can be customised to your requirement. So, whether you just want to laze the afternoon away at a secluded beach spot, organise a private beach party, or have a barbeque dinner under the stars, it is your call. Chart a plan with your speedboat operator.

Pangkor - Island hopping

 

Water Sport

As Pangkor is an island, it is not surprising that many tourists come here for its varied water sports. The beaches are packed on weekends and holidays as vacationers come for the motorised and non-motorised rides such as jet skiing, para-sailing and banana boating.

Those who charter a speed boat can go snorkelling off Pulau Giam (Coral Island), where they can see various species of fish and marine life. Snorkelling equipment are available for rental.

Water sports

 

Jungle Trekking

For nature-lovers, Sungai Pinang Permanent Forest Reserve is home to a few jungle-trekking trails and the “Teluk Nipah mini waterfall”. Bordering Raudhah Camp, a recreational and motivational camp site, the shortest trail would take at least two hours to complete.

Experienced trekkers may not find it extremely challenging here but as these trails are not distinctly marked, it is recommended that trekkers only start their activity from 9am onwards, and to inform the accommodation provider about it.

What to look out for is the Balau Putih (Shorea lumutensis), an endemic tree species said to be found only in the jungles of Pangkor, Lumut and Segari Melintang, though some claimed that it is also found in Johor and Terengganu.

GPS Coordinates (Raudhah Camp): N 04° 13.843’ E 100° 33.087’

Pangkor - Jungle trekking

 

On-shore fishing

“Tarik pukat” (loosely translated as “pulling in the net”) is a popular activity in Pangkor. It is on-shore fishing, if you will, where a boat crew takes a fishing net out to the sea and drops it into the water. The net is then dragged by a group of at least six people on the  beach, to try to catch some fish.

A free seafood dinner is definitely a great idea, but the objective of this activity is actually to foster cooperation and to build teamwork.

Those who would like to try on-shore fishing can have it arranged via the accommodation provider. It is done on the beaches of Pasir Bogak and Teluk Nipah, three times a day, depending on the tide.

Pangkor - On-shore fishing

 

Boat Building

Being an island, boats are a major mode of transportation. It is no surprise that boat building is an industry here. There are currently five boat builders on the island.

Those who are interested in maritime matters can make a visit to Hoo Huat Boat Builder in Sungai Pinang Kecil (SPK), about 3km from town, where they are at liberty to observe how a fisherman’s boat is built from scratch.

Owner Tan Ho An, who learnt the skills of boat-building from his grandfather, said that it takes some four to five months to complete the structure of a boat, and at a cost of some RM700,000. With a staff-strength of ten skilled men, they can complete about six boats in a year. Orders come from fishermen along the coast of Peninsular Malaysia, as far north as Kedah.

Hoo Huat Boat Builder is open from 9am to 6pm daily. It is closed on Sundays.

boat building

 

Hornbill-feeding

An exceptional experience that one can only find on Pangkor Island is hornbill-feeding. Hornbills, especially the Oriental Pied (Anthracoceros albirostris), is very common on this island.

However, in Teluk Nipah, just outside of Sunset View Chalet, the birds feed from the hand. It is something that one should try when visiting Pangkor, all the more when the bird food, usually cut bananas, are provided at no cost. Just remember to bring along your camera and snap these hungry birds in action! This has been a daily activity from 6.30pm onwards, since 2002.

GPS Coordinates: N 04° 13.913’ E100° 32.812’

hornbill feeding

 

Pangkor - local must-eatsLocal must-eats

Facing the Sungai Pinang Kecil Jetty is a nameless Hainanese coffee shop that serves the island’s best kopi-O and toasted bread with butter and kaya (egg-coconut jam). A third-generation proprietor, Tan now runs the business with his wife and son, serving from 6am to 5pm daily, only taking a day off a month. Tel: 012-451 8143.

