Taiping Heritage Trail – 40 Interesting Places in Taiping

Jul 1, 2022Guides, See & Do0 comments

The Taiping Heritage Trail is an exploration route that showcases the unique history and culture of Taiping. The Trail is an 11.5km route, with 40 locations of historical importance and cultural significance.

Taiping is a city where many historically significant events happened during the history of Malaysia, and many locations where these events happened are highlighted along this route.

The Taiping Heritage Trail route was designed by the Taiping Municipal Council in collaboration with the Northern Corridor Implementation Authority (NCIA) in 2017. The trail as depicted below has been organized in a manner that makes the most sense for exploration on foot.

1. Zoo Taiping & Night Safari

The Taiping Heritage Trail begins at the Taiping Zoo. It is the first zoological park to be built in Malaysia, dating back to 1961. The zoo is located in the Taiping Lake Gardens area. There are tram rides available if you would like to quick tour through the zoo. Walking is recommended, because you might get a chance to feed some of the herbivores. There is a restaurant in the zoo for quick refreshments or even a full meal before continuing on the trail.

 

 

What to See

Wildlife

What to Do

Wildlife observation, photography, souvenirs, food and drink

Minimum Time Spent

30 minutes

Location

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2. Rock Garden

Exiting the Zoo, turn to your right at the roundabouts, passing the bus stop on your right. Walk along the pathway for about 10 minutes and you will reach a hillock with some large rocks. This is the Rock Garden.

The Rock Garden is a sculpture garden that dates back to the 1970s. This is a popular photography and picnic spot, with good views of the lake. 

What to See

Art, Landscape

What to Do

Observation, photography, picnic

Minimum Time Spent

10 minutes

Location

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3. Raintree Walk

The Raintree Walk, named for the huge and ancient rain trees lining the walk is a very popular relaxation spot for locals and tourists. It is a stone’s throw from the Rock Garden, following the paths on the sidewalk. There are hotels and eateries nearby, as well as a large car park. The walk is very scenic, and is a hugely-popular spot for photography.

What to See

Trees, Landscape

What to Do

Observation, photography

Minimum Time Spent

10 minutes

Location

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4. Chinese Pagoda

Walking along the Raintree Walk, you will come across a footpath leading to a bridge that crosses the lake.  About halfway acroos this bridge is the Chinese Pagoda, built in the 1970s. Following this footpath will lead you deeper into the Lake Gardens.

 

What to See

Architecture, Landscape

What to Do

Observation, photography

Minimum Time Spent

2 minutes

Location

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5. Tasik Dayung

Tasik Dayung, or “Boating Lake” is the place to be to enjoy paddle-boat rides so you can explore the many isles and ponds of the Taiping Lake Gardens for yourself, from the water. There are several types of rides available that can accommodate individuals and groups of up to 10 people per ride. There are bicycles available for rent, a restaurant, dining area, and a public restroom here, too. 

What to See

Landscape, wildlife

What to Do

Boat rides, wildlife observation, photography, food and drink,

Minimum Time Spent

10 minutes

Location

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6. Silver Jubilee Jetty

The Silver Jubilee Jetty was constructed to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of the reign of King George V of England (grandfather to Queen Elizabeth II). The jetty was completed in 1936, and  was often used as a starting point for sporting events in colonial days.

What to See

Architecture, landscape

What to Do

Observation, photography

Minimum Time Spent

5 minutes

Location

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7. F.M.S

The F.M.S. Station is a food court and recreational spot. There are several food stalls here, with outdoor and indoor dining available. A section of the shops here was constructed to resemble train carriages from the colonial-era railway line that operated between Taiping and Port Weld (now known as Kuala Sepetang). There are bicycles available for rental here.

What to See

Architecture

What to Do

Food and drink

Minimum Time Spent

10 minutes

Location

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8. Memorial Library

The Independence Memorial Library’s original building was constructed in 1882. It was built as a reading room for British military officers. The building was replaced in 1912 by the British colonial government in Malaya by the Victorian-architecture building that still stands to today. The building was converted to a library in 1986.

What to See

Architecture, books & other print media

What to Do

Observation, photography, reading

Minimum Time Spent

10 minutes

Location

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9. Kwangtung Association

The Kwangtung Association (or Guangdong Association) was founded in 1887, headquartered in the building constructed by Kapitan Chung Keng Quee, one of the great historical figures of colonial-era and pre-colonial-era Taiping. Kapitan Chung Keng Quee was the leader of the Hai San secret society during the Larut Wars, and played a highly significant role in the development and administration of Taiping during the early days of the British Empire’s intervention in Perak following the Larut Wars and the Treaty of Pangkor (1874).

