Friday, March 17, 2017

Tokyo Metro, The Best Way To Explore Tokyo

Tokyo Metro Best Way To Explore Tokyo

While many may have visited Japan over the years, I am sure that all kinds of transportation was used for your travels. This article will highlight one of the best way to explore Tokyo with the Tokyo Metro Subway system. For me, having visited and worked Tokyo in 1990 to 1992, I was a frequent user of this main subway system and over the last 25 years, the Tokyo Metro has expanded and improved so much. 

Connectivity is one of the most important things when you travel any city, and in a metropolis like Tokyo, it is highly recommended to use this. First of all, for Malaysians or Southeast Asians, visiting Tokyo is not cheap, and if you plan to visit many popular places around the city, the easiest and hassle free way to do so is by using the Tokyo Metro. 

A one way general ticket will cost you around ¥200 per person, which is around RM7.70 or US1.70. Therefore, four stops will easily cost you quite a lot of money. And if you are travelling as a couple of group, the cost gets higher. However, there is a special tourist pass available which can save you loads of money which is the Tokyo Metro subway day pass ticket.
Shibuya at night, vibrant and lively
My Tokyo Metro Exploration in February 2017

When I visited Tokyo in February 2017, I was part of the Tokyo Metro's special Pop Culture Tour and I had traveled to a number of popular places around here and by using my Tokyo Metro day pass ticket. My day started in Harajuku, which is probably one of the must-visit areas of Tokyo. Filled with specialty stores and quirky Japanese fashion, this is the place to be if you want to see what's trending in the Japanese Kawaii fashion scene.

In general, you would need at least four to five hours just to see the main parts of Harajuku, therefore, if you visit the Moshi Moshi Box, this would be the ideal place to get all the information you need about Harajuku and other districts of Tokyo.
Moshi Moshi Box in Harajuku
Some of the tourist information in various languages at Moshi Moshi Box
Moshi Moshi Box Souvenirs
Japanese souvenirs inside Moshi Moshi Box
The Moshi Moshi Box would also be the best place for first timers to Japan as it serves as a tourist information center and also as a Japanese souvenir shop. The staff here speak English and are ready to assist anyone who needs information on Harajuku or Tokyo. They have brochures and maps in many languages including English, which are all the main tourist areas of Tokyo.

Inside Moshi Moshi Box, there is free Wi-Fi available, some Japanese pop culture items and even local popular Japanese sweets and snacks. You can also find information about Tokyo Metro apart from the general tourist places in here.

Moshi Moshi Box Harajuku Address:
3, 3 Chome-23-5 Jingūmae, Shibuya-ku,
Tōkyō-to 150-0001, Japan
Map of Moshi Moshi Box

Another popular place that most people would want to visit is Asakusa as a lot of the popular tourist attractions are found here, like the Asakusa Temple or Senso-ji Temple, Tokyo Skytree Tower and the interesting shopping streets packed with great Japanese food restaurants and cafes.
Tokyo Skytree seen from Asakusa
Suzukien Green Tea Ice Cream Shop in Asakusa
Famous Suzukien Green Tea Ice Cream Shop in Asakusa. They offer 7 different tones of Green Tea Ice Cream!
For Muslims traveling to Asakusa, you should be happy to know that the famous Naritaya Halal Ramen Restaurant is located here, just near the Asakusa Temple. And for those who want to try the famous Suzukien Green Tea Ice Cream Shop in Asakusa, it is also a 3 minute walk from the Senso-Ji Temple or a 10 minute walk from the Asakusa Station.  

Of course, no trip to Tokyo would be complete without a visit to Shibuya, the most busiest area of Tokyo. From Asakusa, I took the Tokyo Metro for a 38 minute ride to Shibuya and spent the rest of the evening here. Exploring on foot, I walked west from the main Shibuya station to look for some Japanese pop culture stores. I have to say, those lanes and alleys with smaller boutique shops are quite interesting, compared to the commercial shopping malls.
Hachiko Statue Location in Shibuya
Japan's most famous dog - Hachiko, a statue erected in Shibuya, in honor of this faithful dog
The famous Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo
For the Japanese Pop Culture lovers, one place to check out is Beams Japan, a seven-story store that has very unique and quirky pop culture on every floor. The popular Beams Japan store is located in Shinjuku while another is found in Harajuku called Beams Boy Harajuku. Honestly, the items sold here are really unique and very interesting, especially if you are into pop culture.

