7 Things To Do In Perlis, Malaysia’s Smallest State

When you think of tourist spots in Malaysia, most people would think of places like Penang, Kuala Lumpur and Melaka, but never Perlis. Which is a pity, as Malaysia’s smallest state is big on things to explore. As Malaysia’s tiniest state, it often gets the butt end of jokes about how Perlis is so small, (insert joke about small things)

via MGAG 

via Wikimedia Commons

Located on the far northern reaches of Peninsular Malaysia bordering Thailand, Perlis covers 810 square kilometres and has a population of about 190,000 people aka lesser than the population of my city, which is 51.71 kmsq – 400,000 people. But that also means they have a lot more space.

Once under the kingdom of Siam (you can still see a lot of Thai influences in everything, like food, language, etc.), they were ceded to Kedah in the mid-19th century, but have a ruler of their own, known as the House of Jamalullail. The special thing about Perlis is that while other states have a Sultan, Perlis is the only one that calls its ruler Raja (king).

Now, if it hadn’t been for a work trip, I think I wouldn’t have gone to Perlis anytime soon. I went with the impression that Perlis was going to be this boring little place with nothing but paddy fields…but guess what? I thoroughly enjoyed it there. It was a good escape from the city, and I can see coming back here just to chill and enjoy the sights.

Here’s what you can do:

1 ) Visit the Galeri Diraja @ Arau 


(Above) Istana Arau

15 minutes away from Kangar is the royal city of Perlis, Arau – home to Istana Arau. The palace dates back over 100 years and is a beautiful showcase of the region’s Malay architecture. The building is off limits, but visitors can stop by at the adjacent Galeri Diraja, a museum which houses precious collections belonging to the Perlis royal family.

On special occasions, such as Hari Raya or 2017’s Malam Kilauan Cahaya (Light Illumination Night), the palace grounds are opened to the public.

2) Admire the view from Tuanku Syed Putra Bridge


Located at the mouth of the Kuala Perlis river, evening is the best time to come, as you’ll be able to see stunning views of the sunset, fishing boats returning for the night, and the distant shapes of Langkawi and Thailand looming against a pink/blue tapestry.

Best way to get here is to Google this location: Pasaraya Seri Utama Kuala Perlis , then ask the locals.

3) Take a stroll by the beach / snap pictures of the ‘most beautiful mosque in Malaysia’


Take a stroll and enjoy the sea breeze along Kuala Perlis Jetty, which has a nice paved boulevard. You will also find what many people dub the ‘most beautiful mosque in Malaysia’ – Masjid Al-Hussain. It’s not very large, but the design is definitely unique, as it features stained glass windows like those you find in churches. The mosque looks like it’s ‘floating’ on water during high tide, but even during low tide, it is a lovely sight.

4) Tuck into scrumptious seafood


Not too far from the mosque are numerous seafood restaurants, located within a large foodcourt. Vendors put out displays of fresh fish and seafood to entice customers, and you can have it in different styles – tepung goreng, steamed, assam pedas –  you name it, they have it! A very famous place here is Hai Thien, a Chinese-style restaurant that is so popular even the royals come here to dine! The spot is halal, so you will see people of all races dining together.

5) Hangout at a chic cafe-cum-art gallery


Part cafe, part cosy mishmash of knickknacks and art gallery, Blackwood Coffee and Chocolate Kangar is owned by the Perlis royal family and has several outlets in Perlis, Kedah and one in Penang. The Kangar branch is an Instagrammers dream, with loads of paraphernalia from around the world the likes of dreamcatchers and a giant kangaroo doll. There is a small shop selling souvenirs and T-Shirts, and a large collection of Coca-Cola items (the Crown Prince is apparently a big fan of Coke souvenirs).

6) Shop like crazy at Padang Besar


Padang Besar is a border town that is very close to Thailand. There’s a running joke about how they had to name it Padang Besar (large field) because Perlis is so small lol. This is a shopping haven for cheap items. There’s a large complex with many vendors selling makeup, beauty products, clothing, toys, cookware, bags, shoes, fake jewellery, and more.

7) Buy produce


Because of the relatively smaller population, Perlis has plenty of land for agriculture. Like Kedah, it is a rice producer, and it’s common to see vast swathes of paddy fields. Other popular produce include the mempelam harum manis and rock melon. Pay a visit to the farms to buy them fresh. The harum manis is really, really sweet and fragrant, I kid you not. Better than the Philippine mango. My Filipino boyfriend will kill me for saying this.


There are actually other things you can do in Perlis; but these were just the ones I went to because we were only there for 2D1N (and most of it was spent working).

  • Bukit Keteri – limestone hills with lots of crags and nooks for rock climbing. Only for the adventurous!
  • Gua Kelam – literally ‘dark cave’, once home to stone age men, according to archaeological finds.
  • Muzium Kota Kayang – museum with interesting exhibits of the state’s history
  • Snake and Reptile Farm – One of only a handful of snake farms in Malaysia, home to some 200 snakes from 30+ species.
  • Wang Kelian Market – A border town with weekend market selling cheap goods. On Sundays, the border guards open the Thai side so you can go over to buy stuff without having to present your passport.
  • Tasik Melati Recreational Park – Park with a small but beautiful lake.

Detailed posts of places visited coming soon!

***Eris Achievement Unlocked – 12/13 states in Malaysia visited ! 

Travel Tips: Top Attractions in Paris and Best Paris Airport Transfers

Ah, Paris. The City of Light and Love. It’s a must visit on (nearly) everyone’s bucket list, and no wonder: the city has been a global hub of finance, arts, science, fashion and commerce since the 17th century. Every year, millions of tourists flock to Paris for a taste of its amazingly rich history, culture, food and architecture.