What to See

Architecture

What to Do

Observation, photography, chat with the locals

Minimum Time Spent

5 minutes

Location

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10. Shun Tak Association

What to See

Architecture

What to Do

Observation, photography, food and drink

Minimum Time Spent

5 minutes

Location

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11. Clock Tower

From the Shun Tak Association on your right, walk down the road and make a left at the crossroads, and a right at the next crossroad. The clock tower will be on your left. On average, it’s a 5-minute walk.

The clock tower was originally built as a fortification in 1881, and served as the first police station in Taiping. It continued to be a police station till 1950. It is one of the more popular and recognizable landmarks in Taiping. 

What to See

Architecture

What to Do

Observation, photography

Minimum Time Spent

5 minutes

Location

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12. Peace Hotel

With the clock tower on your left, head down the road and make a right at the crossroads. Walk along this road, passing a row of shops till you meet the Larut & Matang Hawker Center, which is a large food court serving a huge variety of food. There is a halal section and a non-halal section here.

Passing the food court on your right, the Peace Hotel is the next building you will see. Built in 1928, it was the home of a wealthy Chinese businessman.

On the ground floor of the hotel is a very popular Chinese restaurant that caters to the lunch crowd. Get here before noon if you would like to really enjoy the food. The hotel is open for bookings, and if you would like to stay in a somewhat central area of the city, this is a great location to be.

What to See

Architecture, Shops

What to Do

Observation, photography, food and drink, shopping, accommodation

Minimum Time Spent

10 minutes

Location

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13. Peking Hotel

From the Peking Hotel (on your right), head down the road Jalan Panggung Wayang (formerly Theater Road). You will pass a large commercial complex to your right, and a row of shops on your left. At the T-junction, turn right into Jalan Idris. Pass the block of shops with a 7-Eleven, a large clothing store, and a Watsons and you will be at the Peking Hotel. It’s less than 5 minutes from the Peace Hotel to the Peking Hotel.

The Peking Hotel was built in 1929, believed to be the home of a wealthy merchant. Once office for the Taiping Rubber Dealers Association, was used as a garrison for Japanese military police during their occupation of Taiping in World War II.

 

 

What to See

Architecture

What to Do

Observation, photography, accommodation

Minimum Time Spent

5 minutes

Location

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14. Taiping Market

The Taiping Market was built between 1884 and 1885, in what is the first modern market complex and square in Peninsular Malaya.

From the Peking Hotel on your left, walk along Jalan Idris till the crossroads and turn right into Jalan Kota. The market complex is two blocks down.

The old market building will be to your left, and the new market building will be to your right.

As of now, both buildings are undergoing restoration works, and are not accessible to the public as of yet.

What to See

Architecture, Market

What to Do

Observation, photography

Minimum Time Spent

10 minutes

Location

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15. Malay Mosque

With the market square where the clock tower is located behind you, head along Jalan Pasar. On your right will be several Indian restaurants. The food here is great. Walk along this road till you reach it’s intersection with Jalan Masjid. Cross the street here and head towards your left. The mosque will be on your right. 

This is the oldest mosque in Taiping, dating back to the 1890s.

What to See

Architecture, culture

What to Do

Observation, photography, spirituality, chat with the locals

Minimum Time Spent

10 minutes

Location

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16. Sri Mariamman Temple

With the mosque on your right, head down Jalan Kota. Pass a row of shops and you will find the entrance to the temple. 

The earliest official record of the temple dates back to 1879.

What to See

Architecture, culture

What to Do

Observation, photography, spirituality, chat with the locals

Minimum Time Spent

10 minutes

Location

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17. Hosian Temple

With the temple on your right, walk down Jalan Kota and pass a row of shops till you find the temple. There is a signboard outside titled “Tokong Hosian” in case you’re unsure.

This temple has existed since 1890. The building that stands here was built by temple-builders from China in 1905. 

What to See

Architecture, culture

What to Do

Observation, photography, spirituality

Minimum Time Spent

10 minutes

Location

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18. Hokkien Association

With the Hosian Temple on your right, walk past a row of shops, and you will find the entrance to the Hokkien Association’s grounds. The courtyard is usually used as a car park. 

The Hokkien Association in Taiping has existed since 1862. This building was completed as their association hall, or rumah kongsi, in 1928.

