Resting in the downstream of Kangsar River, Kuala Kangsar is a district in Malaysia and the royal town of Perak, a state on the west coast of the country, which acts as the principal town in its administrative area. It is known for its history and for hosting ancient architecture including impressive palaces, making it a key tourist attraction of Malaysia. It is also full of natural beauty, being the meeting point of two rivers, Kangsar and Perak, which adds to the wonder of the town, and has a small population of just over 39,000.
One predominant feature of Kuala Kangsar is the Malay College, a beautiful boarding school and one of the best in Malaysia, with a rich history tied in with the war and defined by the Big Tree in the centre of the East Wing, said to be as old as the school. Other attractions are the Ubudiah mosque, the Clock Tower and the Sultan’s Palace called Istana Iskandariah, made from marble with an iconic golden dome and landscaped rolling lawns. To experience the stunning local scenery, visitors can go to Ulu Kenas Waterfall in the forest reserve or ferry across Perak River, or for those interested in cultural attractions, there is a gallery of artefacts and records belonging to the present Sultan. Visitors can relax in any of the local restaurants and experience traditional Malaysian cuisine, or go shopping for souvenirs at the small markets and stalls scattered around the town.
Drivers can reach Kuala Kangsar along the North-South Expressway from Kuala Lumpur, which stretches out to the Thai border, and the town is about 30 kilometres past the city of Ipoh. Alternatively, visitors can take public transport and reach the town by train, with direct services leaving from Kuala Lumpur and Penang on a daily basis. Once inside the town, it is easy to navigate on foot, although attractions beyond the outskirts are best reached by car.
The palace on the site faced many threats from natural weather over the years, including when it was almost swept away by a big flood in 1926 when the sultan moved it to its current location. It remains the official residence of the Sultan of Perak, which it has been since the 18th Century. It is also home to the first rubber tree in the country, planted by Henry Nicholas Riley, an English botanist.