Sultan Azlan Shah Gallery

Top choice in Perak

This former royal palace, also known as Istana Kota and Istana Hulu, is a showy mash-up of Renaissance, neoclassical and Moorish styles. Completed in 1903 its marbled hallways now host exhibitions honouring the life of the 34th sultan of Perak, Sultan Azlan Shah (1928–2014): see his rotating cabinet of gem-crusted watches, sunglasses, items from his school days and a separate building sheltering his Rolls-Royces and other luxury vehicles.

Other royal family treasures include HRH's swords and kris (elaborately carved daggers with jewel-studded scabbards) and the fanciest baby cradle you've ever seen. State gifts are also displayed, including Malaysia's largest recorded fungus. The royal reaction to this mighty mushroom is not described.

When we passed through, renovation works were due to begin; check ahead before making a special trip.

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