As I stayed in the Shiodome area of Tokyo, the subway ride back was quicker than expected with the station just five minutes walk to the hotel. The Royal Park Hotel Shiodome offers an amazing view of the Tokyo Tower and also Mount Fuji far in the back.

When you check in, just ask them for the Tokyo Tower view. At the end of the day, moving around Tokyo would not have been easy if I had not got my Tokyo Metro Subway Day Pass Tickets. It is highly recommended for anyone visiting Tokyo.
Beams Japan Store
Beams Japan, one of the very popular Japanese Pop Culture Stores in Shinjuku
Tokyo Metro Day Pass Tickets

Tokyo Metro offers these day pass tickets and you can buy them from the Tokyo Metro Information Counter in the subway stations. Just ask the friendly staff and they would most likely point you in the right directions. Some of the staff actually speak English too. The day pass tickets are in the form the 24, 48 and 72 hour tickets which means you can use them multiple times, per person. 
  • Tokyo Metro 1 Day Pass - ¥800 (RM31.00 or US6.95)
  • Tokyo Metro 2 Day Pass - ¥1200 (RM46.00 or US10.40)
  • Tokyo Metro 3 Day Pass - ¥1500 (RM58.00 or US13.00)
*Children are half priced

The day pass subway tickets can be used on all Tokyo Metro and Toei Subway lines in the city.
Tokyo Metro Guide
Tokyo Metro Day Pass and Guide
Where to buy Tokyo Metro Subway Day Pass Tickets?

You can buy the day passes from the Tokyo Metro Tourist Information counters which are located at the following subway stations in Tokyo;
  • Ginza Station Tourist Information
  • Shinjuku Station Tourist Information
  • Omote-sando Station Tourist Information
  • Ueno Station Tourist Information
Tokyo Metro Tourist Information Counter at Shibuya Station
Tourist Information Counters are open from 9:15 AM to 17:15 PM, and you need to provide your passport to purchase these tickets. The reason for this is so that they can track how many nationals are buying the ticket, plus they will know that you are in fact a visitor or traveller. For the full list of other places that sell the day pass tickets, you can see the Tokyo Metro Day Pass Ticket Outlets.

For more information on this, visit the Tokyo Metro Discount Tickets page as they offer a wide range of other types of tickets like airport to Tokyo, shared subway tickets and others.
Tokyo City View Sunshine 60 Building
View of Tokyo, part of it, seen from the Sunshine 60 Observatory
Harajuku Station Tokyo Metro
Entrance to Tokyo Metro Harajuku Station
Meet Tokyo Metro at the Matta Fair March 2017 

For Malaysians planning to visit Tokyo for the Sakura season or any other time, you can meet the Tokyo Metro people at the Matta Fair 2017 in Kuala Lumpur. They will be having a Special Tokyo Metro booth in the Japan National Tourism Organization booth area in Hall 1 at the travel fair. You can get all the information you need on traveling around Tokyo and not to worry as they speak English and have local Malaysian staff at the booth. 

With this, I conclude that the Tokyo Metro is the best way to explore Tokyo city and it is hassle free, economical and also the fastest way to move around. Especially with the day passes, it is so convenient, for singles, couples or family travelers. Have a great trip to Japan. 

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Tokyo Booth Promotions at Matta Fair 2017

Matta Tokyo Promotions

This Matta Fair March 2017, there will be some promotions held at the Tokyo Booth which is located at the Japan Pavilion in the international hall or hall one. For anyone planning to visit Tokyo, this will be the best place to get all your information about the most popular city in Japan. 

At the TCVB Tokyo Booth in Matta Fair 2017, visitors will have the opportunity to find out all the information you need about this fast moving city in Japan that most Malaysians want to visit. Even if you have visited Tokyo before, the city is so huge that for the second or third time around, you will still find something unique and interesting to do. 

