Kuala Sepetang Ultimate Guide - (Includes Attractions, Seafood & Homestay)

Kuala Sepetang is a sleepy coastal town close to Taiping in Perak, Malaysia. It takes around an hour to drive to Kuala Sepetang from the capital city of Perak, Ipoh.

Aerial view of Kuala Sepetang
Aerial view of Kuala Sepetang – photo credits to vincekth (Instagram)

This quaint town is worth visiting for its nature, food and history! There’s a Chinese fishing village (Kuala Sangga) as well as mangroves. Home to fireflies and other wildlife!

History buffs will want to see Port Weld too. Where lingering signage of the very first railway in Peninsula Malaysia can still be seen!

Table of contents:

Ipoh To Kuala Sepetang

Like we said, Kuala Sepetang is just an hour away from Ipoh via Lebuhraya Utara – Selatan/AH2/E1.

To get there, you can:

  • Take a bus (Warning: this takes double the time)
  • Rent a car from Ipoh
  • Take a taxi or Grab service from Ipoh
  • Hire a private tour (transport + guide)

Tip: Stop by Taiping Lake Gardens on the way. You won’t regret it!

Kuala Sepetang Tour From Ipoh

A full-day private Kuala Sepetang tour from Ipoh costs around the same price to rent a car. And you get a personal guide too besides the transport to Kuala Sepetang!

Book a package with RayTheTour for an unforgettable Kuala Sepetang day trip!

Private Ipoh Tour With RayTheTour & Travelswithsun

Advantages of booking a private tour with RayTheTour:

  • Friendly and knowledgeable guide who hails from Ipoh
  • Easy booking process – just message us through WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger!
  • You don’t have to drive or park in an unfamiliar place
  • No worries on petrol and toll fees
  • Safe
  • Affordable for groups of 3 people or more.

13 Top Kuala Sepetang Attractions

You will find you need at least 1 full day to adequately cover Kuala Sepetang . Because there is so much to see from morning until night!

1. Kota Ngah Ibrahim

On the way to Kuala Sepetang, you can stop at Kota Ngah Ibrahim.

Kota Ngah Ibrahim or Matang Museum
Kota Ngah Ibrahim or Matang Museum – photo credits to bib__abdhamid (Instagram)

This is a historical fort that is well preserved. And has been converted into a museum for Malaysian history which includes:

  • Taiping town history
  • Kuala Sepetang history
  • Malay culture
  • Politics before the British colonization of Malaysia

Considering that the entrance is free, it’s not bad at all!

Address: http://bit.ly/NgahIbrahim

Opening hours: Daily from 9am to 5pm

Entrance: Free

2. Charcoal Factory Kuala Sepetang

Ever seen a traditional charcoal factory before?

This charcoal factory Kuala Sepetang by Khay Hor Holdings Sdn Bhd has been passed down from generations within the family.

The river is used for transporting chopped mangrove wood to the charcoal factory in Kuala Sepetang
The river is used for transporting chopped mangrove wood to the charcoal factory in Kuala Sepetang.

The current owner, Mr Chuah does multilingual tours under an hour around his factory. Enthusiastically showing visitors what it takes to make charcoal the old-fashioned way.

stacked bundles of chopped mangrove wood at kuala sepetang charcoal factory
Tourists entering the charcoal factory in Kuala Sepetang. Along the main walkway are stacked bundles of chopped mangrove wood, prior to burning.

See the big kilns up close and how they transport the raw material (i.e. mangrove wood) to the factory!

You will also learn what products can be made from charcoal. Or even buy some if you wish!

Large kilns inside kuala sepetang charcoal factory
Large kilns inside the charcoal factory – these are used to burn the mangrove wood

Note: It’s quite hot in the factory because of the kilns. Bring some drinking water with you~

Address: http://bit.ly/CharcoalFactory

Opening hours: Daily from 9am to 5pm

Entrance fee: Free but tours cost RM5 per person

Contact: +6012-428 6098

3. Matang Mangrove Forest Reserve

Further up the road from the charcoal factory, is Matang Mangrove Forest Reserve.

The highlight here is a boardwalk that allows you to walk among the mangroves. While you observe swamp life (birds and little marine creatures) without getting your shoes in the muck!

This is not a return track. Since the starting point and the ending point are not connected. Allocate an hour to explore the mangrove.

From the reserve, you can take boat rides (RM30-40/ head) for the eagle feeding tours. Passing through a Chinese fishing village.

Boardwalk through the mangroves
Boardwalk through the mangroves – photo credits to ladyzura (Instagram)

Update (March, 2021): The boardwalk is going to open soon. Since it went under maintenance in 2019. To be on the safe side, call up before you go.

Note: Beware that the road to the reserve can be flooded after a heavy downpour.

