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Kampung Warisan Budaya, Karai

The name Karai has two possible origins. One is from a tree known as mempisang, found in the tropical jungles of Southeast Asian countries such as Peninsular Malaysia, Borneo, Sumatra, Java, and the Philippines. This tree belongs to the Annonaceae species.

The second origin is linked to an ancient grave belonging to a woman named Tok Karai. She had migrated from Aceh to Kampung Enggor, died, and was buried there in Kampung Enggor. The exact date of her death remains unknown.

Karai used to be a thriving trading center during the British colonial era. It was an isolated settlement until a rubber trader from Singapore discovered coal reserves there. This discovery transformed Karai from an isolated town into an important commercial hub that supported British colonial interests.

Recognising the importance of coal, the colonial government invested in modern transport infrastructure, most notably the construction of the Enggor Bridge, also known as the Victoria Bridge.

This bridge not only connected Karai to other growing colonial towns in Malaya and Singapore but also marked a pivotal moment in the town’s development. In 2016, the bridge was officially registered as a National Heritage Site under the Department of National Heritage Malaysia.

Adjacent to this bridge is the newly completed Kampung Warisan Budaya. We were there recently, and we’d like to express our gratitude to Mr. Mir from Kampung Warisan for giving us a quick tour of this place.

Kampung Warisan Budaya encompasses a spacious gallery area, which includes both indoor and outdoor sections. The indoor section, known as Rumah Adat, houses the Heritage Gallery and Exhibition Spaces, where more than 150 exhibits are on display.

Meanwhile, the outdoor section features 11 replicas of traditional Malay houses. These replicas aim to faithfully recreate the houses built between 1840 and 1940 on the Malay Peninsula.

Furthermore, these houses are available as accommodations for visitors who wish to experience staying in a traditional Malay village while observing the equipment used during that era. You can book the rooms here.

Facilities include an adult and children’s pool, a traditional wedding area, a café, guest parking space, event halls, a BBQ area, and various other amenities.

What we find particularly fascinating is the opportunity to partake in enriching activities and explore nearby places of interest. Here, you can experience a truly village life with the added convenience of top-notch facilities.

A 50 KM bicycle trail from Kampung Warisan Budaya to Intan Suraya. Enjoy a 100-year-old traditional Kundas breakfast in the town of Karai. Of course, there are other breakfast shops to try. All within walking distance.

Experience the scents and sights of a rubber trader drying rubber by the roadside. The town of Kuala Kangsar, with all its interesting places, is just 8 KM away, and Taiping isn’t far either. The list of nearby attractions goes on and on.

And there’s Pekan Selasa. I won’t say more about it because I’m writing a dedicated blog post about my recent visit to Pekan Selasa. Of course, I took some pictures while I was there. Anyway, here’s the Google Maps link to Kampung Warisan Budaya. Thank you for reading, and stay tuned!


References:

Aliasak, M. H. H., Osman, M. N., Zakaria, S. R., Sa’ad, M. F., & Ling, N. L. F. J. (2016). Town of Karai: The Only Coal Mining Site in the State of Perak and Its Contribution to the Urban Development. In Regional Conference on Science, Technology and Social Sciences (RCSTSS 2014) Science and Technology (pp. 187-199). Springer Singapore.

Abd Aziz, K., & Abdullah, F. Z. (2011). Cultural heritage tourism development in Kota Lama Kanan, Kuala Kangsar, Perak. Universiti Tun Abdul Razak E–Journal7(2), 1-10.

Haffiz Aliasak, M. H., & Sa’ad, M. F. (2014). Pekan Karai: mutiara arang batu negeri Perak.

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