KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 13 — Kuala Kangsar is a royal town located on the western banks of the Perak River.
Some 35 kilometres north of Ipoh, the place is known for its stately buildings and historical sites.
Among them are Istana Kenangan, Sultan Azlan Shah Gallery, Ubudiah Mosque, Victoria Bridge and Malay College Kuala Kangsar.
Undeniably, these places are interesting but they are not the only attractions in town.
Kuala Kangsar produces keris, iron art and traditional pottery as well as serves mouth-watering delicacies such as laksa and roti golok.
To boost the town’s tourism industry, the state government has roped in a website called Lokalocal to help.
State tourism, arts and culture committee chairman Tan Kar Hing said most business operators in the town did not have a platform to promote their business online.
“The website’s staff will write a story and video on each business operator, which will then be shared in the website.”
Tan added that the website had worked with the Penang, Selangor and Terengganu state governments, with potential to bring in more tourists to the state.
Malay Mail has listed some of the places you should not miss when you are in Kuala Kangsar.
Located at Kampung Padang Changkat, keris maker Abdul Mazin Abdul Jamil has a workshop here.
The 68-year-old has been making the weapon for more than 50 years. Keris is a traditional weapon that is the pride of Malays.
It is usually made of iron with a wooden tang. Each has a different design and size.
“The keris is used in many functions. It is used as a weapon, a symbol of social status and used in traditional ceremonies and rituals.”
Abdul Mazin, who learnt the art from his father when he was 12, said he teaches visitors how to make the keris.
“Those who show interest are usually from Germany, Canada and Belgium.”
At Bukit Chandan, one can find a unique artwork using scrap metal to be turned into fascinating iron sculptures.
Raja Shahriman Raja Aziddin, 51, is a full-time artist who has been making iron sculptures for more than 20 years.
“For me, sculptures are very effective as a means of conveying visual messages because you can see and feel them.”
Raja Shahriman’s pieces are distinctive as he blends traditional elements to create modern and aesthetic sculptures.
“My works are influenced by what I know and what is around me.
“I may incorporate traditional elements, but my sculptures are modern because they depict the times we live in.”
This sayong pottery shop has been operating here for the past 10 years and displays a variety of traditional pottery that comes in different shapes and designs.
Located at Kampung Kepala Bendan, owner Zulkifly Amir Hashim, 52, has been making sayong for 30 years.
“I learnt it from my grandmother, but only decided to commercialise it about 10 years ago,” he said.
The sayong is made of clay and requires skilful hands to shape and craft the designs.
Among others they can be given as souvenirs or used as water dispensers, saving containers, vases and lamps.
Laksa is one of the popular dishes in Kuala Kangsar and it can be easily found in the town.
However, Mohd Azami Mohd Said, 64, who owns the Laksa Telaga at Kota Lama Kiri, has his own twist to the noodle dish.
“What makes our laksa special is the broth. Compared to other shops, our broth is thicker.
“It’s our family recipe and it is our secret.”
The shop also serves mee rebus, mee celup, mee kari, and keropok lekor basah.
This soft, fluffy and buttery bun has been a hit in Kuala Kangsar.
Victoria Bridge Cafe owner Megat Sharfawi said the buns are made of high protein flour and baked fresh every day.
“The recipe originated from Thailand but the texture is different as they use another type of flour.”
Megat also sells butter buns, chocolate buns and caramel buns.