Taiping is an interesting town located in northern Perak, around 302km from Kuala Lampur Malaysia’s capital. The town has historical landmarks and natural resources. It is also known as one of the “wettest towns” in Peninsular Malaysia, getting an average annual rainfall of around 4,000mm as compared to the average annual rainfall on the peninsula being around 2,000mm to 2,500mm. Taiping is the place to visit if you want to get some peace and quiet.
A popular tourist attraction in Taiping is Lake Gardens. The area was originally a mining ground and was established as a public garden in 1880. Lake Gardens stretches for 64 acres and was the first public garden in Malaya as Malaysia is also known. Lake Gardens has ten man-made lakes and ponds.
A lovely place to visit is Maxwell Hill or Bukit Larut, founded in 1884 by the British Assistant Resident in Perak, William George Maxwell. This is a hill resort and people enjoy the colonial atmosphere. Here you can see English gardens and old-world bungalows. Since private vehicles aren’t aloud you can hire a Land Rover to take you up the hill. If you prefer you can walk up the hill but the trek up is 13km long and can take up to 5 hours.
Established in 1961 the Taiping Zoo is known as one of the oldest zoos in Malaysia. Here you can see up to 180 species of amphibians, mammals and reptiles. The zoo is famous for its Night Safari and visitors can have a chance to see a variety of nocturnal animals.
Taiping Zoo is located in a lovely natural setting in Taiping Lake Gardens and near the foot of Maxwell Hill. The zoo has streams, lakes and a lot of flora. Among the animals to see here are tigers, lions, elephants, hippopotamuses, giraffes, hornbills and orangutans. The zoo has been successful in breeding animals and this has seen the proliferation of animals like the Malaysian Tiger, Lion, Siamang, Deer, Nilgai and Night Heron among others.
Of interest is the Taiping War Cemetery/Memorial, erected by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. There are over 850 WW II casualties commemorated here including another 500 who remain unidentified. The cemetery is divided into two parts with Christian graves on the southeastern side of the road and non-Christian graves on the opposite side.
The first and oldest museum in Malaysia is The Perak Museum. The museum was founded in 1883 by Sir Hugh Low. There are more than 8,474 accumulated collections in the museum that consist of cultural collections, nature collections and miscellaneous collections, among them archaeological items. If you prefer you can take a guided tour.
If you want to relax just head for The Burmese Pool. This is a large rock pool along a stream at the foothills of Maxwell Hill. Both locals and tourist enjoy visiting this place so they can relax by the rock pool, which is rather shallow. The water in the pool is fed by a small waterfall. If you want to spend the night here you can rent a chalet.
All Saint’s Church is a timbered church, dating back to 1886 and it’s one of the oldest Anglican churches in Malaysia. In the cemetery you can see the graves of early colonial settlers, most of whom died of tropical diseases or failed to achieve the colonial pension they needed to return home to Britain or Australia.
Bukit Merah Orang Utan Island is home for orangutans. These gentle and intelligent creatures can be found only in Malaysia and Indonesia. This is the place to get up close to these animals and is just a twenty minute boat ride from the Bukit Merah Laketown Resort jetty. Established in 2000 it’s the first ex-situ orangutan conservation facility in Malaysia. The first batch of primates was brought from Borneo. At present the island has 24 orangutans with 16 born here.
Take the interesting Kuala Sepatang Mangrove River Cruise. Kuala Sepetang was once known as Port Weld, a fishing village that is well-known for its fresh seafood. It is also famous for its mangrove reserves along which visitors enjoy boat rides. The river cruises give visitors the chance to catch sight of the Chinese white dolphin that is popularly known as dugong. It is fond of swimming close to the river mouths. If you take a nighttime river cruise you can see fireflies lighting up the surrounding trees.