3 DAYS 2 NIGHTS – from RM450/pax
Perlis is the smallest state in Malaysia. The 821 sqkm state lies at the northern part of the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia. Inhabited by just 250,000 people, this Royal land is flanked by Thailand having Satun and Songkhla Provinces on the northern border, and by Kedah to the east and south. Formally called Perlis Indera Kayangan, this tiny state was known as Palit in Thai when it was under the influence of the Siamese.
The capital of Perlis is Kangar, while Arau, 10km away is the Royal town. Another important town, Padang Besar at the Malaysia-Thailand border, is popular for its bargain clothing, kitchen utensils and home furnishing products. After the launch of KTM ETS (Electric Train Service) in August 2015, increasing number of local traders and tourists from Kuala Lumpur are known to take a train departing from KL in the morning to reach Padang Besar by noon, shop for 4 to 5 hours before returning to KL with the evening train.
Just less than an hour drive to the city of Alor Setar in Kedah, the peaceful state of Perlis owns neither a cinema nor a mega shopping mall. Although small in size, Perlis is not without its attractions, foremost among which is its serene unspoiled beauty. Perlis, too, abounds rural scenes and rolling green fields of paddy. For instances, Wang Gunung is famous for hiking offering an aerial view of both Malaysia and Thailand at the peak and Bukit Ketri is known to be the one of the most challenging rock climbing sites in the world. The main economic resources of Perlis are rice grain, rubber, oil palm plantation and fishery. Its famous food is Laksa Kuala Perlis which is served with a fragrant fish gravy.
When we landed in Perlis, the evening heat had ebbed to a comforting warmth. The sunshine had lost its brightness and the colours of the sky were softened. We sauntered in relaxed paces to aGua Cenderawasih. Located at the edge of Bukit Lagi, it is also known as Gua Sami as it’s believed to have monks performing rituals in the cave long time ago. The cave is surrounded by Taman Bunga Kertas (Bunga Kertas Park), one of the tourist destinations in Perlis. It has been enhanced with various recreational facilities such as playgrounds, cycling and jogging routes. Two primate species of different characters live in this park. The bKera (Long-tailed macaques) – active, playful and accept food from human while cLutong (dusky leaf monkey) – cute and adorable, black fur and shy but with the capacity of eating poisonous plants.
In addition to our trekking route, the passage is of very steep manmade staircases that test our physical endurance. The route was officially opened by the former Chief Minister of Perlis, Dato Seri Shahidan bin Kassim in 1998. On our way up, d Amorphophallus, a flowering plant with the largest unbranched inflorescence in the world was seen in the midst of huge trees. Despite climbing through 1,000 steep steps, however, our fatigue paid off with the stunning panoramic views from the summit of Bukit Lagi. From the top, we could admire the scenery of Kangar town to Kuala Perlis. A mini version of Putrajaya, Bangunan Pentadbiran Perlis could be spot too. The cold, brisk air invaded our lungs, eventually we fell in love with the glowing sunset. For those who like jogging and jungle trekking, this is a place for you. Bukit Lagi is a great site to watch sunrise too.
The next morning, we commenced our cycling excursion from 1 Paya Guring Homestay. With the sound of birds chirping, the warm sunshine, the fresh air, what else could we ask for? Located in Pauh, the homestay is hosted by Haji Romlee bin Haji Hassan, Chairman of Homestay and Kampung Paya Guring Perlis Berhad. Started in 2003, it provides homestay packages, surau, convention hall, open hall, and stage for performances. To make a stay memorable, there are various activities make available to guests from sightseeing to tropical fruits farm and paddy fields, fishing activity, visitation to rubber and oil palm plantations, making homemade traditional delights and doing arts and crafts. Besides, Haji Romlee often organizes annual programs for students from colleges.