Though it may be only a lesser jewel in the dazzling mosaic of the Malaysian landscape, the state of Perlis is replete with the languid, old-world charm that continues to entice travelers from all over the peninsular. The natural wonders are both accessible and stunning, and the state’s connection with southern Thailand means that visitors can enjoy some fantastic and unique cultural and culinary infusions. So for the resident traveler who has grown weary of the attractions of the larger states, the quaint features of Perlis are certain to serve as the perfect remedy.
1) Masjid Terapung Al-Hussain Mosque
Photo Credit: AmazingMalaysia.blogspot
This beautiful floating mosque is made all the more charming against the serene ocean backdrop of the straits. The walls inside the mosque are lavishly patterned with carved coral, quartz, pebbles and marble. The mosques foundations are built right into the seabed.
Imported Arabian palm trees hem the mosque, adding a pronounced Saracen splendor to the Mosque. The lights that emanate from this mosque indicate the time of prayer to fishermen out at sea.
2) Rock Climbing
Photo credit: Vertical Adventure.com
Perlis boasts a number of bluffs and outcrops perfect for rock-climbing, though only sites specifically designated for climbing should be scaled. Popular sites include Gua Kelam and Bukit Keteri, the latter featuring an outcrop over a yawning cave that cuts through the mountain. Most of the crags are topped with lush green forests and, at Bukit Keteri, campsites and food-stores are available. Guests can lodge at the nearby state capital of Kangar, the ideal spot to rest and relax before climbs. Potential visitors should be warned that previous rock climbing experience is essential before attempting the routes at Perlis, and that climbing groups should be well acquainted with hospital and clinic locations before setting off.
3) Gua Kelam Cave
Photo credit: Marufish, Flickr
One of Malaysia’s most impressive caves, Gua Kelam (or ‘cave of darkness’) was opened to the public in 2008. The cave was once used for tin mining operations and a subterranean stream, the eddying dripping of which still echoes in the gloom, was once used to transport mined materials. A wooden walkway, illuminated by vibrant lights, leads through the cave. Squeamish visitors should be warned that bats roost in the depths of Kelam Cave, though their presence only adds to the eerie wonder of the place.
4) Wang Kelian Markets
Photo credit: Perlis.Home.Net
This sprawling Sunday market stretches along both sides of the border separating Malaysia from Thailand. Shoppers can enjoy a truly unique international shopping experience with ease, owing to the fact that the border guards open up the Thai section of the Markets without guests having to go through the hassle of producing their passports for verification (though this is strictly only the case on Sundays). Cheap clothing, delicious local delicacies and household goods can be easily acquired at Wang Kelian markets. The most famous meals available are the spicy ‘pulut ayam’ (a kind of fried chicken rice) and ‘somtam’ (a Thai seafood salad). There is also an endless supply of fresh fruit on offer, which remain exceedingly popular with the local Malays in the area.
5) The Perlis Snake and Reptile Farm
Malaysia’s only snake and reptile farm is located in Sungai Batu Pahat boasting its 200 snakes of 34 different species, as well as a number of other lizards. The infamous king cobra can be found at the farm, as well as several large crocodiles, iguanas and monitor lizards. Guests can have their photo taken with two large (though harmless) pythons.
Aside from being built for zoological purposes, the farm was also established so that thorough medical research on the merits of anti-venom could be carried out. Despite the farm remaining a vital research facility, it has garnered just as much fame as a tourist attraction all throughout Malaysia.
6) Tasik Melati Recreational Park
Photo credit: TourismCorridor.blogspot.com
The scenic wetlands surrounding Melati Lake have, in recent years, been developed and furnished with a range of facilities for visitors looking for a day of rest and recreation away from the woes of the city. Guests can angle for ‘puyu’ fish (a local specialty) in designated lake areas, island hop on a hired boat, or simply stroll along the wooden walkways, which offer unforgettable views of the surrounding vistas of sparkling lakes and green bluffs. There is even a range of refreshment stands and a children’s playground, making Tasik Melati perfect for family getaways. Parking is free and rarely crowded, and visitors are encouraged to stroll to their heart’s content.
This article was updated on the 28th April 2016.
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