Taiping, in the state of Perak has been a profitable mining town for ages. Miners hailing from Britain and China would come here to extract tin. Eventually, this town became wealthy and several developments were made, resulting in buildings boasting colonial architecture. This small town is still relatively unknown, many tourists come here to experience its rich history and colonial influence. In this article, we look at 10 things that make Taiping special.
10 Best Things to Do in Taiping | Malaysia
1. Swim at the Burmese Pool
Only a short distance from Bukit Larut, the Burmese Pool is a massive pool ideal for a lake-side picnic with your family. This pool is well-known among the natives of Taiping, and it is encompassed by a picturesque rainforest. Once you arrive at the majestic Taiping Lake Gardens, keep an eye out for a post showing the exact location of this wonderful rock pool.
There is a conveniently located parking space near the pool for you to park your vehicle. Despite the pool being sizable, it is not deep and safe for swimming. There is also a small cascade nearby.
2. Check out the gigantic trees near Taiping Lake Gardens
To the South of Taiping Lake gardens, you will catch a glimpse of enormous Rain Trees and Pukul Lima trees. From a distance, you will notice that the branches are leaning towards the adjacent lake. This bizarre shape makes it seem like the trees are taking a sip of the divine lake water.
Many have come to this exact site to perform wedding ceremonies in front of the Rain Trees. According to locals, these trees were originally planted by the British in 1898. This place becomes lively during the evening, with children playing around and lovers spending a relaxing time together.
3. Tour the Taiping Zoo at night
One of Taiping’s main attractions is the Taiping Zoo, known for sheltering over 1200 animals. Launching in 1961, this enormous zoo has a diverse selection of species including Orangutans, and crocodiles. Although open to the public, this facility is also a wildlife refuge and a research center for endangered and abandoned species.
This center has used a multitude of scientists and conservation experts to help safeguard and rehabilitate Taiping’s threatened species. This place is best visited at night as you will be able to observe an assembly of nocturnal species in their natural habitat.
4. Traverse the popular Taiping Lake Gardens
Taiping Lake Garden is the town’s prime tourist destination. Before its restoration as a public garden, this place used to be a mining ground for tin. In the late 1800s, this park was transformed into a beautiful garden, complete with several types of plants, including the gigantic Rain Trees.
These trees encircle the entire lake and have remained for centuries. These trees never fail to astonish visitors by reclining towards the lake, touching the water.
5. Be amazed at the massive Matang Mangrove Forest Reserve
With a total area of 40,000 hectares, the award-winning Matang Mangrove Forest Reserve is a well-maintained nature reserve stretching between Kuala Gula and Pantai Remis. It is one of the most popular mangrove swamps all over the world.
Dating back to 1902, a major portion of this reserve has been subjected to coal manufacturing, while the remaining land is heavily safeguarded as a wildlife refuge. After sunset, you can take a boat ride around this reserve to gaze upon various sparkling fireflies.
6. Gawk at Taiping’s colonial clock tower
Opening in 1881, the famous Taiping’s colonial clock tower had been originally constructed solely from timber. Since the wooden structure required frequent maintenance and repair, they were replaced with bricks soon after. Despite this change, the Clock Tower maintains its colonial essence and beauty.
It overlooks a bevy of apartment blocks, and resembles a church from afar. Interestingly, throughout the building’s existence, it has been a police station and a fire station.
7. Visit the famous Chinese Pagoda and Hosian Temple
Taiping is inhabited by numerous Chinese people, most of whom are Buddhists. Therefore, it’s no surprise that this town would be home to several Buddhist temples. If you are in the neighborhood, visit the Chinese Pagoda boasting exceptional Cantonese architecture and flamboyant interiors exuding a pleasant fragrance.
Alternatively, you can also visit the Hosian Temple built in the early 19th century. This temple has now been restored and is operated by two monks and their disciples.
8. Learn about Taiping’s past in Perak Museum
The Perak Museum, established in 1883, is one of Malaysia’s earliest Museums. The museum’s exterior boasts early colonial architecture. This place is a haven for history buffs as it showcases close to 8000 artifacts and antiques.
You will find several historic items and objects that represent the rich culture and heritage of Taiping. You can also get a guided tour of this place upon request. This museum is close to the much-revered Lake Garden.
9. Appreciate the earliest railway station of Malaysia
Dating back to 1885, Malaysia’s earliest railroad stretched between Taiping and Kuala Lumpur. The main purpose of constructing this route was to increase efficiency of transporting tin to the trading hub in Kuala Lumpur. The railway station from which goods were transported in the late 1800s still exists in Taiping, beside the King Edward VII School.
At present, this station has been restored to a gallery showcasing exhibits that outlines the phases Taiping through over the years. There are also several cafes to grab a quick bite.
10. Explore Taiping’s vibrant Night Market
Ever since its launch in 2014, Taiping’s night market has expanded exponentially! It features a new section called the Cross Street Bazaar, where you find a bunch of souvenirs, jewelry and a variety of craftwork to take home.
Stretch 300 meters along Alang Ahmad Street, you will find lots of delicious local food and a lively atmosphere complete with music. This is also a great place for bargain hunters!
In conclusion, Taiping has a bit of everything. You will find bustling night markets to serene temples and nature reserves. You can have many experiences here which you won’t forget anytime soon. Visit Taiping to make everlasting memories!