Address: http://bit.ly/MatangMangroves

Opening hours: Daily from 8am to 7pm

Entrance fee: RM15 per person, parking costs RM2

Contact: +6012-514 5023

Read also: Orangutan Island: A Hidden Orangutan Sanctuary In West Malaysia

4. Kuala Sangga Fishing Village

If you want to see an authentic Kuala Sepetang fishing village, you can consider paying a visit to Kuala Sangga fishing village!

Kuala Sangga fishing village
Kuala Sangga fishing village – photo credits to ivyngtho (Instagram)

You can take a boat ride for 30 minutes to reach the century-old village from Kuala Sepetang port.

The villagers here live off grid. Without depending on electricity or with access to running water! And it won’t take you long to explore the charming village on  wooden stilts!

Kuala Sangga Village
Kuala Sangga Village – photo credits to mikelam88 (Instagram)

Read also: Bukit Merah Laketown Resort – Affordable Family Fun Theme Park

5. Wonder Mushroom Farm

Wonder Mushroom Farm is another family business on this list. And they have been cultivating mushrooms from wood powder for more than 30 years!

Among the mushrooms grown here, there are

  • White and grey oyster mushrooms
  • Reishi (Lingzhi) mushrooms
  • Tiger Milk (Susu harimau) mushrooms
Reishi (Lingzhi) Mushrooms At Wonder Farm Mushroom Sdn Bhd
Reishi (Lingzhi) Mushrooms At Wonder Farm Mushroom Sdn Bhd

It’s free to enter, and the guided tour is very informative. Do drop by if you have a couple of hours to spare!

You can try a hand at growing your own mushrooms by taking some back! Best to call ahead before going!

Address: Lot 1626, Lorong 1, Kampung Setia, 34700 Taiping, Perak

Opening hours: Daily from 9am to 12pm, and again from 2pm to 4:30pm

Contact: +6016-531 8161

6. Dragon Joss Stick Workshop

Beyond the simple appearance of the ordinary joss stick or incense stick:

Are more intricate versions that require a skill that is not common nowadays.

Particularly so for handmade dragon inspired joss sticks. The process of making these can take anywhere from 3 to 10 months, depending on the size!

You can see this impressive traditional art form at Hun Leng Heong Hang workshop.

7. Old “Port Weld” Railway Station Signboard (十八丁铁路碑)

While not much remains of the once bustling scene at Port Weld, you can still see bits and pieces around.

Port Weld At Kuala Sepetang
Port Weld – photo credits to itravellog.blogspot.com

One of these testaments is an old multilingual signboard for the railway station that was in operation almost 2 centuries ago!

Did you know? This was the very first railway station in West Malaysia!

8. Port Weld Scenic Bridge

Port Weld bridge connects the mainland and Kampung Seberang and overlooks the fishing village below.

View from Port Weld Bridge
View from Port Weld Bridge – photo credits to aousten_ng (Instagram)

This is where you can board a boat tour around the island or head out and see the sea eagles!

You can rent a boat from RM28 and above, depending on where you want to go.

The bridge is covered which makes it ideal for fishing or observing boats coming in. There is an awesome sunset view here too!

9. Kuala Sepetang Dried Prawn Factory

Dried prawns are an essential ingredient in many Chinese dishes like radish cake and glutinous rice.

Dried prawns
Dried prawns – photo credits to wskhor2002 (Instatram)

You can even find them in the uniquely Malaysian dish with assorted vegetables stir-fried with belacan (a rather offensive smelling chili paste made from shrimp).

But how is this flavorful ingredient prepared?

Dried fish
Dried fish – photo credits to jeremychewcs (Instagram)

The traditional way of drying the prawns relies heavily on the weather, of course.

It is a manual process when it comes to turning over the prawns to ensure an even level of dryness.

10. Cockle Farm

Cockles are another delicacy from the sea that is widely enjoyed by most Malaysians. It is either eaten fried or boiled and dipped in chili.

Witness how cockles are drained and separated from silt, water and other particles before being packed into large barrels.

Note: Water pollution has significantly affected the multi-million-ringgit cockle industry and Kuala Sepetang is no longer the largest cockle breeding ground in Malaysia.

11. Fireflies Kuala Sepetang

Fireflies are not as prevalent as they once were. This is because they only favor a certain type of mangrove species called beremban trees.

Firefly Tour by Kuala Sepetang Eco Tourism
Photo credits to kualasepetang.com

Such trees grow in abundance at the mangrove reserve thankfully. And boat tours will take people out to see thousands of the Kuala Sepetang firefly once the sky darkens.

You can go to any of the places below to book a tour to see fireflies:

  1. Kuala Sepetang Eco Tourism
  2. Matang Mangrove Forest Reserve
  3. Kampung Dew Fireflies

This is the main highlight of many Kuala Sepetang tours available.

