Discover interesting wildlife at the mangrove forest, catch sight of the graceful fireflies and be amazed at the majestic royal structures.
Day 1 - Keris Crafter / Sultan Azlan Shah Gallery / Royal Museum / Labu Sayong
We will start off with a friendly meet and greet with our representative at Jetty Lembah Kuala Kangsar. We will then kick start our adventure by heading towards Bukit Chandan to visit the Keris Crafter. The keris is a unique traditional weapon used by soldiers in the past and rose to become a symbol of nobility and royalty. Witness the craft of making a keris by Pak Mazin, an expert with years of experience behind him. Pak Mazin still practices the traditional methods of producing and crafting the keris and Malays consider this a symbol of authority and strength. Pak Mazin’s work is highly sought after as the process of keris-making is lengthy and requires many stages.
To satisfy your hunger, lunch will be served at a local restaurant. Our next stop will be the Sultan Abdul Shah Gallery and Royal Museum. The Sultan Abdul Shah was formerly a royal palace, known as Istana Kota and Istana Hulu. Honouring the life of Sultan Azlan Shah, Perak’s 34th sultan, the hallways now boasts exhibitions of his life. A dashing mix of neoclassical, Renaissance and Moorish styles, explore the treasures and milestones of the royal family including a record-breaking 1.37m fungus as a state gift!
Before moving on to the next attraction, we will make a quick stop at Masjid Ubudiah and Istana Iskandariah for pictures. Masjid Ubudiah is Perak’s royal mosque and is a beautiful sight with its majestic gold-domed construction. The Istana Iskandariah is not open to the public as it is the official residence of the Sultan of Perak, and can easily be described as the most attractive royal palace in the country. A feast for the eyes, the palace is an interesting mash up of art-deco architectural and Arab styles.
We will then proceed with our journey towards Sayong to learn about the process of Labu sayong making. The town’s famous handicraft is made of clay and was traditionally used as a water storage container, is said to have medicinal values. However, the labu sayong has also been designed just for decorative purposes today. With the help of a kiln, the labu sayong has to be burned at temperatures above 1,000 degrees Celcius for the right amount of time so as to ensure the high quality of the product. These extraordinary classic handicrafts can be bought as souvenirs.
After the day’s interesting exploration, we will stop at a local stall to enjoy some delicious laksa and cendol. We will then journey to Taiping to check into your hotel. Once you are settled in, enjoy your dinner served at a local restaurant before turning in to rest for the day.
Day 2 - Matang Museum / Kuala Sepetang Mangrove Reserve Forest / Charcoal Factory Kuala Sepetang / Kuala Sepetang River Cruise / Fireflies
Dig into the scrumptious breakfast at the hotel’s cafe to kick start your day before a quick check out. We will begin the day’s adventure by heading towards the Matang Museum. Built by Ngah Ibrahim, belonging to the first Malay family who opened tin mines in the Larut, Matang and Selama areas in 1840, the Matang Museum features an array of artefacts and exhibits that showcase important historical events in the local area.
The museum covers an area of about 0.8 hectares and originally functioned as a home, fort and administrative centre for Larut, the British, and even the Japanese during their occupation of Malaya back in the 1940s. The fort’s walls were built with lime mortar bricks with a watch tower at the north and south ends of the compound that are still standing today!
Next stop is the spectacular Kuala Sepetang Mangrove Reserve Forest. Gazetted as a Permanent Forest Reserve back in 1906, the Matang Mangrove Forest covers approximately 40,000 hectares that contain a rich and diverse wildlife ecosystem. The Matang Mangrove Eco-Education Centre located within the forest provides visitors with an insight into one of the world’s best managed sustainable mangrove ecosystem.
Trek through their wooden boardwalk trail that leads into the mangrove forest and gets a closer look at the beautiful trees and coastal wildlife that lives in the mangrove ecosystem. You can also have a chance to participate in the replanting of seedlings of Rhizophora and Lenggadai trees carried out by the Perak State Forestry Department under the reforestation programme for this mangrove ecosystem!
Up next on our adventure is the Charcoal Factory Kuala Sepetang. Opened and owned since the 1930s by Mr Chuah Chow Aun and his family, the Kuala Sepetang Charcoal Factory is reputed to be one of the best charcoal producers in Asia. Take an in-depth look into the long and arduous process of creating charcoal from baking the raw 30-year-old Bakau logs in rows of smoking kilns, where 40 to 50 tonnes of wood are only expected to produce about 10 tonnes worth of charcoal! With long zinc roofed wooden sheds and set against a backdrop of the beautiful Matang mangrove forest on the banks of the serene river, the factory is also a fantastic location for photography enthusiasts.
To aid those ravenous appetites, lunch will be served at a local restaurant. Once your energy has been replenished, cruise along the rivers of Kuala Sepetang and experience the coastal mangrove areas where you will be treated to an amazing eagle feeding experience. The eagle species Brahminy Kites and the White-bellied Sea-eagles gracefully soar through the skies, scavenging for floating offal and fishes in rivers and the neighbouring mangrove swamps. If you’re really lucky, you might even spot a few river dolphins or maybe even the Chinese White Dolphin! Also known as the Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphin, these magnificent creatures sometimes have a pinkish hue to their skin, making them one of the two known species of pink freshwater dolphins found in the world!
In the late evening, enjoy the legendary Mee Ketam for your dinner at Kampung Dew Mee Ketam Kelip-Kelip. We will head out to the river for a beautiful sunset tour before heading deeper into the mangrove reserve to see the amazing fireflies. Called “Kelip-Kelip” in Malay, these fireflies fill the trees during the early evenings, showcasing their flashing lights in a synchronised rhythm. As we move further ahead along the river, be prepared to be surrounded by a magical atmosphere of this so-called natural Christmas lights! After an eventful day, we will head back to the hotel to turn in for the night.
Day 3 - Transfer Back
Begin the day with a hearty breakfast at the hotel followed by a quick check out. Get your camera ready because our journey today will involve several photo stops. Our first photo stop will be at the War Cemetery. The War Cemetery was built by the Army following the defeat of Japan. This cemetery is where people come to pay their respects to the brave soldiers that were put to rest.
Our next destination would be the Taiping Lake Gardens. One of Malaysia’s oldest lake gardens, it was formerly a tin mine which has now been converted to a gorgeous and well-maintained park, where lush greenery surrounds you as you take in breaths of fresh air.
Also, make sure to get a good picture of the Clock Tower, the charming building is a remarkable iconic landmark of the town. It was once used as headquarters of the town police station and fire brigade before it was abandoned. There will also be photo opportunities at the Market Place and the Taiping Museum. This is the oldest museum in the country displaying the history of Perak.
After your camera has had its fill, we will enjoy some refreshments at Ansan Cendol to cool off. Our adventure comes to an end and your transport will be ready to take you back.
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