Believe it or not, Tanjong Malim – a town situated in the Muallim District in Perak – is actually enthralling. Designated as one of the four youth towns in Malaysia, I always look forward to visiting this destination, which offers various youth-friendly attractions and activities.
Together with other representatives from the media organisations and travel agencies, I obtained my first-hand experience discovering brilliant Tanjong Malim’s hot spots that are ideal for youths due to their educational, adventurous and memorable quality.
FOR HISTORY AND ART AFICIONADOS
National Education Museum
Strategically located in the historic Sultan Idris University of Education (UPSI), this museum has 21 permanent galleries and one themed gallery showcasing significant history, revolution and prominent figures of education in Malaysia.
The building, which was built in 1919, is also known as Suluh Budiman Building. It was inspired by the Notre Dame Church in France and Salisbury in England. Hence, the Dutch-Gothic architecture can be traced in both its interior and exterior. In 2009, the building was gazetted as Cultural Heritage Building in recognition of its importance as a national heritage.
The museum is also surrounded by other heritage buildings that travellers can visit for free such as Anjung Tun Perak (Tun Perak’s Porch), Anjung Bendahara Seri Maharaja (Bendahara Seri Maharaja’s Porch), and Rumah Za’ba (Za’ba’s House), which is said to be the house belonging to one of Malaysia’s greatest laureates, Za’ba.
Tanjong Malim Street Art
Street art is flourishing across Malaysia. Many states, including cities like Tanjong Malim, are already embracing street art as part of urban embellishment, especially on old buildings where travellers can take awe-inspiring photos. These works of art are easy to find because they are located right in the heart of Tanjong Malim city.
Though the Tanjong Malim street art project is expected to be entirely completed by June 2017, I can still enjoy beautiful paintings along the back alleys of old shophouses. Taking photos with these artworks are a must. My media friends and I enjoyed strolling around the streets for educational paintings of Malaysian sceneries and prominent figures besides cartoon characters like Monsters, Inc., Mickey Mouse, BoboiBoy and others.
There are also pasar malam (night market) and a rink dedicated for roller blade enthusiasts close to the area.
Tip: Ask the friendly locals to show you the area.
FOR NATURE LOVERS
Environment Natural Element (ENE) Ginger Farm, Tanjong Malim
Bentong ginger is popular not only because it is bigger in size, but also deemed more valuable in terms of nutritional quality compared to the other more conventional types of ginger. It can treat digestive issues, nausea, relieve menstrual discomfort, and reduce inflammation, among others.
Originally planted on the hill slope near Janda Baik and Bentong, Pahang, the plant however has become a high-demand commercial product.
Visitors can learn on how the ginger is planted and processed until it is packed either in raw or powder form. Besides, travellers can even taste the salubrious ginger tea when you buy it fresh directly from the farm.
Ulu Slim Hotspring
In Kampung Ulu Slim, there is a hot spring that records high water temperature – 104°C to be exact. Hence, the natural hot spring is said to be the hottest in Peninsular Malaysia and the third in Asia. Because the water is that hot, it has become a tradition for visitors to boil eggs here. And so we did!
The eggs were soaked in the pond of hot water for about five minutes to become hard boiled eggs. Those who prefer half-boiled eggs may soak them in the water in lesser time. Nevertheless, hard-boiled or half-boiled, it tasted delicious.
Savouring the eggs is one thing, but the view is quite scenic and enjoyable too. The smoke produced by the hot spring adds dramatic effect if you intend to take photos here. Public facilities such as covered resting area, pedestrian walkways and places to boil eggs are also provided.
Tip: Don’t forget to bring seasonings such as soy sauce and black pepper powder; you may also by them from the nearby stores!
FOR VALOROUS ADVENTURERS
Go Kart and Archery
Desire for daring sports? Go all out and drive like a pro on a go-kart circuit or give your best shot in archery at Tanjong Malim Go Kart and Archery Academy. The place is strategically and uniquely located opposite Tanjong Malim KTM Station and right under the Tanjong Malim flyover. The academy provides complete equipment and gear for the sports, including food stalls and open karaoke for visitors to chill out after enjoying their adrenaline rush.
The circuit is famous among youths since many tournaments have been regularly held here.
White Water Rafting
Seeking a thrilling, exciting and wet activity? Then challenge yourself by participating in a white water rafting that cascades down the spectacular Ulu Slim river that is located about an hour and 30 minutes’ drive from Kuala Lumpur. However the journey to the Put-In Point to launch the raft requires another hour of bumpy ride on a four-wheel drive.
