This town holds several valuable attractions that are a must-visit if you’re a first-timer to Sitiawan. It may sound cliche, but this place has so much more to offer beyond its historical riches. Getting lost in the rich culture and enjoying its beauty is what makes Sitiawan worth your time. Enjoying a trip away from the city lights and noises and opting for a more natural environment is just the thing to look forward to if visiting Sitiawan.
Tua Pek Kong temple, or “Thousand-year-old Temple,” was built in 1888 by the Chinese community of Sitiawan to enshrine Tua Pek Kong. This deity, who is thought to be a mix of Bodhisattva and deified traditional Chinese doctor, is celebrated by both Hokkien and Cantonese speakers. In front of the large central hall with its three doors lies a pair of old granite turtles that were probably part of some other construction. A giant banyan tree shades the quaint old place, dedicated to Tua Pek Kong’s miracles and Mahayana Buddhist beliefs.
The central peristyle holds two buildings, both containing gleaming white Chinese sarcophagi. On either side of the main peristyle stand two halls. The left one has wooden boat-shaped coffins containing the bodies of some Sitiawan dignitaries. Among these is a stone coffin with an inscription noting that it was prepared for the Third Princess of Perak (Raja Iskandariah, who died of old age in 1930) but occupied by her son Raja Yusuf instead.
The right peristyle contains two buildings with seven doors, each storing sacred books and objects related to Tua Pek Kong. Behind the stone altar where the god’s namesake sits, another hall displays a precious collection of Chinese royal costumes.
Waterfall Gardens is built on a lush hill with panoramic views that will take your breath away. It is filled with tourists during weekends and holidays, but it’s more than satisfying on weekdays. There are many waterfalls to see and some animals like deer and monkeys.
Waterfall Gardens will be your dream come true if you’ve ever wanted to get lost in the jungle while remaining secure. There are well-defined pathways that will bring you to the falls, where you can enjoy yourself if you like. It also has a tea garden where you can enjoy the beautiful scenery of the waterfall while having tea or coffee with some cake. The park also has a butterfly centre, an orchid garden, and a hummingbird aviary.
Gunung Nuang is a miniaturised replica of Mount Kinabalu, Malaysia’s most popular tourist destination. It is the most frequently visited place in Sitiawan for its natural beauty and historical significance. An excellent spot with breath-taking views of the surrounding area, you will see all Malaysia’s topographical features from the perch atop this 922-metre high mountain.
The mountain was initially named Gunung Pinang (Betel Nut Mountain) because it was popular for people’s betel nut chewing activities. It has three peaks that are similar to Mount Kinabalu. If you are lucky, you will be able to spot the Kinabalu Giant Red Leech, which can be found in abundance here.
If you’re into adventure and nature, then this is just the place for you. You can drive your vehicle on dirt roads up to an astounding height of 1700 metres. Witness some rare animals like barking deer, porcupines, pythons, eagles and monkeys.
It has been voted as one of Malaysia’s best parks by Malaysians and is quite popular among locals and tourists alike, so if you want to avoid the crowds, go early in the morning before everyone else gets up. You must first register yourself with the ranger station before going on your trip. Bring enough water because the ascent may be steep and the weather isn’t as patient as it is closer to sea level.
If you’re feeling brave, explore Perak’s longest canopy walk at Bukit Gasing, which may take all day to complete. It still offers lots of fun, and along the route, there are several obstacles to overcome, so keep an eye out for them. Long sleeves and pants are recommended for this excursion because some of the plants here can be pretty thorny. There are also areas with nets below, so make sure to look around when you get here.
If you want a typical tranquil Perak beach scene, head up north to Teluk Batik, where visitors will be sitting down while boats bob along the Perak sea. Once you are done sweating from all the hikes around Perak caves or a hike up Perak hills, this is a beautiful location to take a stroll; remember to apply sunscreen.
Sitiawan, the picturesque town in Perak, has grown into a regular travel destination, receiving more and more tourists as time goes by. If you are visiting Perak, keep in mind that it can get pretty hot, including Sitiawan, so make sure you bring lots of water with you. If it’s raining, don’t bother coming because nothing will be open.