Tokyo is so huge, that it has 23 special wards, 26 cities, 1 district, and 4 sub-prefectures and one of the most populous cities in the world. A total of 37.8 million people live in the Tokyo area. Back in history, Tokyo was known as Edo and was a small fishing village. Now, this mega metropolis is one of the most sought after places to visit for just about anyone in the world due to the vibrant Japanese lifestyle, food and culture.

Tokyo Booth Promotions at Matta Fair 2017

TCVB Tokyo Booth will be featuring two Japanese companies for the Matta Fair March 2017 and visitors will be in for a nice surprise. They are;

Bic Camera - BIC Camera is one of the biggest power in consumer electronics and gadgets in Japan, with 39 stores spread all over in Japan especially in big cities. For the Matta Fair March 2017, Bic Camera will be distributing discount coupon to visitors, which is usable when they visit Japan. This would be great for anyone planning to travel to Tokyo, Japan this year.

D.O.A Japan - This company manages Japan Panoramic Tours which consists of daily excursion trip around Tokyo. You can find Mt Fuji, Hakone, and Gotenba Premium Outlet packages from D.O.A Japan and for the Matta Fair 2017, they are simply promoting their tours. Visitors can then book their own tours online from the website. Therefore, visiting them will give you more information about this company.

Matta Fair 2017 Tokyo Promotion
Visitors getting information at the Tokyo Booth at Matta Fair
Popular places include Ginza, Shibuya, Shinjuku, Roppongi and Asakusa but in recent years, much development has taken place bringing new places like Omotesando Hills, Ebisu Garden Place, Tennozu Isle, Shiodome, Roppongi Hills, Shinagawa and Odaiba to be lifestyle and entertainment places. 

Read about Tokyo Packages at Matta Fair 2017 where I share more information about the Tokyo Booth for this coming March Matta Fair from 17-19 at the Putra World Trade Centre or PWTC in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Matta Fair March 2017
Tokyo and Japan booths at the Matta Fair
For anyone planning to visit Japan, your main port of entry would most likely be Tokyo. There are two main airports in Tokyo which is Narita Airport (Malaysia Airlines) and Haneda Airport (AirAsia X). To move around Tokyo, it is very easy as there Tokyo Metro connects most areas and you can buy a daily subway pass (800 Yen) or even a three day pass for 1,500 Yen. All of the tourist destinations are accessible by trains and by walking, so there is no need to take a taxi around Tokyo.

And if you are looking for any Matta Fair deals for 2017, it is best to head to the travel fair as everything would be on sale, especially Japan tour packages and other countries. Even flight tickets to Tokyo would be on sale from various airlines. 

The best place to get your questions answered would be the at the Tokyo Booth promotions at Matta Fair 2017. Here you will find staff that speak English and even Malaysian staff that work in Tokyo, which can help you with the information needed. 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Tourist Arrivals To Malaysia

Tourist Arrival Statistics To Malaysia

As interesting as it is, these are the tourist arrivals to Malaysia for those interested to know the statistics. The numbers are taken from the Tourism Malaysia statistics and show the tourist arrivals to Malaysia since the year 2005 till 2016. 

In 2016, Tourism Malaysia targeted a total of 30.5 million visitors to Malaysia but due to the fall of the Malaysian Ringgit and many other contributing factors, the Tourism Minister had announced that the numbers had dropped drastically to 22 million visitors. The actual numbers have been sourced from the MyTourismData Portal.

