Istana Kenangan is build mainly of wood without any architectural plans without using a single nail in 1926... It is also known as Istana Lembah and as Istana Tepas... The architecture of the palace is based on the shape of a sword... The walls are made of woven sliced bamboo in a diamond shaped pattern and the roofs are in the shape of "five ridges of a traditional Malay house and the ridge of a row bananas"... The design and the craftsmanship adopted in the palace construction reflected the fine art of Perak Malay handicraft...
The palace is now used as the Royal Museum of Perak and houses the royal regelia, photographs of the royal family, illustrations and artifacts of the past and present monarchy in perak...Admission is free...
The surviving rubber tree is the only one of the nine original rubber trees planted in then Malaya in 1877... This is the start of the rubber industry as a major plantation in the country...
Mr H N Ridley, who is known as the Father of the Malayan Rubber Industry, obtained rubber seeds from the London Kew Gardens and have them planted in Kuala Kangsar... These seeds were planted in and around Kuala Kangsar in 1877... When Sir Hugh Low was the British Resident in Perak, a memorial plaque was constructed at the base of this sole remaining tree, commemorating the importance of this rubber tree in the eventual development of Perak as well as the entire nation... The rubber industry eventually became one of the nation's major sources of income in the larger part of the 1900s...
The Keris Monument in the shape of a keris, a sharp-bladed Malay knife... It was erected in 1963 to commemorate the installation of Sultan Idris Shah as the 33rd Sultan of Perak... The keris is the symbol of power in the lives of the Malay community as well as those of royalty... It is an important part of the attire and regalia of the present day sultans, especially during presentations and ceremonies in the royal court... In a customary Malay wedding, the bridegroom also carries a small keris in his wedding attire...
Unfortunately, the vicinity of the monument is not well kept...
The Pavillion Square Tower is considered to be one of the most beautiful of this Royal town's old buildings... It has a unique design and reflects some of the elegance of early Malay architecture, with a special charm totally its own... The tower was built in 1930 under the reign of Sultan Iskandar Shah, this structure has occasionally been referred to as the "Pagoda of Malaysia"...
It was originally used as a recreational and entertainment venue for the wives of court officials and other impartment people, especially for ceremonies and special celebrations... Having undergone some renovation, it is now part of a public park... However, the park has been dug up from some project when I visited the tower...
Masjid Ubudiah is the royal mosque of Perak... It is one of the most beautiful mosque in Malaysia with its golden dome and minarets creating a spell-binding sight, from near and afar... Built in 1917 during the reign of the 28th Sultan of Perak, Sultan Idris Shah 1, the Masjid Ubudiah is located beside the Royal Mausoleum on Bukit Chandan... It was officially declared open by Sultan Abdul Jalil Karamtullah Shah, successor to Sultan Idris...
The mosque was enlarged in 1933, when extensions were made at the sides and with this extension, it is capable of holding 2,300 worshippers for its Friday prayers... Te mosque was again restored and upgrade in 2002 by the order of the current Sultan Azlan Shah to be in time for The Sultan's 75th birthday celebration ins 2003...
Kuala Kangsar being a royal town in Perak is home to many of the early educational institutions and schools first set up.
These include Clifford Secondary School and the fully residential Malay College of Kuala Kangsar (MCKK). Many of Malay aristocracy and Malay political leaders studied at MCKK forming the old boys network.
The MCKK was even featured in postage stamp issue by Pos Malaysia.
In Kuala Kangsar, you will much greenery. There are many old trees.
The town is surrounded by mountains and the heavy annual rains keep everything very green.
In fact, it was in Kuala Kangsar where the first rubber tree was planted in Malaya after the rubber seedling were smuggled out from Brazil, grown in Kew Gardens, England and then taken to Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and Malaya.
So the wet and humid weather of Kuala Kangsar helped started the rubber industry of Malaysia.
You can drive across the bridge to the Malay village of Kampong Sayong.
This place is famous for the "Labu Sayong" which is a unique Perak black colored pottery, gourd shape for containing water. It has become iconic for Perak.
You can stop and see how this labu is made and buy different sizes for use or as souvenir and decor.
Kuala Kangsar owes its strategic importance where the tributary Kangsar river meet the mighty Perak River whcih is an important mode of transport during the days when Perak was covered with jungles and swamps of tigers and venomous snakes.
There were large royal barges that used to ply along Perak River until the sea.
Since the discovery of tin in Ipoh and Taiping, these two urban centers have overtaken Kuala Kangsar. But KK remains the royal town of Perak where the King resides overlooking the Perak River.
There is a famous Victoria railway bridge and two major road bridges over the river near the town.
The Clock Tower is an important icon of Kuala Kangsar and is located in a roundabout at the heart of this royal town.
It is near the riverside where the prewar double storey terraced shops are located in three rows of street and across a small bridge to Bukit Chandan where the royal buildings and mosque is located.
There is a market near the river where handicraft are sold.
Interestingly there is a fighter plan displayed near the Clock Tower.
At the bottom of Bukit Chandan, there is a fairly new Gallery of Sultan Azlan Shah, the current King of Perak showing the many beautiful items that his Majesty has collected or being given over the years as the King of Perak and while serving as the King of Malaysia - the Duli Yang Maha Mulia Agong of Malaysia.
His majesty is respected for his legal education and support of sports especially field hockey with the annual international invitation men's field hockey which is played at the Sultan Azlan Shah Hockey Field in Ipoh, the capital of Perak.
Worth a visit if you are in Kuala Kangsar during the opening hours of the Gallery.
The Royal Palace is called "Istana Iskandariah" after one of previous King (Sultan) of Perak. It was built on this hill Bukit Chandan to avoid the perennial flooding of the river.
The Palace was completed in 1933 and has been where each new King of Perak is installed and serves as the King's residence. One of the previous King used to open his palace ground on his birthday to become a temporary casino. Gambling is banned in Malaysia except in Genting Highlands, Pahang. So this was a royal waiver and during this time, the previous King will be out of town. Unfortunately or fortunately depending how you view it, this practice has been stopped when a new King was installed.
It is however possible to drive around the perimeter of the Royal Palace and admire the minarets and the green rolling compound.
Istana Kenangan is now a museum. It is located just next to sprawling compound of the current Royal Palace.
As the old Palace, it was built here on the hill slope to avoid the river flooding of the Kangsar river that has swept away earlier palaces.
The architecture is stunning visually with the royal yellow prominently displayed. Hopefully, the renovation will be completed soon and visitors can enter and admire the inside architecture of this beautiful old palace in greater details.
So for the time being, just nice to take a photo from outside. There is an information plaque outside too to read.
This is one of the most beautiful mosques in Malaysia. The Ubudiah Mosque located on the hill near the Royal Palace was completed in 1919. There is a royal masoleum on its left.
The architecture is Moorish in style. There are often school tour buses coming for visits. As it is a holy place, better to be conservatively dressed if you want to enter the mosque compound to have a closer look or use the restroom.
Ample parking outside for photography. The gleaming golden yellow is resplendent.
As we enter the main street to Kuala Kangsar City Center, on the left side of the street, we can see a Guide Board high light us to the Kuala Kangsar Tourist interrest, as what is written on the board are : GALERI SULTAN AZLAN SHAH, MASJID (mosque) UBUDIAH, ISTANA(plalce) ISKANDARIAH and MUZIUM DIRAJA