1. A Gem of Palace – Galeri Sultan Azlan Shah
If you are a history buff, be prepared to be awed by this iconic attraction in Kuala Kangsar. Strategically located at the heart of this serene Royal Town of Kuala Kangsar, Galeri Sultan Azlan Shah showcases enthralling anecdotes of the late Sultan Azlan Shah (1928-2014). The gallery provides insights into what made Sultan Azlan Shah the man he was, from his personal background to his vast personal collections, honorary awards, jewellery and medals.
Tip: Travellers who arrive in a large group can request for a guided tour, which comes highly recommended so that travellers will be able to appreciate the exhibits even more.
Entrance Fee: RM4 (Adults), RM2 (Senior citizens, including secondary school and college students)
Address: Galeri Sultan Azlan Shah, Bukit Chandan, 33000 Kuala Kangsar, Perak Darul Ridzuan
Phone number: +6 05 777 5362
GPS: 4.766429, 100.948029
2. Enchanting Royal Belum Park
Nestled in Gerik in the northern most part of Perak, the 300,000-hectare Royal Belum State Park is home to one of the oldest rainforests in the world, even older than the famous Amazon. Not only that, Royal Belum Park is four times the size of Singapore and the biggest Forest Reserve in Peninsular Malaysia. It was declared by the Royal Highness Sultan of Perak, the late Sultan Azlan Shah on 31 July 2003. Fondly known as Royal Belum, it is indeed a precious national treasure that promises endless delights for nature lovers.
A short hike in the rainforest brings you to the breathtaking and refreshing waterfall. The sheltered and pristine Sungai Rouk Waterfall is home to thousands of freshwater fishes. Feel like getting your adrenaline rush? Then Sungai Kooi Waterfall is the place for you. ON the same note.
While hiking up the trails, you could stumble upon amazing wildlife and interesting plants along the way. If you are lucky, you could even see a Rafflesia in bloom. There are various species of Rafflesia including Kerri, Azlanii and Cantleyi.
Besides flora and fauna, some parts of Royal Belum Park have been reserved for the indigenous tribe, called the Jahai. There were three villages in the forest and Kampung Aman Damai is most well known probably because it is touted as a great example of living heritage. Stroll through the village and mingle with the aboriginal people to understand how they live with bare necessities. If you happen to plan a trip to Kampung Aman Damai, put a smile on the faces of the community’s children by bringing candies and other items such as books, clothes and more as tokens of appreciation.
Address: Royal Belum Park, Pulau Banding, 33200 Gerik, Perak
GPS: 5.793381, 101.511282
Reminder: To discover Royal Belum or the Upper Belum area, travellers require permit from the Perak State Parks Corporation.
3. Ipoh Food Trucks for Foodies
To all foodies out there, check out Ipoh Food Trucks, a famous gastronomic concept that is becoming a trend all over the world, including Malaysia. Over ten food trucks roam around Ipoh’s streets serving up various cuisines from local to Western. Visitors can savour different kinds of comestibles such as pasta, burger and churros, among others. Most of the time, these trucks can be found around Greentown, Ipoh. Track their location by logging on to Silver State Foodtrucks Facebook page.
4. Challenge yourself in Gopeng with Nomad Adventure
If you are in Perak and love adventure, Gopeng is the place to be! Gopeng – located in Perak’s Kinta Valley – is a small old town that once thrived on tin mining. After tin mining activities declined in Malaysia, the town became almost deserted. However, the town has been brought back to life when Perak state government start promoting this town for adventure activities. Many foreigners and locals who are into adventure and extreme sports come here for adrenaline rush.
One established provider of such activities is Nomad Adventure, an ISO- certified outdoor adventure company that offers whitewater rafting trips, kayaking, caving, rock climbing, high ropes course, waterfall abseiling and adventure racing, among others.
