Translating to ‘everlasting serenity’ in English, Taiping is a town in Perak that radiates the meaning of its name and more. Known historically as the state capital of the mining industry, it’s also slowly becoming a treasure trove for travellers looking for an off-the-beaten-path destination.
However famous among the locals, especially on weekends, Taiping’s charms are generally unknown to foreign visitors. With its stunning Lake Gardens, the glory of Bukit Larut, British-influenced buildings, and home to Malaysia’s oldest coffee factory, it’s safe to say that few places in Malaysia can rival Taiping’s glory.
If you’re planning to visit Taiping over a weekend, here are some must-visit places that can accommodate your 48 hours of wandering. Given that Taiping’s landscape only boasts 186.46 km2, you’ll find superb eateries and picturesque views of hills and lakes all within walking distance!
Enjoy delicious breakfast at Tik Toast Cafe
As soon as you get to Taiping, fuel up at the Tik Toast Cafe, where delicious sandwiches and more await. With up to 15 different types, you’ll be hard-pressed to choose just one. There are also other light bites, like fries, if that tickles your fancy. With such a relaxing ambience, this cafe is the perfect first stop to start your Taiping adventure.
Address: 1 Jalan Lim Teong Chye, 34000 Taiping, Perak
Contact: +6011 5673 0180
Visit the famous Zoo Taiping
Zoo Taiping and Night Safari is one of the town’s most popular attractions and is a must-visit. It opened its doors in 1961 and is Malaysia’s oldest and most prominent animal park. Over the years, the zoo’s population has risen, and it is currently home to an estimated 1,300 animals. The zoo also serves as a rehabilitation and research facility, with a special emphasis on boosting the population of endangered animals like orangutans.
Address: Jalan Taman Tasik Taiping, Taman Tasik Taiping, 34000 Taiping, Perak
Contact: +605 808 6577
Take a stroll around Lake Garden
Since you’re already around the area, stop by another well-known spot in Taiping. Lake Garden is a renowned area where you can spread a picnic blanket and enjoy a spectacular sunset view by the lake. There are also paddle boats for those looking to row around the lake for fun!
Address: Jalan Pekeliling, Taman Tasik Taiping, 34000 Taiping, Perak
Try Taiping’s famous goreng pisang
Pisang goreng (banana fritters) is a popular Malaysian tea time snack, and when in Taiping, one simply must sample some from the famous PSL Goreng Pisang stall. Their pisang goreng is perfectly cooked — crispy, crunchy, and yummy. Aside from their famous pisang goreng, the stall also sells equally delicious fried foods like cempedak, cekodok, kuih bakul, and popiah (spring rolls).
Address: 85 Jalan Pasar, 34000 Taiping, Perak
Stroll around the Taiping Clock Tower
A trip to Taiping wouldn’t be complete without a quick stop at the clock tower. This tower is a white edifice influenced by classic European style and has a nostalgic charm. It served as a police and fire station until the 1950s and has become an Insta-worthy destination. Prepare to take plenty of beautiful shots here, which include those of a traditional trishaw and an ancient photo booth.
Address: 55 Jalan Kota, 34000 Taiping, Perak
*Editor’s note: Taiping Clock Tower is temporarily closed to visitors.
Indulge in tasty nasi lemak & roti bakar
Roti bakar is just toasted bread, but not here at Roti Bakar Arang Fadzil House, where the dish is elevated. The roti bakar here have a particularly smokey flavour from being toasted over coal flames. Poached eggs make for a filling breakfast to pair with your favourite cup of coffee. Though their roti bakar is the major draw, you can also sample other breakfast meals such as nasi lemak and kway teow.
Address: 1 Jalan Perusahaan 2, Kampung Sungai Tupai, 34000 Taiping, Perak
Contact: +6017 505 5877
Learn history at Perak Museum
Perak Museum, noted as Malaysia’s first, is an ideal place to educate yourself further about the town’s history. All the artefacts are handpicked by the founder, Sir Hugh Low, and house various goods pertaining to zoology, agronomy, and more. Prepare to spend at least an hour exploring each of the four halls (Nature, Cultural, Indigenous People, and Temporary).
Address: Jalan Taming Sari, 34000 Taiping, Perak
Contact: +605 807 2057
Have some coffee at Aun Tong Coffee Mill
For those who just can’t get enough caffeine in them, make visiting Aun Tong, Malaysia’s oldest coffee factory, a priority. Founded in 1933, this place serves not only deliciously hot coffee, but at this show factory, you can also learn and see first-hand how coffee is made, processed, and manufactured.
Address: No 8A Jalan Assam Kumbang, 34000 Taiping, Perak
Contact: +6014 900 0055
Take a stroll around Bukit Larut
Bukit Larut, Malaysia’s oldest and tiniest hill resort, is shrouded in mist. It was created in the 1880s as a getaway from the lowland heat and offered a serene insight into Perak’s colonial legacy. Previously named Maxwell Hill, this area is well-known for its chilly air, friendly walking area, and misty clouds.
Address: 34000 Taiping, Perak, Malaysia
Souvenir shop at Taiping Cross Street Bazaar
Before you head home, get some souvenirs at Taiping Cross Street Bazaar — a flea market that occupies the entirety of Jalan Alang Ahmad. Open from 7pm to midnight, every Friday to Sunday, various stalls sell gifts and souvenirs.
You can also find one-of-a-kind trinkets here, many of which are handmade. If you’re looking to gift your loved ones something for their home, there are vendors selling unique handicrafts too!
Address: Jalan Alang Ahmad, 34000 Taiping, Perak