Taiping and Kuala Sepetang in a day

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Taiping is a familiar place to me as during Chinese New Year when I was a kid, my mom and her boyfriend would go to Taiping to celebrate Chinese New Year, and as the kid.. I have no choice but to tag along lah…

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My favorite place in Taiping was of course the Taiping Lake Gardens and the Taiping Zoo, and if you are asking me, the Taiping Zoo was the very first zoo I visited as a kid… yup.. it was not yet the Zoo Taiping & Night Safari it is today…

Anyway from the past until this very day visitors and tourists come to Taiping for 3 reasons.. the beauty of nature, the heritage and of course… the cheap but good food.. I did so love the chee cheong fun coupled with the yam cake by the roadside I had years and years ago.. but cannot quite remember where it is now..

So when Gaya Travel and Tourism Perak gave me the opportunity to visit Kuala Sepetang and Taiping, I was pretty delirious with excitement…

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Taiping’s history began back in 1840s when Long Jaafar’s elephant went missing and when they finally found Larut 3 days later, they found traces of tin ore on its legs, thus eventually Long Jaafar became the head man and named the area Larut after his elephant…

Our day trip began from Ipoh, where we boarded the bus from our lovely hotel which just took us about an hour…

1. Matang Mangrove Eco-Educational Centre

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Our first stop was at the Matang Mangrove Eco-Educational Centre at Kuala Sepetang…

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Did you know that this state forest is one of the few existing mangrove forest schemes which have been monitored since early colonial times…

This was where we got a nice little exercise walking on the boardwalk through the mangrove forest…

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…only to exit the other side where they had accomodation facilities, chalets etc.. and there was even a nice jetty that brought visitors around to fishing villages, fish farms, and if you were lucky maybe spot some pink dolphins or if at night.. those illuminating fireflies in the sky..

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We learnt about the importance of Mangrove trees and how it was used as charcoal as well as other types of herbs like Jeruju which is good for gout and diabetes and trees such as the Lengadai tree which wood can be used for piling…

..as well as how they select which area to cut down and what to leave behind… it was definitely fascinating…

2. Kuala Sepetang Charcoal Kilns

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Formerly known as Port Weld, the sleepy town of Kuala Sepetang is famous for its charcoal processing industry…

After all, the coastal village is surrounded by 40,700 hectares of mangrove forest..

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Kuala Sepetang’s charcoal has been acknowledged as one of the best in Asia

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We were at the Chuah Charcoal Kiln where Mr Chuah proudly explained and described the process of how the Mangrove trees are turned into charcoal.. and we even got to see “naked” trees, mangrove trees which were stripped of their bark before being left to dry.. before eventually getting baked in the charcoal kilns…

It sure was a very interesting experience and I got a bottle of filtered Mangrove Wood vinegar said to be good for skin, killing bacteria and getting rid of mosquitoes…

Address – Kampung Mentri Bakar Arang, Kuala Sepetang

3. Matang Museum

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The Matang Museum is also known as Ngah Ibrahim’s Fort.. It was built by Ngah Ibrahim, who carried the title Orang Kaya Menteri Paduka Tuan as his residence. Ngah Ibrahim was the son of Che Long Jaafar, the first Malay who opened tin mines in the Larut, Matang and Selama areas in 1840.

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The Matang museum was also the administrative center for Larut, a teacher training institute as well as a Malay school and also Ngah Ibrahim’s final resting place…

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The building was constructed using only rock-based materials. During the Japanese occupation in the Malay States (1941-1945), it functioned as the Japanese Army’s headquarters. The fort finally turned into the Matang Museum since in 1985

Opening hours –  9 am – 5 pm

4. Telegraph Museum

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The Telegraph Museum also happens to be first post office in Malaya.

Built in 1885, it features buttresses on its walls. In 1900 it was converted into a concrete building.. and has been refurbished and currently waiting to reopen its doors to the general public on the 16th July 2018…

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We were lucky to get the chance to take a peek at the beautifully renovated Telegraph Museum which is also interactive and you can actually try your hands on how to send telegraph codes….

5. Perak Museum

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The Perak Museum is the oldest museum in Peninsular Malaysia. Located in Taiping, just across the road from the Taiping Jail, it is about 3 km from town.

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The Nature Gallery exhibits all kinds of animal, bird, fish, snail and herberium species, all of which are housed in unique exhibition cases aged over a hundred years old.

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Since it is an old museum, it is best to have some friends with you when visiting since it can get a little creepy if you find yourself alone in one of the galleries.. nothing happened to me really but it was just a feeling hehehe….

The Cultural Gallery displays collections and artifacts from various types of handiworks, handicrafts and weavings of the Malaysian people, especially from Perak, such as a unique weaving made by the Sultan of Perak’s mother.

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Perak is one of the states that is home to a lot of indigenous people from the Proto Malay, Senoi and Negrito tribes. The Indigenous People Gallery displays the skills of these tribes.

Opening hours –  9 am – 6 pm

6. Taiping War Memorial

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The Taiping Commonwealth War Memorial Grave is a graveyard to commemorate all the fallen Allied soldiers irregardless of their religion and race who died at the World War II..

It is the first and largest war memorial in Malaysia and it is just so serene there…

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The memorial consist of 866 graves of fallen soldiers who came from Australia, New Zealand, India, United Kingdom, Malaysia and so on.. and sectioned according to religious beliefs…

7. Taiping Lake Garden

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The Taiping Lake Garden was as most of the lakes around a previous tin mine, which has been filled up with water from the nearby Bukit Larut..

Located at the foot of Bukit Larut, the Taiping Lake Garden is indeed an awe inspiring sight…

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It is currently administered by the Taiping Municipal Council but the most unique sight about the Taiping Lake Gardens would be the majestic Rain Trees or commonly known as the Pokok Pukul Lima, with their branches stretching from one end of the road to the lake right across the road….

This gorgeous Taiping Lake Garden is also the very first public gardens in Peninsula Malaysia…

8. Zoo Taiping & Night Safari

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The Zoo Taiping & Night Safari or which is also officially known as Taman Mergastua Sultan Idris Shah is run by the Taiping Municipal Council… it is located right at the famous Taiping Lake Gardens and is the only zoo on the Northern part if Peninsula Malaysia…

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From an initial 5 hectare space, the Zoo Taiping & Night Safari has been increased in size, redeveloped and renovated until it is now 14 hectares and is one of the most naturalistic zoos in the country…

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The zoo contains about 130 species of birds, mammals, reptiles, and fishes…

We were there only at night.. my first time to a night safari in Malaysia… huhuhu..

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Surprisingly , I have to say that the Night Safari certainly exceeded my expectations and it is certainly an amazing chance to observe the nocturnal animals, most which are muchnmore active at night while pretty sluggish during the day…

The lighting in the zoo has been made to mimic the natural moonlight so that visitors can see the animals yet, the animals are protected from too glaring lights etc.. Another thing I took note of was that the area was far cleaner then some of the other local zoos I visited before…

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So yes.. I would really highly recommend this to those who want a chance to view the animals at night… you can take a nice evening walk or get on the tram like we did for a faster visit…

I definitely enjoyed my little sojourn there and will plan for a visit during the day soon..

Zoo Taiping : Opening hours – 8.30 am – 6pm
Night Safari : Opening hours – 8pm – 11pm (12pm on Saturdays and eve of public holidays)

www.zootaiping.gov.my

And so these are the places I visited in Taiping and Kuala Sepetang, in a day… and you might want to go to these places to, or well, plan your own day out in Taiping, since there are really a lot of things to do and places to see besides just these….

 

 

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