BACKGROUND Perak covers an area of 21,000 sq km and has population of about 2 million.
For centuries, Perak has been well known for its rich tin deposits. It is believed that the state derived its name, which means silver in Malay, from the silvery tin ore.
The discovery of tin by Long Jaafar also brought about an influx of Chinese immigrants to Perak. Today, Perak has developed into a harmonious multi-racial society characterised by a diversity of language, culture and heritage.
HISTORY The present sultanate traces its origins to Sultan Muzaffar Shah, the eldest son of the last Sultan of Melaka.
Because of its rich tin deposits, Perak constantly faced outside threats to its sovereignty, including threats from the Achinese, Dutch, Bugis and Siamese. Perak was saved from Siamese domination with British assistance in the 1820s.
In 1896, it became one of the four Federated Malay States.
GETTING THERE By road, Ipoh is only 205 km from Kuala Lumpur and 165 km from Penang.
The national carrier Malaysia Airlines flies daily from Kuala Lumpur to Sultan Azlan Shah Airport near Ipoh while trains ply along the Kuala Lumpur-Ipoh-Butterworth route.