If you’re heading to Taiping Perak, then you’ll want to know where you should go, and what you should check out. The City of Peace is a fantastic destination, with much on offer. It has a history of firsts, as Malaysia’s first museum and railway can be found here. But it’s also a lush hideaway that few foreign tourists venture into.
Here’s a round-up of the top four Taiping attractions, which simply cannot be missed. For nature lovers and animal fans to historians alike, there is something for everyone.
1. Taiping Zoo and Night Safari
For local Malaysian families, a popular Taiping attraction is the zoo and night safari – and for a good reason. The zoo offers visitors the chance to get up close and personal with the likes of tigers and elephants, as you stroll through the well-kept grounds. There’s also a great African animal enclosure. For an extra special experience, the guided night safari in Taiping will give you the opportunity to see animals that are usually only hidden under the cover of darkness. Thanks to special moonlight lighting, you’ll be able to witness them in their natural territory.
2. Taiping Lake Gardens
If you’re going to the zoo in Taiping, the nearby Taiping Lake Gardens is worth checking out. Built in the 1800s on the site of an old tin mine, its sprawling 62-hectare greenery and lake offer the perfect spot for a picnic or a family day out. There are also plenty of well-maintained paved tracks for you to take a stroll and get some exercise. Plus, you can hire a swan-shaped boat to have a lazy float on the lake – bliss!
3. Perak Museum
The Perak Museum, or Muzium Perak, is a great little spot to check out particularly on a rainy day (Taiping gets a lot of rain!). As Malaysia’s first ever museum, its history goes way back. Collections range from natural history (be sure to look at the massive Asian elephant skeleton, as well as the tiger skeleton) to traditional Taiping Perak crafts and customs. There’s a shaded playground for the kids on hot and humid days, so you need not worry. And it’s the ideal place to go if you’re looking for some peace and quiet.
4. Bukit Larut (aka Maxwell Hill)
If you’re outdoorsy and into a bit of adventure, then Bukit Larut is a must. About 10 km from Taiping Perak, it’s the oldest hill resort in Malaysia. Expect a colonial feel with little bungalows, English gardens, and an exciting Land Rover ride to the top (private vehicles aren’t allowed in). The weather is much cooler, so it’s a great escape from Taiping’s heat. And if you’re a nature fan or birdwatcher, you’ll love it. Bukit Larut hasn’t changed much over the years, and if an authentic hill resort experience is what you’re after, then this is the place.
Taiping is a city that may seem a little ordinary at first. But dig deeper, and you’ll find that it’s a place filled with well-preserved colonial-era architecture, green gardens, and plenty of street food. There’s even a Little India if you’re a fan of curry. Here, you’ll also get a taste of ‘real’ Malaysia, minus the foreign tourists. For travellers, it’s the ideal place to explore for a stopover.