Wang Kelian Bird Race in Perlis

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Perlis Bird Race

The northern part of Malaysia will experience a Wang Kelian Bird Race in Perlis, supposedly happening at the end of October 2023 (Update: 27-29 October). At the time of writing this article, there has been no information about this birdwatching event.

However, Birdwatching Asia has heard some rumours about this birding event that is supposed to take place up north, at the smallest state in Malaysia, bordering Southern Thailand. Update: This event is now called the Northernmost Bird Race in Malaysia.

Wang Kelian Bird Race in Perlis

For now, it is unsure if the official name will be the Perlis Bird Race or Wang Kelian Bird Race, where the area is located at the foot of the karstic Nakawan Range and was once known as a famous border town market and also has a small border crossing area into Thailand.

Update: The event is now called the Northernmost Bird Race in Malaysia and is held from 27-29 October at the Dewan Serbaguna, Taman Negeri Perlis or Perlis State Park. This is a closed-door event, but if anyone is in the area, you are free to drop by.

The event is also focusing on schools, but there is an open category for the bird race. The entire Perlish Bird Race will be heavily protocol, so expect a lot of speeches, VIPs and this and that. Below are several new photos for the event, which may be of interest to anyone heading there.

Wang Kelian Bird Race 2023
The official banner for the Perlis Bird Race.
Bird Photo Race Wang Kelian Perlis
Information for the Bird Photo Race at Wang Kelian, Perlis.
Bird Race Category Wang Kelian Perlis
The bird race categories and prizes.
Program Wang Kelian Bird Race
The three-day program for the event here in Perlis.

Wang Kelian is also known to be the base area or meeting point for anyone visiting the Perlis State Park. In August of 2023, a sighing of a pair of Dusky Eagle Owls (Bubo coromandus) went viral on the birding social media community, which saw most birders and photographers scramble up there.

Wang Kelian Perlis Birdwatching
Photographers at Wang Kelian during the Dusky Eagle-Owl phase.

This, in return, gave a little more publicity to Wang Kelian, as this part of Malaysia was known to be one of the least visited destinations. Bird watchers and photographers from the Klang Valley quickly made plans to travel up and see this owl.

Also, there were mostly bird photographers from all over Malaysia who flocked up to get that ‘lifer’ shot of the Dusky Eagle Owl at the Wang Kelian View Point car park area. However, we at Birdwatching Asia did not attempt this as we are not bird chasers.

So, after about two months of Dusky Eagle Owl photos being posted over and over on social media platforms, namely Facebook, the fad has now moved on to some other viral bird. But the publicity created was a plus point for the Wang Kelian Bird Race.

Wang Kelian Dusky Eagle-Owl Perlis
The Dusky Eagle-Owl attracted many photographers from as far as Hong Kong and Singapore.

How to Go to Wang Kelian?

First, you need to drive up to Kangar, the capital of Perlis and from there, it takes approximately 30 minutes to drive to Wang Kelian. For first-timers, we recommend using Google Maps or Waze to key in Wang Kelian and follow the driving instructions.

As the capital, this would be the best place to stay as there are hotels, Air BnB and homestays throughout Kangar. There are also all the general facilities available here.

Wang Kelian Dusky Eagle Owl
Dusky Eagle-Owl in flight at Wang Kelian, Perlis.

Birdwatching Locations in Perlis

If you plan to visit this part of Malaysia, you might as well take advantage of the other birdwatching locations around Perlis, all short drives from Kangar. Obviously, if you plan to visit here, you must spend at least one night at least.

Right now, we can only think of a few locations in Perlis for birding, which are;

  •  Wang Kelian
  • Perlis State Park
  • Tasik Melati Recreational Park
  • Chuping  Valley

Migratory Birds Seen in Perlis

According to some sources, several interesting migratory birds can be seen in Perlis from September to March, which include;

  • Bronze-Winged Jacana
  • Indochinese Roller
  • Siamese Pied Myna
  • Red Collared Dove
  • Racket-Tailed Treepie
Birding Wang Kelian Perlis
The beautiful scenery at the Wang Kelian View Point.
Conclusion

The information here has been edited, and  I also added new photos as information for the bird race here in Wang Kelian. Again, this is mostly a closed-door event, which is on its trial, but if you are in the area, why not drop by?

Hopefully, this birding event in Perlis will be made into a proper international-level birding event instead of just doing it like a local council-level low-key event. And for more info, you can check our list of birdwatching events and festivals in Malaysia.

Whoever is organising the Wang Kelian Bird Race in Perlis, good luck and hope the event will be successful. For those of you who have not been here, when you have the chance, visit this beautiful place. The Wang Kelian View Point is one of the must-visit places in Perlis on a good day. Try not to go during the haze or rainy season, as it will be rather disappointing.

About Bird Watching Asia

Bird Watching Asia is a self-funded project to promote bird watching in Malaysia and around Asia.

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