Tag Archives: Perak Tourism News volume 20

Day 1: Batu Gajah – Tanjung Tualang – Kampar

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Perak – Yours to Discover

The wonderful thing about Perak is that despite its huge land size, many tourist attractions are actually accessible by road.

If you find yourself in Ipoh, and have a day or two to spare, perhaps you should take a slow drive and venture beyond the city limits.

You may wonder where you should go, what you would do, and even where to put up for a night.

In this issue of Perak Tourism Newsletter, join us on a two-day/one-night road excursion from Ipoh to the neighbouring towns of Batu Gajah, Tanjung Tualang, Kampar, and Gopeng.

Gua Tempurung Gopeng & Tin Dredge, Tanjung Tualang

Foreword

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

A state-level mini carnival in conjunction with Visit Malaysia Year 2014 (VMY 2014) was organised at the Sayong Riverfront in Kuala Kangsar on July 6. It was graced by our newly-appointed Minister of Tourism and Culture, Dato’ Seri Mohamed Nazri bin Abdul Aziz. We still have more than four months to 2014. How prepared are we to welcome the first influx of visitors? We have had a rather successful Visit Perak Year in 2012 and we have been keeping up the momentum in promoting our state with a three-year Discover Perak programme from 2013 to 2015.

Having said this, the effort to promote Perak to be one of the top visited states during VMY 2014 should not only fall on the shoulders of the Federal and State tourism agencies.

It is common knowledge that the responsibility to bring Perak to a higher level lies on all stakeholders in the industry. In fact, everyone has a role to play. Even the man on the street should also “Think Tourism Act Tourism”. Why so? To make a success out of this initiative, all of us have to join hands to promote the numerous tourism products that Perak has to offer. And indeed, we have so many that are at par with the world’s best or even better. The Royal Belum State Park and Lenggong Valley World Heritage Site are but two products that come to mind.

Now is also a good time to remind everyone to keep Perak clean. Remember, first impressions count. Do you want visitors to come once and never be seen again, or would you rather have them so impressed with what they see here that they want to make a return trip? In this issue of Perak Tourism Newsletter, mindful of families who would like to explore Perak on their own at a leisurely pace, we have come up with our version of a 2D/1N tour package of Batu Gajah – Tanjung Tualang – Kampar – Gopeng. This will make the newsletter more functional as an information piece.

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

 

Day 1: Batu Gajah – Tanjung Tualang – Kampar
Kinta Nature Park

After an early breakfast in Ipoh, take a drive south to Batu Gajah. It is about 30 minutes away from Ipoh. The first stop is Kinta Nature Park (KNP), 2km south-east of Batu Gajah. GPS Coordinates: N 04° 26.454’ E 101° 03.077’.

This nature park is a popular bird-watching spot, spanning over 900 hectares, with disused mining ponds and surrounded by secondary jungles. The Malaysian Nature Society has recognised KNP as home to more than 150 species of water birds. With a water bird population of more than 1300, bird-watchers will be able to catch sight of, amongst other species, pheasants, kingfishers, woodpeckers, wak-wak, tiong air, penyelam, panglim and herons.

If you come at the right season (September to March), you will encounter thousands of migratory birds from as far away as Mongolia, China and Russia, as they escape the winter cold there. The park has become their designated sanctuary, and some of these species have stayed on and made it their nesting ground.

For further information, contact Kinta Heritage Group at 05-241 7055/ 05-241 7433.

Kinta Nature Park

 

Tin Dredge – Tanjung Tualang

A ten-minute drive south from here, just outside of Cenderong, is the tin dredge, Tanjung Tualang Dredge No. 5. GPS Coordinates: N 04° 23.79’ E 101° 03.21’

Known as TT5, it was assembled in 1938, at a cost of a cool three million Straits Settlements Dollars. A similar 5000-tonne dredge would cost RM50 million today. This dredge stopped operations in the early 1990s due to the fall of tin price in the world market.

Today, still with almost 95 per cent of its parts intact, it is believed to be the only “whole” dredge in Malaysia and maybe in this part of the world. Hence, it is fondly dubbed as “The Last Dredge”.

TT5 is open to visitors from 8.30am to 6pm daily at an admission fee of RM6 per adult and RM3 per child. A guided tour can be arranged for groups of at least ten people. Call 05-370 2253 for prior arrangement.

Tanjung Tualang lunch

After a nostalgic visit to TT5 and its accompanying mini tin mining museum, it is time for lunch.

Tanjung Tualang is a short 20 minutes’ drive south of Cenderong. This is a town famous for its fresh seafood, especially gigantic freshwater prawns (udang galah).

