Day 1: 13th Oct, 2018
As early as 6am, members of the organising committee were at the Lost World of Tambun to see to one final round of tasks before the 2D/1N Get to Know Perak Fun Drive convoy was flagged off, on an excursion from Ipoh to Lumut.
It was a morning with clear blue skies that saw us begin our long drive of 190km, flagged off by officials from the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Malaysia (Perak) and Tourism Perak Malaysia.
The convoy comprised 4 superbikes and 36 cars, totalling 160 participants, escorted by 2 police patrol cars and six police outriders.
Participation in this Get to Know Perak Fun Drive was by invitation only, with representatives from the hospitality and tourism industries, as well as members of the media, to provide the necessary press coverage.
The first stop was Karai, about an hour’s drive to the northwest, to Victoria Bridge, one of the best photography spots in Perak, in my opinion.
In order to reach Victoria Bridge, we had to pass through various small towns: Tanjung Rambutan, Chemor, Kanthan, and Sungai Siput.
It was a very busy time at Victoria Bridge when we arrived as there were two concurrent events in conjunction with National Sports Day on 13th October.
Victoria Bridge was originally named Enggor Bridge, after the name of the town (also known as Karai) it is situated in. It was later renamed after Queen Victoria I, to commemorate her Diamond Jubilee celebration. Read more about Victoria Bridge.
It was just a brief stop at Victoria Bridge, as the convoy had to push to its next stop: Kuala Kangsar. Of the many attractions that are to be explored in the Royal Town, Perak Fun Drive delegation made a photo stop at the Sultan Azlan Shah Gallery.
For your information, the gallery has been closed for renovation works since July 2018 and will remain inaccessible to the public for two long years. In any case, here are the Top 5 Reasons to Visit Kuala Kangsar: History, Architecture, Photography, Craft & Food.
The next town to head to was Taiping, to the new Telegraph Museum. In order to reach Taiping, you have to pass through Padang Rengas to the west, where the unique mosque, Masjid Ihsaniah Iskandariah, stands. Perhaps you want to stop for a photography session here, too!
Did you know that Taiping is a town with the most “firsts”? Taiping’s many firsts include a telegraph office. Therefore, it is most apt to establish a Telegraph Museum (formerly Post & Telegraph Office) in this town, which makes an interesting visit to discover how history was made from dot and dash.
While you are there, do take note of the building’s intricate architecture, one of the earliest colonial buildings in Perak state. Featuring Queen Anne’s architecture in the 1880s to 1890s, it sports distinctive Masonry arches.
The educational tour of Taiping’s Telegraph Museum was followed by a no less interesting visit to Taiping Zoo. Personally, it has been ages since my last visit.
I remember going for its Night Safari; that too was some years ago. To our delight, we were taken on a tram around the grounds to say ‘hello’ to the animals that call the zoo their home.
The zoo, or rather its cafeteria, was where we refuelled our growling stomach with a scrumptious lunch; luckily as it had been some hours since breakfast!
Leaving Taiping and its drizzle, not surprisingly as it is known as the wettest town in Peninsular Malaysia, it was time to push south to Marina Island Pangkor Resort & Hotel, for some much needed rest prior to the grand event at night.
Despite the sun beating down on us and in unrelenting heat, the two hours drive was a breeze, thanks to orderly traffic courtesy of PDRM’s police escort.
Thus, we actually arrived at Marina Island Pangkor Resort & Hotel earlier than expected. We welcomed the free-and-easy time, obviously. Some of us took a nap to refresh ourselves, while others drove or cycled to nearby foodie attractions. Read: Top 6 Must Eat in Lumut, Perak.
Dinner came soon enough. With a Hawaiian theme, it was a splendid leisure time. Dressed in their best beach attire, with plastic flower garlands around their neck, guests were ready to let their hair down and dance the night away.
Indeed, that was what they literally did, following a mouth-watering dinner, singing sessions and lucky draws.
After toiling together on realising Get to Know Perak Fun Drive for the past few months, it was understandably time to dance the stress away. Haha….it’s not possible that we get to have fun together when we meet one another during working hours.
Datuk Odzman Kadir, President of Perak Tourism Association, who mooted the idea of Get to Know Perak Fun Drive, was caught by surprise with a birthday cake, ‘cos his 73rd birthday actually falls on 24th October. Happy birthday in advance, Datuk Odzman!
Soon enough, it was time to call it a night, where a warm bed beckoned.
Day 2: 14th Oct, 2018
The day started early, while some of the delegates were still nursing a hangover. Agenda for the day: visit Pangkor Island.
Thankfully, the Marina Island Jetty is just a short stroll away. Check this link for ferry schedule and other information.
Moving around Pangkor is convenient as there are motorbikes and cars for rent. Large groups can opt to hire a pink van taxi, that accommodates up to 9 people.
As we opted for a half-day island tour, we only managed to fit in two attractions: Fu Lin Kong Temple and the new Pangkor floating mosque, Masjid Al-badr Seribu Selawat.
Do take note to dress appropriately when visiting places of worship, as a sign of respect. Also, admission is free-of-charge, but donations are always welcome.
A good number of us took a speed boat to Pulau Giam. It’s a small island. For non-swimmers or snorkellers, spending 30 minutes here is more than enough.
On the other hand, swimmers may find this sea not that challenging. Lovely photos can be taken here with picturesque scenery as backdrop.
One of the joys of travelling is the opportunity to try local food. It was exactly what the Get to Know Perak Fun Drive delegation did when in Pangkor.
Lunch was a most delicious fresh seafood-cum-BBQ meal on the beach under coconut trees, with the sea breeze in our face, as well as wonderful company of friends. The weather was most cooperative, which made the meal so much more enjoyable.
Before catching our ferry back to Lumut, there was one more thing to do: SHOPPING! There was just something for everyone, whether it’s “I Love Pangkor” t-shirts or seafood, all went home with extra bags.
And that wrapped up a most memorable 2D/1N Get to Know Perak Fun Drive, organised by Perak Tourism Association (PTA) in collaboration with the Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) Perak Chapter.
According to PTA President Datuk Hj. Mohd. Odzman Bin Abdul Kadir, tourism is one of the economic pillars of Perak. Therefore, PTA is committed to encourage and support the state government in enhancing the tourism industry.
As such, the driving activity that was open to tourism stakeholders known as Get to Know Perak Fun Drive, served as an information-gathering activity, to highlight the importance of developing the unexplored driving tours, especially with Malaysia car ownership at one of the world’s highest at 93%, according to a Nielsen Global Survey of Automotive Demand in 2014.
“The main objectives of Get to Know Perak Fun Drive are to promote tourist destinations in Perak, to assess market readiness of each product and to enhance fellowship among industry players,” said Datuk Odzman.
Meanwhile, MAH Perak Chapter Chairperson Ms. Maggie Ong, added, “Besides learning about new tourist destinations and promoting them, we rediscovered older attractions. I am delighted to get reacquainted with interesting tourism products along this route, as I have been too used to plying the North–South Expressway.
“This fun drive wouldn’t be as successful without my hardworking committee as well as our sponsors. I would like to express my gratitude to everyone involved in making this event a highlight of 2018, for the sake of Perak tourism.”
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