Discover the amazing history of Kuala Sepetang, explore the fishing village and learn about the mangrove conservation at the Matang Mangrove Eco-Education Centre!
Your adventure begins with a visit to the Matang Museum. Built by Ngah Ibrahim who belonged in the first Malay family who opened tin mines in the Larut, Matang and Selama areas in 1840, the 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, we will be visiting the famous Kuala Sepetang Charcoal Factory. Opened and owned since the 1930s by Mr. Chuah Chow Aun and his family, the 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 serene river, the factory is also a fantastic location for photography enthusiasts.
We will then be exploring Sepetang Town, which is a coastal town that was formerly known as Port Weld, named after Governor Frederick Weld, who later moved on to become the 6th Prime Minister of New Zealand. The town used to host the Port Weld Railway Station, which was the first railway line to be built in Malaysia back in 1882. Along with its ticketing booth, its iconic signboard written in four languages are the only structures still standing today! Located along the Sepetang river that is connected to the sea, this quaint little town also thrives as a fishing village; where you will see plenty of fishermen going about their day in boats, set against a beautiful coastal backdrop.
Next, we will be headed to the Matang Mangrove Forest, which covers approximately 40,000 hectares and contains a rich and diverse wildlife ecosystem. The Matang Mangrove Eco-Education Centre located within the forest provides visitors 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 get 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!
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