Teluk Intan is a town in the Hilir Perak district of southwest Perak state, on the banks of the mighty Perak River. The town, mainly surrounded by a giant loop in the river, is home to around 120,000 people. However, this town is not short of sights to behold and is a proven tourist destination, especially for those who value the intricate architecture of our history.
This memorial stone inscribed in the centre of the town reminds us never to forget those who have died for their country. The plinth reads ‘when the sun goes down, and in the morning we will remember them – 1914-1918; 1939-1945’. Since no lists are detailing Teluk Intan’s casualties during these wars, they remain only remembered generically by all Malaysians collectively rather than individually like other types of events or struggles where one might be able to list the names of people involved.
If you explore the town through the Teluk Intan Heritage Trail, you will notice that the Old Court House is on the list. This former courthouse building used as a court until 1983 was built in 1891. On Sundays, this place of law was also used as a place of worship until St. Luke’s Church opened its doors.
If you are looking for one of the oldest buildings from the time of British administration, the Old Post Office is at the top of the list. This building with its own compound can be traced back to before World War One. While it might be one of the oldest buildings around, the building’s British colonial architectural design and post office function is kept to this day.
St. Luke’s Church is another one of the old buildings that can be traced back to the time during the British Administration. This church further stands out with its architectural design using red bricks and wood with a high pitched roof. The bell in this church was also directly brought in from England during its construction. The only downside to this place of worship is its relatively small size which can only accommodate around 60 people.
Another place of worship that you should check out is the Hock Soon Keong Temple. This famous temple complex was built in 1883 after a sacred shrine was built to worship the God of Sein Kong, and the Goddess Sein Ma, with roots tracing back to 1845, was moved to accommodate a larger group of Chinese believers. This temple also served as the centre point of the Hokkien community during the British administration.
If you are looking for a place with colourful history, few can beat the Tapah Road to Teluk Intan Railway. This railway closed in 1989 due to poor traffic was constructed in 1883, linking Teluk Intan to Ipoh. During this time, it survived the dismantling by the Japanese during World War Two.
Not only that, it held history to the first-ever train accident in Malaya in 1888. On another occasion, this railway recorded the first-ever train derailment due to an animal. In 1894 while the train was ferrying people to Teluk Intan, an angry bull elephant confronted the approaching train, which led to the elephant’s death and derailment of the train.
The most remarkable thing about Teluk Intan is undoubtedly its architectural features which contribute immensely to its townscape. With its old cinemas, Christian churches, Chinese temples and mosques that still stand firm today despite their age and exposure to human activities and natural calamities over the years, Teluk Intan is a city proven to stand against the test of time, preserving many historical sites and events for the future generations.