Currently for 2017, a target of 31.8 million visitors to Malaysia is set and the theme 'Malaysia Truly Asia', will continue to be used to promote Malaysia. This was mentioned by the Tourism Minister to Malaysia, Dato' Seri Mohd. Nazri during an interview with the media in early January.
2016 Tourism Arrivals Malaysia
Visitor to Malaysia at the international airport
Tourist Arrivals to Malaysia from 2005 to 2016
  • Tourist Arrivals to Malaysia 2016 - 22,056,417 Visitors
  • Tourist Arrivals to Malaysia 2015 - 25.72 Million Visitors 
  • Tourist Arrivals to Malaysia 2014 - 27.44 Million Visitors 
  • Tourist Arrivals to Malaysia 2013 - 25.72 Million Visitors
  • Tourist Arrivals to Malaysia 2012 - 25.03 Million Visitors
  • Tourist Arrivals to Malaysia 2011 - 24.71 Million Visitors
  • Tourist Arrivals to Malaysia 2010 - 24.58 Million Visitors
  • Tourist Arrivals to Malaysia 2009 - 23.65 Million Visitors
  • Tourist Arrivals to Malaysia 2008 - 22.05 Million Visitors
  • Tourist Arrivals to Malaysia 2007 - 20.97 Million Visitors
  • Tourist Arrivals to Malaysia 2006 - 17.55 Million Visitors
  • Tourist Arrivals to Malaysia 2005 - 16.43 Million Visitors
Top 10 Countries Visiting Malaysia 2016

Based on the previous year of 2015, there was only the United Kingdom replaced Australia. The top 10 countries that generated tourist to Malaysia in 2016 was;
  • Singapore (6,596,452)
  • Indonesia (1,378,699)
  • China (992,463)
  • Thailand (864,453)
  • Brunei (637,369)
  • India (359,853)
  • South Korea (228,023)
  • The Philippines (220,163)
  • United Kingdom (206,313)
  • Japan (198,693)
Top 10 Countries Visiting Malaysia 2015

For the Tourism arrivals to Malaysia in 2015, the number dipped slightly compared to Visit Malaysia Year 2014 where 27.4 million visitors came, versus 25.7 million in 2015. Out of that, the breakdown of countries is;
  • Singapore (12,930,754)
  • Indonesia (2,788,033)
  • China (1,677,163)
  • Thailand (1,343,569)
  • Brunei (1,133,555)
  • India (722,141)
  • The Philippines (554,917)
  • Australia (486,948)
  • Japan (483,569)
  • South Korea (421,161)
Malaysia Tourism Arrivals
Tourist visiting Malaysia
Average Length Of Stay For Tourist In Malaysia

Over the years, the length of stay has dropped, compared to ten years ago where on average, tourist used to spend from 7 to 10 days, and in 2013, it dropped to about 6.8 days. In 2015, the length of stay for tourist in Malaysia dropped to 5.5 nights. 

For future, the Malaysian Tourism Minister said that Malaysia had set a target of 36 million tourist arrivals into the country and RM168 billion in receipts by the year 2020. Again, this all depends n how the ministry is going to promote the country. Right now, the currency is at an all time low, but nothing much is being done to capitalise on this. Yes, there have been news reports on the minister saying that tourist should visit Malaysia now due to the low currency here. That is all.

For the original numbers of tourism arrivals to Malaysia and more, you can also visit the Tourism Malaysia website for the statistics.
Malaysia Tourism Arrivals
Tourism Arrivals to Malaysia in 2015
So, are we doing the wright or wrong thing? 

While the current generation of travelers are onto social media, many other countries have taken advantage of using social media as one of the main platforms to promote tourism. However, for Malaysia, it has been pretty slow in catching up in this area. Why I say this is that when I participated in neighboring countries FAM trips, social media campaigns and trips were created specifically for travel influencers to flood the social media channels with photos and information of the trips.

In Malaysia's case, nothing has changed since five years ago. The ministry has engaged an advertising agency, which has no proper knowledge on tourism trends but because it is all about protocol and many other red tape issues.  The agency just hires an in-house team to manage the tourism social media accounts. Let me just say that the people running these accounts have never been to many of the places they promote for Malaysia, so how does this justify when consumers or would-be visitors ask questions, especially if it is in depth?

For example, if someone asked the Tourism Malaysia twitter account this interesting question - "Where can I go in Sarawak to see some original or pure Sarawakian ethnic lifestyle?" Do you think they could answer this immediately? Or leave it hanging or even get back after consulting with the client?