What to See

Architecture, Culture

What to Do

Observation, photography, chat with the locals

Minimum Time Spent

10 minutes

Location

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19. Rumah Orang Besar Jajahan

With the Hokkien Association behind you, turn right on to Jalan Kota. Cross the road at the crosswalks towards the Inland Revenue Board’s office. The entrance to the Rumah Orang Besar Jajahan’s compound will be on your right, opposite the Indian Mosque. 

Built by the British in 1893, this building is the residence of the Orang Besar Jajahan, the Sultan of Perak’s representative in the district. 

What to See

Architecture, local government

What to Do

Observation, photography

Minimum Time Spent

10 minutes

Location

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20. Sikh Gurdwara

Cross Jalan Kota towards the Indian Mosque. Keep it on your right and walk till you reach a small bend. Turn right at this bend and cross Jalan Taming Sari. The Indian Mosque should now be behind you, on your left. Keep walking towards the intersection and traffic lights and turn right into Jalan Stesen. Pass a Tamil school and Hindu temple and you will find the Gurdwara on your right.

The gurdwara has its origins as the first gurdwara in the Malay Peninsula, constructed by Sikh members of the constabulary in 1881. It was relocated to this site in 1919. It is famous among the Sikh community for having a large collection of rare Punjabi books.

 

What to See

Architecture

What to Do

Observation, photography, spirituality

Minimum Time Spent

10 minutes

Location

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21. Taiping Railway Station

Walk along Jalan Stesen, passing the Sikh Gurdwara and Rumah Seri Kenangan on your right. Round the bend and the Old Railway Station will be on your left. It’s about a 7-minute walk from the Gurdwara.

The old railway station building dates back to 1915, 30 years after the first train in Malaysia ran the same tracks back in 1885. The site of the original train station is where the Kind Edward VII School now stands.

What to See

Architecture, restaurants, hawkers, historical artefacts

What to Do

Observation, photography, food & drink

Minimum Time Spent

10 minutes

Location

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22. St. George School

Walk along Jalan Stesen, passing the Hospital on your left for about 10 minutes, and you will be at the gates of St. George’s Institution.

St. George’s Institution was formed in 1914 by monks from the LaSallian order. The main building of the school dates back to 1915. The school was a garrison for invading Japanese troops during World War II.

What to See

Architecture

What to Do

Observation, photography

Minimum Time Spent

10 minutes

Location

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23. King Edward VII School

Walk along Jalan Stesen with St. George’s Institution on your right. Pass three blocks of shops and you will be at the gates of Kind Edward VII School’s gates. 

The school was established in 1883, and  moved here in 1905. The grounds of the school was the original site of the Taiping Railway Station, with its terminus at the Telegraph Office (now Telegraph Museum).

What to See

Architecture

What to Do

Observation, photography

Minimum Time Spent

10 minutes

Location

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24. Town Rest House

The once-proud ruins of the Taiping Rest House sit directly across the street from the King Edward VII School.

The British Resident, and later, British officers who made port at Port Weld and traveled to Taiping would use this as an inn before continuing on their travels in colonial days.

Today, it is a spectacular ruin.

What to See

A derelict building

What to Do

Observation, photography, marvel at a derelict building

Minimum Time Spent

10 minutes

Location

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25. Taiping Municipal Gallery

With the ruins of the Rest House on your right, continue along Jalan Stesen. Pass the ruins of the old Public Works Department building and cross the road to enter the Taiping Municipal Gallery courtyard. 

The Gallery was originally built as the office for the Trigonometrical Branch of the Survey Department in 1891. Today, it is the main tourist information center in Taiping, art gallery, and historical museum. 

What to See

Architecture, art gallery, historical museum

What to Do

Observation, photography, culture

Minimum Time Spent

10 minutes

Location

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26. Kapitan’s House

Exit the Municipal Gallery on to Jalan Istana Larut. With the gallery to your left, walk down Jalan Istana Larut. The Kapitan’s Residence is across the road from the Barrack Street Hotel.

Built in the 1890s, this house is the residence of the first Kapitan China in Taiping, a very wealthy miner named Chung Keng Kwee. Today the house is premises to an art and antiques gallery (Bee Poh Arts Co.) and a very delightful cafe (Yinn’s Patisserie). Step inside to admire or buy artwork and antiques, or marvel at the 19th century Chinese decor while having a sip of coffee and enjoying a pastry.