Laksa mee is another must-try while in Pangkor. It is said that this laksa, which is different from the common laksa Penang or laksa Melaka, is only found in Pangkor.

While there are a few stalls that serve laksa mee, one of the more popular places is Kopitiam Pangkor at the Pangkor Jetty. It is open from 9am to 9pm daily, and closed on Wednesdays.  Tel: 05-685 1134.

 

Souvenir shopping

Just before leaving the island, it is almost compulsory for any tourists to get some souvenirs for friends and family back home. Dried seafood such as satay fish, salted fish, cuttlefish and blue-eyed anchovies are the best picks. Other items that you may want to get are those made from seashells and corals.

Pangkor - souvenir shopping

 

 

planning your tripPlanning your trip

It is essential to plan before you leave for your vacation. For local knowledge and assistance, you can contact officials of the Pangkor Hotel and Resort Operators Association viz: Noordin Bakar (President) at 012-408 2297 or Zamzuri Suid (Secretary) at 012-417 2227.

All information correct at time of printing.

 

Tourism Calendar

October 2013
October 21-25 – 33rd World Congress of Poets

For further information, contact: 05-208 3600 (ask for Tourism Perak).

Nolee Launches New Application

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Executive Councillor for Health, Tourism and Culture, Nolee Ashikin Dato’ Mohammed Radzi, launched a new web-based application at the state-level Malaysia Day celebration held in Tapah recently.

Nolee launches new application

The application, which is designed by K-Perak, is accessible on mobile phones and on Tourism Perak’s website. It will enhance the viability of online referrals for visitors to Perak.

Although a similar application was launched by Tourism Perak in 2012, vide its “Discover Perak” portal, the new application, in its current “Travel Perak” portal, is more user-friendly and also more informative. “The application incorporates the use of a Google Map to better serve travellers on the go,” said Nolee to Ipoh Echo.

Readers can access the new application on Tourism Perak’s website at www.travelperak.com.

RM

Birds Take Centre Stage

Birds Take Centre Stage

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Bird watching, a passion among nature lovers, took centre stage on the morning of Sunday, September 8 at Taiping Lake Gardens. Nature enthusiasts teamed up with Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) Perak Branch members to spot an array of delightful resident and migrant birds in their natural habitat at the popular park.

The participants, both children and adults, came armed with binoculars, cameras and telescopes, mounted on tripods, to catch sight of our “feathered friends” found in this highly frequented tourist landmark in Perak.

Birds Take Centre Stage

Birds Take Centre StageBirds like the Brown Shrike, Long-tailed Parakeet, Blue-tailed Bee-eater, Black-thigh Falconet, Purple Heron, Spotted Dove, White-throat Kingfisher, Yellow-vented Bulbul, Pink-necked Pigeon, Banded Woodpecker, Asian Glossy Starling, Night Heron, Brahminy Kite and Common Myna, among others, were seen congregating on trees and flying above and beside the lake’s greeneries. They also heard the calls of the Blue-eared Barbet but it was not easy to spot the bird.

Among the more than 20 participants was Lee Chu Teng, principal of SMK Methodist, Sungai Siput. Lee enjoys nature and had brought his family of three along. “It’s all in the family when it comes to interest in nature. It’s also a novel event for people to get together to watch birds and talk about nature, conservation and environmental protection” said Lee.

Another was Dr Tie Hieng Kai of Columbia Hospital, Taiping. Tie came with his wife and two young daughters. “My family can appreciate nature with this event while getting to exercise at the same time. It’s definitely better than spending time on tablets and computers,” he enthused.

According to event organiser, Lee Kim Chye of MNS Perak Branch, over 90 types of resident and migrant birds can be found in Taiping.  “We gave participants a counting sheet listing at least 41 of them which could be seen at the Lake Gardens,” said Lee to Ipoh Echo.

