• Perak River Safari • Suka Suka Lake
Resort • Oldest Rubber Tree •
• Handicrafts • Food • Getting There • Sightseeing •
Kuala Kangsar (population about
165,00) is a well preserved old Royal Town where its serenity and its
well-maintained old palaces are worth a mention. Located 60km Northeast
of Ipoh at the mouth of Kangsar River, where it flows into the Perak
River, It is home to generations of Sultans and their families. The
sultan of Perak officially resides in Kuala Kangsar, and it has been
Perak's royal seat since the 18th century.
It was the administrative seat of the first British Resident in the
Malay Peninsula, James W.W. Birch, from October 1874 until he was
murdered on November 2, 1875. Kuala Kangsar is known in Malaysian
history as the site where the first Conference of Rulers, the Durbar,
was held in 1897. By the 1890s, the growth of the tin mining towns of
Ipoh and Taiping had eclipsed Kuala Kangsar, but it remains to this day
one of the most attractive of the Malay royal capitals.
The name Kuala Kangsar is believed to be derived its name from the “kangsar” tree (hibiscus flocossus) which
grows in abundance along the banks of the Sungai Kangsar, a tributary of
the Sungai Perak. Another says the name was handed down by explorers who
established a settlement at the mouth of the river. They had called the
place “Kuala Kurang Sa”, short for “Kuala Kurang Seratus” which means
“one short of hundred” because there are 99 tributaries there.
The River Safari along the Perak River offers sights of riverine
villages, domestic buffaloes, terrapin and other inhabitants, birds and
insects, tropical rain forest that reach down to the water’s edge and
agile monkeys playing catch-me-if-you-can in the forest cover.
Malaysia’s river eco-system is open for your exploration. The
eco-tourist will definitely experience an unforgettable adventure as the
River Safaris are conducted by several experts who have reservation
booths along the Perak River at Jalan Tebing, Tepi Sungai. A 25-minutes
ride to Jawang is followed by a two hour river cruise. The activities in
which you can participate in Jawang include bird watching, jungle
trekking, rafting, canoeing, fishing and visits to limestone caves. You
can even arrange to spend a few nights in an Orang Asli Village.
Suka Lake Resort
Sukasuka is a small private island in the middle of a Lake situated
about 18km from Kuala Kangsar. Nearby are the villages of Batu Reng and
Kg. Kelantan. The artificial lake caused by the hydroelectric dam is a
place to just lay back, chill and relax. You will meet your very
hospitable hosts, Aziz and Aisha twhom will make you feel welcome. A
great way to experience traditional Malay living - eating good Malay
dishes, wear traditional Sarongs and learn about local village customs.
You get get to also play card games or learn to play the a fun and
addictive local game called Chongkak. If offers basic A-frame bungalows
with communal facilities and en-suite facilities. You can swom at the
lake or also head to the nearby waterfall (mind the leeches though).
Hosts were Muslim - no drink whilst on the Island.
Activities - Touring Kayak / Fishing / Jungle Trekking / Mountain
Climbing / Waterfall walk / Boat tour / rafting / Playing Congkak -
Indoor / Fruit picking ( season only)
For those who drive, it take
around 45 min from (Ipoh) Jelapang Tol Plaza, you will reach Kuala
Kangsar Plaza tol and take a straight way to Grik, which is abt 15 min
form the Tol Plaza you will see Kampung Kelantan signboard and turn
right - you can find the jetty to Sukasuka Island by end of that road.
Boat ride to Suka Suka Lake Resort takes about 20 minutes
Also here is one of two oldest rubber trees in Peninsula that have
survived the years.Of the first nine rubber trees planted with seeds
from the Kew Gardens in London brought by first Perak Resident Sir Hugh
Low in 1877, only one still stands next to the Kuala Kangsar Municipal
The tour of this royal town does not stop here with so many other old
buildings worth visiting like the Clifford School and the Victoria
Kuala Kangsar is also known for its handicraft industry.
Sayong, about 10km away across the Iskandar Bridge from Kuala Kangsar,
is home to the labu sayong or earthen water pitcher. Makers of the labu
sayong, be it those who adopt the traditional way of moulding with hands
or using casts to set in, are aplenty at Kampung Kepala Bendang where
this particular type of water pitcher originated.
The craft bazaar along the Sungai Perak offers local handicraft items
such as “bubu hiasan” (decorative fish traps), “tikar mengkuang” mats,
tekat benang emas (gold embroidery) and “anyaman rotan” (rattan woven)
Kuala Kangsar is also known for its food, including the “laksa gandum"
made of wheat flour as compared to the northern “laksa” of rice flour,
which goes along well with the “cendol” or “ais kacang” drink at the
The traditional kuih (sweet cakes) of the town are still prepared in the
traditional way. A popular delicacy is the kuih apam tepung beras, and
Kuih Labu’ (pumpkin cakes wrapped in banana leaves). The town is also
famous for its gulai tempoyak (fermented durian dish) prepared with the
patin, baung or other river fish. Food stalls at Dataran Sungai Perak
offer famous local delicacies like gulai tempoyak ikan patin, laksa
kuala and grilled fish.
Kuala Kangsar is about 30 minutes drive from Ipoh on the North-South
Expressway. It is also accessible by the old trunk road, passing through
Chemor and Sungai Siput, from Ipoh.
Kuala Kangsar ~ Sightseeing
The Royal Museum of Perak / Istana Iskandariah /
Sultan Azlan Shah Gallery / Ubudiah Mosque / Malay College / Sultan
Abdul Jalil Shah Bridge / Pavilion Square Tower