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Perak - The Silver State

Perak takes its name from the silvery colour of the rich tin deposits for which it is renowned. This mineral featured prominently in the history and, economy of the state. The growth of its major towns and the rise of numerous wealthy millionaires in bygone years can be attributed to tin. Although tinmining has ceased to be a major industrial activity, visitors can still catch a glimpse of Perak's tinmining history at the Geological Museum in Ipoh, its capital city.

The saga of tin-mining aside, modern-day Perak is a vibrant state and has numerous options for those willing to traverse its over 21,000 sq km of territory. Ipoh is appealing with its beautifully landscaped parks, orderly streets and pleasant surroundings. It is also known for its many fruit stalls selling the state's famous Tambun pomelos and groundnuts. Guava is also commercially cultivated, mostly on what was once mining land. Another appealing characteristic of Perak is the imposing beauty of its limestone hills. Set within these hills are two well-known cave temples, Sam Poh Tong and Perak Tong.

Kuala Kangsar, the royal town of Perak features many old buildings and structures of historical value such as the Ubudiah Mosque and the Iskandariah Palace. Here, the last surviving rubber tree of the original batch that was brought from London's Kew Gardens in 1877 by H.N. Ridley, can be seen at the district office. Just 15 km south of this town is the site of a unique cottage industry producing Perak's well known earthernware, Labu Sayong. Taiping, 40 km north, is home to the country's oldest museum and the cool hill resort of Bukit Larut (Maxwell Hill). Its scenic Lake Gardens and the Taiping Zoo are favourites with locals and visitors alike. There are several other points of interest that should not be missed. One of these is Kellie's Castle in Batu Gajah. It was built by a wealthy Scottish rubber planter, William Kellie Smith. Lovers of history can visit the historical site 6f Pasir Salak, further west of Batu Gajah. Pangkor, Perak's island in the sun draws throngs of visitors annually to its lovely beaches, reputed to be among the best in the world. Bird lovers should head north for the fascinating Kuala Gula Bird Sanctuary where over 100 species of birds can be sighted.

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