PERLIS may be the smallest state in Malaysia, but it has much to offer to visitors. Along with its cultural and historical heritage, its rustic charm makes it the perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of urban living.
One can walk for miles in the Perlis State Park under the green canopy and marvel at the cornucopia of flora and fauna. This rainforest wonderland has more than a hundred species of trees, and a wide assortment of flowers, birds, ferns, and insects.
Kangar, 56km from Alor Star, is bordered by an expanse of padi fields, creating a surreal brilliant green or golden glow on its horizon, depending on the season. At harvest time, the padi fields turn a sea of golden yellow enhances its quaint appeal. A wee town, major landmarks of the capital include the state mosque, Masjid Alwi.
Among the interesting places and things to see in the royal town of Arau is the Royal Palace, which reveals its ancient heritage through classic architecture. Nearby is the Royal Mosque, which can easily accommodate up to 7,000 people in one prayer session.
Where Thailand and Malaysia meet, the border town seamlessly merges the two, it has been said, as the border is invisible despite the signboards and checkpoints.
The town is also a major stopover for rail travel to Thailand. The main attraction is Pekan Siam – a bargain hunters' paradise. Available is a myriad of goods, from agricultural produce to duty-free shopping for textiles, footwear, handicrafts, decorative items, local delicacies, fruits and souvenirs.
Perlis's biggest attraction, is without a doubt, its natural wonders:
Gunung Medan, 6km south of Kangar, is a scenic limestone outcrop. It is accessible by car via a winding road. The hail and hearty can climb stairways and walkways to the peak.
Another well-kept secret of Perlis is its large population of poisonous snakes, especially in the limestone caves and crevices.
The Snake Farm at Sungai Batu Pahat houses a large collection of 23 species of live snakes in large open-air enclosures. There are also a crocodile and a fish pond.
Open daily from 10am to 4.15pm.
Wang Kelian State Park
The Wang Kelian State Park is a paradise for nature lovers and eco-tourism buffs.
Close to the Thai border, the Mata Ayer Forest Reserve is rich in biodiversity. Its limestone forests abound in fauna, including birds, mammals and reptiles of all shapes and sizes.
A challenging jungle track leads from the camp area past a tripping waterfall to the Gua Wang Burma cave system, said to be one of the most fascinating on in Peninsular Malaysia.
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