By Tan Mei Kuan, Ili Aqilah & Nantini Krishnan
The Taiping Heritage Trail was launched in April this year with exciting attractions in this UNESCO-declared heritage town. The project, a joint effort between the Northern Corridor Implementation Authority (NCIA) and the Taiping Municipal Council is expected to be completed in early 2016.
The 11.2km trail will take visitors to 39 places of interest via a bus that runs fully on rechargeable batteries, an eco-friendly highlight made possible by the hand in hand cooperation between the Perak and Japanese governments, through the Japan International Cooperation Agency.
Be prepared to be amazed during the 40-minute trip with the accompaniment of a tour guide who will describe the historical significance behind each site and building throughout the entire trail with countless information boards to be installed. Ipoh Echo features 12 out of its 39 star attractions.
Heritage, History and Scenery Provide a Feast for the Senses
Tasik Dayung (‘Boating Lake’)
Spread over 64 hectares, the serene Taiping Lake was formerly a tin mine. When in bloom, the lotus flowers could be seen basking in the sun adding to the beauty of its surrounds.
“Taiping Lake Ride & Cruise” has been operating the boathouse since July 2013 with the following boating services:
- Couple boat: RM12 per ride, accommodates 2 adults and 1 child of 3 years and below.
- Swan boat: RM20 per ride, accommodates 4 people.
- Sampan (oriental): RM30 per ride, accommodates 4 people.
- Water bike: RM25 per ride, accommodates 2 people of 13 years and above.
- Water roller: RM25 per ride, accommodates 2 adults and 1 child of 7 years and above.
- Sampan kampung: RM15, accommodates 4 people.
- Three-wheeled water bike: RM25 per ride, accommodates 2 adults.
- Classic bicycle: For rent.
- Solar boat: RM6 per person, RM50 per group (maximum 10 people).
For big groups, do book early to avoid disappointment and even grab a special rate! A night cruise is coming soon; anyone feeling the excitement yet? Plus, check out their convenience store with souvenirs and food galore as well as an art centre offering novices a stab at Malaysian crafts making.
Contacts: 012 523 2204 or 05 808 2355, firstname.lastname@example.org
Operating hours: Mon-Thu 10am-7.30pm, Fri-Sun 9am-7.30pm.
King Edward VII School
Founded in 1883, the ruddy brickwork of King Edward VII School with its tudor arches and wide verandahs as its key features, peeps through the foliage of angsana trees. Currently, the alma mater is in its 132th year. The still active eponymous secondary school was named in honour of King Edward VII who ascended to the throne of England in 1901. It is currently a Smart School cum Premier School with a total of 1239 students, 125 teachers and 21 staff.
Contacts: 05 8073191, www.smkevii.edu.my.
Rain Tree Walk
Definitely the perfect place to capture Instagram-worthy shots with the long arms of century-old giant rain trees forming a majestic canopy of green archways over the stretch of road and dipping into the lake forming a symmetrical reflection occasionally rippled by the wind, further adding to its beauty. Equally suited for jogging!
Coronation Pool is the first public swimming pool in Taiping which started operating in 1870. It is called Coronation Pool or ‘Kolam Kemahkotaan’. It is located at the foothill of Bukit Larut. The fresh water makes this pool a major attraction for those who love nature. A unique aspect of this pool is that its water comes straight from the streams of Maxwell Hill (Bukit Larut).Operation Hours: 7.30am-6.30pm RM3 per entry GPS: 4°51’42.7″N 100°47’35.5″E
St George’s Institution
Running on the theme ‘A Glorious Past, A Vibrant Future’, this auspicious year marks the centennial celebrations of St George’s Institution. Founded in 1915, the La Salle Brothers were the pioneers and leaders in the development of the school.
Taiping War Memorial
Taiping War Memorial located in Bukit Larut. The Taiping War Cemetery/Memorial was erected and maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. The cemetery, originally set up during the Japanese Occupation, is the final resting place for 826 Japanese soldiers, as well as Christian and Muslim war veterans. The cemetery is divided into two parts. On one side of the cemetery, most of the grave sites are for Christian soldiers who died in battle and on the opposite side of the cemetery, most of the grave sites are for the Muslim, Gurkha and Hindu casualties of war.Taiping War Cemetery is open at all times. Staff on site Monday-Friday 8am-6pm GPS: 4°51’32.5″N 100°45’26.0″E
Built in 1883, Museum Perak is the oldest museum in Malaysia. It is divided into four main galleries and home to more than five thousand cultural artifacts. Visitors may be introduced to traditional games like Wau, Gasing and Congkak and also get the chance to see old clay utensils used for cooking, such as Labu, Kukusan, Perasapan that are more than 100 years old. The museum opens daily from 9am until 6pm and closes on Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Hari Raya Aidiladha. Adults are charged RM2 per person while admission is free for children below 12 years. Guided tours are available but guests will need to request them beforehand.
Museum Perak, Jalan Taming Sari, Taiping, 34000, Perak (05-8072057).
Rock Garden is located near to Taiping Lake Garden. The Rock Garden is never empty. It is being visited at all times. Rock Garden is also one of the best backgrounds for photo shoots. It has become a norm for the Rock Garden to be chosen as a favourite spot for wedding photographs. This is also an idyllic and peaceful place for a gentle stroll.
Another iconic building in Taiping, Penjara Taiping was built in 1879 when Sir Hugh Low was the third Resident in Perak, to imprison the gang members of Ghee Hin and Hai San. It is located right in front of Museum Perak and is still in operation.
Jalan Taming Sari, 34000 Taiping, Perak Darul Ridzuan (05 807 2177)
Pagoda China, also known as Pagoda Bridge, is a part of the Lake Garden in Taiping. The place is a perfect place to rejuvenate one’s spirit, with Mother Nature providing the location and enhancements provided by man. It is a great backdrop for photography and is known for its capacity to entice and entrance all visitors, all of whom leave with nostalgic images for their collection of memorabilia.
Pasar Lama (Old Market)
Located at Halaman Pasar (Market Square), Pasar Lama was built in 1884 at Jalan Taman Sari. What makes this market different from any other market in Taiping is its unique design using high quality woods. The market opens every day as early as 6am and is the perfect place to get fresh seafood, poultry and vegetables.
Nestled in the deep rainforest, Burmese Pool is one of the many popular attractions on the Taiping Heritage Walk. The large pool consists of a small river and waterfall. It is definitely a great place for picnics or just to de-stress. There is no fee to enter the river but visitors will have to pay the RM2 fixed parking fee.
How to go: From the town of Taiping, head to the Lake Gardens and follow the signboard to Bukit Larut where you will pass Kamalodge. Take the right junction to Taman Sentosa and follow the signboards to the Burmese Pool.
Currently, the heritage trail is halfway to completion. However, anyone who is keen to explore the trail on their own, right now, can obtain the trail map from the Taiping Municipal Council’s office. Bear in mind to contact the office prior to collection to avoid disappointment.
Be among the first to experience the town of many firsts.