Sungkai is a town as well as a sub-district or “mukim” placed under the district of Batang Padang, state of Perak, Malaysia. It is administered by the Tapah District Council based in Tapah, Perak, which is one of the major towns in Batang Padang in addition to Tapah. It is located 120 kilometres north from Kuala Lumpur and 80 kilometres south of the state capital, Ipoh. Similarly to other towns in Perak state, Sungkai pretty much developed in its early days with due credit to the tin mining industry. Such industries attracted Chinese settlers while Indian settlers are brought in to work in the estates, making the population demographic much more diverse in addition to the Malay community who has settled here much earlier. The first train coach is built in 1894 to connect Sungkai with the nearby Bidor town which is a part of the railway network built during the British occupation. Later, after the independence, under the Felda program, a lot of settlers come in by the Klah river area to open more land for agriculture. In addition to that, tourism too thrived in this area, with a lot of the activities centred on the natural resources which are already pretty abundant in the area.
People driving from Kuala Lumpur may drive via North-South Highway/E1 for immediate access to the township of Sungkai. The journey could take up to one hour and twenty minutes depending on the current traffic situation.
From Kuala Lumpur International Airport, visitors can catch the Express Rail Link (ERL) train which goes to KL Sentral/Bandar Tasik Putrajaya/Cyberjaya/Salak Tinggi/KLIA route. There, one can board the Electric Train Services (ETS) northbound coach and stop by the Sungkai station.
There is no major express bus terminal, instead, there are bus stops located alongside the major streets. The nearest express bus terminal is in Bidor town instead. Take the direct trip from Terminal Bersepadu Selatan (TBS) terminal using express bus services such as Unititi Express and CS Travel.
Felda Residence Hot Springs is a hot spring retreat which is managed by the Felda Group under Felda Travel, which is its travel services division. It is the well-maintained hot spring retreat in the area, with accommodation provided in-house with complete facilities such as waterpark and restaurant as well as the calming atmosphere. It is located a bit deeper into the village in comparison to other hot springs, which causes the location to be pretty secluded. However, this can be a good thing since it is less noisy.
It feels incomplete to talk about Sungkai without mentioning this place. Located 13 kilometres from the town of Tapah and 41 minutes away from Sungkai, this tropical garden is home to beautiful flora and fauna. There are exploration tracks which leads to a multitude of fun and adventure as visitors discover the unique Rajah Brook butterfly species. In addition to that, there are also hot springs at the nearby Lubok Merbau and a 30-meter suspension bridge crossing over Batang River which offers a spectacular view of the forest from the top.
Probably the only one of its kind here, Manderang Village Deer Farm provides a special opportunity for visitors to be able to observe the herds of deer up close. Established in 1978 jointly by the Wildlife Department and the state government, the deer in the farm are let to live as if they are in its natural habitat. In addition to the deer herd, there are also several bird species and other wildlife that are being placed under protection in the farm. There are also education sessions where visitors are able to get insight into the deer herd and their behaviour. It is open daily from 8 am to 4.15 pm while the admissions are free.