Here are some of my top Paris attractions that visitors should not miss!


As the only Disneyland in Europe, Disneyland Paris or EuroDisney is a major draw for tourists coming to Paris, and is one of the most visited theme parks in the region. There are two areas: one dedicated to ‘old school’ Disney with characters such as Aladdin, the classic Disney Princesses and Jungle Book, and the other to newer Disney films such as Toy Story and Finding Nemo, as well as thrilling rides like Space Mountain and the Tower of Terror. At set times, there are parades over at the central avenue featuring all the well-loved Disney friends, such as Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Donald and Daisy Duck, Goofy and the gang.


The world’s largest art museum needs no introduction. Opened in the 18th century from a converted fortress and palace, The Lourve has been featured in countless stories, poems, songs, and in modern times, movies. Housing over 30,000 artifacts and art pieces, its most popular ‘resident’ is perhaps the lady with the mysterious smile, the Mona Lisa. The main building sports stunning old architecture, although in recent years, the glass pyramid, dubbed the Lourve Pyramid has stolen some of the limelight. Either way, the place is a must visit for photos, even if you’re not lining up for a date with Mona Lisa.


This iconic metal structure is now a symbol of Paris, but did you know that when the Eiffel Tower was first built as the entrance to Paris’ 1889 World’s Fair, it was criticised as an ‘ugly abomination’ by France’s leading artists and intellectuals? Today, close to 7million people ascend it every year, and it has become one of the most recognisable landmarks in the city of Paris. Standing tall at 324 metres (about 81 storeys), the tower has three platforms, with the first and second levels housing restaurants and shops.


Another one of Paris’ iconic architectural pieces is the Arc de Triomphe, or the Triumphal Arch of the Stars. Built in 1806, it stands at the west end of the Champs Elysees and is the world’s biggest arch, constructed at a monumental sum (for that era) of 9.3million francs. The grand monument honours those who fought and died for France in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. Names of French victories and generals are inscribed into the arch, with six reliefs of battles, decorated with characters from Roman mythology. Underneath the arch is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War I. Visitors who wish to know more about its history can visit the museum, located within the arch.


Cutting through the city is the Seine, a 777km-long river that starts from northeastern France, flowing through Paris, before ending into the English Channel at Le Havre. Most of Paris’ 37 bridges span the river, including the Pont Alexandre III and Pont Neuf. The best way to get a quick glimpse of everything is via boat tours down the river, which will pass by such attractions such as Notre Dame and the Grand Palace.


If you’re a first timer to Paris, navigating a new city can be a daunting task, especially if you don’t speak the local language. Thankfully, Paris has an intricate transportation network and various options to fit every traveler’s needs.

Upon Arrival 

There are two major airports in Paris, the largest being the Roissy-Charles De Gaulle (CDG) which serves international flights, and Orly, which serves domestic and European flights. A third airport, the Beauvais-Tille Airport, is located further away, in the Northwest of Paris, and receives travellers from European destinations. From the airports, travelers can choose to take the train, car, bus, taxi or shuttle to get around. Here are some tips on the best Paris airport transfers to and from the city:



Photo Credit: Jean Pierre Gallot/Flickr 

If you’re travelling in a family with small children or seniors, a taxi or a shuttle is the best option. It’s safe and convenient, and you don’t have to worry about missing the schedule, unlike with trains or buses. It’s also hassle-free, since you won’t have to lug heavy luggage up and down stairs at the various stations.

But what if I can’t speak French and the driver can’t understand me?

Well, there’s T2 Transfer,which provides private taxi and group shuttle airport transfers to and from Paris. Their drivers are able to communicate well in English, and the service covers all three airports (namely CDG, Orly and Beauvais) to destinations such as the Paris City Centre, Eiffel Tower, Gare de Lyon and Gare du Nord train stations, as well as all Euro Disneyland hotels. Taxis are able to fit three people (additional charges for extra passengers) while the van shuttles are able to fit a maximum of 8 people. Rates are competitive, especially if you are sharing the cab/van with other family members or fellow travellers.

For a seamless experience, book your taxi or shuttle online 48 hours before arrival, and either pay online through Visa and Mastercard, or by cash to the driver once you’ve arrived at your destination safely. The team follows real-time flight changes so be rest assured that your driver will be waiting (at arrivals holding a placard with your name, so you won’t miss it!), even if your flight is delayed.


RATP Bus Route 87 in Paris, France

Credit: Moovit App /flickr 

Buses are no doubt one of the cheaper options available, suitable for those on a tight budget or young travellers, since it might involve having to carry heavy luggage on and off the buses and while waiting at bus stops. From CDG, there is the RoissyBus that runs daily from 5.45am-11pm, departing every 15-20 minutes, for €12 (one way). Meanwhile, Bus Direct offers regular bus services from Paris to Orly, as well as attractions like Arc de Triomphe and Eiffel Tower every 15 minutes (between 5am – 11.40pm). However, due to the stops, it may take a longer time compared to a shuttle or a taxi.

For night travellers, there is a night bus service line called Noctilien (N31 & N120), which operates every 30 – 60 minutes : a little risky if you’re taking a dawn flight and you miss the bus. For peace of mind, I’d recommend just booking the taxi or shuttle from T2 Transfer since they literally pick you up from your doorstep and drop you off at the airport, and vice versa.


RER Train in Paris, France

Picture credit: Moovit App/Flickr 

Another wallet-friendly option is the train. In Paris, the local trains are called RER (Réseau Express Régional), providing connectivity from the airports to the city and attractions such as Disneyland. Again, it might be difficult for families travelling with young ones or seniors due to luggage.  European travelers making connecting international flights from Orly airport to CDG may also use the train as it takes about 60 minutes at a cost of just €17.90.


Happy travels!