The name Taiping is made up of two Chinese characters 太 (tai – ‘great’) and 平 (ping – ‘peace’). With a population of 245,182 (in 2013), it is the second largest town in Perak after Ipoh, the state capital. The discovery of tin deposits in the area in the 19th century attracted settlers from China, who were organised into two feuding groups around the Cantonese Ghee Hin (義興) society and the Hakka Hai San (海山) society. British intervention in the early 1870s put an end to the feuding and the town, which used to be known as Klian Pauh, acquired its present name. The British made Taiping the administrative centre for the state of Perak in 1875. The town served this function until 1937 when the state capital was moved to Ipoh. The town sits on a coastal plain at the foothills of the Bintang Range. This topography is responsible for the copious rainfall for which the town is known. The average annual rainfall is about 4,000mm in Taiping while the peninsula’s average is 2,000mm – 2,500mm. An umbrella is not needed, though, as most of the time, it is just a drizzle. Locals do not wonder whether it will rain on a particular day; they wonder what time it will rain. Taiping was ranked Top 3 Sustainable Cities in the world and home to a number of “firsts” in Malaysia.