Read also: Kuala Selangor Fireflies: Nature’s Spectacular Night Show (Don’t Miss Out!)

12. Pink River Dophin

Looking for a Kuala Sepetang dolphin tour? There aren’t any boat tours that promise passengers a sighting of the rare mammals.

River Dolphins at Kuala Sepetang
Photo credits to kualasepetang.com

But if luck is with you, you might just spot a dolphin from the Indo-Pacific humpback species on the boat ride to Kuala Sangga fishing village.

Might as well book an all-inclusive tour like the one offered by Kuala Sepetang Eco Tourism.

If not, then you can have another go at spotting a dolphin at a viewpoint in the middle of the estuary.

13. Eagle Watching

It’s truly a magnificent sight to see dozens of eagles flocking around the boats during an eagle watching tour.

Boat tour for eagle feeding at Kuala Sepetang
Boat tour for eagle feeding at Kuala Sepetang – photo credits to biqquebikuchan (Instagram)

The eagles come for the meat thrown out from the boats by the guides to draw the birds closer for passengers to see.

Eagle Watching at Kuala Sepetang
Photo credits to Soon Chee

If you’re interested, you can book a tour with either of these tour operators:

  1. Port Weld View Tour
  2. Eagle Sight Seeing Tour Sdn Bhd
  3. Kuala Sepetang Eco Tourism

Note: The typical cost for just the eagle watching is around RM150 per boat or RM30 per person while the package tours may cost RM200-300 per boat or RM40-50 per person.

To get an idea of where all these places are,

Note: You can click on the map to interact with it.

Kuala Sepetang Seafood

Any self-declared seafood enthusiast cannot afford to miss out on the cheap and fresh seafood from Kuala Sepetang!

Here are some reputable places to get your seafood cravings satisfied:

1. Kuala Sepetang Fish Village Restaurant

A good view of the river, affordable prices for fresh seafood are what draws people to this restaurant!

Kuala Sepetang Fish Village Restaurant
Kuala Sepetang Fish Village Restaurant – photo credits to gostansikit.blogspot.com

Address: http://bit.ly/Kuala-Sepetang-Fish-Village-Restaurant

Opening hours: Daily from 11am to 10:30pm

Contact: +6012-500 5325

Remark: Hard to find parking

2. Restoran Tepi Sungai

This restaurant sits at the mouth of the estuary with a commanding view of the river and passing boats!

Tip: Sit upstairs for a better view!

Get seafood at its freshest here – you pick your own and the chef will do the rest!

Recommended dishes are crabs, baby octopus, kangkong with sambal, and curry prawns.

Address: http://bit.ly/Restoran-Tepi-Sungai

Opening hours: 12pm to 8:45pm

Contact: +6010-549 6433

Remark: You can buy salted fish or fresh seafood here

3. Xin Seafood Restaurant 十八丁火车站海鲜

This is another scenic place to get fresh, delicious and affordable seafood.

Must-try dishes include the oyster omelette and steamed flower crab.

Steamed Crabs at Xin Kuala Sepetang Seafood Restaurant
Steamed Crabs at Xin Kuala Sepetang Seafood Restaurant – photo credits to jaydenleecb (Instagram)

Address: 155B, River Side, 34650 Kuala Sepetang, Perak

Opening hours: Daily from 6am to 9pm

Contact: +605-858 1350

4. D’Port Ikan Bakar Seafood

Reasonably priced seafood can be had here. The menu has some Western options as well.

Do try their tomyam prawns, fire chili crab, salted egg crab and fried fish.

Address: http://bit.ly/D-Port-Ikan-Bakar-Seafood

Opening hours: 4pm to 12:05pm (Closed on Mondays)

Contact: +6016-523 1554

Remark: Halal

Mee Udang Kuala Sepetang

Mee udang is a local dish that consists of noodles in a tasty spicy prawn broth.

And although you can get this dish in many other Malaysian cities, towns and villages:

Mee udang in Kuala Sepetang is famous because they tend to serve large prawns!

Tip: If you want more soup and bigger prawns, go before lunch time!

Here are 3 places where you can try mee udang in Kuala Sepetang:

1. Restoran Mee Udang Mak Jah

The fried version (mee goreng) is arguably better than the soup version. But this is still a popular place to get mee udang!

Restoran Mee Udang Mak Jah
Restoran Mee Udang Mak Jah – photo credits to diarisiketambatu.blogspot.com

Address: http://bit.ly/MeeUdangMakJah

Opening hours: 12pm to 10pm (Closed on Wednesdays)

Contact: +605-858 1400

2. Salleh Stall Mee Udang Port Weld

Some say this stall has better mee udang than the one at Mak Jah! The  open-air stall is easy to find and is sheltered from the sun and rain.