Technically, I could answer questions like that, all because I have traveled Malaysia pretty extensively. Therefore, this is just one of the examples. What is the point of just showing nice photos of Malaysia without any proper information? This goes to show why we lack in so many areas, that could be actually done in the proper way and generate more interest online for Malaysia.
Tourist Visiting Malaysia
Tourist in Malaysia 
Perhaps, with Tourism Malaysia closing offices nationwide in January 2017, this could be the start of something new. I would also suggest that the ministry re-look the digital advertising agency's role in promoting Malaysia as they lack the experience in tourism social media. After all, when the travel community is very active online, we should be taking advantage of it, the right way, not the Malaysian way.

The directives and approach should be looked into in order to keep the numbers growing to attract more tourist arrivals to Malaysia, not just the Chinese tourist. Having said this, I am just a travel writer who was once aggressively promoting Malaysia from 2008 to 2014 online, and have been in communication with the tourism officials during that time, which I learnt much of why things are the way they are.

Over the years, I have also observed and monitored numerous tourism campaigns, decisions and strategies that were supposed to put Malaysia back on the tourism map of the world, but Malaysia being Malaysia, we only seem to look at what's in trend. Meaning if the Chinese were travelling, we would drop everything and just focus on that particular market with an ambition to increase the tourist arrivals to Malaysia. Well, I can only hope for the best in this kind of strategy. 

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Taman Negara Tour Packages

Tour Packages for Taman Negara

If you are looking for Taman Negara Tour Packages, there are quite a few companies selling them from Kuala Lumpur. As this national park is one of the must-visit places in Malaysia, this 130 million year old rain forest is easily accessible from Kuala Lumpur of KL as it is locally called. The journey there takes around three hours from KL city and can also be done on a day trip. 

Most travelers or backpackers who are visiting Malaysia would surely want to look for Taman Negara tour packages and I am writing this article to help you understand what is available, the pro's and con's, and the logistics of visiting Taman Negara. 

The largest national park in Malaysia, Taman Negara was established in 1938 and 1939 as the King George V National Park. It was later renamed to Taman Negara National Park after Malaysia received independence from British in 1957. Taman Negara is also shared between three states of Malaysia which are Terengganu, Pahang and Kelantan.
Taman Negara Packages
A Malayan Tapir seen in the park area. (Photo from http://duuo2014.weebly.com)
Taman Negara Tour Packages

There are a few types of tour packages for Taman Negara National Park and they are offered by selected tour companies in Kuala Lumpur, and also from other states in Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur is probably the best route to get there too. 

Please note that all tours are minimum two persons or 2 to go. If you are a single traveler, you can either wait to see if there are others going, and then you can join in. If no one else is going, then you have to pay the two person price. Alternatively, some Taman Negara packages have single-traveler rates, so please ask about this. The Taman Negara tour packages are;

Taman Negara Day Trip Package

This package is suitable for those who do not have the luxury of time and want to visit the oldest national park in Malaysia in a day trip. You depart by van as early as 6.00 AM from KL city and arrive there by 9.00 AM for breakfast before heading into the park for some jungle trekking, canopy walk, a river boat ride and a visit to the 'Orang Asli' or native settlement. After that, you will head back to Kuala Lumpur and be back for dinner around 8.00 PM. Perfect for those wanting to experience one of the oldest rainforest in the world. 

Taman Negara Day Trip Price:
RM 490 per person or €104 
Included: Breakfast & Lunch only
Guide: English Speaking Nature Tour Guide
Transport: Van both ways included
Taman Negara National Park in Pahang
Taman Negara 2 Days 1 Night Package

This overnight package is suitable for those who want to spend the night there and not rush. This package include all of the above plus a night jungle walk and a scenic boat journey to the Kuala Tahan main area of Taman Negara. The standard accommodation is air-conditioned, attached bathroom with hot and cold shower. Choice of twin room or dorm is available, but for the dorm rooms, it is shared or common bathroom and also air-conditioned. 

