The town was founded on the river bank of the Perak River. The river forms an oxbow meander as it flows through the town, and the town is built around the oxbow. During high-tides, some parts of the town will be flooded with water even though there are watergates and banks to protect the town. Various measures taken by the government to solve the problem have seen relatively few floods in Teluk Intan nowadays. There has been speculation that the river's flow will erode the narrow neck of land in between the loops of the meander effectively turning Teluk Intan into an island.
The town is on Malaysia Federal Route 58 (Jalan Changkat Jong and Jalan Maharaja Lela), 151 (Jalan Sultan Abdullah) and 147 (Jalan Padang Tembak).
The area around Teluk Intan was originally populated by refugees from the Malacca Sultanate who were part of the entourage of the Raja Muzaffar Shah, the eldest son of the last Sultan of Melaka, Sultan Mahmud Shah. Upon fleeing the Portuguese conquest of Melaka in 1511, a new kingdom was established on the banks of the Perak River near what is now Teluk Intan, and the court remained there until its relocation to Kuala Kangsar in the northern part of the state later in the 19th century.
This legacy can be seen in the choice of Teluk Intan as the location where the official residences of the Raja Muda (Crown Prince) and Raja di Hilir (4th in line of succession to the Perak throne) of Perak under the reign of Sultan Idris Shah. The town is one of four towns that play a role in Perak's complex ruler succession system. According to the system, a crown prince stayed at Teluk Intan Palace before entering the next stage of becoming Raja Bendahara (Prime Prince). Only after becoming Raja Bendahara will he proceed to be Raja Muda (Crown Prince) and then Sultan of Perak.
This succession system was changed by the former Sultan, Almarhum Sultan Azlan Shah just before he was appointed the Yang Dipertuan Agong. His son was the then Raja Muda (now the Sultan of Perak) and did not live in Teluk Intan. The former palace is located just outside the town, and has fallen into disrepair.
The town of Teluk Intan developed around a few small villages in the location, such as Durian Sebatang, Pasir Bedamar, and Batak Rabit. A plan to build a township linking the few villages was drawn up by Sir Archibald Anson during the late 19th century, and the township was named after him in 1882. Teluk Intan developed into a port, and many agricultural products and tin were exported from it. The fourth railway track in Malaya was built connecting Tapah and Teluk Intan, showing the port town's importance during the British protectorate age.
Teluk Intan was also home to the meeting between Raja Abdullah, Dato' Maharajalela and other Malay chieftains who plotted to kill J. W. W. Birch, the first British Resident of Perak. The meeting was held in Durian Sebatang. Birch was later killed in Pasir Salak while bathing in the river.
The last major engagement during the Malayan Emergency was fought in the marshes near Teluk Intan in 1958, and ended with the surrender of the local Malayan Races Liberation Army forces to government forces.
By the early 1980s the town was the third largest town in Perak. Teluk Intan served as the major administrative and business settlement for smaller neighbouring towns such as Tapah, Bidor, Bagan Datoh and Hutan Melintang. Until the mid-1990s Sabak Bernam, a town in the neighbouring state of Selangor, also dependeded on Teluk Intan for most of their basic services. Even their telephone area code was registered using Perak's area code of +605 instead of +603 that is used in Selangor. Acute medical cases would be transferred to Teluk Intan Hospital as their hospital did not have the equipment or expertise.
As the Perak River became shallower each year due to upstream erosion and silt deposition near Teluk Intan, the town lost its two most important roles in Perak's economy which was being an export harbour for tin and rubber and as a petroleum distribution centre for Shell Malaysia. This is because big oil tankers and cargo ships were no longer able to sail into the town's port. By the end of the 1980s, Shell Malaysia transferred their petroleum storing facilities to the coastal town of Lumut in Manjung, located 60 km from Teluk Intan. As the economic activity declined, it also lost its railway facilities which connected the town with Tapah and the national railway network.
During the 1990s, economic activities in Teluk Intan continued to decline. This situation forced the younger generation to migrate to bigger cities such as Ipoh, Kuala Lumpur, Klang and Shah Alam in search of better jobs. Ironically this caused the town to suffer a shortage in labour supply especially in the agriculture sector, resulting in an increase of migrant workers from Indonesia and Bangladesh.
With the development of a new town centre along with the completion of new coastal highway from Klang to Sabak Bernam in late 1999, Teluk Intan began to enjoy a resurgence in its economic activity. In April 2004, the town was made the fourth municipality (having upgraded to Municipal Council status, or Majlis Perbandaran) in Perak after Ipoh, Taiping and Manjung.
The main economic activities in Teluk Intan are oil palm cultivation and palm oil production. Many plantations around Teluk Intan are owned by big corporations such as Sime Darby and United Plantations (UP).
There are some other industries in Teluk Intan including shipbuilding and the textile industry. Shopping centres, modern cinema, shops, and educational institutions also bring many people to Teluk Intan weekly.
