Being the capital city of Perak, Ipoh has caught the limelight as the primary tourist destination in the state. However, Perak has way more to offer in every nook and corner. When people asked me about places of interest in Perak, I’d advise to spend a night in Ipoh and make a road trip to other parts of the state. Bring your car, I say, because it is not easy to move around without private transport, unfortunately.

So, today, I am sharing the top five reasons to visit Kuala Kangsar or rather the District of Kuala Kangsar. Approximately an hour’s drive northwest of Ipoh, Kuala Kangsar or KK in short, is steeped in history by virtual of the fact that it is a royal town, like Klang is for Selangor.

Masjid Ubudiah (Ubudiah Mosque)
Standing proudly with its golden dome and minarets on Bukit Chandan in the royal town of Kuala Kangsar, Perak, this mosque was designed by Briton Arthur Benison Hubback, the same architect for the Ipoh and Kuala Lumpur railway stations.

Masjid Ubudiah

Masjid Ubudiah

The Ubudiah Mosque, built in 1917 at a cost of RM200,000, was on the commission of the reigning 28th Sultan of Perak, Sultan Idris Murshidul’adzam Shah, as an act of thanksgiving for recovery from an illness.

Sultan Azlan Shah Gallery
Officiated by HRH (the late) Sultan of Perak Sultan Azlan Muhibbuddin Shah on 9th December, 2003, Galeri Sultan Azlan Shah (Sultan Azlan Shah Gallery) in Kuala Kangsar is housed in the majestic palace, Istana Ulu (also known as Istana Kota) atop Bukit Chandan, just a stone’s throw away from Ubudiah Mosque.

Galeri Sultan Azlan Shah

Galeri Sultan Azlan Shah

This palace was built in 1898 but was only completed in 1903. During the reign of Sultan Azlan Shah, HRH decided to convert the palace into a gallery that exhibits his life’s journey. The conservation and refurbishment of the palace took two years while curating the exhibits took another six months.

Perak Royal Museum (Istana Kenangan)
Also known as Istana Kenangan, Istana Lembah and Istana Tepas, this building was originally built as a royal residence for HRH Sultan Iskandar Shah (Marhum Kadasallah), while awaiting the completion of Istana Iskandariah.

Istana Kenangan

Istana Kenangan

The building has now been converted into the Perak Royal Museum (Muzium Diraja Perak) that exhibits the history of the Perak monarchy and houses the heritage of the Perak State.

Gold thread embroidery
With patience and passion, Pn. Azizah bt. Hj. Adam’s hobby of embroidery has flourished into a sustainable cottage business for her family. With a work force of ten women, and her daughter Norfaizatol Fazleha, Pn. Azizah’s company, Azydar Enterprise, based in Bukit Chandan, Kuala Kangsar, has produced countless custom-made intricate household furnishings, particularly Muslim bridal bed sets.

gold thread embroidery

gold thread embroidery

Pn. Azizah, who has 35 years of experience, said that according to her religion, her embroidery are all floral-based motifs. Animal motifs are not allowed in Islam. These gold-thread embroidery products by Azydar Enterprise are slightly more expensive, admitted Pn. Azizah. This is because they are all 100% manually sewn.

Labu Sayong
The sub-district of Sayong is well known for its labu. If you have the time, it is well-worth to check out how these earthen water gourds (water pitchers) are made. If not, just grab a couple of them or more, for your own use or as gifts, a very apt souvenir as the labu is the icon of Perak.

shaping labu sayong

shaping labu sayong

The water gourd was once very popular in households because of its ability to keep water cool. Those were the days when not all families could afford a refrigerator.

decorative labu sayong fresh from the oven

decorative labu sayong fresh from the oven

These days, the function of the water gourd has gone beyond that and is more a decorative item, as can be observed from the different sizes, colours (glaze) and carving designs of water pitchers produced.

Oldest rubber tree
Besides being the royal town of Perak, Kuala Kangsar boasts to have one of the oldest rubber trees in Malaysia, at 140 years old. Standing tall just outside the Kuala Kangsar District Office, according to documentation, it is the only surviving rubber tree out of nine that were originally planted.

oldest rubber tree of Kuala Kangsar

oldest rubber tree of Kuala Kangsar

History says that the British were responsible in turning rubber into an important source of revenue for Malaysia, when Sir Hugh Low, the British Resident of Perak, encouraged the growth of rubber trees, seeing the rapid expansion of the car industry in the West.

Last but not least, there is the food….
Although there are certain quarters who claim that there is “nothing” to eat in Kuala Kangsar, you won’t go wrong if you stop to refuel at Yut Loy Coffee Shop or the riverside food court. Yut Loy Coffee Shop is famous for their Hainanese pau while the food court offers a combination of local fare.

Laksa Buyong, Kuala Kangsar

Laksa Buyong, Kuala Kangsar

Also, Kuala Kangsar is famous for laksa. There are many varieties, though. Photo of Laksa Buyong from Kuala Kangsar is for illustration purpose only.

So, there you have it. A few excellent reasons to head to Kuala Kangsar. Obviously, there are more waiting to be discovered. When are you hitting the road? Don’t forget to use the latest vouchers on HotUKSavings where you can find Hotels.com discount codes for an extra saving on your hotel bookings.

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With love

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