Let’s Explore the Uniqueness of Little Northern Gem – Perlis
Located at the northern-most part of the Peninsular of Malaysia, Perlis is also the smallest state in Malaysia which bounded by Thailand in the north and Thailand in the south. The state is characterized by sprawling paddy plains and picturesque views of the countryside, interspersed with rustic villages, limestone outcrops and serene lakes.
Perlis was separated from Kedah after Kedah was conquered by Thailand in 1821. The Thais established Perlis as a vassal state under the care of Syed Hussein. The Anglo-Siamese Treaty of 1909 transferred Thai sovereignty over Perlis to the British. In World War II, the Japanese returned Perlis to Thailand duringthe Japanese Occupation in Malaysia. After the war, Perlis came under the protection of the British again until it gained independence with the formation of the Federation of Malaya in 1957.
The economic activity of Perlis is dominated by agriculture, fishery and foresty. Located in the country’s ‘Rice Bowl’ area. Perlis’s main products are paddy, rubber, sugarcane, mango and watermelon. Medium-scale industries and manufacturing are also important contributors to the state’s income. There is a sugar refinery in Chuping and cement factories can be found in Bukit Keteru, jejawi, Kuala Perlis and Padang Besar.
State capital of Perlis, Kangar is a small business centre with everything within walking distance. Kangar retains much of its old world charm although new buildings can be seen.
Attractions in Kangar:
- Heritage & Cultural: Alwi Mosque; Perlis Craft Cultural Complex;
- Agro-Tourism: Harumanis Mango & Grape Plantation; Snake and Reptile Farm; Herb Garden
- Eco-Tourism: Taman Melati Recreation Park
- Sport: Putra Golf Club; Woodball; Perlis Equine Centre
- Shopping: Kayangan Square Mall
Arau is the royal town of Perlis , about 14km southeast of Kangar. Most of the building here boast classic Malay/ Islamic architecture in the country.
Attractions in Arau:
- Heritage & Cultural: Perlis Royal Gallery; Royal Palace; Perlis State Mosque
- Homestay: Homestay Kampung Paya Guring
3. Kuala Perlis
Located at the river mouth of Sungai Perlis (Perlis River), Kuala Perlis has long been a major port linking Perlis with Langkawi, Penang as well as Phuket Island and other southern coastal Thai towns. It is a good place to relax and watch a spectacular sunset or the fishermen returning with their catch.
Attractions in Kuala Perlis:
4. Padang Besar
Padang Besar is a bustling border town and a major stopover along the rail route between Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. The extended railway station is manned by Malaysian officials at one end and their Thai counterparts at the other. The town is bargain hunter’s paradise which consists several duty- free shops and a variety of produce, souvenirs, and artefacts that rich with cultural legacy of the state.
Attractions in Padang Besar:
- Shopping: Padang Besar Shopping Arcade ; Emas Kerajang Duty Free Zone;
- Agro-tourism: Taman Agro-Lancong
- Homestay: Homestay Felda Mata Ayer
There’s Much More in Perlis
- Agro-Tourism: Chuping Sugarcane Plantation
- Eco-Tourism: Perlis State Park; Lake Timah Tasoh; Gua Kelam Recreation Park; Bukit Ayer Recreation Park;
- Homestay: Homestay Kampung Ujung Bukit
- Shopping: Wang Kelian Sunday Market
Perlis has a variety of delicious ethnic cuisine to satisfy your taste buds. A fusion of Malay, Chinese, Thai and Indian cuisines can be found here.
1. Laksa Perlis
Laksa Perlis is a dish of rice noodles dipped in spiced fish gravy and topped with boiled eggs, cucumber, onions and herbs, this dish is savoury as it is spicy. It is sometimes complemented by pulut udang, a glutinous rice snack with sambal prawn filling. This is one dish that cannot be missed in Perlis.
Recommendation: Laksa Beras Kak Su
2. Seafood @ Kuala Perlis
Situated about 13km from Kangar, Kuala Perlis is a quaint fishing town that famous for its fresh and cheap seafood as the fisherman unload their catch at this small town every day. Visitors can enjoy a variety of seafood and other dishes at the numerous restaurants and stalls found around the town and along the shoreline.
1. Getting Here
Visitors have to take a flight into Alor Setar, Sultan Abdul Halim Airport and then take a 45 minute drive to Kangar as there is no airport in Perlis.
Driving to Perlis is convenient as it is accessible via the North-South Expressway from south to Bukit Kayu Hitam.
Both the Malaysian and Thai rail companies serve two station in Perlis, namely Arau and Padang Besar.
For visitors arriving by sea, Kuala Perlis is the main jumping off point and ferry boats provide scheduled crossings between Kuala Perlis, Perlis and the town of Kuah in Langkawi, Kedah which the journey takes about an hour.
2. Getting Around
The Kangar Bus Sttaion at Jalan Bukit Lagi offers regular shuttle services to towns like Padang Besar, Arau, Kuala Perlis, Pauh, Jitra and Kaki Bukit. Taxis are another convenient way to get around the state.