History of Taiping




Travel Tips

History of Taiping

The town of Taiping is the second largest town in Perak after its capital Ipoh. Taiping is situated on the coastal plain at the foothills of the Bintang Range. The name Taiping comprises two Chinese characters (Tai - 'great') and (Ping - 'peace'). The town grew rapidly in the 19th century when tin was discovered.

Taiping History Timeline


The town of Taiping was discovered by Long Jaafar when he discovered tin ore. Myth has it that he took an elephant with him on his travels. One day the elephant disappeared, and when it was found three days later he found tin ore on its legs.


Raja Muda Ngah Ali and the Chiefs of Perak, Temenggong, Panglima Bukit Gantang, Panglima Kinta, Syahbandar and Seri Adika Raja granted the Larut district to Long Jaafar.


(i) Sultan Abdullah, The Sultan of Perak died and a series of succession disputes ensued. Rival Malay camps took sides with one or the other of the two great Chinese secret societies were established in that region. Long Jaafar founded and established his administrative centre

(ii) His son, Ngah Ibrahim, succeeded Long Jaafar.


A letter of acknowledgement was presented to Ngah Ibrahim by Sultan Jaffar Muazzam Shah on 24th May. This letter was signed by Sultan Jaffar, Raja Muda Ngah Ali, and the Raja Bendahara of Perak.


The Chinese founded two large groups, the "Five Associations" or Go-Kuan and the Cantonese 'Four Associations' or Si-Kuan. Chung Keng Quee was the chief of the Hakka Go- Kuan and started operating his tin mines in Larut.


In 1873, Captain Speedy's Bungalow was built by Mentri Ngah Ibrahim. It is located at the junction lot of Mentri Street, Matang. One of the two existing examples of colonial-style houses.


(i) Capt. T.C.S. Speedy was the first Assistant Resident. He was in Matang at the beginning, then moved to Taiping when he became a resident assistant.

(ii) Taiping became the first town in Malaya to have official and conventional administration centres. The Magistrate Court was built using timber at the same site where the current Magistrate Court stands today.


(i) Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Church was originally a plain wooden structured pitched up the hill. The church was built in 1880 and completed in less than 4 years. It became the first Roman Catholic Church and Parish in Taiping.

(ii) After Datok Maharaja Lela killed, the first British resident of Perak, Mr James Wheeler Woodford Birch (JWW Brich) at Pasir Salak, the capital of Perak was relocated from Bandar Baru (New Town) to Taiping.


(i) Formerly named Perak Prison, the Taiping prison was also known as Taiping Gaol. The structure was a timber building with fencing all around It was the largest jail complex in the Malay Peninsula in 1879. Gazetted officially in 1992 as Penjara Taiping.

(ii) British Residents- The Residency used to be at Kuala Kangsar, then later moved to Taiping, at the Lake Gardens. Originally a single-storey timber building with Victorian Neo-Classical architecture it served as the resident of the governor. Today, the building houses Larut Matang's Land & District Office.


Still in the same place. A rich mining area that has been depleted of tin and abandoned. The vision of one man (Col. E.S.F Walker) to restore dignity to the land, and he did it, with the help of his police force, during his free time. The vibrant beauty of the land remains till today and enjoyed by Taiping folks.


Once known as The Castle, it is an iconic Taiping landmark. In 1881, the original timber building was constructed and replaced in 1891 with bricks.


(i) The All Saints Church was designed by the Australian architect, Mr George A. Lefroy. It survived the Japanese occupation and was Gazetted in 2012 as a National Heritage Building. The Anglican Church still uses it as a place of Christian worship.

(ii) Central School, was Taiping's second English medium campus. It was renamed the King Edward VII Academy, in accordance with King Edward VII's coronation in 1884.

(iii) The Perak Museum was built. This is the first museum in Malaya. The Moorish designs are part of this unique house mixed with Neo-classical and Victorian architecture. It houses several rare collections, such as ethnological artefacts, zoological specimens, ceramics, and interesting collections from the Orang Asli Culture.


The foot of the Larut Hills sits on a flat floor on the right and is known as the Public Garden. The lake is bordered by the same rain tree that is still standing today.


The mining industry of the city began to flourish; the first railway in Malaya was constructed to transport tin for export from Taiping to the coast Port Weld (now known as Kuala Sepetang). The first train was scheduled for 1st June.


The first golf course in Malaysia.


The first girls' school, founded by the Perak government and known as the Government Girls' School, with 8 pupils enrolled. Later, the methodist took over the school and renamed it the school of Lady Treacher's Girls.


The Ceylonese founded the Main Road Victoria Reading Room.


The Silver Jubilee Jetty was constructed to commemorate the Silver Jubilee Celebration of the reign of King George V in England. The jetty is designed in a colonial style which was built using public and local government funds. This is the first jetty to be constructed in the Malay Peninsular.


The Taiping War Memorial was built. It is the resting place of Allied soldiers who died during World War II. It is the first and also the largest war memorial in Malaysia.


Malaya gets independence.


The Taiping Night Safari in Malaysia, launched in June 2003 by DYMM Sultan Azlan Shah Muhibbuddin Shah, is the first of its kind. The Taiping Night Safari seeks to view nocturnal animals in natural-looking settings illuminated like lighting by the moonlight in an attempt to preserve the experience of a natural world.