Taiping is located in northern Perak, about 302km from Kuala Lumpur. It is rich with historical landmarks and natural resources (in the 1800s, Malaya was famous for its natural resources with timber and tin being the most sought after).
Taiping is also known as one of the “wettest towns” in Peninsular Malaysia. And by “wet” we mean to say that the town sees an average annual rainfall of about 4,000mm. The average annual rainfall in the peninsula is around 2,000mm to 2,500mm.
It is a quiet town and some would say a perfect place to escape to in Malaysia for some peace and quiet. While Taiping may be a small and quiet town, there still are some interesting sights to take in. Here are 7 places you should check out when you visit Taiping.
1. Lake Gardens
The town’s Lake Gardens is a popular tourist attraction. Located near Bukit Larut (Maxwell Hill), Taiping’s Lake Gardens was originally a mining ground. It was later established as a public garden in 1880.
The Lake Gardens takes up 64 acres of space and was the first public garden in Malaya (Malaysia was known as Malaya). The Lake Gardens consists of 10 man-made lakes and ponds such as Alamanda Pond, Island Pond, South Lake, Swan Lake and more.
2. Maxwell Hill (Bukit Larut)
Maxwell Hill or Bukit Larut was founded in 1884 by William George Maxwell, who was the British Assistant Resident in Perak. Maxwell Hill is a hill resort, though it is not quite as developed when compared to Genting Highlands and Cameron Highlands, but most people still enjoy the colonial atmosphere with the nice little English gardens and old-world bungalows.
To go up the hill, you will have to hire a Land Rover, as private vehicles are not allowed. You can also walk up the hill, and you will find many people doing this as a form of exercise. But keep in mind that the trek up the 13km hill may take up to 5 hours!
3. Taiping Zoo and Night Safari
The Taiping Zoo was established in 1961, and it is known as one of the oldest Zoos in Malaysia. Covering up to 34 acres in space, the zoo features up to 180 species of amphibians, mammals and reptiles. The zoo is also famous for its Night Safari, which is a first of its kind in Malaysia.
The Night Safari allows you to view a variety of nocturnal animals in their natural looking setting while some of the other animals are also available for viewing, if they are awake, that is. For this, you can choose to walk or take a guided tour on the tram.
4. Taiping War Cemetery/Memorial
Located in Bukit Larut, the Taiping War Cemetery/Memorial was erected and maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. There are more than 850 World War II casualties commemorated here including another 500 who remain unidentified till this day.
The cemetery is divided into two parts. Christian graves are located on the south-eastern side of the road and non-Christian graves are located on the opposite side
5. Port Weld / Kuala Sepetang – Seafood Restaurant
Port Weld or Kuala Sepetang is a coastal town, about 20 minutes from Taiping. The town was originally named after a former Governor, Frederick Weld. Port Weld is a well-known fishing village and many people love visiting here to feast on fresh seafood.
6. Perak Museum
The Perak Museum is located in Taiping, and it is the first and oldest museum in Malaysia. Founded in 1883, the museum was founded by Sir Hugh Low in 1883. To date, there are over 8,474 accumulated collections in the museum, consisting of cultural collections, nature collections and miscellaneous collections, including archaeological items. There is a guided tour for those who are interested.
7. Burmese Pool
The Burmese Pool in Taiping is a large rock pool along a stream at the foothills of Bukit Larut (Maxwell Hill). Locals, as well as tourists, enjoy visiting this place to relax by the rock pool, which is mostly shallow. The water is fed by a small waterfall. There is a chalet available for rent for those who wish to spend the night here.