This quaint town is worth visiting for its nature, food and history! There’s a Chinese fishing village (Kuala Sangga) as well as mangroves. Which are 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:
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. 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 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.
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!
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 10am to 5pm
- Entrance fee: Free but tours cost RM3 per person
- Contact: +6012-428 6098
2. 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!
Update (March, 2023): The boardwalk reopened in Jan 2023 after maintenance in 2019. The walkway has also been expanded. Do take care when crossing after rain as it can be slippery.
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.
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 (closes at 6pm on Sundays)
- Entrance fee: RM15 per person, parking costs RM2
- Contact: +6012-514 5023
3. 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.
One of these testaments is an old multilingual signboard for the railway station that was in operation almost 2 centuries ago!
If you’re exploring Port Weld, you can spot this signboard close to the local morning market. It’s close to the next item on this list too.
Did you know? This was the very first railway station in West Malaysia!
- Address: http://bit.ly/Old-Port-Weld
4. Port Weld Scenic Bridge
Port Weld bridge connects the mainland and Kampung Seberang and overlooks the fishing village below on both sides.
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!
Locals ride their motorcycles up and down the steep bridge often so be careful when crossing this bridge.
- Address: http://bit.ly/PortWeldbridge
5. Walk To Shang Di Temple
From Port Weld Scenic Bridge, you can spot what looks like a Chinese style pavilion. Walking in that direction will bring you to the Shang Di Temple.
And you will see that the roof belongs to a tall Guan Yin statue in front of the temple.
A large turtle sits atop the stairs of the temple. And there are Chinese murals around the base of and behind the temple too.
Inside, the praying chamber is dimly lit and it is filled with incense and praying sticks.
Note: If you’re looking for toilets, they are to the side of the temple building. Not far from a small turtle enclosure.
6. Kuala Sepetang Dried Prawn Factory
Dried prawns are an essential ingredient in many Chinese dishes like radish cake and glutinous rice.
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?
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.
- Address: http://bit.ly/Dried-Prawn-Factory
7. 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.
When you walk among the houses at Kuala Sepetang, you’ll see piles and piles of shells on the floor. These are now remnants of a bygone industry of this small village.
8. 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.
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:
- Kuala Sepetang Eco Tourism
- Matang Mangrove Forest Reserve
- 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!)
9. 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.
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.
The all-inclusive tour like the ones offered by Kuala Sepetang Eco Tourism are popular.
10. Eagle Watching
It’s truly a magnificent sight to see dozens of eagles flocking around the boats during an eagle watching tour.
The eagles come for the raw chicken fat thrown out from the boats by the guides to draw the birds closer for passengers to see. They’re so used to the boats that the sounding of the horn already attracts them to come!
Note: From a sustainable point of view, we’re not sure if this practice has detrimental effects on the environment. It could potentially discourage eagles from eating their natural prey and thus, cause an imbalance of the local eco system. But then again, the locals do depend on these tours for their livelihood.
If you’re interested, you can book a tour with either of these tour operators:
- Kuala Sepetang Port Weld View Tour Boat Ride
- Eagle Sight Seeing Tour Sdn Bhd
- Kuala Sepetang Eco Tourism
Note: The typical cost for just the eagle watching is around RM200 per boat or RM40 per Malaysian while the package tours may cost RM500+ for private mangrove and firefly tours that include a visit to a fish farm and eagle sighting.
11. 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!
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!
- Address: http://bit.ly/KualaSangga
- Visiting Hours: 9am to 5pm
12. 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
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 of their DIY kits back! Best to call ahead before going though as the tours are not their main source of income.
Read more about Taiping Wonder Farm Mushroom.
- Address: Lot 1626, Lorong 1, Kampung Setia, 34700 Taiping, Perak
- Opening hours: Daily from 9am to 12pm, and again from 2pm to 4:30pm (Closed on Mondays)
- Contact: +6016-438 8161
13. Dragon Joss Stick Workshop (Hun Leng Heong Hang)
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.
