The Heritage House in Gopeng is part of the Gopeng Museum, displaying a way of life from the last century. The Heritage House is made possible by one of the caretakers, Mr Wong Kun Cheong who is an avid antique collector as many of the items showcased are his own collections. Continue reading
JJ Cafe is a chic cafe adding to the ever-expanding cafe scene in Ipoh. Before I even made it to the counter to order my food, I was already taken away by the tasteful use of clashing yet vibrant colors, that would totally have everyone’s adoration. Continue reading
The mural craze is burning from Penang, to Ipoh and even to to sleepy town Gopeng. Gopeng town is small so you can easily find the 5 murals after driving around a few minutes near the roads on Jalan Tasik and Jalan Pasir. Or just ask the locals and they will be happy to point out to you. Continue reading
The Gaharu Tea Valley in Gopeng (務邊沉香園) has an impressive number of 200,000 gaharu trees. The gaharu trees also known as argawood, span through hundreds of acres of land with Ipoh’s beautiful limestone mountains as the backdrop.
The gaharu tree when infected with mold, produces resin as a defense mechanism, resulting in an aromatic dark wood within the trunk. The dark wood is s of high commercial and medicinal value, whether it’s to be extracted for essential oil, perfume, burnt as incense or used for sculpturing. If you look at the trees closer, you will observe a lot of tiny holes where the molds are injected through.
The gaharu has a beautiful Chinese name “沉香”, literally meaning “sinking aroma”. The grades of gaharu wood are classified by their ability to sink. The more resinous the wood is, the more precious it is and the heavier it is, resulting the wood to sink completely into the water or only semi-sinking if the wood is not heavy enough.
The tour to view around the plantation is RM10 per person (by van), which comes with a packet of gaharu tea and a small piece of kayu raja wood.
The driver cum tour guide first took us to see the panoramic views of the valley. It’s also where the remains of a 20 year old gaharu tree trunk is. Hugging it is supposed to bring you good luck! A hotel is being set up nearby.
Our tour guide is very knowledgeable, telling us stories about how the gaharu tea valley all began. 15 years ago, 200 baby gaharu trees were given to the owner by a Japanese man. When the Japanese man came back to visit again, there were only 30 gaharu trees left due to theft and it was only then the owner realized that the gaharu trees are so precious. The land was originally growing palm trees but the owner decided to pull out everything and plant the gaharu instead. Today, the gaharu valley is flourishing with precious trees with some of the older trees worth hundreds of thousands each.
The trees are colored with yellow, red or black bands, indicating how old they are.
Our guide also showed us this loving tree couple – the darker tree resembles a man courting the lady (white tree). You can see that tree branch is reaching out to the white tree, as if trying to lure her into his arms! Even the tree trunks are intertwined with each other!
At the base of the base of the valley, there’s a souvenir shop, selling gaharu products like gaharu tea, gaharu tea egg premix packs, bak kut teh herbal packs and even gaharu tea instant noodles! The gaharu tea is pretty pricey. My father tried the tea and he reckons that the tea helps him to sleep better.
Gaharu flavor is used in desserts too in herbal jelly and ice cream.
Gaharu sculptured items displayed in the souvenir shop.
This piece here is not for sale!
More gaharu trunks outside the souvenir shop.
The Gaharu Tea Valley sits within the forest areas of Gopeng. When you see this mini Great Wall of China, you have arrived at the main entrance 🙂
Gaharu Tea Valley Official Website
Address: Lot 9840, Mukim Sg Teja, 31600 Gopeng, Perak, Malaysia.
GPS : N 04°27’30.00″ E 101° 11’26.40″
Tel: 05 3511 999
Admission: RM 10 per person to tour around the valley.
Opening Hours: Daily 9am – 6pm.
- What is Gaharu Wood? (gaharuwoods.wordpress.com)
The tin dredge in Batu Gajah along Jalan Tanjung Tualang is the last witness to the prosperity of tin mining in Malaysia. Also known as Tanjung Tualang Dredge No 5 (TT5), this 4500 tonne giant floating on the excavation site is a precious remain that tells the history of Malaysia, and especially so for Perak, the home of many tin mines. “Perak” literally means silver in Malay, which was thought to resemble the silver color of tin. Continue reading
I first saw this lion dance mural during Chinese New Year this year and thought how wonderful it was that Ipoh is going to have its own mural street! The murals are located on a little lane off Jalan Dato Onn Jaafar, on the back walls of a row of shoplot.
I discovered a quaint little cafe – the Bougainvillea City Cafe that serves fine food made with passion and originality by a young chef that was trained at Le Cordon Bleu. Continue reading
Kuala Sepetang is a fishing village 20 km away from Taiping town. Naturally, the seafood from the village is the freshest it can possibly get and at a good bargain too. Continue reading
The Sabah Tea has made its way from the highlands of Borneo to Ipoh. With the opening of STG Tea House Cafe in Ipoh, now we can enjoy organic and pesticide-free tea in a pristine white mansion surrounded by cooling shades of trees. Continue reading
The Big Group’s Plan B has recently opened in Ipoh’s old town area! Mum and I went for an impromptu tea there, and we enjoyed our luscious red velvet cake with freshly squeezed apple + orange juice. Continue reading