Thursday, February 09, 2006

Taiping – a town where time stood still

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I was reading an article on Taiping in The Star couple days ago titled “Protect town’s history” and it reminded me of the state of development in the town. In opinion, slow and steady but too slow for the big influx of visitors to Taiping (sometimes it feels like the whole of KL rushes in to terrorize the town).

The small town (if it can be considered as small these days) that I spend most of the time is Taiping - partly because I have no choice – it is my wife’s hometown. I have been to other small towns but did not spend more than couple of hours there. Although it takes about 3 hours of driving from KL, the journey up north is worth time and effort. It is the place to unwind and re-energize (the other place to unwind is the local Indian Pub – I will talk about it someday).

You go to any small towns in Malaysia and almost immediately you will feel that you have gone back in time to the 50s and 60s. The lifestyle is more relaxed, driving is pleasant (sometimes I hate where I have to wait to overtake the old man on the bicycle) and more importantly the cost of living is still low (ya, roti canai is only RM0.60 here and the portion is big).

Picture 1
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Some of the pre-war buildings in town which is still in business till this day

Picture 2
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You may not believe this but this is a shot from the area in front of my parents-in law’s house. It still looks undisturbed as far as I can remember. The road is still single lane (despite an increasing traffic) and the vegetation on the sides of the road is still heavy (scary because someone have seen a cobra in the bushes).

Picture 3
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Old style railway crossing is quickly losing its importance and existence. These days, most roads bypass the railway crossing by having an overhead bridge which is great because it reduces traffic jam at these passing but we miss watching the trains passing by

In my opinion, the town should grow in the name of progress (there is a big demand for hotel rooms) but there must be proper planning to safeguard the heritage buildings here (after all, isn’t why we go there in the first place?)
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(Filed under Del.icio.us Tag: Taiping Trips)
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