Taiping, reputed as one of the wettest towns in Peninsular Malaysia literally means ‘great peace’. With an average rainfall of 4,000 mm, visitors and tourists can find a large collection of beautiful flora and rain trees in the panoramic Taiping Lake Gardens. This second largest town in Perak after Ipoh has an estimated population of about 200,000. Taiping was once the state capital between 1870s and 1930s but was later replaced by Ipoh. The town started development in 19th century following the discovery of tin-mining area. Large number of Chinese immigrants flocked to Taiping and fought for control over mines. Later on, British officials were forced to intervene to settle the feuds between Chinese immigrants.
Travelers can get in to Taiping via train or buses. KTM offers daily services along north-south line that stops right at Taiping station. There are also plenty of buses traveling from other parts of country mainly from Kuala Lumpur directly to Taiping. Those who are driving can get to Taiping via PLUS North-South Expressway. Once you reach Taiping, just spend some time and travel on foot to explore this little gem. However, if you intend to travel further away from Taiping to a number of places of interest, it is best to hire a cab or take a long-distance bus. Strolling around town can be a pleasant and wonderful experience for it is relatively safe here. Check out some old buildings with unique stucco facades built with wooden shutters.
As you travel on foot around town, you’ll discover plenty of delicious and delectable local delicacies. Well, since Taiping is famed for cheap yet scrumptious hawker food, you have to try the thick and doughy Roti Canai at Bismillah Restaurant, spicy-sour laksa available at food court beside the Lake Gardens, fulfilling popiah, Wan Tan Mee, spicy Curry Mee, refreshing Cendol, Mee Rebus, Claypot Chicken Rice, Nasi Lemak, Yong Tau Foo and Satay. Can’t get enough of local delights? Then buy the famous local traditional delicacy, the crispy Hiong Piah as gift for family and friends.
Your trip to Taiping is not complete without spending some quality time at the captivating Taiping Lake Gardens. Located somewhere near Bukit Larut, this beautiful lake gardens was once a mining site and later developed into a garden in 1880. The garden is divided into several man-made lakes and ponds namely Alamanda Pond, Island Pond, Oblong Pond, Pavilion Pond, Jungle Lake, South Lake, Swan Lake and West Lake. Remember to head over to Maxwell Hill (commonly known as Bukit Larut). This is a quiet hill station perfect for travelers who would like to escape from the hustle and bustle of city life as accommodation is available here.
Another must visit attraction in Taiping is the Zoo and Night Safari. This very first zoo built in the country is often packed with day-trippers especially during the weekend. Last but not least, Matang Mangrove Forest Reserve is highly recommended for nature lovers as you’ll get to see a large collection of flora and fauna in this forty acres of undisturbed forest reserve.