Nirmal Ariyapala

Leaning Tower of Teluk Intan

Two-Day Sojourn of Hilir Perak – Day 1

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Nolee Ashilin Radzi,  State Executive councillor for Tourism, Health and Culture

Nolee Ashilin Radzi,
State Executive councillor for Tourism, Health and Culture

Foreword

Now that the fasting month of Ramadan and the ensuing Hari Raya celebrations are over, and we are already almost into the final quarter of 2013, it’s time to continue with our work in preparing Perak for Visit Malaysia Year 2014.

Visit Perak Year 2012 was a good trial run. At least, we managed to identify our shortcomings and players in the tourism industry have more than ample time to rectify whatever that need to be taken care of. There is no excuse not be ready to welcome the first influx of tourists to our beautiful Silver State by 2014.

Still, our job is never done, as we continuously improve our tourism products, and look for different ways to present them to the world in a more interesting light.

One aspect to look into is the promotion of Perak on the internet, via various social media platforms such as blogs, Facebook, and Twitter. No doubt, we are not new to the online world but I feel that we have to be more proactive and engaging. We have identified the problems and will take immediate steps to solve them.

Meanwhile, a secretariat for tourism has recently been established, where exhibitions for the coming year will be scheduled. Once finalised, these exhibitions will be announced and promoted across our social media networks. We will ensure that information is kept up-to-date, so that tourists who plan to visit Perak can easily draw up their itinerary.

I wish to take this opportunity to congratulate Hj. Musa Dun, former Chief Executive Officer of Tourism Perak, for a job well done. He was at the helm for 13 months beginning in June 2012 until July 31, 2013. Musa undertook various projects to further promote Perak and the most notable were the Perak Arts Festival, Ipoh International Waiters’ Race, and Citra Perak Amanjaya street procession. I wish him the very best in his new appointment as Director of Perak Sports Council.

Tourism Perak new CEO, effective from August 1, is Aida Hazlyn binti Hassan. I look forward to work with her to further boost tourism in Perak.

 

Day 1: from Ipoh – Kg. Gajah – Teluk Intan – Bagan Datoh

After a hearty breakfast in Ipoh, drive west along the Ipoh – Lumut road until you reach Seri Iskandar. From there, drive a further 10km, and you will come to a crossroad. Turn left and drive southward along Pulau Tiga road for about 20km. You will be met with a gigantic durian icon on your right.

From there, turn right, and cross the Perak River bridge. Immediately after the bridge, turn left, and drive along the narrow village road for about 2km. The Pasir Salak Historical Complex is adjacent to Pasir Salak Resort on your left.

 

1. Pasir Salak the historical town

Pasir Salak, located in Kampung Gajah, is a historical town. History buffs would remember it as a place where the first British Resident in Perak, J.W.W. Birch, was assassinated by Dato Maharaja Lela and Si Puntum. That incident sparked off a war between British colonial rulers and the Malays, leading to Malaya’s independence in 1957.

DSC_0122      Attractions at the Complex, which now focuses on Malaysia’s development since Independence, include the J.W.W. Birch Monument, Si Puntum’s tomb, Dato Maharaja Lela’s fort and two Perak traditional houses (Rumah Kutai) that serve as galleries for local historical and cultural artefacts.

Visiting hours for Pasir Salak Historical Complex are from 9.30am to 5pm (Mon- Thurs, Sat, Sun and public holidays) and 9.30am-12.15pm and 2.45pm-5pm (Fri). A guide is available by request only from Monday to Friday.

The complex is closed three days a year: first and second day of Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Hari Raya Haji. Entrance fee is RM4 (adult) and RM2 (child from 7 to 12 years old). For further information, call 05-631 1462.

GPS Coordinates: N 04° 10.389’ E 100° 56.835’

 

2. Lunch in Teluk Intan

Using the bridge, cross the Perak River and return to the same junction, with the durian icon on your left. Turn right and drive towards Kampung Gajah town.

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DSC_0748      Travel for some 20km, you will come to a junction. Turn right and drive for 7km until you reach another junction. It is the Jalan Changkat Jong junction. Turn right again and drive a further 2km to arrive at Teluk Intan town.