Nomad Adventure also provides accommodation at Earth Camp, the place where travellers can learn more about the environment and local culture, giving travellers the opportunity to be around nature longer. Nomad Adventure was also recently conferred as the Best Tour Package under the Adventure/Nature category during the Malaysian Tourism Awards 2014/2015.
Address: Earth Camp, Lot 17525 Kampung Chulek, Gopeng Kampar, Perak Darul Ridzuan
Phone number: +6 03 7958 5152 /3151
GPS: 4.430997, 101.181129
5. Caving and zip-lining at Gua Kandu
Located about half an hour from Gua Tempurung, Gua Kandu is a cave system in Gopeng that was once used by the Japanese during the Second World War before it was taken over by Communist guerrillas to be used as their secret base during the Emergency. The insurgents made use of the impenetrable darkness of the cave system as barrier for their enemies. It is no surprise that we found the remains of their presence in the form of graffiti.
Gua Kandu today is open to the public. Travellers are required to hike more than usual. They are required to go through a steep climb to get to the cave entrance. The ceiling of the cave is about 35 feet (11 meters) high from the floor. As travellers enter and shine their lights through the tunnels, they will be able to witness various stones, stalagmites, weird wall textures and geological formations.
To fully explore Gua Kandu, travellers might need two hours. There are places where you have to crawl because the ceiling is too low. Travellers might also bump their head when negotiating tight spots and slip at wet steep places, so do be careful. Travellers will get their adrenaline rush at the end of their cave exploration when they get to zip line themselves out of the cave to a platform on the hillside below, then continue scaling down via ferrata.
6. White water rafting at Kampar River
Nomad Adventure offers white water rafting along Sungai (River) Kampar, a fun activity for the physically fit and those who crave for technical yet safe adventure. Sungai Kampar has 22 different rapids that range from Grade 2 to Grade 3, ideal for beginners to intermediate participants.
As a standard procedure, Nomad Adventure provides safety briefing according to international safety standards before going down the river that covers the paddling commands, paddling techniques, capsize drills, and river rescue.
When rafting, the participants experienced the thrill of tackling exciting rapids and floating down the river amidst lush rainforest and plains of old tin mining. The participants of Perak World of Wonders had a great rafting experience getting wet, paddling the rafts and have fun with one another!
7. Rest and chill at Gopeng Guesthouse & Café
After a tiring adventurous day at Gua Kandu and Kampar River, travellers are recommended to refresh and unwind themselves at the rustically decorated and whimsical Gopeng Guesthouse & Café, which offers scrumptious choices such as nasi ayam tauge (chicken rice with beansprouts), assam pedas (spicy and sour stew dish), French crepes and an array of thirst-quenching drinks.
Since Gopeng town is now famous among tourists and adventurous travellers, the cafe adopts the notion of global travelling as its theme. The guesthouse & cafe is conveniently located directly across from Gopeng bus station.
Address: No. 10A, BWH DT (HS/11/5), Jalan Sg Itek, 31600 Gopeng, Perak, Malaysia
Phone number: +6 019 375 0833
GPS: 04°28’26.6″N 101°10’04.4″E
8. Funtasy House and Trick Art
Funtasy House, a new addition in Ipoh town, is a family-oriented three-dimensional trick art gallery that brings out the fun among the young and the inner child among the old. It consists of 26 murals and two upside down rooms where travellers need to pose in specific way or angle to make the shot realistic. The gallery indicates on which spot to pose for best photoshoot result. Travellers can find themselves cut in half, becoming a rat’s food, or even posing like they are flying on a witch’s broom like Harry Potter.
Address: 16, Jalan Market, 30000 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Phone number: +6 05 255 0007
GPS: N 04.59610° E101.07724°
Admission: Adults with Mykad pay RM15 per person and without a Mykad RM19. Children aged four to 12, students with valid student cards, and senior citizens above 60 only pay RM10. People with disabilities who hold a disability card, as well as those below four years old can enter for free.