Malaysia through the lenses of a Mat Salleh
By Philippe A.Durant
Day 19: From Ipoh to Kuala Kangsar
I just came back from a two-day scooter trip to Taiping, visiting Kuala Kangsar again on the way. When riding from Ipoh to Kuala Kangsar, my first stop is usually Chemor, with its temples, picturesque Malay Kampongs and the bamboo baskets makers (local community project). Next on the way is Sungai Siput with the famous Lion Hill (Bukit Singha). Before reaching the Royal city of Perak, a visit to Victoria Bridge, built in 1987, is often planned on my journey. A bit similar to the River Kwai bridge in Kanchanaburi but way less over-exploited, Victoria Bridge is one of the vestiges of the railway network built in the British colonial town. It has become a trendy spot for weddings, photography and selfies.
Very recently, some renovations were done and a cycling trail was created along the Perak River. The village next to the metal structure hosts one of the last rubber traders of the area. Once I get to Kuala Kangsar, I head to the palace area overlooking the river. The Sultan’s Palace (visits are not possible); the Ubudiah Mosque with its gold and Italian marble domes; the new reopened Istana Kenangan, former residence of the Royal family; old traditional Malay houses; the workshop of the notable blacksmith artist in town, Raja Shahriman Raja Aziddin, and the one of Pak Mazin, the Keris Maker of Malaysia are all located in the green, peaceful and relaxing area on the riverbank. Labu Sayong is a symbol of Kuala Kangsar and there are many potters all around the city. Finally, there are heritage buildings scattered around town and the Kampongs with rubber trees are nice places to ride through.
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