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Perak Map

Perak was renowned for its rich tin deposits. It is believed that the state derived its name, which means silver in Malay from the silvery tin.
Covering an area of 21,000 sq. km. with population of about 2 million, its major towns include Ipoh, Kuala Kangsar, Taiping, Teluk Intan and Lumut. Kuala Kangsar is the royal town of Perak, while Ipoh is the administrative centre and state capital.

According to legend, the Prince of Merong Mahapudisa founded Perak. The first governments were in Bruas and Manjung in the 15th century. The present sultanate was established in 1528 and traces its origins to Sultan Muzaffar Shah the oldest son of the last Sultan of Melaka. Because of its rich tin deposits it faced constant threats. The state was ravaged by the Achinese in the 16th century.

The Dutch tried to establish a monopoly over Perak’s tin trade but without success. In the 18th century the Bugis in the South and the Thais in the North threatened Perak. The state was saved from Thai domination with British assistance in the 1820’s. The growing importance of tin led to the influx of Chinese miners. In the 1870s, the state was undergoing a succession dispute and also a war between the Chinese tin miners. The British intervened in 1874, appointing James W. W Birch as the first British Resident. Constant opposition from the Perak’s Chiefs resulted in the assassination of the first British Resident and a brief war followed. In 1896 Perak became one the four Malay states forming the Federated Malay States.

Traditional Handicrafts such as labu sayong (earthenware), tekat benang emas (gold embroidery), bamboo carvings, and seashell designs is predominately found in Kuala Kangsar. Other popular centers are Enggor, Kampung Berala, Kampung Padang, Changkat and Kampung Kepala Bendang.

Pasir Salak


A place steeped in history, is the village where Perak's first British Resident J.W.W. Birch was assassinated and the seed of Malay nationalism sowed

It is possible to visit the actual spot where Birch was killed as well as visit the places connected to the historical figures featured in the assassination and the ensuing war between the British and the Malays.

Pasir Salak Historical Complex
Well known for its Malay architecture and craft, here stands the memorial dedicated to the first British resident in Perak, J. W. W. Birch who was slain by the late Maharaja Lela Dato Sagor and Si Puntun. A time tunnel of sorts to relive history. There are also two ’Kulai House’ (Perak traditional house) displaying various local historical and Malay cultural artifacts

Other than its history, Pasir Salak offers an array of outdoor activities such as a cruise or a river safari on the Perak River, jet skiing, canoeing, fishing, cycling and even a bit of bird watching. The main feathered attraction at Pasir Salak is the Indian Hornbill.

If art is your cup of tea, the Pulau Tiga Handicraft Centre is about 6km away. Here you can see works of the traditional art of 'tekat' (gold embriodery) and also 'labu' (traditionaql clay water pitcher) are made.


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