While in Teluk Intan, a spicy lunch is the order of the day. The nasi kandar at Restoran M. Gulam Rasul comes highly recommended, but other popular food on the menu are nasi briyani, spicy fried chicken, curry fish head and beef rendang. There are a total of three M. Gulam Rasul restaurants; the one along Jalan Changkat Jong, 2km from Teluk Intan town, is the original and largest. They operate 24 hours a day, daily, except for the first two days of Hari Raya Aidilfitri. Contact Zul at 019-522 8103 for reservations.

GPS Coordinates: N 03° 59.593’ E 101° 3.298’

 

 

 

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DSCN9703For those who prefer a lighter meal, try Restoran Mastan Ghani for Teluk Intan’s special mee rebus and rojak. This restaurant also serves other delicious local food such as curry noodles, laksa, cendol and Air Batu Campur (ABC). Restoran Mastan Ghani, with its original restaurant opened in 1958 along Jalan Selat, has a total of five outlets, including Taman Ros, Taman Intanova and Simpang Empat. They are open daily from 8am to 6pm, except Fridays. Contact Mohd. Fazhil at 012-549 2264.

GPS Coordinates: N 04° 1.58’ E 101° 1.222’ (Jalan Selat, Teluk Intan)

 

3. While in Teluk Intan…

Located in the south of Perak, this town is the administrative centre of Hilir Perak District. It is also the largest town in southern Perak. Originally known as “Teluk Mak Intan”, named after Mak Intan, a female Mandailing trader, it was renamed Telok Anson and subsequently, Teluk Intan.

Leaning Tower of Teluk Intan

Leaning Tower of Teluk Intan

In Teluk Intan, it is essential to take a photograph beneath the famous Leaning Tower of Teluk Intan. Built in 1885 by contractor Leong Choon Chong, this pagoda-shaped tower, with a base measuring 13 metres in diameter and a top measuring 8.2 metres in diameter, was originally used to house a water tank that supplied water to the town.

Known as Malaysia’s version of Italy’s Leaning Tower of Pisa, which is also slanted leftward, this Leaning Tower of Teluk Intan leans towards the southwest because it was built on soft ground and due to the weight of the water in the huge tank.

4 Leaning Tower of Teluk Intan

The Leaning Tower of Teluk Intan is now a clock tower. Visitors are allowed to climb up to three floors, although it is an eight-storey tower. GPS Coordinates: N 04° 1.544’ E 101° 1.133’

 

 4. Eco-tourism: Coconut Paradise

Travelling continues to Rungkup, a sub-district south of Perak, by heading to Simpang Empat via the western coastal Batak Rabit Road.

Rungkup 2

The small township of Bagan Datoh in Rungkup, is located about 45km west of Teluk Intan. During your drive, you will be greeted by scenic coconut and oil palm plantations along both sides of the road. The town is not known as “Coconut Paradise” for nothing.

Two other main economic activities here, besides coconuts, are freshwater prawn fishing and palm oil.

Bagan Datoh, noted for its highest quality coconut products, especially virgin coconut oil, offers many eco-tourism packages for tourists looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

The village-style accommodation with local families, known as homestay, was officially opened by the then Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Abdul Razak in 2006. More than a hundred families are enrolled in this Bagan Datoh Homestay Programme. Their homes are scattered over 13 villages, making this the largest homestay in the country.

Rungkup 5

Visitors can experience for themselves true rural lifestyle in a typical Malay village, and partake in the daily lives of their hosts.

Homestay Bagan Datoh offers three packages from day tours to 3D/2N trips. Catering to groups of minimum 20 persons, a basic day package includes welcome drinks, a short briefing, village tour and a meal. A cultural show is organised for the 3D/2N package. For further information, contact Homestay Bagan Datoh  coordinator Mohd. Saed Hamzah at 019-549 9777.

