Taiping is a rapidly developing town in northern Perak which holds many places of attraction to enjoy. With an annual rainfall of about 4,000mm, it is the wettest town in Peninsular Malaysia with a fertile collection of flora and rain trees. Many of Malaysia’s ‘firsts’ are found in Taiping, recording a total of 40 firsts mostly including the first location for open tin mining activities in the peninsula, the first hill resort built, the first port built, the first lake gardens built and the first firefly festival held. Among the favorite spots of tourists visiting this quaint quiet town are:
Taiping Lake Gardens
Established in 1880, the 62-hectares park also known as Taman Tasik Taiping is one of the oldest gardens in Malaysia. The main feature of the Taiping Lake Gardens is its tranquil man-made lake transformed from a former tin mine. The Taiping Lake Gardens, which encompasses a lake, a recreational park and a Japanese garden, offer well-preserved lush greeneries and an astounding variety of flowers, birds and insects waiting to be discovered. Taiping Lake Gardens is an ideal stop if you are nearby at the Taiping Zoo or Bukit Larut. At the lake you can do some water cycling on swan like boats.
Right next to the park there is a nice food court, with ample parking space.
Located approximately 10 km from the town of Taiping is a popular highland destination, Bukit Larut. Bukit Larut is also known as Maxwell Hill and is the oldest hill station in Malaysia. The hill lies at an altitude of 1,250 m above sea level, offering visitors the preserved quiet atmosphere of a colonial hill station. Those for a penchant for tranquility and the environment will find it relaxing to stroll along the nature trails and the verdant flower gardens to discover the numerous species of Bukit Larut’s flora and fauna. An enchanting view of the West Coast of the peninsula can also be seen at the summit of the hill.
Taiping Zoo and Night Safari
When visiting Bukit Larut, be sure to drop by the Taiping Zoo and Night Safari which is located at the foot of the popular hill resort, just next to Taiping Lake Gardens. The 34-acre zoo is the oldest zoo in the country and is home to more than 1,300 animals including many species of birds, mammals and reptiles protected in their natural habitats. The zoo is open to the public every day including on public holidays from 8.30 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. while the night safari, which features a variety of nocturnal animals, is open from 8.00 p.m. to 11.00 p.m. Adults would need to pay RM5 as entrance fees to the zoo while it is RM3 for children. On the other hand, the entrance fees for the night safari are RM10 and RM6 for adults and children respectively.
Matang Mangrove Swamp
Another attraction for visitors is the Matang Mangrove Swamp. Covering an area of more than 40,000 hectares, it is recognized as one of the most well-managed expanse of mangrove swamps in the world. The state of Perak has received various international awards for the well-maintenance of this mangrove. The Matang mangrove forest offers an experience different from rain forest expeditions. Explore this coastal habitat that supports water birds, fisheries and charcoal production by walking along the boardwalks into the mangrove swamp for a closer observation of the forest structure. When night falls, take a boat ride down the river for an amazing view of twinkling fireflies.