Tanjung Tualang Lunch 2

Visitors looking for a scrumptious seafood lunch of fish, prawns and crabs would be spoilt for choice. Two of the larger restaurants are: Restoran Sun Mee Fong (Tel: 05-360 9321) and Restoran Kim Wah (Tel: 05-360 8828).

Tanjung Tualang Lunch 1

 

Drive to Kampar

After lunch, it is time to hit the road again. Kampar is just another 30 minutes away, east of Tanjung Tualang.

Kampar was once a thriving tin mining town but since the slump in tin price in the world market in the 1980s, mining is a sunset industry here as evident by the lone surviving tin dealer in town, Len Fatt Tin-Ore Dealers.

Persatuan Tseng Lung Fui Kuon

Now, thanks to Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR), Kampar is bustling again with the development of its university township, offering a blend of the old and the new. A first time visitor here would indeed feel overwhelmed by the many different attractions it offers.

Our first stop in Kampar should be the Kinta Tin Mining (Gravel Pump) Museum. GPS Coordinates: N 04° 19.584’ E 101° 08.787’

Kinta tin mining (gravel pump) Museum

Located along Jalan Batu Karang, it is difficult to miss as one heads towards Bandar Baru Kampar or Kampar New Town. At the museum, visitors take a step back in time as they retrace the tin-mining heydays of the tin industry in Kampar town.

The museum is open from 9am to 1pm (Mondays to Fridays), and from 9am to 4pm (weekends and public holidays). Admission is free.

Once done, drive over to the old section of the town or the original Kampar. A walking tour is in order along the main road, Jalan Gopeng, where you can enjoy the sight of pre-war shops.

Drop by the many clan houses and associations like Tseng Lung Fui Kuon for a visit, and check out the “Kampar Old Temple” which is a Goddess of Mercy Chinese temple built on its present premises in 1904.

Goddess of Mercy Temple, Kampar

 

While in Kampar…

Ais Kacang
Ais Kacang

On a hot day, a tea break of ais kacang is a welcome respite. The most popular in Kampar is “Foong Mun Kee Ice Kacang Shop” at No. 42, Jalan Idris, 31900 Kampar. GPS Coordinates: N 04° 18.657’ E 101° 09.155’

The shop offers six varieties of ais kacang, priced from RM3 to RM4.50 only. It is open until 5pm.

As it is still too early for dinner, take a drive to Kampar New Town to enjoy the scenic evening view at Westlake along Jalan Universiti. It is just outside of UTAR and opposite of Westlake International School. Westlake is Kampar’s very own version of Taiping Lake Gardens or Penang’s Esplanade.

Westlake

Now, for dinner, there are just too many options, both in new and old town. Drive around the shops and take your pick. Bear in mind that Kampar is well-known for its claypot chicken rice.

Claypot Chicken Rice

As night falls, it is time to call it a day. One can check in at the Grand Kampar Hotel, a 3-star deluxe hotel that sports an impressive Spanish architecture in Kampar New Town, for a good night’s rest. GPS Coordinates: N 04° 19.652’ E 101° 08.741’

Grand Kampar Hotel
Grand Kampar Hotel

Day 2: Gopeng – Batu Gajah

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Gua Tempurung, Gopeng

An early breakfast in Kampar is in order before hitting the road again. Like dinner, there is a wide variety of breakfast choices available.

Once breakfast is done, drive some 30 minutes north to Gua Tempurung, which is about 6km south of Gopeng town. There are sufficient signboards to guide you along the route. GPS Coordinates: N 04° 25.031’ E 101° 11.248’

Gua Tempurung Gopeng 1

Gua Tempurung is an intricate system of caves shaping a tunnel of wondrous and endless rock formations, for nearly 2km. There are plenty of activities to indulge in, and one can easily spend the entire morning here.

There are four tours offered; two dry and two wet tours. Entrance fee starts from RM6 up to RM22 per adult, depending on the tour selected. Children and senior citizens enjoy a discounted rate.

The most basic tour (Tour 1) takes about 45 minutes, while the grand tour (Tour 4) is over 3 hours.

Gua Tempurung is open from 9am to 5pm daily, with a break from 12.30pm to 2.30pm on Fridays. The management reserves the right to delay, postpone or cancel the tour in the event of adverse weather conditions, floods, etc. For further information, contact: 019-543 7192 (Abdul Manan).

Gua Tempurung Gopeng 2

 

Gaharu Tea Valley

Visitors who want to opt out of Gua Tempurung’s caving adventure can proceed to Gaharu Tea Valley, which passes through Gopeng town.