Taman Negara 2D/1N Tour Package Price:
Twin Room: RM 500 per person or €106 
Dorm Room: RM 450 per person or €95
Included: Lunch, Dinner & Breakfast.
Tour Guide: English Speaking Nature Guide
Transport: Van both ways included

Taman Negara 3 Days 2 Nights Package

This is one of the popular Taman Negara packages where you can spend two nights and take your time to experience the national park. The first day will be travelling and a boat ride with a night jungle walk. The second day, you will explore the rainforest with trekking to the Taman Negara Canopy Walk. 

Lunch and dinner is at a unique floating restaurant where local Malaysian food is served. A river rapid boat ride takes you to the 'Orang Asli' settlement and after dinner, it is free and easy. You can also go for the optional night safari on a 4WD to see the nocturnal wildlife here.

Taman Negara 3D/2N Tour Package Price:
Twin Room: RM 550 per person or €117 
Dorm Room: RM 490 per person or €104
Included: 7 Meals
Tour Guide: English Speaking Nature Guide
Transport: Van both ways included
Taman Negara Accommodations
Mutiara Taman Negara Resort
Taman Negara 4 Days 3 Nights Package

This package is for those who want to fully experience Taman Negara National Park. This package lets you stay here for three nights and is similar to the 3D/2N. But on the 3rd day, you have a waterfall visit and also a 3 km rainforest trek, or choose to have a free and easy time to explore on your own. 

Taman Negara 3D/2N Tour Package Price:
Twin Room: RM 550 per person or €117 
Dorm Room: RM 490 per person or €104
Included: 10 Meals
Tour Guide: English Speaking Nature Guide
Transport: Van both ways included

Taman Negara Real Inner Jungle Package

This package is suitable for those who are Eco and nature lovers. In other words, the Real Inner Jungle package lets you experience living in the rainforest. The tour brings you to a couple of caves where you can do some cave exploration. Then you spend a night at one of the caves and experience cooking in the jungles. Other days, you do some jungle trekking 

Taman Negara 3D/2N Tour Package Price:
Twin Room: RM 550 per person or €117 
Dorm Room: RM 490 per person or €104
Included: 10 Meals
Tour Guide: English Speaking Nature Guide
Transport: Van both ways included
Tree Top Walk Taman Negara
Taman Negara Canopy Walk, one of the longest in the world.
Taman Negara Daily Shuttle Service 

There are also daily transport services to Taman Negara from Kuala Lumpur for those who just need a one way transport there. Departures are 6.00 AM or 8.30 AM from KL with a three hour journey to the national park. 

Price: RM 95.00 per person one way (€20)
Journey: By air-condition van, three and a half hours

What to bring to Taman Negara?

This is the crucial question. Well, since you are visiting a rainforest, it is recommended that you prepare yourself for all kinds of conditions. As this is a rainforest, you can expect rain on occasion. Apart from that, this is a tropical country, humidity is especially higher in the rainforest. This will help you to prepare for what to bring. 

  • Poncho, raincoat or umbrella
  • Bug or mosquito spray or cream
  • Water bottle or energy drink
  • Slippers, waterproof or trekking shoes
  • Snacks or energy bars
  • Dry bag or waterproof phone and camera casing
Taman Negara Hotel
Mutiara Taman Negara Chalets
How to book Taman Negara Tour Packages

There are a number of travel agents selling these packages and one of the recommended ones are Ivy Holidays, who operates from Jalan Petaling or Chinatown in Kuala Lumpur city. The tour counter location is inside the Kompleks Selangor (Selangor Complex) where the 5 Elements Hotel is located. Another landmark is also opposite the Swiss-Inn Hotel Kuala Lumpur.

Ivy Holidays offers daily shuttle service to Taman Negara and also different types of packages to suite your time and style of travel. They have brand new vans, with great interior and comfortable seats while the drivers and guides are professional in all ways when it comes to travelers or tourist. You can contact them via mobile phone, Whatsapp or email and they speak fluent English.

Ivy Holidays
Contact: +6 010 900 8699
Email: marketing@ivyholidays.com
Taman Negara Packages
Inside the 130 million year old rainforest of Taman Negara (Photo by www.fuesseimsand.de)
For those who are into nature, outdoors and adventure, you can also read my article on Canopy Walks of Malaysia where most of them are located in national parks around Malaysia. The country is rich with natural attractions as there are more than 20 national parks all over the country. There are hundreds or even thousands of flora and fauna available for any Eco tourism lover. 

