Cover Story

By Ili Aqilah Yus Amirul and Khaleeja Suhaimi

What is it that makes Perak the place to visit in 2017? Is it the untouched forest of Royal Belum? Is it the now buzzing town of Ipoh or is it the history of Perak Man that draws visitors both domestic and international to keep coming and looking for more?

The Visit Perak 2017 year was launched on January 1 by state exco for Art, Culture, Communication and Multimedia, Dato’ Nolee Ashilin and it seems that both the public and private sectors are eager to make Visit Perak 2017 a successful project. As the current and only community newspaper in Perak, Ipoh Echo took the initiative to list out the interesting places and hidden gems around Perak waiting to be discovered by you!

IPOH

Starting with the capital city of Perak, Ipoh is located about 200km from Kuala Lumpur and it is becoming easier to get to the city. Aside from driving or taking the buses and executive coaches, tourists now can choose to come by train or those from Johor, Singapore or Indonesia, can also fly directly to Sultan Azlan Shah Airport.

What’s Good

You’re spoilt for choice in Ipoh. From food to fabulous attractions, Ipoh has something to offer everyone. Local temptations like the famous Taugeh Ayam (Nga Choi Kai) – Steamed Chicken with Beansprouts served with chicken-flavoured rice or velvety smooth rice noodles in soup; tangy Curry Mee; salt baked chicken jostle for attention with authentic Malay Rendang Tok (Meat or Chicken cooked with coconut milk and herbs), Indian Roti Canai and banana leaf curry;  and  not to forget, Ipoh is home to some great  restaurants. Just take a look at SeeFoon’s Musings page and our nosh news section (also available on our website, www.ipohecho.com.my) and get ready to be in for a gastronomic trip of epic proportions.

Ipoh also boasts a  few historical attractions located around the city and tourists can explore the attractions by themselves by using the historical map available at Ipoh World website (www.ipohworld.org). Among must-visit places on  the list are  the  Railway Station, War Memorial, Town Hall, Old Post Office and more.

There is Han Chin Pet Soo, Malaysia’s very first Hakka Tin Mining Museum, located at Jalan Bijeh Timah in Old Town. The museum was recently placed first out of 47 things to do in Ipoh. Accompanied with a tour guide, a visit to the museum will give an insight into how Hakka tin miners lived and relaxed back in 1893. Tourists are also encouraged to go to Ho Yan Hor, located next to Han Chin Pet Soo and discover a thing or two about the history of their famous herbal tea.

Other attractions in Ipoh includes Gunung Lang a most scenic public park; Kek Lok Tong cave temple; Lost World Of Tambun, a water theme park; Tambun Cave and more.

And to spur on the activities both gustatorial and touristic, Uber is now formally established in Ipoh and is a gift from the gods for tourists arriving here.

Ipoh is also home for many unique and one-of-a-kind murals scattered around the city. It can be found at Jalan Sultan Iskandar, Kong Heng Square and more (Check out Ipoh Echo Facebook page for more detailed photos and locations.

TAIPING

As the wettest town in Peninsular Malaysia, Taiping has always been known for its heritage buildings and historical vignettes. It is a mere hour away from Ipoh.

Food lovers can head to Larut Matang Food Court for its wide variety of local delicacies. The satay and popiah there will leave you craving for more.

To enjoy a relaxing time, Lake Gardens is the ideal spot. Shaded under the trees, accompanied by a splendid view of the lake, there’s nowhere else you’d want to spend your evening.

Surrounded by colonial bungalows and a chilly temperature, Bukit Larut (Maxwell Hill)  is perfect for sightseeing. There are two options to go up:  on foot or in the prepared Land Rovers. Visitors can enjoy a humble paradise with a cup of coffee at the newly opened cafe.

Leaving Taiping Zoo off the list would be impossible. It is the oldest zoo in Malaysia and is also known for its night safari. With the latest attraction of the Mergastua restaurant, why else wouldn’t you drop by?

Antong Coffee is the oldest coffee mill in the country. Visitors get to witness the coffee beans being roasted using the traditional way. Some of their known coffee includes the durian white coffee.

