Matang Mangrove Forest Reserve in Kuala Sepetang, just 15km away from Taiping, is the largest mangrove reserve in Malaysia (over 40,000 hectares in size) established since 1902. It stretches for 50km from Kuala Gula to Pantai Remis along Perak's coastline, hosting over 75 species of birds, some migratory and other rich coastal wildlife.
About 80 percent of it is used for coal production under sustainable harvest policies, while the remainder is completely protected for biodiversity preservation. The mangrove landscape is dominated by Bakau trees that fuel the charcoal industry, but the entire reserve is also important as a breeding site for coastal birds and commercial fish.
Entry to the park begins along the old trunk road (route 74) from Taiping to Kuala Sepetang, as it nears the estuary. An extensive series of well-maintained boardwalks take visitors through the mangroves, allowing them to see the different types of trees, ferns and shrubs that grow in swamps; locals use it as a jogging track.
Boats can be chartered from a jetty in the park for river cruising adventures during the night and day, or for fishing activities. Small wooden chalets provide cheap overnight accommodation for visitors along with facilities such as washrooms, a meeting hall and small local restaurant. The park is open throughout the day, but the entrance is gated at night.