GPS Coordinates: N 03° 55.092’ E 100° 45.564’

 

5. Beting Beras Basah

Anyone who takes the trouble to drive to Bagan Datoh should visit Beting Beras Basah, in Kampung Sungai Betul, by the Sungai Perak river mouth. It is said that since the first Sultan of Perak stepped foot here, it is compulsory for all new Sultans of Perak to visit this place. They arrive at Beting Beras Basah by boat via Bagan Datoh jetty to perform a royal ceremony.

GPS Coordinates: N 04° 0.194’ E 100° 42.911’

DSC04566 beras basah

 

Musa Bids Farewell

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Outgoing Chief Executive Officer of Tourism Perak, Hj Musa Dun was honoured with a farewell lunch courtesy of his employer, Tourism Perak Sdn Bhd.

The lunch was held at the Kinta Riverfront Hotel, Ipoh on Monday, August 19 and was attended by the Who’s Who in the Perak tourism industry. Among them were well-meaning guests who were his keenest supporters during his 13-month stint at the state-linked agency. Executive Councillor for Tourism Nolee Ashikin Radzi was the guest-of-honour.

Musa Bids Farewell

“Although my tenure in Tourism Perak was short it was the best ever posting I have had. I am thankful to the Executive Councillor and all those connected to the tourism industry for your support. Your assistance had made my work simpler,” he said with conviction.

Musa Dun has been posted to the Perak Sports Council (Majlis Sukan Perak) as its Director effective Thursday, August 1. His replacement is Puan Aida Hazlyn Hassan formerly of the state economic planning unit.

Aida is similarly pleased with her new appointment. “I am thankful for the confidence and trust vested in me by the Executive Councillor for Tourism. I’ll now concentrate on making the upcoming Visit Malaysia Year 2014 a success,” she told Ipoh Echo.

The majority of those attending the lunch had nothing but praise for Musa. “He’s a pleasant guy who is easy to work with. We’ll sorely miss his affectionate smile,” said Hj Odzman Abd Kadir, President of Perak Tourism Association.

Odzman’s parting words best describes the man who will now determine Perak’s sporting future.

FZB

Day 2: From Bagan Datoh – Teluk Intan – Sungkai – Bidor – Ipoh

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Admittedly, homestay à la kampung-style and eco-tourism are not everyone’s cup of tea. So, the time of departure from Bagan Datoh will depend on your interests here. One needs to return to Teluk Intan, before making an eastward cross to Sungkai via Jalan Changkat Jong / Pekan Pasir bypassing Bidor.

 

6. Head to Kampung Selabak , Teluk Intan

About 4km before reaching Teluk Intan town, visitors cannot miss the Kampung Selabak Pineapple Bazaar, located along Jalan Padang Tembak in Teluk Intan.

3 nanas Kg Selabak

Kampung Selabak is well-known for its two varieties of pineapples; honey and lychee-flavoured. These freshly-harvested fruits from nearby pineapple plantations are must-buys for anyone who passes this way.

Other local fruits to pick are jambu air, bananas and cempedak. Let’s not forget salted fish, too!

GPS Coordinates: N 03° 59.847′ E 101° 2.83′

2 ubi

 

7. Sungkai Deer Farm

Continue travelling south-east along Jalan Changkat Jong for about 20km until you reach a junction and turn right eastward towards Pekan Pasir. From this junction, turn right and drive southward for about 7km to Sungkai.

Sungkai Deer Farm

Sungkai Deer Farm

Travel along the Sungkai – Kuala Lumpur main road until you reach a Shell gas station on your left. Immediately after the Shell station, turn left and drive straight along the Kampung Menderiang road for about 10km. Sungkai Deer Farm is located at the end of this road.

The Sungkai Deer Farm, set up in 1978, sits on a land measuring 100 hectares. Established and managed by the Department of Wildlife and National Parks, it also provides a sanctuary for certain species of exotic birds and other wildlife, a positive effort towards conservation and prevention of their extinction.

