Taiping was one of the first towns in Malaya to be developed by the British and this is reflected in the grandeur of some of its architecture. It was the capital of Perak until it was superseded by Ipoh. Taiping is steeped with historical treasures. The discovery of tin deposits in the 19th century attracted settlers from China which marked the beginning of Ghee Hin and Han San clans in Perak.
The name Taiping was inspired from Chinese characters – “Tai” (Great) and “Ping” (Peace). Today Taiping is lauded as the heritage tourism destination in the country!
TAIPING LAKE GARDENS
One cannot claim to have visited Taiping without taking some time off to soak in the natural beauty of the Taiping Lake Gardens.
The 64ha Taiping Lake Gardens was created when flood overwhelmed an abandoned tin mine in the 1880s. It was the first public garden in Malaya. Sturdy ancient rain trees line the lakes where monkeys and bird species like king-fishers, parakeets and hornbills inhabit the gardens.
There are paddle-boats, walking tracks, cycling lanes, a playground and roller-skating rinks to keep visitors occupied. Taiping Lake Gardens also boast picturesque landscapes such as bridges, islands and pagodas that evoke pristine ambience for nature lovers.
When the tropical heat was too overbearing for comfort, the British established a retreat in 1879 – the country’s first hill station at Bukit Larut (Maxwell Hill), adjacent to the Lake Gardens.
The steep climb to the 1250 summit was a rough trek. The ascend to the summit is not for the faint of heart. The zig-zag bends and sharp corners provide adventurous respite for the courageous spirit. The explorers could hike up the 10km hill slope while drinking in the nature’s treasures. The hilltop shows off yesteryear colonial bungalows while the landscape is decorated with rare and exotic species of flora and fauna.
Bukit Larut Biodiversity Centre located at the hilltop coordinates nature conservation and preservation programs especially in identifying undiscovered flora, fauna and rare insects in three areas: Tea Garden, Land Rover Station and the Green House.
For those who enjoy connecting with nature, the Batu Kurau – Bukit Larut Jungle Trekking would trigger your adrenalin rush.
Bukit Larut is also known as one of the “wettest place” in Malaysia. The average annual rainfall is about 4,000mm in Bukit Larut while the average is 2,000mm – 2,500mm.
ZOO TAIPING & NIGHT SAFARI
There are also porcupines, slow loris black and white tapirs and mouse deers (the world’s smallest hoofed animal). The gibbons swinging over their personal island is also an entertaining sight, besides watching a tiger swim across an unfenced pond. The steady and commanding gaze can be unnerving but the viewing distance is safe for onlookers.
Many animals in the zoo are nocturnal and idle by day. The Night Safari opens at 8.00pm. The moonlight provides natural lighting to allow visitors to observe the animals without upsetting their routines. Small cats with torching eyes are the most exciting to look at with their elegant prowling. There are also animal species feasting on the fruits hanging upside down from a branch.
TAIPING HERITAGE TRAIL
WHAT TO EAT ?
Taiping is an underrated food haven! Between the splashing fireworks of the Char Koay Teow and the succulent satay (Malaysian Barbecue), there are thirst-quenching cendol, goodness-packed popiah (spring rolls) and scrumptious murtabak (Malaysian pizza). Try to catch the famous Antong coffee that caters to different coffee palette preferences. A truly one-stop heaven for food lovers!
WHERE TO STAY?
From zen retreats to home-away-from-home homestay to well-equipped and modern hotels, Taiping has it all. Choose from a selection of room and board to your preference and comfort.
HOW TO GET THERE ?
Taiping is well connected. Take a flight to Penang and from there have a scenic drive down to Taiping. Electric Train Service (ETS) is also a popular choice amongst locals and tourists. Or hop on a bus from Kuala Lumpur and head to Kamunting Bus Terminal. If you’re driving, exit the North-South Expressway either at the Changkat Jering Interchange or Taiping Utara Interchange
KTM Taiping Station (Train)
Jalan Stesen, 34000 Taiping, Perak
Tel: +605-807 9677
Taiping Bus Terminal
Jalan Masjid 34000 Taiping
Kamunting Bus Terminal
Kamunting Raya, 34600 Kamunting
Taiping Lake Gardens
Zoo Taiping & Night Safari
153, Jalan 2, Taman Sentosa
View on Google Maps
Tel : +605 – 807 7241
View on Google Maps