Kuala
Gula

 

 

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PERAK

Ecotourism
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KUALA GULA
Its name, translated as “sugar estuary” in Malay.

Kuala Gula, a little fishing village tucked away in the north-western corner of Perak, is one place few would imagine as a treasure trove of adventure, sights and food.  Its name, translated as “sugar estuary” in Malay, comes from a century back when some swamps of the area were drained to plant sugar cane, the source of the “white gold” of yesteryears. Most of that crop is now gone, but the “green gold” has been preserved as the largest mangrove forests of Peninsular Malaysia.

For birders, this is a coastal sanctuary for some 200 species of birds including those under global threat.

Ecotourism

in Kuala Gula

Eco-tourism is slowly gaining popularity in Kuala Gula. The fishermen living around the mangrove swamp forest have made ends meet within the natural ecosystem of the forest for many decades. The dependence on the swamp forest will continue to grow in the next generations to come with various ecotourism and recreational activities.

Kuala Gula Bird Sanctuary

The Kuala Gula Bird Sanctuary is situated in Kerian. In 1970 the park was established by the Wildlife and National Parks to protect migratory and resident species of birds. For birders, this is a coastal sanctuary for some 200 species of birds. The main objective of the sanctuary is to safeguard over 60 species of migratory and resident species birds including egrets, herons, storks, rails, shore birds terns and gulls, as well as some wetland dependent raptors and kingfishers. The mudflat area is used by the migratory birds to feed and to rest during their migratory route from the northern to the southern hemisphere. The flagship species of Kuala Gula is the globally threatened Milky Stork. Other species that are also under threat include Burung Upeh (Mycteria cinerea), Botak Kecil (Leptoptilas javanicus), Sekendi Kepala Hitam (Threskiornis melanocephalus) and Kedidi Kaki Hijau (Tringa nebularia). In Malaysia, these species are protected under The Wildlife Protection Act 76/72.

The migratory species can only be found starting August until April every year. During high tide is the best time for birders to observe the species because most can be found by the wetlands and also near the tips of the waters. Mangrove forests and the wetlands provide appropriate habitats and adequate food sources for birds to return to and feed on throughout the migration period.

Kuala Gula is part of the Matang Swamp Forests Reserve. It is also significantly associated with with the existence of aquatic / migratory birds. It is not only famous in Peninsular Malaysia but also around the world. Every year there are groups of birds that stop at Kuala Gula in their migration routes. These birds emigrate from its breeding ground in the northern hemisphere during winter to the southern hemisphere beginning in August. There are several bird migration routes in the world and Malaysia is within the East Asian-Australisia Flyway route. The route starts from Siberia, via China, Mongolia, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia to Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Australia and ending in New Zealand. When the winter ends in the northern hemisphere, these birds will return to Siberia to breed through the same route. This will repeat every year. Various aquatic / migratory species can be found in Kuala Gula from the end of August to April.

In addition to bird watching, one of the special attractions here is the rare species of plants such as Teratai (Nymphaea pubescens), Bakau Minyak (Rhizophora apivulata), Tumu Merah (bruguira gymnorrhiza), Api-api Jambu (Avicenna marina) and other shrub species.

Tasik Bukit Merah

In Malay, Bukit Merah means “red hill”. Enticingly attractive Tasik Bukit Merah is another of nature’s gifts to Kerian District.  A huge expanse of fresh water that stretches far and wide contains the lake teems with common and rare fish species like the Ikan Ubi, and the famous Golden Arowana, which is much sought after. In an effort to attract and encourage more people to take up fishing as a hobby or sport, there is a two-acre Fishing Park, one of the largest freshwater fish farms in Malaysia near the jetty.

