I drive pass the M Boutique Hotel almost every single day being on the way home and saw the gradual development of the hotel. During the early stages, the building was all transparent glass which was later on covered by a lattice structure. The hotel also has two cafes in the same building – Myth Eatery & Bar and Signature Old Town White Coffee. Continue reading
A little tucked away in the back lanes, Ben & Lynette Maison Patisserie is set in a colonial mansion serving pasta, pizzas, desserts and with a pick-your-own salad bar, you can easily customize salads and sandwiches to your liking, any time from 9 am to 12.30 am. Continue reading
Cafe Pronto in the Old Town area of Ipoh is pretty eye-catching with its Tiffany blue facade, aligned plants, wooden signboard and wooden fences. It’s located directly across from the Happy 8 Cafe – looks like competition among cafes in the old town area is getting steeper and steeper. Continue reading
The cafe within the Happy 8 Retreat Boutique Hotel in Old Town Ipoh is designed with retreat and nature in mind, where you can fall back and relax in forest-like tranquility. Continue reading
The newly opened Patisserie Boutqiue is such a lovable cafe, adding another charming cafe to Ipoh. The Parisian-themed cafe serves simple appetizers (RM8 – RM13), pastas (RM14 – 16) and of course cakes and pastries! Continue reading
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
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
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