Historic Taiping Tourist Attraction Heritage Trails
Perak’s most historic town, Taiping tourist attraction, has self-guided Heritage Trails to provides an extensive list of what to see for your holidays in Malaysia.
Pack an umbrella if you’re going to Taiping.
Taiping in Perak is one of those small towns where city folks think, “You better bring an umbrella if you don’t want to be soaked or hungry.
Shops close early, and everyone goes to bed by 9 pm.”
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Story of a Rain Town
I chose to travel incredibly when the heatwave peaks in July with a scorching sun and noon temperatures of 33C.
It makes walking around in the afternoons a little uncomfortable.
At least I wasn’t trudging in the rains, soaking wet or, worst still, hungry!
Reputed to be a rain-drenched town with lush greenery, Taiping is peaceful and serene.
The locals, apart from playing rain forecasts, appear calm as they go about their daily lives.
I tried to engage a few senior Taipingites to play rain forecasts with me.
I look at the sky, it’s a brilliant blue.
The oldies look at me and say flatly, “It’s the dry spell. We don’t play.”
Taiping Tourist Attraction is a Natural Paradise
Taiping Lake Gardens were originally a former tin mine turned into ten artificial lakes, a jogging track around the beautiful environment.
Taiping Zoo is the first zoo in Malaysia and houses over 2000 animals representing 160 local and exotic species.
A familiar sight is the century-old Rain Trees drooping branches that seem to dip like fingers into the lake.
This is a favorite site for wedding photographs in Taiping and a wonderful place to visit for your holidays in Malaysia.
As the sun dips behind, the horizons explode with color creating magical views of the lake.
Evergreen Green Lung – Taiping Lake Gardens
Taiping Lake Gardens has centuries-old rain trees surrounding ten scenic lakes and ponds.
The gentle nature and brilliant greenery of the exquisitely laid-out gardens calm and soothe visitors favoring natural therapy.
I joined the locals for a misty run in the early morning, taking in the fresh air cooled by the lake.
The pavement may be uneven in some spots, but the run is invigorating.
Go at 6 am, when it’s cold, you’ll meet friendly locals out for their morning exercises.
In the evenings, Taiping residents gather to play here.
Taiping Tourist Attraction – Zoo & Night Safari
Malaysia’s first zoo and a night safari located within the Lake Gardens is home to more than 180 species of animals set in a natural environment.
Stay for the Night Safari and see nocturnal owls, wild cats, and large mammals come to life.
Occasionally the shy dusky leaf monkeys come to the ground and scamper across the road.
This species has cute white “spectacles,” which contrasts with their black fur.
Taiping is a paradise for explorers and nature lovers.
Bukit Larut is a mere 12-minute walk from Taiping Lake.
The Burmese Pool is a shallow spacious rock pool fed by a stream at the hill’s foot.
About 15 minutes from Bukit Larut, guests can stay at the Sentosa Villa, close to jungle fringes where the dusky leaf monkeys roam.
Taiping is No 3 most sustainable city in the world.
Matang Mangrove Forest Reserve
The best bird-watching activities are found in the Matang Mangrove Forest Reserve, about 15km from Taiping Town.
Visitors can walk on the 1.3km long boardwalk to view the mangrove habitat, rich with diverse wildlife.
The mangrove forest functions as an important site for coastal migratory waterbirds and acts as a natural fence against a tsunami.
Intriguing Colonial Buildings To See On a Taiping Heritage Trail
Historically, Taiping achieved a succession of many “firsts” in civic life areas with the establishment of Taiping Town in 1874.
The First Galleria Taiping showcases these historical firsts.
Several of the listed colonial public buildings are located within the town’s heritage trail.
Heritage Buildings Are Taiping Tourist Attraction
“Heritage buildings in Taiping are mostly government buildings and shophouses where the architecture is English-influenced. There are 83 shophouses and 34 public buildings in Taiping.
The shophouses are the most prominent and essential landmarks in Taiping.
They are imported from China, influenced by the colonial architecture that grew in the 16th century to the mid-20th century.
The colonial architectures are brought in by the European colonialists like the Portuguese, Dutch, and English modified to suit the Malaysian climate.
The popular architectures are Utilitarian, Neo-Classical, Palladian, Minnan, Modern, and others.
One of the uniqueness of the heritage buildings here is that most of the concrete structures in Larut were constructed much earlier than the other places in the Peninsula.
According to general opinion, Taiping town was already filled with bricks buildings and houses when houses in Kuala Lumpur were still shabby and made of wood.
The shop houses’ and government buildings’ designs still look intact and exciting, and visitors could experience the nostalgic glory of old Taiping through these heritage buildings.” – Taiping Municipal Council
Taiping Tourist Attraction – Buildings Built in the 1800s
- The Hokkien Association Building (1860)
- The first Post Office (1877)
- Old House Museum (1880)
- Taiping hospital (1880)
- Taiping Lake Gardens (1880)
- Taiping Clock Tower (1881)
- Clock Tower(1881)
- Central Police Station (1881)
- General Hospital (1881)
- Telegraph museum (1883)
- The Perak Museum (1883)
- The Wet Market (1884)
- Lake Garden (1884)
- Railway (1885) Port (1885)
- Museum (1886)
- Golf Course (1886)
- All Saint Church Taiping (1886)
- Coronation Swimming Pool (1870)
- Taiping Prison (1879)
- Chartered Bank (1888)
- The Taiping Railway Station (1896)
Taiping Tourist Attraction – Buildings built after 1900
- SMK King Edward VII (1905)
- Peace Hotel (1928)
- Peking Hotel (1929)
- Persatuan Hokkien (1931)
- Taiping Zoo (1961)
Good Eats Are Part of Taiping Tourist Attraction
After my morning run, I decided to join the housewives in the century-old Taiping Central Market.
This wood and cast iron latticed structure is a thriving hub of activities in the mornings.
Nearby the Larut Matang Food Court is a smorgasbord of lively kitchens with 120 hawker stalls.
Each cook prepares an amazing variety of local breakfast delicacies of cakes, rice, and noodles dishes.
Deep-fried pieces of sweetened dough and banana leaf parcels of nasi lemak jostle for space.
You can choose to eat from the Halal or non-Halal section.
Along Jalan Pasar (Market Street), Kopitiams have specialty dishes that Taipingites tell visitors, “Die die, must try!”
For an unusual breakfast treat, head to Restaurants Yut Sun on the far end of Jalan Pasar.
The iconic Yut Sun opens at 8.00 am and serves an authentic Hainanese Chicken Chop for breakfast!
I complete the delicious treat with a hot cup of local favorite, “Hor Ka Sai,” a mix of Milo and Kopi O (local coffee).
Is there nightlife in Taiping?
There is little nightlife in quiet Taiping.
With new cafes touting caffeine fixes, pubs, malls, and new cineplexes opening for business, there is much to do come nightfall.
For a weekend night, shoppers try the Cross Street Bazaar for an interesting array of food and handicrafts.
Lively buskers provide entertainment.
The night market opens on Friday to Sun from 6.00 pm to midnight.
Now that there’s a guarantee of good food, shopping, and nightlife, there’s no reason not to visit Taiping.
Getting to Taiping Tourist Attraction, Perak
Fly to Kuala Lumpur or Penang; both cities have a good bus network. Taiping is about 90 minutes drive from Penang, 3-4 hours from Kuala Lumpur. Take the ETS train – 55 minutes from Butterworth and 3 hours from KL Sentral.