Bruas, a small town in Perak
I admit, Bruas (or Beruas as it is sometimes spelled) is not a spectacular town to visit. In fact, why would you visit it anyway? Let's see if it is worth to take the effort to make the trip from Lumut.
Bruas is located 47 km north east of Lumut and Pangkor. It's basically a one street town on the southern slopes of the hills with Gunung Bubu as highest point with the top over 1500 meters.
The town doesn't look at first sight anything exciting. There are no hotels, a couple of local restaurants and that's basically it. But wait, there is a little museum! And there is Hutan Lipur Ulu Licin.
Beruas got its name after a tree: beruas or wild mangosteen. Local and oral history tells the tale that the town was established by a prince from Aceh, Sumatra. The prince sailed from Sumatra to Perak and traveled around. When resting under a tree he was informed this was a Beruas tree, and named the land after the tree.
These days the beruas trees are extinct in Bruas town center but can still be found in nearby villages.
The first mention of of the town in history goes back to the early 16th century. In 1512 it was mentioned by a Portuguese geographer who traveled in Perak. By that time the area was already an important trading center in tin though quantities were not very big. It was still important enough for Thai and Chinese traders to come. The museum shows artifacts in in Chinese porcelain and cloths.
By the end of the 17th century the port of Manjung and Bruas was declining due to various factors. The Dinding river dried up due to extensive tin mining, thus ocean ships couldn't go deep into the back lands.
Second the creation of the State of Perak sovereignty and installation of Sultan Muzhafar Shah as first sultan in Perak in 1528 Beruas and Manjung came under state control. The sultan's residence was located 50 km from Beruas which resulted that the town became less important.
With the years the town lost all importance and became lost in history. Fortunately the Bruas river banks have produced large quantities of Chinese ceramics and other tools. In the area tombstones and ceramics have been found.
Beruas Muzium Perak Darul Rizuan
The museum is located at the main street in the direction Taiping close to the central market. The official name is Beruas Muzium Perak Darul Rizuan. It's a one room museum which displays archaeological findings of the Bruas area. Although small, it's worth a visit.
Hutan Lipur Ulu Licin
The Hutan Lipur Ulu Licin is a park 5 km north of the present town center. It's a little known picnic spot with waterfalls and lush rainforest jungle around. Apart of locals from the town, it sees hardly any tourists.
The place is spectacular except the mounts of rubbish left by the picnickers. But the falls, especially after some days of heavy rain are beautiful and great for an afternoon jungle swim. To get to the park, you will either need your own transport (I usually cycle there) or take a taxi and organize to be picked up later.
Just a km or so on the way to Hutan Lipur Ulu Licin there's a Chinese temple worth spending a short visit. The strange shaped green roof will immediately attract attention.
A few km south of the town center you can visit the tombstones of forgotten kings in Kampong Kota.
Is it worth to spend a day to visit Bruas?
At first sight, you think it's no more than a lost little town with little to keep you here. However, the museum and Hutan Lipur Ulu Licin are worth the effort.
Car or other private transport
Take the road from Lumut to Ipoh, pass Ayar Tawar and take the junction to Bruas. It's 47 km from Lumut. Coming from Ipoh, take the road #5 to Lumut and take the junction to Beruas.
If you are more adventurous and you come from Ipoh, take the Pusing junction (you can visit Papan, see my page about that route on my bicycle site) to Parit and from there the direction to Beruas.
From Taiping you have to take the road to Lumut. If you are in Kuala Kangsar, take the road to Lumut via Manong. On all roads directions to Bruas are clearly stated.
Public transport is more difficult. Take a bus from Lumut to Kuala Kangsar and get off in Beruas, it should take 1 to 1.5 hours. You can continue to both Taiping and Kuala Kangsar.