What to See

Architecture, Art, Antiques, Pastries

What to Do

Observation, photography, food & drink, antiques shopping

Minimum Time Spent

10 minutes

Location

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27. Taiping Post Office

The Post Office is across the street and to the right from the Residence of Chung Keng Kwee.

This building began operating as a post office in 1899, and was initially the site of the Treasury established during the formative years of Taiping.

What to See

Architecture, Market

What to Do

Observation, photography, shopping

Minimum Time Spent

10 minutes

Location

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28. Telegraph Office

The Telegraph Museum is just behind the Post Office. Turn left after the Post Office along Jalan Barrack and head down a small road. The Telegraph Museum is at the end of the road. If driving, it is possible to park in the nearby Telekom Malaysia office car park. Ask the guards at the gate for permission.

The Telegraph Museum is the site of the first telegraph service and postal service in the Malay Peninsula. It is now a museum showcasing the history of the telegraph and the communications industry in Malaysia. 

The museum is currently closed to the public.

What to See

Architecture

What to Do

Observation, photography

Minimum Time Spent

10 minutes

Location

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29. District Office

From the Telegraph Museum, head back on to Jalan Barrack and turn into Jalan Alang Ahmad. Cross the intersection and continue heading along Jalan Alang Ahmad (formerly Cross Street). Cross the street and turn left along Jalan Taming Sari. The entrance to the compund that holds Warisan Square, the City Council, and the Land & District Office will be on your right. 

The Land & District Office was the main government office when it was built in 1897. It is probably the most iconic landmark of Taiping. On weekends, the Square and neighbouring Cross Street is a hive of activity with a vibrant night market.

What to See

Architecture, government services

What to Do

Observation, photography, taxes & duties, night market on weekends

Minimum Time Spent

10 minutes

Location

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30. The Esplanade

From the Land & District Office, it is possible to navigate the compounds to a gate that opens directly to the Esplanade. If walking along the roads, both Jalan Taming Sari and Jalan Kota will take you to the Esplanade. Turn left at the library if following Jalan Kota.

The Esplanade is an open field, built as the parade grounds for the colonial militia and police force garrisoned in Taiping. Today it is a sports venue and many sporting events and competitions are held here.

What to See

Landscape, sports venue

What to Do

Observation, photography, sports and recreation

Minimum Time Spent

10 minutes

Location

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31. Assistant Resident’s Quarters

Head along Jalan Esplanade till you reach a path leading uphill. This is the road to the Residence of the Assistant Resident on the top of the hill.

This house was once the residence of the British Resident, Assistant Resident, and Secretary to the Resident in colonial times. Today it is the official residence of the Larut, Matang & Selama District Officer.

What to See

Architecture, landscape, observation point

What to Do

Observation, photography

Minimum Time Spent

10 minutes

Location

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32. New Club

The New Club is at the foothills of Bukit Jelutong, where the Residence of the Assistant Resident is situated. You would have encountered the New Club before ascending the hill to the Assistant Resident’s Residence.

What to See

Architecture, landscape

What to Do

Observation, photography, food and drink, bar, tennis, squash, billiards, darts, gymnasium, swimming, sauna, reading, accommodation.

Minimum Time Spent

  • 10 minutes if just admiring the exterior
  • 30 minutes if completely exploring the New Club’s grounds. Some areas are only accessible to members. Day passes can be purchased.

Location

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33. Officers’ Mess

The Officers’ Mess is at the other end of the road where the New Club is. Head down New Club road towards Jalan Taming Sari with the Esplanade on your left. The Officers’ Mess is at the intersection of Jalan Kelab Baru and Jalan Taming Sari.

Marvel at the grand design of the the first rest house in the Malay Peninsula for officers of the British colonial militia here.

What to See

Architecture

What to Do

Observation, photography

Minimum Time Spent

10 minutes

Location

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34. All Saints’ Church

What to See

Architecture, Market

What to Do

Observation, photography, shopping

Minimum Time Spent

10 minutes

Location

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35. Perak Museum

Keeping the All Saints Church on your left head along Jalan Taming Sari and the museum will be on your left, after a Waterworks Department building. 

Perak Museum was built in 1883, and is the first museum in the Malay Peninsular. Admission is really cheap.

What to See

Architecture, natural history, archaeological, paleontological, zoological, botanical, and cultural artefacts

What to Do

Observation, photography, culture

Minimum Time Spent

  • 30 minutes if on a mad dash to view all exhibits,
  • 10 minutes if just admiring the exterior.

