Perlis is unlike any state in Malaysia, it offers a wonderfully picturesque landscape of miles and miles of padi fields interrupted only by weird but wonderful limestone outcrops and beautifully tendered rustic wooden houses.
Perlis is not only Malaysia’s smallest state in terms of size but also unique in its own way. This is one of the best places to experience Malaysia’s rustic charms, padi fields as far as the eye can see and ancient limestone outcrops.
Although it is the smallest state in Malaysia, Perlis has a lot to offer in terms of unique landscapes and the quaint village lifestyle. You can truly unwind here by taking in the fresh air and appreciating the green-blue wonder of the land and sky. As the state is situated near Thailand, it had in the past adopted some Thai influences, which can be seen in traditional music and dance performances like Tarian Canggung and Tarian Terinai.
The road system within Perlis is excellent and you can take the North-South Expressway (NSE) all the way from the south to Bukit Kayu Hitam. The railway track joins the Thai tracks at Padang Besar and links to Bangkok. You can also choose to take an air-conditioned bus between Kuala Lumpur and Kangar. Should you decide to take a flight you would have to fly to and from Alor Setar in Kedah in a 45-minute drive. The gateway towns to Thailand are Padang Besar and Bukit Kayu Hitam, where customs, immigration and health official procedures are carried out.
Kangar is the capital of Perlis. It is a charming small town where everything is within walking distance. You can find verdant green fields and golden yellow padi plantations surrounding it.
Tasik Melati is set upon boggy lowlands about eight kilometres north of Kangar and has about 150 sandbar islands filled with fish. With elevated walkways over the water, you can take a relaxing stroll or boat ride to these islands.
This majestic town is situated 10km from Kangar. Here, you will find the beautiful Istana Arau ( Royal Palace) and the Royal Mosque. The place is also the disembarkation point for visitors to and from Langkawi.
Muzium Kota Kayang
Located next to the burial ground of two 16th century Kedah Sultans, when excavation works for the new museum were being carried out artefacts from the Neolithic period were discovered. Indian-related artefacts were also unearthed at the same site.
Taman Herba (Herbal Gardens)
This place showcases more than 6,000 species of herbs, spices and traditional medicinal plants. It covers an area about 12 ha. Besides local species there are also exotic ones from other countries here. The garden is located near the Bukit Air Recreational Park.
Kuala Perlis is a coastal town with ferry services to and Langkawi. It is also famous for its seafood restaurants and fishing excursions.
Padang Besar is a bustling town situated at the Malaysia-Thailand border. It has a market that bustles with the sights and sounds of locals and tourists haggling over the many goods sold here. You can find items like clothes, handicrafts, souvenirs, shoes, bags and antiques here.
Chuping got its name from a limestone hill called Bukit Chuping. Surrounding this town are sugar cane plantations – you can see them everywhere! Naturally, the town has a sugar factory to process all that sugarcane.
Bukit Air Recreational Park
Just a few kilometres from the Snake and Reptile Farm, this is the ideal place for picnics. If you would like to camp out, there is a wonderful campsite here equipped with basic amenities.
Gua Kelam Recreational Park (Dark Caves)
The main attractions here are the sculptures and underground streams. Located in the village of Kaki Bukit, you will have to cross a suspension bridge to reach the 370-metre long limestone cave to view the magnificent stalactites and stalagmites.
Perlis State Park
The Perlis State Park is an area spanning 5,000 ha and comprises two forest reserves called the Mata Ayer and Wang Mu Forest Reserves. Ecologists have special scientific interest in the park because its unique geology encompasses Setul limestone structures, which give rise to a rare biodiversity. The park straddles the Nakawan Range, which is the longest continuous range of limestone hills in Malaysia, and is located along the north western part of the border. It is also the only place in Malaysia that is home to the Stumped-tail Macaque.
Visitors are required to register at the Park Visitors Centre before exploring the reserve. If you want to visit the Wang Burma Cave and Gunung Perlis ( Mount Perlis) you can also hire guides from the centre. Adventure seekers can trek on the various trails here, such as the R-15 to Wang Kelian. It offers a fabulous view of the surrounding countryside including Timah Tasoh Lake and Bukit Chabang. A popular Sunday Market is another main feature at Wang Kelian.
Perlis offers many shopping pleasures like Wang Kelian. It attracts many visitors to its Sunday market where one can buy fragrant Thai rice, furniture, cheap farm produce, clothes as well as household goods. About 20km away, Padang Besar is another famous shopping destination and offers duty-free shopping. Farmer markets are also a regular feature here. They offer fresh produce like vegetables, fish fruits as well as non-agricultural goods.