Perlis - The Northern Gem
Ben van Wijnen
Perlis is the smallest state of Malaysia and is situated in the northwest of the Peninsular. It's flanked by Thailand in
the north, and by Kedah to the east and south. Its western coastline borders the Straits of Malacca. It measures approximately 810 sq km and has a population of
217,480. The state capital is Kangar (here's the government), while Arau, 10km away, is the Royal town.
Although small in size, Perlis is not without its attractions,
foremost among which is its serene unspoilt beauty. Perlis, too, abounds withrustic rural scenes and rolling green fields of padi. There's not much tourism.
Even the capital Kangar is surrounded by padi fields, which sometimes look green and sometimes golden. That depends of course on the season.
Main towns in the state include Kangar, Arau, Kuala Perlis and Padang Besar.
Kuala Perlis is an important ferry terminal for visitors heading for the famed island of Langkawi while Padang Besar is one of the major
entry points for visitors from Thailand travelling by road or rail into Peninsular Malaysia.
|From Perlis comes the latest king of Malaysia. To be exactly: his royal residence is in Arau.
In Aurau is the Royal Palace (Istana Di-Raja) and the State Mosk (Masjid Negeri).
The full name of the king is:
Agong Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin Syed Putra Jamalullail
Highlights in Perlis:
The Snake Farm
The snake farm is mainly for research and the development of serums for snake bites.Perlis is noted for its large population of venomous
snakes, the limestone cave and crevices offering the best of natural habitats for the slithery creatures. The Snake Farm at Sungai Batu Pahat houses a large
collection of 23 species of live snakes in large open-air enclosures. In addition, there is a crocodile farm and a fish pond. Open from 8.00 till 16.00.
Gua Kelam (Dark Caves)
The Kelam cave is a 370-metres long limestone cave at the foot of a hill in the vicinity of the little town of Kaki Bukit, about 26 km from Kangar. It's
popular among both local and outstation visitors.
The name of the cave literally means, “ At a foothill lies a dark
cave”. The approach to the cave is via a suspended bridge making the cave a unique and adventurous experience for visitors.
This is a border town. It can be said with some degree of truth thatThailand and Perlis merge in this town, because the border is unseen
although the relevant signboards and cheek - points bear testimony to thefact. The town is also the major stopover from rail travel to Thailand.
Beyond the rail tracks is Pekan Siam - a bargain hunters' paradise. Besides agricultural goods, duty free shopping is also available in Padang Besar.
The town is filled with all shades and designs of textiles, footwear, handicrafts, decorative items, foodstuff, souvenirs, fruits and much more.
The coastal fishing town of Kuala Perlis, 14 km from Kangar is the major departure point for the fabled Langkawi island and has a ferry terminal for
island bound passengers. Kuala Perlis is located at the estuarine delta of' the Sungai Perlis. The town of Kuala Perlis has just a
couple of streets with plenty of restaurants which are popular for seafood and the local speciality of 'laksa' (rice noodle dipped in a fish-based gravy).
The boat to Langkawi in Kuala Perlis
Tasik Melati is asmall but picturesque lake located in a partially marshy lowland about 8 km north of Kangar.
The shallow marsh lake has over 150 sandbars, which are like tiny islands scattered all around.
Sampans can be rowed to these tiny islands.
The lake has been developed as a tourist attraction with elevated walkways and seats for visitors to sit back and enjoy the view.
Mostly during the weekends, families could be seen at this park as they would be spending their leisure time here, either exercising or simply just picnicking.
Taman Melati is definitely a family-friendly recreational area.
For instance, children could be having a ball of time at the playground provided while the elderly people take their time going through the reflexology path to improve blood circulation.
Gunung Medan, situated 6 km south of Kangar, is a limestone outcrop, 100 meter high with a leading road
to the peak. Stairways and walkways have been constructed. The place makes a suitable picnic spot.
Anywhere you look, the hill offers a panoramic view of padi fields, the green hills to the north leading to Thailand, sugarcane plantations and the
clusters of islands to the west and south of which Langkawi is one of the most prominent.
Putra Golf ClubNear the Snake Farm, the Putra Golf Club offers golfers the challenge of a notoriously difficult 18-hole course
with numerous obstructions, sandbars, water hazards and unexpected traps.