Recommended to spend at least an hour to take in everything on display.

Location

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36. Taiping Prison

Taiping Prison is just across the street from the museum. You can’t miss it. It’s huge.

The prison was the first modern prison complex in the Malay Peninsula when it was constructed in 1879. It is the oldest prison in Malaysia. There’s a gallery that sells crafts, mostly handmade by inmates.

What to See

Architecture, crafts gallery

What to Do

Observation, photography, souvenirs

Minimum Time Spent

10 minutes

Location

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37. Bukit Larut (Maxwell Hill)

Keep the prison on your right and walk along Jalan Taming Sari till you reach a crossroads. There are two options to get to Bukit Larut from here.

  1. Turning right into Jalan Pekeliling will take you back to the vicinity of the Lake Gardens. Follow Jalan Pekeliling and turn left at the junction into Jalan Padang Tembak. This area was once the shooting range for the armed forces stationed in Taiping. Continue on this road and turn right into Jalan Bukit Larut.
  2. Heading on straight at the crossroads into Jalan Lumba Kuda will take you to an education district, but what was once the Taiping Race Course. Turn right once you see the Treacher Methodist School and follow the road to Jalan Bukit Larut.

On Jalan Bukit Larut, just continue walking and you’ll eventually reach the foothills. It’s quite a walk from the Taiping Prison to here, and can take from 20 to 30 minutes depending on the path taken.

Bukit Larut is a highland resort that was developed by the British in the 1880s, and is one of Taiping’s most popular holiday destinations. Unfortunately, due to a landslide, the trail uphill has been badly damaged and both the road uphill and the resort have been closed to the public, as it is unsafe to hike up the hill. 

What to See

Nature

What to Do

Observation, photography, hiking/ trekking, bird-watching, entomology

Minimum Time Spent

10 minutes

Location

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38. Coronation Pool

The Coronation Pool is at the foothills of Bukit Larut, on your right if facing the entrance to the Bukit Larut hiking trail, close to the intersection of Jalan Bukit Larut and Jalan Air Terjun.

Built in 1937, it is a swimming pool that is fed freshwater from a nearby stream, as opposed to typical modern chlorinated pools. With three pools and one dedicated to kids, it’s a great place to freshen up after the hike down from Bukit Larut.

What to See

Swimming Pool

What to Do

Observation, photography, swimming, food and drink.

Minimum Time Spent

15 minutes

Location

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39. War Memorial Cemetery

From the Coronation Pool, head down Jalan Air Terjun for approximately 5 minutes. You will pass the cemetery, with Christian soldiers laying to your left, and those of other faiths lay to your right. 

The cemetery was built in 1947 by a special team that was tasked to retrieve bodies of fallen World War II British soldiers from across the Malay Peninsula to be reinterred here. 

What to See

War memorial, cemetery

What to Do

Observation, photography, spirituality

Minimum Time Spent

10 minutes

Location

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40. Burmese Pool

To get to the Burmese Pool from the Memorial Cemetery, look for a junction turning left into Jalan Taman Sentosa from Jalan Air Terjun. Continue along this way till you find a bend turning to the right. Follow this bend to the end and you’ll find yourself at the Burmese Pool. It’s roughly a 10-minute walk from the cemetery.

The Burmese Pool is a very pristine river with two large pools formed out of rocks. It’s a great picnic spot and a must-visit for outdoorsmen. 

What to See

Nature

What to Do

Observation, photography, hiking/ trekking/ swimming, bird-watching, picnic.

Minimum Time Spent

20 minutes

Location

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Recommendations

Time Spent

Walking the entire distance, and not stopping long to view the sights or partaking in any side quests, one can expect to complete the trail under 7 hours, with 3 out of the 7 spent walking between the different points of the trail. This is the most boring (and tiring) way of completing the trail, however.

Some spots deserve more attention, and our recommendations for “Minimum Time Spent” at a certain location may not be the best timeframe to truly appreciate a location.

 

The Weather

Be mindful of the weather. The climate in Taiping is very humid, and on hotter days expect heavy perspiration. Stay hydrated. Seek immediate shelter in case of rain.

Enjoy Taiping 

The Taiping Heritage Trail is a great way to immerse yourself in local culture and the history of Taiping. This trail is very much a self-guided route, so feel free to visit other interesting places you will find along the way. The Taiping Heritage Trail takes you across the major parts of the city and is a great way to get a quick tour of Taiping.