March 7, 2013
Taiping has potential to be a tourist destination
Refreshing spot on a hill: Visitors and tourists are taken up by jeep up the half-hour journey at Bukit Larut in
Taiping. — filepic
WHILE the days of tin mining are far gone in Taiping’s history, locals believe
that the town can be developed through other means as a heritage tourism destination.
Taiping Heritage Society president Yeap Thean Eng, 52, opined that with careful
planning, the town had the potential to become an attractive tourist destination.
“This historical town and its surrounding areas have numerous places of interest
such as the Taiping Lake Gardens, Bukit Larut, Taiping Zoo and Night Safari, Matang mangrove forest, bird sanctuary
and Kampung Dew firefly sanctuary.
“The problem is that the attractions have not been properly marketed and developed
in the past until the implementation of development programmes under the Northern Corridor Economic Region,” he
Yeap, who was born and bred in Taiping, added that sustainable and
environment-friendly development in Taiping would also boost its liveability and attract investments.
“The roads should be made bicycle-friendly as the town is naturally flat and
pedestrian walkways could be built to connect nearby shopping malls with other public amenities.
“Besides attracting tourists, those who have shifted out of Taiping due to the
slow development would also feel inclined to return here to retire here,” he said.
Civil servant Mohd Ayob Barkatullah agreed that the tourism industry in Taiping
could be further improved by properly planning and promoting its various attractions.
“Proper maintenance is key and the council can also consider having a no-car day
once a week at the lake gardens.
“The council can also create a tram ride at the lake gardens to enable visitors to
travel from one point to another without having to drive, which also allows them to further explore its various
attractions,” he said.
Mohd Ayob said there was also need to create a cable car service to take visitors
to the hillside resort of Bukit Larut.
“There is a little-known scenic waterfall by the hill, which I feel will continue
to go unnoticed without the cable car service.
“I hope the authorities will also consider bringing back the Tulip Garden
attraction on top of the hill,” he added.
Technician P. Patmanathan, 42, also agreed on the need for a cable car service up Bukit Larut, stating that it was
a safer option for tourists compared to taking four-wheel-drive vehicles up the hill.
“There needs to be action taken rather than just talk if we want to improve
tourism in Taiping.
“It is equally important to maintain the town’s many infrastructures such as
roads, which are riddled with potholes,” he said.
Published 7 March, 2013 - The Star