Taiping is a town in Perak, Malaysia, and is one of the world’s best sustainable cities. It receives a lot of attention because it is Peninsular Malaysia’s wettest town. It is also one of the first malachite mining settlements in Malaysia.
This town is also known as the “City of Peace” and the “Birthplace of Modernity”. Some significant Taiping attractions include the first railway line and station, telegraph office, post office, and lake garden, apart from the cuisine, colonial architecture, and street art.
Taiping Lake Gardens, located in Taiping, is one of the most popular attractions in the region. This 64-hectare garden was built on an abandoned tin mine site. Visitors often come to this lake for its aesthetic and magnificent beauty, and it’s a sight to see during sunrise and sunset due to its ten artificial lakes and ponds.
Giant rain trees can also be found at Taiping Lake Gardens. The trees appear to be bending down to drink water from the lake when taken for a picnic. The Taiping Lake Gardens are kept with great care and provide a recreational getaway in the middle of nature. Tall bamboo, pines, and other trees are planted all around, allowing for a peaceful scene.
The magnificent Bukit Larut, located 1,250 metres above sea level and is only 10 kilometres from Taiping in Malaysia’s Perak province, is a beautiful hill station with lush greenery. The station was established during the 1880s as a refuge. Maxwell Hill had previously been known as Bukit Larut and is renowned for its fragrant, chilly air, walking trails, and foggy mornings, apart from the more than 600 species of plant life and over 200 species of birds.
The hiking trek takes roughly two and a half hours round trip and is moderately demanding. The summit can also be reached by taking advantage of the government land rovers (RM10 for a round trip) available at the base station. At the upper station of Bukit Larut, there is a telecom tower with an amazing 360-degree view.
The Taiping Zoo, also known as the Sultan Idris Shah of Taman Mergastua, is a zoological park in Taiping, Perak Malaysia. This zoo is located at the foot of the Maxwell or Larut hill and overlooks the beautiful Taiping Lake Gardens. The Taiping Zoo has more than 2,000 creatures, including 180 indigenous and exotic amphibians, mammals, and reptiles.
Perak Museum is a modest public museum in Malaysia’s Perak state that serves as a symbol of the city of Taiping. It was established by Sir Hugh Low, the fourth British Resident of Perak, in 1883. and the architecture is reminiscent of ancient British architectural style. What makes this museum all the more impressive is that it has an incredible 8474 exhibits, including 5074 cultural collections, 523 nature-based collections, and 2877 miscellaneous ones.
The artefacts on display in the early years of this museum were based on ethnography, zoology, botany, and geology, and the work here is split into four galleries titled Natural Gallery, Cultural Gallery, Indigenous People Gallery, and Temporary Gallery.
The Wonder Farm Mushroom is a family-owned and managed business operating for more than 30 years. For those interested, a fascinating and educational tour of the mushrooms is provided on this farm, which will take you through the different components and procedures involved in growing this plant. Among the mushrooms cultivated and sold here are oyster mushrooms, grey oyster mushrooms, reishi mushrooms (Ling Zhi), and tiger milk mushrooms.
Antong Coffee Mill is Malaysia’s first coffee mill. The Antong Café brand of coffee is produced by the Taiping coffee plant, located in the main town. It’s also known for producing some excellent locally brewed coffees, such as Ipoh and Durian, and the factory exhibits how coffee is grown, roasted, and processed.
A video is played in the mill that goes through the coffee-making procedure in detail, allowing some free coffee sampling and tasting before purchasing. The factory also has an adjacent shop called Sun Yat Sen Coffee Machinery Museum, which sells high-quality coffee powder and biscuits and serves as a historical information centre about Sun Yat Sen.
The Allied Office and Servicemen Martyrs’ Cemetery is a burial ground for allied office staff and military personnel who perished in the second world war. This graveyard is divided into a Christian cemetery on the southeast side of the road and a non-Christian cemetery on the opposite side. Of the 850 people buried here, 500 are still unidentified, and a majority of them came from the United Kingdom, Australia, China, Malaysia, or were of Gurkha origin.
As the first church in Malaysia, All Saints Church is a charming wooden edifice in Taiping. With a gothic architectural design, this chapel is made of meranti panels with hardwood frames and a louvred tower that contains four tubular bells. Founded in 1886 and sanctified in 1887, this church is also the country’s oldest church.
In 2008, this century-old sanctuary underwent some upgrades. This holy place of worship, aside from an administrative centre, is now equipped with restrooms, choir rooms, libraries, and vicarage apartments. The main hall at this religious site can also comfortably accommodate 350 worshippers at once.
The Burmese Pool, better known as Kolam Renang Batu Besar, is a big rock pool located along a stream in Taiping, Malaysia. Although this rock pool is relatively large, it is shallow, making it a popular destination for family gatherings and picnics. As this pool is located in the rainforest, visitors must trek through the Taiping Lake Gardens to find the sign indicating Burmese Pool.
The Taiping Clock Tower is a notable monument in the town’s centre. It was initially built of wood and timber before being rebuilt with bricks in 1890. The original square-shaped structure was also changed to its current design during the rebuilding.
While there are many identical structures in Penang and Kuala Lumpur, the Taiping Clock Tower is unique because it is Malaysia’s oldest clock tower. The clock tower also serves as a tourist information centre with maps and information about Taiping.
While there is no entry path to the top of the tower, it is lovely looking from afar. The 20-metre high tower has a brick-coloured pyramid-shaped roof with precision cut arches above a tiny weather vane in the form of a rooster. The middle of the building contains an open and airy balcony enclosure with flags decorating it, located directly over the main entrance, which features two red doors on each side.
Given all of the attractions, Taiping fully justifies its moniker as “the Heritage Town” in various ways. While not as popular as other tourist destinations, Taiping might be the solution to your travel cravings.