For anyone who has one or two extra days in Kuala Lumpur and does not know what to do, a visit to Taman Negara would be very interesting. Apart from KL City being just like any other city, it is always a bonus to see the real Malaysia by visiting one of the oldest national parks in the world. This article, hopefully sheds some valuable information about the many types of Taman Negara Tour Packages sold for those interested in visiting this amazing place. 

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Theme Parks in Perak

Ipoh Perak Theme Parks

A lesser visited state in the country has become the talk of the nation where a number of Theme Parks in Perak has opened or is opening soon. Currently there are two main theme parks which have opened for years and another which is scheduled to open somewhere in April or May 2017. Perak, once known as a quite state in Malaysia has turned the tables around by transforming into a tourist destination. 

The capital of Perak is Ipoh and was once known as a miners town, is only two hours drive from Kuala Lumpur. Nowadays, Ipoh is thriving with activity, namely for the famous Ipoh food and its revamped heritage tourism spots. Travelers now head to Ipoh for day trips or even as a stopover before heading to Penang Island. And with the new theme parks in Perak being opened and many interesting places to visit in Ipoh, this will make Perak one of the must visit states in Malaysia. 

Theme Parks in Perak

The list of theme parks in Perak are listed below with general information for travelers planning to visit here. The list is also in no order;

MAPS Perak or Movie Animation Park Studios Perak
Ipoh Movie Animation Park Studios
Movie Animation Park Studios or MAPS Perak (Photo by www.foodmsia.com)
This is the much talked about latest theme park to be opened in Malaysia, however the opening has been delayed since mid 2016. According to media reports, MAPS Perak was scheduled to open in October 2016, but was delayed to December and recently, to March or April 2017. 

This project, dubbed the star attraction of Perak, will cater to mainly the northern and central region of Malaysia. However, with Ipoh being in the limelight of tourism in the last couple of years, the Movie Animation Park Studios will benefit greatly from this as it is an international theme park. There will be 40 over rides spread out in this 52-acre site, which is huge. The collaboration with DreamWorks is probably the main attraction with popular names like Casper, Megamind and The Broods. Local cartoon hero's like Boboi Boy will also be one of the main attractions here.

Movie Animation Park Studios Address and Location
Persiaraan Meru Raya 1,
Bandar Meru Raya 3,
Ipoh, Perak
Website: https://www.mapsperak.com

Lost World of Tambun Theme Park
Tambun Lost World
Lost World of Tambun in Ipoh, Perak
This is probably the most popular theme park in Ipoh, Perak where they have been operating for a number of years under the Sunway Group, which owns Sunway Lagoon in Selangor. The Lost World of Tambun is Perak's answer to a massive theme park catering to locals and also foreigners. It is also touted to be the only theme park in Southeast Asia with natural hot springs coupled with an array of attractions and rides.

This multi-purpose theme park offers a theme park, water park, night park, petting zoo, amusement park, adventure park, tiger valley and tin valley. The park is also complete with hotels and resorts, shops, restaurants which make this a one stop family recreational park. From Ipoh Town, it is only a 15 minute drive to the Lost World of Tambun.

Lost World of Tambun Address and Location
No.1, Persiaran Lagun Sunway 1,
Sunway City Ipoh,
31150 Ipoh, Perak Darul Ridzuan,
Malaysia
Website: http://sunwaylostworldoftambun.com

Bukit Merah Lake Town Theme Park
Bukit Merah Lake Town Water Park
Bukit Merah Lake Town Theme Park in Perak
One of the pioneer theme parks in Perak is no other that the Bukit Merah Lake Town, located in the Bukit Merak area. This lake town resort is more of a water park and adventure park where you will find a mini water park and a petting zoo in the main area. One unique attraction here is the Orang Utan Island where visitors need to take a boat and visit the island. Orang Utans are rehabilitated here under a private project. 