Slim River has more than 30 rapids with levels of difficulty that range between 1 to 3. Depending on the weather, rainy days could bring the range up to level 4. Do not feel intimidated because this is something that all travellers should experience. As a first timer who managed to successfully finish this exhilarating ride, I found that the higher the level of difficulty, the more fun it becomes! Above all, safety is the utmost important, thus travellers should take heed of all advice given by the white water rafting guides for an exhilarating yet safe experience.
Water Tubing, Abseiling and Flying Fox
For those who are afraid of suspenseful activities like white water rafting, they can consider doing water tubing, abseiling and flying fox instead, which are must-do activities when being in Tanjong Malim. The best place to experience these is at Teratak River View because these activities are all included in the package together with accommodation and meals.
Water tubing and abseiling offer you more control when doing these activities, hence many travellers enjoy them because they can do it at your own pace. But my favourite would be the flying fox because this exciting experience let travellers fly across the iconic Bernam River that separates the states of Selangor and Perak, which can only be experienced at Teratak River View
Pau Sedili UPSI
Tanjong Malim is often regarded as the town of pau (steamed, filled and fluffy bun). Among the famous pau is called Pau Sedili. Though travellers may find pau shops everywhere in Tanjong Malim, travellers should try out the pau sold at UPSI, started in 2014 by Dr. Suriani Mohamed, a lecturer from UPSI who set up a Pau Sedili small business.
Knowing that the business has high potential, UPSI built a building specially dedicated for the making of Pau Sedili. Today, the lecturer, together with two workers, can produce up to 500 paus in a day. It offers seven fillings such as sardine, red bean, chicken, chocolate and kaya (a type of jam made from coconut and egg). However, one should taste Pau Sedili’s hot item, which is the delicious pumpkin filling.
Besides savouring the famous pau, I also got the chance to learn, produce and eat my own Pau Sedili. Though the pau that I made may not look as good as the one did by the lecturer, I managed to have it taste almost similar to the real thing.
Garden Seafood Restaurant
This restaurant is famous not only among locals but also tourists because many tour operators send their guests here. It is no surprise that the Chinese restaurant also has many Malay, Indian and even international customers because it is a halal-certified restaurant.
It offers a wide array of seafood-based menus like sizzling talapia, butter prawns, honey sotong (Squid) and steamed turbot fish.
This café is famous for its delicious fusion food and pastries. Second to that is the café’s attractive interior that makes customers want to take photos of themselves and the place while enjoying their food! I was also delighted by the warm hospitality demonstrated by the staff.
Beside consistently welcoming walk-in diners, the café also provides the place for events such as birthdays, corporate functions and dinner parties.
Sarang Art Hub
If art is your interest, then you might like this place. Sarang Art Hub is a unique restaurant established in 2015 by a popular Malaysian film director, Mamat Khalid. ‘Sarang’ means nest. Functioning as a hub for art, this previously-unused guesthouse is a hub for everyone to engage themselves in creative and artful ways while enjoying scrumptious food.
Unlike other restaurants, Sarang Art Hub serves to educate the community to appreciate the arts, as well as providing a space where youngsters can showcase their artistic talents.
Sri Angsana Restaurant, UPSI
This is actually a mock restaurant managed by a lecturer, Nor Azizah Ahmad and her students from the Faculty of Technical and Vocational Education, UPSI. It is where students who are studying the relevant courses can learn and practice how to serve and prepare food, therefore it does not operate like any other restaurant.
Based on my own experience, the food served is agreeable and the students provide good service like in any fine dining restaurant. Depending on the work force and students’ availability, the restaurant may also be able to receive bookings.
FOR ECO-RESORT SEEKERS
Teratak River View
Operating since 2008, Teratak River View is located opposite of the Bernam River that separates the state of Perak and Selangor. Besides offering many exciting outdoor activities such as camping, abseiling, flying fox and water tubing, this modest yet comfortable resort also provides chalets, dormitories, a multipurpose hall, a dining hall and various facilities.
The area is quite secluded. It requires about 15 minutes’ ride on a truck to get to the place from Tanjong Malim town. The signal for phone coverage is zero, most of the time – not to mention Wi-Fi – making it perfect for travellers to truly indulge themselves with the tranquil lush green natural environment. This is definitely an ideal camping place for small or large groups of travellers.
Uniquely surrounded by palm oil plantation, Akademi ESPEK offers the new type accommodation in Tanjong Malim in the form of 20 cottages. The best part is, Akademi ESPEK is located near a cascade called Lubuk Timah.
This eco-resort also offers many outdoor activities such as flying fox, motor cross, all-terrain vehicles, river-rafting, kayaking, jungle-trekking and fishing that are sure to enrich travellers’ experience in Tanjong Malim.