While Ipoh is the administrative capital of Perak, KUALA KANGSAR, 50km northwest, is its royal town, home to the sultans of Perak since the fifteenth century and later the seat of Perak’s first Resident, Hugh Low. Built at a grandiose sweep of Sungai Perak, it’s a small, workaday town, with a colonial monument in the Malay College on Jalan Tun Razak, its elegant columns and porticoes visible as you approach the centre from the train station. Founded in 1905 as an “Eton of the East”, it was a training ground for the sons of Malay nobility, with its discipline and traditions more English than in England, even if the schoolboys were required to wear formal Malay dress, as they still do today.

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