A new attraction here is the Laketown Adventure Park which offers a zipline and a kids outdoor course. However, this park has not been maintained to international standards, therefore, you get what you pay for. As an added attraction for those heading to Penang or Langkawi, the Bukit Merah Lake Town Theme Park is located along the main highway north and about 1.5 hours from Ipoh.

Bukit Merah Lake Town Address and Information
Jalan Bukit Merah,
34400 Simpang Empat Semanggol,
Perak, Malaysia
Website: http://www.bukitmerahresort.com.my

Qing Xin Ling Leisure and Cultural Village
Qing Xin Ling Cultural Park
Qing Xin Ling Cultural Park in Ipoh, Perak (Image from Qing Xin Ling website)
One of the lesser known unique attractions in Perak is no other than the Qing Xin Ling Leisure & Cultural Village in Gunung Rapat. The Chinese inspired cultural village offers a different kind of experience with a beautiful lakeside where visitor can rent bicycles to cycle around this picturesque place. A mini museum showcasing old memorabilia, quirky rock formations, wall art, fish feeding and a number of other activities are available for visitors. 

The Qing Xin Ling Cultural Park is also suitable for a day trip to see a different side of Ipoh, at times taking you back into time as the place has also earned the title of Little Guilin due to the beautiful landscapes found here. The Chinese name also translates a Serene Village. Qing Xin Ling Leisure Cultural Village is located between the Sam Poh Tong Cave Temple and Kek Lok Tong in Gunung Rapat area. This is about 20 minutes drive from Ipoh city.

Qing Xin Ling Leisure & Culture Village 清心嶺休闲文化村
Address: No. 22A, Persiaran Pinggir Rapat 5A,
Taman Saikat, 31350, Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Email: michaelcheng8@hotmail.com
Tel: +6 012 516 1556
Website: http://qingxinlingchaletipoh.com.my

Kledang Saiong Eco Forest Park
Taman Eco Kledang Saiong
Taman Eco Rimba Kledang Saiong in Meru, Ipoh
This Perak Eco park is located near the Meru area is currently is in operation, however there is not much information apart from media report that indicate that there is a 2 km area available for trekking which is suitable for kids and families. Known locally as Taman Eko Rimba Kledang Saiong, many locals have been coming here for a nature experience. 

Those into Eco tourism and nature will find the Kledang Saiong Eco Forest Park interesting as there is a very unique Nepenthes Garden found here. Offering 55 different species of pitcher plants or monkey cups from places like Borneo, Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Myanmar, this is touted to be the first of its kind in the world. Taman Eko Rimba Kledang Saiong also covers an area of 2,188ha, and is located near the Jelapang toll plaza and at Persiaraan Meru Utama.

Kledang Saiong Forest Eco Park Address:
Persiaran Meru Utama,
30020 Ipoh, Perak,
Malaysia
Website: None
Landmark: Tenby Schools Ipoh

New Theme Parks Opening in Perak Malaysia

The below is one of the new theme parks opening in Perak but information or dates have not been announced. However, the Perak government has already indicate that the focus was on opening MAPS Perak before discussing other new theme parks which will bring the number of theme parks in Perak to five or six in the coming years. 
Water Park Qi City
Water Parks in Perak are becoming a trend
Qi City Water Park 

The Qi City Water Park is part of the upcoming RM1.2 Billion Qi City project which is scheduled to be completed by 2020. However, there is no accurate news about the water park at this modern development, but it could be built by the developers or most likely by a third party contractor. The location of Qi City is also at Bandar Meru Jaya, which will also offer an international school, a hypermarket, hotels and resorts. 

This sums up the current and upcoming theme parks in Perak and hopefully we will get more information to update this article. You can also find out more about other theme parks in Malaysia from my previous article and also water parks in Malaysia which I did earlier. Also, if you are waiting for the Genting new theme park opening, it is slated for late 2017 or early 2018.

If you have any additional information, please do share it with me via email or from the comment form below and if you have questions, please do ask. Hope you will find Perak one of the new destinations to visit in Malaysia and enjoy this article about theme parks in Perak, Malaysia.