Matang Mangrove Forest is the largest stand of mangrove ecosystems in Peninsular Malaysia. These ecologically abundant mangrove habitats stretch along the west coast tidal mudflats of northern Perak for almost 50 km plus another 40 km along the shorelines of the sheltered river systems within the reserve's five estuaries. During the migration season between August and April every year, more than 200,000 migratory birds representing some 50 species are estimated to stop over here. There are also well-equipped and informative visitor centres where you can get detailed educational programmes and displays, which focus on the importance of safeguarding and preserving the mangrove ecosystems and the large numbers of resident and migrant bird species. The Kuala Gula Bird Sanctuary has won the "Best Tourist Attraction (Natural Attraction)" category during the Malaysia Tourism Awards, a prestigious award presented to agencies and organisations which contribute to the development of tourism in Malaysia.
If you are traveling by air, nearest airport is the Penang International Airport (IATA: PEN, ICAO: WMKP), which is an international airport located in Bayan Lepas. Next you need to cross the bridge to mainland to reach Kuala Gula Bird Sanctuary.
Although the bird sanctuary is in the state of Perak, it is actually easier to get to it from Butterworth (Penang). Take the North-South Expressway south from Butterworth (Penang) for about 30 minutes, then turn off at Jawi for the town of Kuala Kurau. Another 30 minutes onwards and you should see the signs for the sanctuary.
Taiping Lake Garden is the oldest public garden in Malaysia, established since 1880 from a disused mining pool. Also known as Taman Tasik Taiping, the park sprawls majestically across 62 hectares of landscaped gardens, parks and lakes swelled with large droves of flowers, shrubs and trees. In morning and evening, the park is naturally a favourite haunt of locals for recreation and relaxation. Designed by Colonel Robert Walker during the colonial era, the land came as a donation from businessman Chung Thye Pin, with further refinement by town planner Charles Compton Reade. Receiving much praise from visiting British officials and travellers for its architectural beauty, Lake Garden remains a delight of Taiping town till today. Rain trees (Angsana variety) that were planted here over a century ago still perch dramatically around the park confines, raining down yellow flowers during strong gusts of wind that carpet the greenery in gold. These impressive rain trees have a stout stump from which tall branches spurt forth, arching into a massive dome-shaped crown.
Surrounded by lush greenery and fronting one of Malaysia's largest 7,000-acre freshwater lake, the resort is only a 3 hours' drive from Kuala Lumpur and easily reached just off the Bukit Merah toll exit along the North-South Expressway. Being one of Malaysia's premier eco-tourism destination in the northern region, the resort offers a wide variety of excitement with its Waterpark being the main attraction, the unique Ecopark with its educational walk-in enclosures, where you can experience nature by interacting with some friendly animals and a myriad of recreational activities for team building, fun and leisure. Bukit Merah Laketown Resort offers a variety of accommodation all in one location. From hotel rooms to the luxurious 'kampung' chalets by the lake. For the more adventurous, you can even try out a camping holiday at the lakeside camping ground.
Happy 8 Retreat offers a retreat with chirping of birds in the background as you lie on your bed. This hotel is located in Kuala Sepetang. The bedrooms at Happy 8 Retreat are cosy with comfortable beds, TV and wifi.