Discover Some of ‘Malaysia’s Firsts’ via Taiping’s Heritage Trail


Known as the town of many ‘firsts’, Taiping is home to an interesting assortment of inaugural sites including olden-day buildings, the first museum in Malaysia known as the Perak Museum, as well as the first railway line and post office. Not only can you spot ancient and heritage buildings, but the town also has great views and landscapes to match. The Taiping Lake Gardens is a perfect example of one of the town's more refined sceneries.

Museum Perak

Perak Museum was the first-ever museum to be built in Malaysia. It was founded by Sir Hugh Low, who was the fourth British Resident in 1883. However, due to financial constraints, the main building was completed three years later in 1886 while the front and back wings were completed in 1889. The second storey of the museum was added in 1900 to expand the contents of the museum further. Perak Museum is open from Tuesdays to Sundays from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM.

There are many collections in the museum that are worth exploring. As you enter, you will encounter the zoology portion of the museum. In this collection, you will find a showcase of taxidermy, with a variety of animals from the Tapir to other exotic creatures that you can find among the wildlife in Malaysia.

The second section of the museum is packed with information on each culture in Malaysia. From Malay to East Malaysian cultures, this section showcases the traditions and different ways of life of each ethnicity. This part of the museum also exhibits pottery works such as labu, belanga and perasapan.

Venture to the second floor of the museum to explore the fascinating artefacts on the Orang Asli in Malaysia. There is also a showcase of a variety of handiwork made by these natives. Unique masks, baskets, mannequins and traditional musical instruments are just some of the pieces that you will get to view up-close.

As you walk around the exterior of the Perak Museum, you will notice a few vintage cars, which were once driven by famous people in Malaysia. The type of cars on display vary from Rolls Royce to even an Alvis TD21 Tourer 1906.

Ticket Prices for Perak Museum:
  • Malaysian Adult: RM 2
  • Foreigner Adult: RM 5
  • Malaysian Child (ages 6-12 years): Free
  • Foreigner Child (ages 6-12 years): RM 2

*Prices are subject to change. Visit Perak Museum's website for price confirmation.

Perak Museum is easily accessible by any taxi or e-hailing service. If you plan to drive here, there are ample parking spaces on the museum’s compound. Unfortunately, there are no direct public transportation options to reach here at the moment.

Taiping Railway

Taiping Railway Station is the first railway station to be built in Malaysia. This historical building was built in the late 1800s for Malaysia’s first railway line from Kuala Sepetang (Port Weld). The original railway station was in operation for over 100 years until 2014, when the new Taiping Railway Station was built.

Today, the original railway station is no longer in use and is currently occupied as a local food court. Despite the cease in railway operations, the building still maintains its original architecture and design, and has been designated as a National Heritage site. Today, it is quite a popular destination for tourists and locals alike who would like to stop by to appreciate the sturdy building and its unique architecture.

Fun fact: The first railway line was established not to transport people, but to carry cargo instead. The railway line made it easier to move tin from mines to Taiping then onto ships harboured in Port Weld. This first railway station was constructed where King Edward VII Primary School is today.

The best way to reach the Taiping Railway Station is by booking a train directly to the new railway station. From there, it is just a short walk to the old railway station. Alternatively, visitors can drive to the station and park at the new railway station’s car park. Visitors are also able to take any taxi or e-hailing services directly to the old railway station.

Zoo Taiping And Night Safari

The first zoo in Malaysia was also built in Taiping. The zoo is home to a large number of animal species from the Malayan tiger to African elephants. Zoo Taiping and Night Safari welcomes all to come and experience its open-air concept, where animals live within naturalistic spaces that are designed to simulate their natural habitat.

Open daily from 8:30 AM to 6:00 PM, visitors can enjoy close-up views of the animals in all their glory, as they stroll and pace along their enclosures. Don’t miss out on the five key exhibits here, which are the Malaysian Rainforest Experience, Lowland Forest, Riverine Forest, African Savanna and the Elephants of the Perak River.

