The oldest zoo in Malaysia, Zoo Taiping, is a major zoological park located in the state of Perak in northern Malaysia, a district once considered among the most valuable colonial possessions of first the Dutch and then the British empires, mainly for its rich veins of precious metals.
Situated on 34 acres, the zoo is home to exhibits featuring various amphibians, mammals and reptiles, numbering in excess of 1,300 animals of more than 180 species. Of all the odd things to boast, the zoo trumpets its position as home to the largest number of Stump-tailed Macaques in Malaysia (13, incidentally, which is better than Zoo Negara’s six and Zoo Malacca’s five).
More importantly, it has a night safari. The first of its kind in Malaysia, the night safari is illuminated primarily by fixtures specially designed to replicate the pallor of moonlight. In particular, the safari provides an unusual opportunity to observe nocturnal creatures in a naturally animated state.
Zoo employees encourage visitors to adopt a quiet, contemplative demeanor, so as not to disturb the majority of creatures that will be sleeping, and the unusually sensitive nocturnal animals, accustomed as they are to a greater degree of quietude. Novel though the night safari is, it is also providential in the sense that it provides an excellent opportunity to evade the hordes of people who visit this, the only zoo in northern Malaysia. Like an elusive creature, zoo hours for the excursion are fleeting (8 p.m. to 11 p.m., daily, and 8 p.m. to midnight on Saturdays and holidays).