Sungkai Deer Farm

      Nature lovers would enjoy the great outdoors this farm offers; its long nature walks, and the opportunity to observe the animals up close. Children would particularly enjoy the change of scenery at Sungkai Deer Farm, a renowned deer farm in Malaysia.

      Admission to the deer farm is free-of-charge. It is open from 2pm to 4pm (Mon-Thurs) and 2.45pm to 4pm (Fri). Group visits would require prior permission from the Perak Wildlife Department.  For more information, contact the department at 05-243 6645.

GPS Coordinates: N 04° 01.901’ E 101° 22.169’

 

8. Sungai Klah Hot Springs Park

Drive back to the Shell petrol station junction. Turn left and drive southward along the Sungkai – Kuala Lumpur main road for about 5km until you come to the Sungai Klah junction. Turn left again and drive straight for about 10km until you come to the Sungai Klah Hot Springs Park. There are many signboards to guide you along the way.

Sungai Klah Hot Springs Park

Nestled in the serene and lush forest patches and surrounded by FELDA Plantation’s oil palm trees, the 6.5-hectare Sungai Klah Hot Springs Park was developed at a cost of RM6 million and opened to the public in December, 2003.

This unique park is designed to offer visitors hot spring water treatment, believed to be good for skin diseases and to rejuvenate overall health.

Sitting at the foothills of Titiwangsa Range and located some 200 feet above sea level, Sungai Klah Hot Springs Park is said to be one of the best managed hot spring parks in the country.

Sungai Klah Hot Springs Park

For those who are keen to enjoy the best that nature can offer, a visit to Sungai Klah Hot Springs Park is almost compulsory. Activities to enjoy, besides a dip in the hot spring are water reflexology, egg-boiling and even a splashing fun time at the mountain springs pool, where the water is cold, instead.

Sungai Klah Hot Springs Park is open daily from 8am to 7pm. Entrance fee is RM12 per adult and RM10 per child. Senior citizens and those with special needs enjoy discounted rates. For more information or to make reservations, call 05-438 8801.

GPS Coordinates: N 03° 59.878’ E 101° 23.598’

 

 

9. Dinner in Bidor

Retrace your route to the Sungkai – Kuala Lumpur main road. Turn right and drive straight to Bidor town for approximately 15km.

Formerly a vibrant tin mining town, Bidor swiftly became recognised as the place to stop for a meal for anyone who travels between Ipoh and Kuala Lumpur. Reputed for its local delicacies and agricultural produces, obviously, visitors would be spoilt for choice come dinner time.

A must-try would be the duck drumstick noodles and wan ton noodles at Pun Chun Chicken Biscuit & Restaurant, which also offers signature snacks like chicken biscuits and “shat kek mah”. This restaurant, located at Nos. 38 & 40, Jalan Besar, 35500 Bidor, Perak, is open daily from 6am to 9.30pm. It is closed on the first and second day of Chinese Lunar New Year. Contact 05-434 1554.

GPS Coordinates: N 04° 06.699’ E 101° 17.258’

pun chun

Other dinner options would be Noordin Nasi Kandar (tel: 016-502 1899) and Bidor Curry House (tel: 05-434 9048), both located along Jalan Besar, Bidor. They close at 8pm, so if you are looking for a spicy dinner, be there early. Noordin Nasi Kandar is closed on Sundays while Bidor Curry House closes one day a month.

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On the way back to Ipoh, remember to pick up some crystal guava. Synonymous with the pineapples of Kampung Selabak in Teluk Intan, crystal guava is the local fruit to buy here. Also known as “seedless” guava, it actually has seeds, but fewer than normal guava fruits. Well-known for its sweetness, some even claim that it tastes like pear.

Return to Ipoh via the North-South Highway or alternatively, take the old trunk road.

Disclaimer: At the time of printing, all information has been verified and confirmed. They may be subject to changes over time.

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