Orangutan Island

The Orangutan, which literally means Man of the Forest, can only be found in Malaysia and Indonesia. Categorised as an endangered species, based on studies, there are only about 7,000 orangutans left in the wild. Built on an approximately 35 acres of natural tropical rainforest, the Orangutan Island (OUI) was officially open to the public in early 2000. Founded by Tan Sri Datuk Mustapha Kamal, the Executive Chairman of a renowned property developer MK Land, the Orangutan Island Foundation is a haven for this endangered species where they are treated well and taken care of. Home to currently 18 orangutans, Orangutan Island provides the best facilities for these creatures. There is the Infant Care Unit (ICU) set up on the island to make sure that each orangutan infant gets the best treatment and grow up to be healthy adults before being released back into the wild. Besides, there is also a resource centre for students and researchers to do their research on orangutan.
Home to currently 18 orangutans, Orangutan Island provides the best facilities for these creatures. There is the Infant Care Unit (ICU) set up on the island to make sure that each orangutan infant gets the best treatment and grow up to be healthy adults before being released back into the wild. Besides, there is also a resource centre for students and researchers to do their research on orangutan.

Ban Pecah

Ban Pecah is a popular beach to hang out, especially for those who wish to bask in an awesome sunset. With a coast stretching over 8km from Kuala Kurau and Tanjung Piandang, encompassing four villages, namely Kampung Nelayan, Kampung Kuala Sungai Burung, Kampung Sungai Baru and Kampung Kuala Parit Tok Hin, and facing the Straits of Malacca, one can see the lights of Penang Bridge at night in the distant horizon.
Story has it that this area was named Ban Pecah, which literally translates to ‘Broken Bund’, due to a curse of an orphan in the 1960s. This orphan owned a piece of land here but it was sold off by his uncle without his approval. Because of this curse, the wall erected along the coast continued to disintegrate.

THEME PARK

Bukit Merah Laketown Ecopark is possibly one of Asia’s most unique ecotourism holiday destinations.  It is located on the shores of the beautiful Lake Bukit Merah and is an eco-friendly park for animals in the natural surrounds of Laketown Resort. Laketown Ecopark, part of Laketown Resort, is a new concept in nature attractions.  This attraction comprises three main enclosures, which house some indigenous and exotic species of birds, butterflies, small mammals, primates, otters and reptiles. Educational displays are specially designed for visitors to gain more knowledge on the animals.

WHAT TO EAT ?

When you are in Kuala Gula, you must not miss out on the tasty soft shell crab and kari ikan sembilang !

WHERE TO STAY?

Where else but the exhilarating Bukit Merah Laketown Resort! Or if you want to experience Bukit Merah from the nearby town, try hotels in Taiping like SSL Trader Hotel, Frame Taiping or Hotel Taiping Perdana. Hotels like Casavilla and Kavanas are less than 30 km from Kuala Gula Bird Sanctuary. You may also rent riverside chalets from the Department of Wildlife and National Parks Malaysia (PERHILITAN).

HOW TO GET THERE ?

Bukit Merah is well connected through land especially. Take the Gunung Semanggol Interchange if you are driving along North-South Expressway. Electric Train Service (ETS) is a popular choice amongst locals and tourists. Hop on a bus from Kamunting Raya Bus Station and head straight to your choice of location in Bukit Merah.

Kuala Gula Wildlife Conservation Centre (Seabirds)

Kuala Gula Wildlife Conservation Centre (Seabirds)

Kuala Gula Wildlife Conservation Centre (Seabirds)
Jabatan PERHILITAN
Pos Kuala Gula, 34350, Kuala Kurau, Perak

Tel: +605-890 2207
Fax: +605-8905773

GPS: 4.9378816,100.4664813
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Orangutan Island

Orangutan Island
www.orangutanisland.org.my
Tel: +605-890 8110

GPS: 4.9378816,100.4664813
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Tasik Bukit Merah

GPS: 5.0011924,100.6667716
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Bukit Merah Laketown Ecopark

Bukit Merah Laketown Ecopark

Jalan Bukit Merah
33400 Semanggol, Perak

Tel : +605-890 8888
Fax : +605-890 8000

http://www.bukitmerahresort.com.my/waterpark

GPS: 4.9965524,100.6598276
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Ban Pecah

Ban Pecah

GPS: 5.036191,100.38836
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