The night safari segment of Zoo Taiping begins from 8:00 PM to 11:00 PM. Embark on an exciting journey as you hop on a tram ride for an intimate experience of the animals come nightfall. The Taiping Night Safari is the first night safari to open in Malaysia. Special lighting around each enclosure creates perfect opportunities for visitors to spot the animals with ease.

If you are taking the bus to Taiping, disembark at the Kamunting Bus Terminal and hop into a taxi or other e-hailing service to reach the zoo. By train, visitors on the north and southbound trains can alight at the Taiping Railway Station. From there, opt for a taxi or e-hailing service to go directly to the zoo. Driving is also an option to reach Zoo Taiping and Night Safari as there are ample parking spaces near the zoo.

Read more about Zoo Taiping and Night Safari here.

Taiping Lake Gardens

One of the many highlights of Taiping is the popular Taiping Lake Gardens. Located right in the heart of the town, the Lake Gardens is a vast open space surrounded by luscious trees and a serene lake.

Taiping Lake Gardens is also the first public recreation park instituted in Malaysia in 1884. Once an abandoned tin mine site, the garden now spans over 60 hectares of lush greenery. Here, you will also get to capture the sights of magnificent trees that are over 100 years old, with their branches stretching over the manmade path and grazing the surface of the lake.

There is a good selection of activities for everyone to enjoy here. For a stroll or a light jog, make use of the path which runs along the garden by the lake. Alternatively, enjoy a ride on the swan boat across the large lake while taking in the scenic views around you.

To reach the Taiping Lake Gardens, visitors can use the PLUS North-South Expressway by car. You can also hop onto the ETS to reach the Taiping Railway Station and from there, take a five-minute walk to the Lake Gardens. Taxi or e-hailing services are available as well.

All Saints Church

One of the oldest standing churches in Malaysia today is the All Saints Church, which is also located in Taiping. The church was built in 1883 by the British and remains to be the first English Church in the Federated Malay States.

The interior of the church is embellished with intricate details that were originally there since the church was erected. At the front of the church sits the most beautiful stained glass, with its beauty enhanced each time the sun passes through. All the pews have intricate carvings decorating the sides. There is also an ancient pipe organ that sits inside the church.

The exterior of the All Saints Church is influenced by Gothic design elements and is fashioned with Meranti panels as well as hardwood frames. There are also four olden-day tubular bells. The windows of the church give a glimpse of a small cemetery that surrounds the church. As you visit this heritage building, you can also see ancient tombstones of Europeans and young servicemen who are buried there. This 120-year-old church, which survived the Japanese Occupation, still serves as a place of worship until this day.

Hop onto any taxi or e-hailing services to reach the All Saints Church. The distance from the railway station is a mere 1.9 kilometres. Visitors can also make use of the buses that reach the Kamunting Bus Terminal which is approximately five kilometres from the church.

Taiping Post Office

No surprises by now, Taiping is also home to the first post office in Malaysia. The Taiping Post Office was first established in the old telegraph office, however, in 1899, it was moved to its current building, which was once the Treasury and Perak Audit Office. Today, the post office still functions and operates daily from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM. The post office operates as any other post office, complete with postal services such as Domestic Mail, International Mail, PosLaju Domestic and more.

Disembark from the train at Taiping Railway Station, which is situated 1.2 kilometres from the Taiping Post Office. Getting a taxi or e-hailing car is also easy and will take you directly to the post office’s doorstep. If you are travelling by bus, you can stop at the Taiping Bus Station, which is roughly 7 minutes away.

How to get to Taiping

Besides driving, there are also other ways to get to this historic town. If you wish to travel by bus, you can take one that drops you off at the Kamunting Raya Bus Terminal, which is located around 6 kilometres from Taiping’s city centre.

Visitors can also hop onto the train to Taiping. Simply board any KTM or ETS tra in, which takes you straight to the new Taiping Railway Station. Visitors can also hop onto the ETS at KL Sentral and make their way to the Taiping Railway Station. From there, opt for any taxi or e-hailing service to take you around.

View ETS tickets and train schedule here

View KTM tickets and train schedule here

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