- Address: http://bit.ly/HunLengHeongHang
To get an idea of where all these places are, you can click on the map to interact with it.
Or you can read more on where else to go in Taiping.
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. Rasa Sayang Seafood Restaurant
Ask a local what their favorite seafood restaurant is in Kuala Sepetang and they will probably point you to Rasa Sayang Seafood Restaurant.
The river-side restaurant is spacious and well-ventilated on all sides. You’ll get good views of the river while you wait for the food (which does take a while even when the restaurant is not busy).
The dishes are tasty, the seafood is fresh, and pricing is reasonable. See what we ordered at Rasa Sayang Seafood Restaurant.
- Address: 150D Tepi, 34650 Kuala Sepetang, Perak
- Opening Hours: 12pm to 8pm
- Contact: +6012-388 6312
- Remarks: They have many vegetarian options
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. Prepare for a wait if you come during a weekend or on a public holiday.
- 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. Their cooking style is fairly simple, much like the ambiance.
- Address: 155B, River Side, 34650 Kuala Sepetang, Perak
- Opening hours: Daily from 11:30am to 8:20pm
- Contact: +6016-931 8225
4. D’Port Ikan Bakar Seafood
Reasonably priced seafood can be had here at this halal seafood restaurant in Kuala Sepetang. The menu has some Western options as well besides Thai-style dishes.
Do try their tomyam prawns, fire chili crab, salted egg crab and fried fish. Food takes about 30 minutes on average so you might want to have a snack beforehand.
- Address: http://bit.ly/D-Port-Ikan-Bakar-Seafood
- Opening hours: 3pm to 11pm (Closed on Wednesdays and Thursdays)
- 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 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!
While the restaurant is spacious, there’s no air-conditioning here so steel yourself for the hot dining environment.
- 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! It’s also less crowded. The open-air stall is easy to find and is sheltered from the sun and rain.
You can choose the size of the dish (S, M or L) from RM10 to RM22. The prawns are large and the amount of prawns that they serve justify the pricing.
- Address: http://bit.ly/SallehStallMeeUdang
- Opening hours: 7am to 7pm (Closed on Fridays)
- Contact: +6012-571 9372
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.
Their specialty is the very affordable curry mee. But they also serve a hearty assam laksa (with sardines)! It can be full of customers on weekends!
PS: Pair your meal with the ice blended red bean beverage!
- Address: http://bit.ly/AhDaiCurryMee
- Opening hours: 1pm 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. They are most known for their dumplings.
These pair well with the noodles mentioned above by the way. And they are close by too!
- 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 (Closed on 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
SSepetang Inn is a budget hotel that has the basics you need for a short stay. The family-run business has been in operation for close to 10 years.
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.
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
- Address: No110,Riverside 34650, 34650 Kuala Sepetang, Perak, Malaysia
- Contact: +60 16-780 6325
2. Kuala Sepetang CK Homestay
CK Homestay K.Sepetang is just driving distance (17km) from Taiping Mall in case you need to grab something.
The homestay is not far from Port Weld Scenic Bridge.
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)
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. Kuala Sepetang Love You You Homestay (十八丁乐悠悠民宿)
Have a big group with you? This house will be perfect!
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
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)
- Address: 64 Kampung Baru Kuala Sepetang, 34650 Kuala Sepetang, Negeri Perak, Malaysia
- Contact: +6012-429 3786
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 service (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 with RayTheTour means you will get a personal guide too besides the transport to Kuala Sepetang!
Book a package with RayTheTour for an unforgettable Kuala Sepetang day trip!
Advantages of booking a private tour with RayTheTour:
- Friendly and knowledgeable guide who hails from Ipoh
- Easy booking process – just message them on WhatsApp
- You don’t have to drive or park in an unfamiliar place
- No worries on petrol and toll fees
- Affordable for groups of 3 people or more.
Note: Service doesn’t include boat fees, your food, or your accommodation
If you’re in the area, it’s worth stopping by Kuala Sepetang for the fireflies, fresh seafood, fishing village, Port Weld, and more!