Charcoal Factory Kuala Sepetang

The business of charcoal making from still thrive at Kuala Sepetang. It receives its abundance supply of Bakau Minyak trees and the Bakau Kurap trees from the mangrove forest nearby. The factory has been around since 1930. It is now run by the second generation of Chuah family and still preserves the traditional way of charcoal making.

The factory is located along the northern Perak coastline, just 15 kilometres from Taiping. The charcoal produced here is claimed to be the best charcoal in Asia and has a lot of demand from the large Japanese market. Charcoal is not only used for cooking purposes but also in filtration system and cosmetics. Unknown to many, the charcoal making technique is actually was brought by Japanese during their occupation.

The premise has several long zinc roofed wooden sheds. The stacks of bakau wood logs are arranged on top of each other and the smoking kiln can be found there. There is also a jetty where the boats unload the logs brought from the nearby mangrove forest.

The sheds are where the main process of turning the wood into charcoal takes place. The logs will be heated at 85° C inside the kiln for 10 days to remove the moisture inside them. After 10 days, the temperature of the kiln will be increased to  about 220° C and the logs will be heated for another 12 days. The kiln is left to cool for another week or so before the cured wood can be taken out.

Image by: Kuala Sepetang Charcoal Factory (Mr. Chuah) FB

Operating Hours

Daily:9.00 a.m – 5.00 p.m


Guided Tour: RM 5 per person


Jalan Taiping – Kuala Sepetang, Kuala Sepetang, 34650 Kuala Sepetang, Negeri Perak, Malaysia.

View map.

Hear From Others

I vowed to return in a forceful comeback to document this age-old tradition of energy creation. I definitely would, soon.

Melvin Tong

As can be seen, the factory itself is built from mangrove wood. Nothing goes to waste, even that little vapour/smoke that is vented out is condensed into a balm. This balm is suitable for healing burns and lacerations. The firewood cinders are also collected and stored into drums. These will be sold off, where these cinders are recycled for use in slow burning fire. The ashes are also collected and sold; the purchasers wash, grind these down to powder to make carbon pills!


It was a fruitful and educational visit. Now I know very much more and will be more appreciative of the simple charcoal.

Jotaro Zen

Nearby Attractions

Kuala Gula Bird Sanctuary

The Kuala Gula Bird Sanctuary is located at the northern tip of Matang Forest Reserve in Perak. The sanctuary was established in 1970 by the Wildlife and National Parks to safeguard migratory and resident species of birds. The Sanctuary has won the “Best Tourist Attraction (Natural Attraction)” category during the Malaysia Tourism Awards

Perak Museum

The Perak Museum is a public museum located in Taiping, Perak. It is the first and the oldest museum in Malaysia and highlights the history of Perak.

All Saints’ Taiping Heritage Church

All Saints’ Taiping Heritage Church is the first English Church in the Federated Malay States. It was built in 1887 and belongs to the Anglican Diocese of West Malaysia. After more than a hundred years, the church still retains its original form and was awarded a National Heritage Site by the Malaysian Government.

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