Kuala Kangsar: the royal capital of Sultans

Kuala Kangsar is known as the royal capital of Sultans and has been that for 200 years. For me the vistit there, it was only for a couple of hours, had been quite disappointing. 

Maybe it was because I had this great vision of what a royal capital should look like. Certainly not like the city I found. You can walk to the main attractions from the train station. However, the walk is not an enjoyable for most parts. You have to walk along the road with heavy traffic. That is especially horrible if you ever need to cross the road. Maybe it’s just me and I am the only chicken around, but I find crossing the roads here in Malaysia highly stressful. You have to find an opening and just go for it. And I am way to scared of not getting a big enough opening and dying on the raod. So far it has not happened yet, which, I think, is due to me sometimes just standing on the side of the road for ten minutes. Just waiting for the right moment. But I digress.

I was really excited about one place. The Royal Perak Museum also known as Muzium Di Raja or Istana Kenangan. It is supposed to be the place where you can learn everything about the history of Perak, the state Kuala Kangsar is in, and the royal family. Well, what no site on the internet, not even TripAdvisor, tells you, the museum is closed. So you can only see the building, which is really spectacular by the way. This building used to be the royal palace and was built in Malay-style. It is made entirely out of wood and there were no nails used whatsoever. This might be the reason why it is closed now. It just would have been nice to get a heads up.

Perak Royal Museum

After the Istana Kenangan I walked past the Istana Iskandariah, the official residence of the royal family. So naturally, you cannot visit this palace. It is also hard to really make all of the palace out, as it is quite big and the grounds are huge, so no way to get a proper picture.

Right next to the palace is Perak’s royal mosque. It is called Masjid Ubudiah and it really is huge. And also really beautiful to look at. As a non-muslim, I could not see the mosque from the inside, but I am sure it is as beautiful as the oudeside.

Masjid Ubudiah

If you follow the road back into the city centre, you find the Istana Hulu next. This is another former palace that has been turned into a museum. The Victorian-style palace holds almost everything the Sultan of Perak, who used to be the King of Malaysia, has ever owned. Or so it seems, but seriously, they have his former driver’s licence there. It costs RM4 (~€0,80 or ~$0,95) to enter the property and the museum. It is kinda nice to go in, but if you do not know much about Malaysian history, you are a bit lost at times. At least that’s what I felt.

Istana Hulu or Galeri Sultan Azlan Shah

That was pretty much it. As I said, I was a bit disappointed as I had expected more and especially that the Perak Royal Museum was closed. At last some impressions of the city and let me know if you have been there before and whether or not you liked it.


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