RMCO Travelling Guide: Perak, the Abode of Grace
Perak is known as Darul Ridzuan, the Abode of Grace. There are simply too many great places in the second-largest state in Peninsular Malaysia after Pahang, and third-largest by population after Selangor and Johor. It is where you can find the city of Ipoh, the food paradise that tempts even Singaporeans to make the long drive all the way just to have a taste of heaven. Of course, apart from food, there are also many other places to visit throughout Perak for culture and conservation, so here are just a small fraction of the places to highlight for your Perak planning!
KZ Kraf Enterprise—Labu Sayong
There’s no better place to get labu sayong than the village of Sayong itself. What’s unique about labu sayong jars is not just its gourd shape; water stored in labu sayong is cooler and tastier than water stored in other regular containers. The current proprietor of KZ Kraf Enterprise, Mohd Pareb Zamari, had studied porcelain-making in Arita, Japan. He incorporated the knowledge and experience he gained into the making of labu sayong, transforming them into a combination of aesthetics and functionality, modern and traditional at the same time. Like his father before him, he has been recognised by the Malaysian Handicraft Development Corporation and has been invited to trade fairs and exhibitions around the world, including Japan, the USA, France, China, and Germany. They’re also open for internships for those who wish to learn pottery, and they have educational packages where you can observe and learn about the craft as well. While you’re in Perak, it is a good idea to visit his shop and buy a labu sayong or a few as practical souvenirs.
- Address: Kampung Kepala Bendang, Sayong, 33040 Kuala Kangsar, Perak
- Opening times: N/A
- Contact: 017-565 2164
Orang Utan Island (Pulau Orang Utan)—Bukit Merah Orang Utan Island Foundation
Within the Bukit Merah Laketown Resort, there is a 35-acre island called Orang Utan Island. It is a conservation facility and referral centre for orangutans. Visitors get to the island via a lake cruiser, and in the area, orangutans can be found swinging from tree to tree or taking naps. You can get close to the more than 20 orangutans on the island and learn about the “people of the forest” in more detail at the Education Zones. Apart from that, there is also a Researcher’s Corner for a closer observation of the orangutans, as well as a Herbal Garden to expand your knowledge about the local herbs.
- Entrance fee: RM25 for adults; RM15 for children (below 12 years); RM15 for senior citizens (above 50 years). Non-MyKad: RM40 for adults; RM20 for children.
- Opening times: 9 AM–3 PM Fridays to Sundays
- Contact: 05-890 8110
Gaharu Tea Valley
About 30 years ago, a Malaysian entrepreneur was introduced by a Japanese botanist to a special hybrid “Gaharu” which produces agarwood. Aided by the botanist, he planted 200 Gaharu seedlings on his land, transforming it into the Gaharu Tea Valley with over 200,000 Gaharu trees today. Agarwood produces a dark aromatic resin that has been prized by many cultures for many millennia, from the Middle East to China. At the Gaharu Tea Valley, one could learn more about the medicinal properties of the trees and purchase products made from them, such as Gaharu tea and Gaharu ice cream. The minivan driver is also knowledgeable about the history and benefits of the Gaharu trees, which you can learn more in detail as you are brought to three different areas of interest in Gaharu Tea Valley: the Viewing Stage, Mini Zoo and Lover’s Park where you can witness two large trees entwined in an eternal embrace.
- Entrance fee: Free. RM10 per adult and RM5 per child for a 20-minute guided minivan tour.
- Opening times: 9 AM–6 PM. Closed Tuesdays.
- Contact: 05-351 1999 – Ashley
Pasir Salak Historical Complex
Malaysians who have studied Sejarah in secondary school are sure to be familiar with the name “Pasir Salak”. After all, how could anyone forget the infamous historical incident of the assassination of J.W.W. Birch? One could visit the Pasir Salak Historical Complex in Kampung Gajah, where the Time Tunnel brings you through the sequence of events in chronological order with dioramas depicting those scenes. Another interesting attraction in the museum would be the display of keris from around the archipelago, with details as to their differences, as well as a keris kiln which shows how the keris is forged. At the complex, there is also a watchtower and several traditional Perak houses called Rumah Kutai, along with a wooden mosque. While you’re there, Kampung Gajah also has their own unique jar called labu pulau tiga; unlike labu sayong, these are moulded from jungle terracotta earth, and they are decorated very differently.
- Entrance fee: RM4 for adults, RM2 for children
- Opening times: 9:30 AM–5 PM; break on Fridays 12:15 PM–2:25 PM
- Contact: 05-631 1462
Funtasy House Trick Art
If you’re visiting Perak, you are sure to visit Ipoh for their amazing food renowned throughout Malaysia and Singapore. While you’re there, you might want to pay the Funtasy House Trick Art a visit. As the name implies, it is similar to the Trick Eye Museum in Singapore. Funtasy House Trick Art features 35 different art pieces crafted by local artists to immerse visitors in a fun and fantastical way. The staff there are also quite friendly and helpful, often assisting visitors with photographing all members of a group of friends or family.
- Entrance fee: RM15 for adults. RM10 for children.