GOPENG

Before the tin mining empire crumbled in the 1980s, Gopeng used to be one of the pillars of the industry. Located about 20 km from Ipoh, the town is still well-maintained due to the number of attractions it has to offer.

As one of the longest and largest natural limestone cave in Peninsular Malaysia, Gua Tempurung is perfect for the active and adventurous ones. It consists of five large domes which is said to be more than 10,000 years old. Visitors can select their tours depending on the difficulty and length.

Adrenaline junkies can look for Radak Adventure, which provides outdoor activities such as waterfall abseiling, jungle trekking and sunset hiking to name a few.

For anyone interested in the history of Gopeng’s glory days, Gopeng Heritage House is the place. It is famous for its display of items from 100 years ago. It began after the opening of the Gopeng museum.

To witness the magnificent view of Agarwood trees, Gaharu Tea Valley is the place to be. Around 200,000 trees sit on a 300 acre land. The tree is known for its aromatic fragrance and medicinal values.

Situated among the lush green of virgin forests and verdant hills, Sahom Valley and Adeline Guest House are the resorts to head to for a relaxing time and an escape from the hustle and bustle. Outdoor activities are available for guests.

TANJUNG MALIM

Also less than two hours away from Ipoh, Tanjung Malim is an interesting town located in the Mualim District, Perak.

Foodies can indulge at one of the oldest restaurants in town, Yik Mun, widely known for its pau. The pau comes in four fillings, which are curry chicken, curry beef, red bean and kaya.

Art enthusiasts can head to Sarang Art Hub for its good food and unique setup. One of the co-founders of the place is film director, Mamat Khalid. The artwork at the place is done by students of UPSI and local artists.

Every town has its own adventure trail and here in Tanjung Malim, Ulu Slim is popular for water activities like water-rafting and waterfall abseiling. While doing that, visitors also get the opportunity to experience the Orang Asli lifestyle.

A recreational spot for locals, Proton Embayu Lake City is an artificial lake garden. It is equipped with amenities like grocery, clinic, mosque and stalls around. Visitors can go there for the view or rather, to relax.

Another highlight of Tanjung Malim is the National Education Museum located at Sultan Idris University of Education (UPSI). The museum exhibits artworks and treasures from the olden days to mark the achievement of the country’s education system.

ROYAL BELUM

Dating back over 130 million years ago, Royal Belum is another place not be missed when visiting Perak. Despite not being an official National park, Royal Belum is the world’s oldest rainforest and has the potential to be Malaysia’s premier eco-tourism destination.

Royal Belum is located on the northern side of Perak and near to Lenggong. There are currently resorts as well as adventure camps awaiting those who want to get in touch with the nature with stunning views of Banding Island.

LENGGONG

Home of Perak Man, Lenggong is Perak’s smallest district and located about 80km from Ipoh. Surrounded by lush greens and prehistoric monuments, Lenggong was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2012 after the discovery of Perak Man, the oldest and most complete human skeleton found in South Asia by a research team from Malaysia Science University (USM) back in 1990.

The discovery has led to much tourism potential, making Lenggong one of the must-visit places when touring around Perak. The skeleton was previously placed at the national museum in Kuala Lumpur and has now been returned back to Lenggong and is available for viewing at one of the biggest attractions in Lenggong, the Lenggong Archaeological Museum. Beside the main display, tourists can also learn about other prehistoric displays at the museum.

Another attraction is the Lata Kekabu Waterfall, a recreational water park with a clean river and is the perfect spot for picnics.

Lenggong Archaeological Museum
Address: Galeri Arkeologi Lenggong, Jabatan Warisan Negara, Kota Tampan Lenggong, 33400 Perak Darul Ridzuan. Contact number: 05 767 9700
Visiting Hours: Monday - Saturday: 9am - 5pm Friday: 9am - 12pm, 3pm - 5pm
Admission free.
GPS Coordinates:  N 05°03’20.7” E 100°57’45.1”
Email: info@heritage.gov.my

More Than Meets the Eye

Perak has numerous attractions to suit all interests and ages. From the coolest cafes and street murals, to historical sites, adrenalin-packed tours and more. So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and start exploring Perak!

Don’t forget to grab a copy of the Ipoh Echo newspaper when you’re next in Ipoh!