Mee Udang from Salleh Stall
Mee Udang from Salleh Stall – photo credits to salekhan82 (Instagram)

Address: http://bit.ly/SallehStallMeeUdang

Opening hours: 7am to 7pm (Closed on Fridays)

Contact: +6012-571 9372

3. Mee Udang Kak Ana Kuala Sepetang

Very fresh prawns are served at this mee udang spot!

Address: http://bit.ly/Mee-Udang-Kak-Ana

Opening hours: 9am to 6pm

Contact: +6012-492 9015

Kuala Sepetang Food

Besides delicious seafood and the infamous mee udang, you can get other yummy dishes and the quintessential Malaysian dessert, cendol!

1. Ah Dai (or Ah Thai) Curry Mee

Ah Dai is a hawker stall in a typical Malaysian food court.

Ah Dai Curry Mee
Ah Dai Curry Mee – photo credits to itravellog.blogspot.com

Their specialty is the curry mee. But they also serve a hearty asam laksa (with sardines)!

Address: http://bit.ly/AhDaiCurryMee

Opening hours: 12:30pm to 7pm (Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays)

Contact: +6012-505 1475

2. Kuih Teo Chew 十八丁家乡菜粿

Fancy some good old home-cooking? Try this restaurant then.

Address: http://bit.ly/KuihTeoChew

Opening hours: 12pm to 3pm

Contact: +6013-506 7760

3. Cendol Kuala Sepetang

When the heat gets the best of you, you can grab a bowl of this popular local dessert.

You can get cendol pulut or cendol jagung here too!

Address: http://bit.ly/Cendol-Kuala-Sepetang

Opening hours: 12:30pm to 5:45pm everyday but 2:30pm to 5:45pm on Mondays and Fridays

Contact: +6019-500 8203

Thinking of staying the night?

Kuala Sepetang Hotel

There are a couple of hotels in Kuala Sepetang that come highly recommended:

1. Sepetang Inn

Sepetang Inn is a budget hotel that has the basics you need for a short stay.

Sepetang Inn
Photo credits to Sepetang Inn Facebook

What you’ll like:

  • Close to seafood eateries
  • Spacious and clean rooms with TV and air conditioning

Good to know:

  • No iron or ironing board
  • Hot and cold water dispensers are available
  • Street parking
  • Hotel does not provide breakfast

Address: http://bit.ly/Sepetang-Inn

Contact: +6012-516 9909

Price: Starts from RM100 a night

Facebook: Sepetang Inn

Want more accommodation options?

Kuala Sepetang Homestay

Homestays are a welcome alternative to hotels.

Especially if you have a large family or group of friends that will enjoy the co-living environment that is normal for homestays.

1. KS Homestay

KS Homestay has a splendid view of the village and river from the balcony. Rooms are basic but still homey.

KS Homestay
Photo credits to KS Homestay

What you’ll like:

  • Walking distance to eateries
  • Rooms have their own private bathrooms
  • Very clean
  • Aircon and TV available

Good to know:

  • You can rent a motorcycle from the host
  • The bridge is walking distance from this homestay

2. Kuala Sepetang CK homestay

CK Homestay K.Sepetang is just driving distance (17km) from Taiping Mall in case you need to grab something.

CK Homestay
Photo credits to CK Homestay

What you’ll like:

  • Close to town
  • Air-conditioned clean and basic rooms in a new modern building
  • Free WiFi
  • Terrace for lounging
  • Great hospitality
  • Free parking at the residence (must book ahead)
Rooms At CK Homestay
Photo credits to CK Homestay

Good to know:

  • Host speaks English and Chinese
  • Eateries nearby
  • They can arrange boat trips for their guests
  • Motorbikes & bicycles are available

Address: C7 Kampung Baru Kuala Sepetang, 34650 Taiping, Perak

Contact: +6011-2955 8118

3. 十八丁乐悠悠民宿 Kuala Sepetang Love You You Homestay

Have a big group with you? This house will be perfect!

Rooms At Kuala Sepetang Love You You Homestay
Photo credits to booking.com

This modern homestay is newly renovated and fully furnished. Book the whole single-story house for your trip if you wish!

What you’ll like:

  • Convenient location – walking distance to the town
  • Host can recommend tours
  • Modern and spacious house
  • Clean house and rooms
  • Kitchen with kettle and cups for guests
  • Sheltered and secure parking
  • TV with Astro
  • Board games provided at the house
  • WiFi
Rooms At Kuala Sepetang Love You You Homestay
Photo credits to booking.com

Good to know:

  • Bicycles for rent
  • Late checkout (12pm)
  • Water filter and kettle for guests to use
  • They do provide a hairdryer
  • No stairs (wheelchair friendly)

Conclusion

If you’re in the area, it’s worth stopping by Kuala Sepetang for the fireflies, sea eagles, fishing village, Port Weld, and more!

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