Head towards Kampung Rawa Road, then follow the Sungai Itek Road. It will lead you to the tea plantation, where you will be greeted first by the Great Wall of Gopeng. GPS Coordinates: N 04° 27.5’ E 101° 11.44’

Gaharu Tea Valley 1

Covering some 300 acres, Gaharu Tea Valley boasts 200,000 Gaharu trees. Gaharu is also known as Agarwood, and is considered nature’s most valuable wood. It is highly regarded as the “Wood of Gods.”

Gaharu Tea Valley is open to the public daily from 9am to 6pm. Admission is free. Those who would like to take a ride up to the top of the hill will be charged RM10 per person (RM5 per child), inclusive of transportation and a guide. The attraction at the top of the hill is a 21-year-old Gaharu tree, which is at least 50 feet tall. Hugging its trunk is believed to bring good luck.

Gaharu Tea Valley 2

 

Gopeng Heritage Trail

On the other hand, visitors to Gopeng who do not want to venture too far away and prefer to stay around town can opt for a heritage trail. Gopeng was regarded as the most important tin mining town of Kinta Valley during the late 19th century. So, you can imagine its rich heritage.

Starting from Gopeng town centre, some of the heritage points of interest are the Gopeng Museum (GPS Coordinates: N 04° 28.432′ E 101° 10′), Hup Teik Soy Sauce Factory, Kampung Rawa, Wayang Lane, Man Ming Chinese School, Oilow Club, Tseng Lung Hakka Association, Masjid Jamik, Straits Trading Company, Kuil Sri Maha Mariamman, Gurdwara Sahib, Kheng Chow Hainanese Association, Padang Besar, English School Gopeng, the 121-year-old Kon Yin temple, temple wayang stage, Gopeng pipelines and the post office.

Kon Yin Temple Gopeng
Gopeng Museum
Hup Teik Soy Sauce factory

A Gopeng heritage walk map can be obtained from Gopeng Museum. Tel: 016-542 1287 (Mr Phang)

 

Restoran Fei Kee 2Lunch in Gopeng

Although Gopeng does not offer as many food choices as Kampar, do not worry, there are still plenty available. Restoran Alif Café, a corner shop along the main road and Bazar Makanan Tok Feerah on Jalan Kampung Rawa are two popular places to patronise for spicy Indian Muslim (mamak) food.

A short distance away from Bazar Makanan Tok Feerah are Restoran Embassy and Restoran Fei Kee. More Chinese food choices are available in Lawan Kuda, about 3km south of Gopeng town.Restoran Fei Kee 1

 

Perak Herbal Garden, Batu Gajah

Perak Herbal Garden Batu Gajah

After lunch, on the way back to Ipoh, 3km north of Gopeng, turn west to Jalan Simpang Pulai – Batu Gajah, where the Perak Herbal Garden (Taman Herba) is located in Kampung Kepayang. GPS Coordinates: N 04° 30.179′ E 101° 08.141′

Approximately 50 acres in size, it is home to more than 500 species of plants, with medicinal, cosmetic, and aroma-therapeutic properties. Guided tours can be arranged. Guides will explain about the plants in detail and their specific benefits.

This Perak Herbal Garden is open from 8am to 5pm from Mondays to Fridays. Admission fee is RM2 per adult and RM1 per child.

For more information, contact 05-357 2290.

Perak Herbal Garden Batu Gajah
Perak Herbal Garden Batu Gajah

 

Kellie’s Castle, Batu Gajah

From the herbal garden, travel about 3km west along Jalan Simpang Pulai – Batu Gajah to reach Kellie’s Castle, another major tourist attraction in Batu Gajah. GPS Coordinates: N 04° 28.477′ E 101° 05.269′

Originally named Kellas House after the Scottish hometown that the owner, William Kellie Smith, came from, Kellie’s Castle is a must-visit. This “castle”, although incomplete, was structurally ahead of its time, even by today’s standards, with plans for a wine cellar, an elevator, helipad, an indoor tennis court and rooftop courtyard.

Kellie’s Castle is open to visitors from 9am to 6pm daily. During Ramadan, it closes an hour earlier. Tickets are priced at RM5 (foreigners), RM4 (locals with MyKad) and RM3 (school children).

Call 05-365 1336 for further information.

Kellie's Castle
Kellie’s Castle

Dinner can be taken either at Clearwater Sanctuary Golf Resort along Jalan Changkat Larang (GPS Coordinates: N 04° 29.015′ E 101° 03.457′) or head north to Ipoh, which is just a short 30 minutes’ drive, for more options.

That wraps up an interesting 2D/1N driving excursion.