- Opening times: 9 AM–6 PM
- Contact: 05-255 0007
As mentioned before, Ipoh is a food paradise, but there are also many amazing places to eat in Perak outside of Ipoh. Here are our recommendations:
Pun Chun Restaurant, Bidor
Pun Chun just recently celebrated their 83rd anniversary. How did this restaurant survive for over eight decades? That’s because they have been faithfully serving their signature duck noodles, wonton noodles, shat kek ma biscuits, as well as other pastries that they continue to make the traditional way to this day. The wonton egg noodles are created with whole eggs and kneaded with a bamboo pole to make them extra springy; these should be eaten with wonton soup to appreciate the delicate flavour that separates them from the regular wonton noodles, the flavours of which are usually masked by a strong dark sauce when ordered dry. The main feature of Pun Chun, however, is their herbal duck soup, which has been double-boiled for several long hours before being brought out to be served so the meat becomes so tender they simply fall off the bone. They are also proud of their three products: the Original Chicken Biscuit, Crispy Chicken Biscuit, and Shat Kek Ma.
- Address: 38-40, Jalan Besar, 35500 Bidor, Perak
- Opening times: 6 AM–9 PM
- Contact: 05-434 1554
- FlyKLIA Exclusive Promo: get two packs of Pun Chun biscuits of your choice when you quote ‘FLYKLIA’ as you dine at Pun Chun Bidor. Promotion period until 31 October 2020.
Restoran Light House Seafood (海燈砂煲海鮮粥)
If you’re looking for seafood in Perak, this is the place. Their speciality is porridge cooked in clay pots, particularly their crab porridge and their seafood porridge which come with generous amounts of fish and prawns. Locals have consistently praised the restaurant for its reasonable prices, so you don’t have to worry about breaking the bank for a delicious and enjoyable seafood meal.
- Address: Jalan Titi Kertang, 34750 Matang, Perak
- Opening times: 11 AM–11 PM. Closed Tuesdays.
- Contact: 011-5502 2009
Yee Hoi Coffee Manufacturer (义海)
For over 30 years, Yee Hoi Coffee Manufacturer has operated in Ipoh, selling only one thing: coffee. Ipoh is famous for white coffee, and this stall is one of the oldest and one of the best. The stall operator, Phan Yoke, sells coffee beans for both black and white coffee, and the beans are sold either raw or ground, depending on whether the purchaser has their own coffee grinder at home. The coffee beans are sourced from Johor and Indonesia, but what makes them special is how they are processed at a factory in Jelapang, which is just in the outskirts of Ipoh. Which is better, black coffee or white coffee? It depends on the individual; according to Phan, old town folks, as well as the younger generation, prefer white coffee, while new town residents prefer black coffee. Many Malaysians who went abroad would return here for the coffee, so if you’re looking for the ultimate Malaysian coffee experience, look no further.
- Address: C62,Pasar Besar Ipoh, Jalan Laxamana, Taman Jubilee, 30300 Ipoh, Perak
- Opening times: 8 AM–4 PM
- Contact: 012-502 2965
You can fly directly to the Sultan Azlan Shah Airport which is in Ipoh itself. It is just 6 km away from the city centre, but for the rest of Perak, they may not be as convenient to get to from the airport.
Buses to Perak are cheap and aplenty, though they might take hours to get there by bus, not counting traffic on the roads.
There are many train stations throughout Perak, though there are currently no direct trains that connect Perak with Johor or Terengganu.
Bukit Merah Laketown Resort
Bukit Merah Laketown Resort is where you can get close to orangutans at their Orang Utan Island run by the Bukit Merah Orang Utan Island Foundation. The resort itself provides an assortment of activities for guests, with four different parks for guests to choose from, complete with their own sets of interesting activities: Laketown Waterpark, Laketown Ecopark, Laketown Adventure Park, and Laketown Recreation Park, with the waterpark being the most popular. For rooms, choose between the suites at the Kampung Air Water Chalets or the rooms at the Laketown Hotel.
- Contact: 05-890 8888
- Current Promotion: Moh Jalan-Jalan—RM99 for a deluxe or standard room. Comes with breakfast for two and one keychain souvenir. Add on RM30 for waterpark tickets for two. Add on RM15 for additional breakfast for one. Add on RM60 for dinner for two. Valid until 31 May 2021.
Natasya Riverside Resort Gopeng
Natasya Riverside Resort Gopeng (NRRG) is a chalet situated in the middle of a traditional village surrounded by the local flora and fauna. They regularly host company trips, conventions and seminars due to their large capacity, being able to accommodate a large number of guests at a time with their cabin chalets and wooden chalets. Each cabin chalet accommodates up to three adults with their three single beds, while each wooden chalet accommodates up to a family of two adults and three children with their single queen-size bed and double-decker bed. They also offer many activities in the vicinity, including white water rafting, waterfall abseiling and flying fox. They are also close to Gaharu Tea Valley, being only an 11-minute drive away.
- Contact: 017-414 6669
- Current Promotion: Survival Voucher—2D1N stay in a cabin with three single beds for RM98. Purchase period until 31 July 2020. Redemption period: January–December 2021.
The Tudor is indeed a hidden gem within the city of Ipoh. It is in a very strategic location, being quite close to both Ipoh Old Town and Ipoh New Town, allowing one to easily savour both. With a bronze crystal candle-style chandelier hanging from the 18-foot ceiling, the unique interior decoration is sure to leave guests with fond memories of their stay, especially with the traditionally-decorated en suite rooms and suites.
- Contact: 017-613 8874
- FlyKLIA Exclusive Promo: 10% discount on room rates when you book at https://www.thetudoripoh.com/ using the code FlyKLIA2020. Promotion period until 31 December 2020.
And there we go, those are some of the places in Perak that we thought it best to highlight to our readers on where to visit. Are there any other places in Perak that you think we should talk about? Let us know in the comments down below!
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