Taiping is a charming old tin-mining town in Perak, northern Malaysia, between the strong mountains of Ipoh and the murky seas of Georgetown. This small city is not known as a popular tourist spot, but it contains such a rich history of the country, the first railway, the oldest museum, good food, and scenic views of mountains, lakes, the first zoo, the oldest prison. and centuries-old rain trees.
The name Taiping is made up of two Chinese characters (tai – ‘great’) and (ping – ‘peace’). The area developed quickly in the 19th century when tin was discovered. The discovery of tin deposits in the area attracted settlers from China.
The months of June to August may be more convenient due to the slightly warmer and drier weather.
Photo credit: Hams Nocete / Flickr
Taiping Lake Gardens
Taiping Lake Gardens opened in 1880 becoming Malaysia’s first park, built on the site of an old tin mine, its sprawling 62-hectare forest and lake offer a perfect spot for a picnic, chill out or relax. There are plenty of well-maintained tracks around the lake or you can rent a variety of small boats from the Pusat Rekreasi Dayung. There are lots of various plants, iconic rain trees that are dramatically bent downwards towards the lake that makes walking around it a wonderful experience.
Check this video taken from DJI Phantom 3 Profession from Mode Media MY
The Lake Gardens are also popular with cyclists as well as groups of martial artists.
Taiping Zoo is Malaysia’s oldest zoo that houses more than 1,000 animals or 180 species of amphibians, mammals and reptiles. The zoo is located nearby Taiping Lake Gardens. It is also one of the popular things to do in Taiping, and the zoo has active participation in conservation and breeding efforts.
Perak’s oldest church
All Saint’s Church along Taming Sari Street is Perak’s oldest church. It was the first church in the Federated Malay States, founded in 1886. The church features a timber facade and gothic architectural design, with a small adjacent cemetery. Its cemetery is laden with beautifully crafted tombstones of European settlers.
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Malaysia’s first-ever museum
Muzium Perak, otherwise known as the Perak Museum, was the first museum established in Malaysia in 1883. Located at the intersection of Jalan Muzium and Jalan Taming Sari, it sits directly opposite the Taiping Prison.
The 8474 exhibits displayed show Malaysia’s history, zoology, and geology, amongst many other parts of old history that have long been forgotten. Some of the exhibits show the culture and products of the indigenous tribes of Perak, including the Senoi and Negrito tribes.
Photo credit: Rafihomestay
Explore Taiping for FREE with an electric shuttle bus
After Taiping was established as a Heritage town, the shuttle buses were gifted to Taiping by the Japanese government. Not only are the shuttle buses convenient for tourists to go sightseeing in, the buses are also environmentally friendly. Buses stop in a total of thirty-nine places including Taiping Museum and Taiping Lake Gardens.
Visitors can board the bus along the Taiping Heritage Trail, the Zoo, Clock Tower, or Museum.
Photo credit: SRTG / wikipedia
Founded in 1884, it is the oldest hill resort in Malaysia. It is approximately 1250 m above sea level. The name Maxwell comes from the first British resident of assistant of Perak. The hill was supposed to be a tea plantation, but the tea plants didn’t grow very well here, so the British planters moved to Cameron Highlands instead.
You can see different types of trees and plants here due to the slightly lower temperatures from the rest of the mainland.
Photo credit: Chongkiann / wikipedia
The Taiping Railway Station
Malaysia’s first railway station was situated in Taiping and was opened in 1885 when the Taiping-Port Weld Railway Line, Malaysia’s first, was opened.
Located about an hour drive away from Ipoh, Taiping Railway Station has been a heritage building in town, in which it acts as part of the history. The station remains in the state as a heritage site and serves as a tourist attraction.
Taiping Railway Station has a gallery explaining the 33 things that happened first in Taiping.
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Matang Mangrove Forest Reserve
Covering an area of more than 40,000 hectares, Matang Mangrove Forest Reserve is recognized as one of the most well-managed expanse of mangrove swamps in the world. Established in 1902, it is the largest mangrove reserve in Malaysia. Mangrove forests are considered as one of the most productive ecosystems in the world and have a well-established ecological, economic and cultural importance.
The state of Perak has received various international awards for its excellent maintenance of this mangrove.
The Burmese Pool is a large rock pool along a stream at the foothills of Bukit Larut, an especially popular weekend nature attraction among locals.
The area is popular with the locals who come here to bath in the river. Burmese Pool got its name from the natural rock pool fed by a waterfall.
Photo credit: spritzerecopark
A mini golf course in Spritzer EcoPark
Opened in 2015, by Malaysia’s largest bottled water manufacturer, dedicated Kidz Zone and 18-Hole Mini Golf, an ideal family retreat, the Spritzer EcoPark has a mini-golf course, and a rainforest walk with scenic views of the park. Entry to both the EcoPark and the bottling plant is free.
Watch this video from Malaysia Truly Asia to find out what are the must visit places when you are in Taiping.
Want to learn more about sustainable travel? Check our other posts about sustainable travel destinations.
Main photo credit: Gary ToddFollow Flickr