As it is the major town in Hilir Perak, Teluk Intan's shopping centres attract shoppers from nearby smaller townships and the surrounding area. They include:Rapid Mall – Giant Hypermarket, Jalan Changkat Jong
Kompleks Aik Aik, Jalan Mahkota
Kompleks Menara Condong, Jalan Ah Cheong
The Store, Jalan Ah Cheong
TF Value Mart, Jalan Maharajalela
TF Value Mart, Jalan Sungai Manik
The main healthcare centres in Teluk Intan town are:Teluk Intan Hospital (providing secondary health care service)
Pusat Pakar Rajindar Singh
Teluk Intan General Clinic
Anson Bay Medical Centre
One of the town attractions is a Leaning Tower erected in 1885 by a Chinese builder, Mr. Leong Choon Cheong. It started to tilt four years after its construction finished due to an underground stream. The tower was originally used as a water tower supplying the area of the town. It had a clock at the top, which still rings every 15 minutes. The tower also served as a beacon to guide ships into Teluk Intan Port. Currently it is a local tourist attraction, and no longer stores water. The area around the tower was paved with bricks and became a plaza. The main street at the centre of Teluk Intan, Jalan Ah Cheong, is named after Leong Choon Cheong to commemorate his contribution.
GPS Coordinates: 4°1.544′N, 101°1.133′E
Another attraction is the 'Batu Tenggek' (Sitting Boulder) which is situated at a junction in the town centre. There is a local legend that the rock was placed there by a British soldier, and was originally the size of a matchbox but grew bigger over the years. The boulder is now part of a war memorial commemorating the dead of World War I. The plaque on the memorial carries a line from Laurence Binyon's famous poem, "For the Fallen":At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them
This palace was once the official residence of The Raja Muda of Perak. After the demise of the Raja Muda, the palace was neglected, and drug addicts used and stripped the building. Some people believe the remains of the palace to be haunted. It is illegal to enter the grounds without permission, because it is the property of the Sultan of Perak. The ruin is located next to the mansion of Dato. Mah, near Jalan Sekolah.
There is also a famous temple complex in Teluk Intan, known as Hock Soon Keong (Hock Soon Temple) dedicated to Mazu. The origins of the temple are unknown, while the main temple building (not the original one) was constructed in 1883, as indicated by a legend painted on the building. Hock Soon Temple was the centrepoint of all Hokkien Chinese in Teluk Intan during the British colonial era. The local Hokkien people would congregate at the temple to solve all problems, from giving aid to the poor to solving fights between clans. The local Hokkien people used to select three local Hokkiens, usually businessmen and famous men to settle their problems. The temple was built with Southern Chinese architecture, the most notable feature being the beautifully decorated upturned eaves. There is also a century old mosque just opposite the temple, which is frequently mentioned as a typical depiction of religious harmony in Malaysia.
The temple is popularly called 'Perak Thendayuthapani Temple', and also as Malaysia's Palani Andavar. Construction of the temple began in 1926. Financial support was provided by the Nattukottai Chettiars (also known as the Nagarathars), a prominent mercantile community with origins in Tamil Nadu, India.
The most prominent festival held at this temple is the Chitra Pournami during the Tamil month of Chithrai (April–May). The Chitra Pournami festival lasts three days. On the third day of the festival (the day of Pournami, full moon), the Silver Chariot (Velli Ratham) is taken in procession. This velli ratham was brought to the temple in the year 1932. The procession's route usually covers the entire old town of Teluk Intan.
The temple is managed by the Nagarathars of seven towns including Teluk Intan, Tapah, Kampar, Bidor, SitiawanPantai remis and Lumut.Now there is no representation from Bidor and Pantai remis. They make donations annually at festival time. The day-to-day management of the temple is entrusted to three Nagarathar families, who hold office in 57, 59 and 61, Jalan Bandar.
This temple is one of eighteen constructed by the Nattukottai Chettiars in Malaysia.
Another attraction is the Sungai Kerawai Halt where the first train crash in Malaya occurred in July 1888.
There are two public university branch campuses located in Teluk Intan. The campuses are Universiti Teknologi Mara Teluk Intan Campus for Faculty of Medicine UiTM  completed in October 2010 and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Teluk Intan Campus of Faculty of Medicine UKM. Both are located beside Teluk Intan Hospital.
Other higher education is currently provided by the Teluk Intan Community College (established 2001) and the Teluk Intan Hospital is used as a teaching hospital by the Universiti Kuala Lumpur Royal College of Medicine Perak.
Being one of the principal towns in the Hilir Perak, Teluk Intan has over 100 primary schools and more than 20 secondary schools. Schools in established prior to the Independence of Malaya in 1957 include:Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Horley Methodist (1899)
Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Convent (1919)
Sekolah Menengah Jenis Kebangsaan San Min
Sekolah Menengah San Min (SUWA)
Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan St. Anthony (1932)
Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Sultan Abdul Aziz (1952)
SMK Seri Perak (1957)
Bethany Home Epilepsy and autism centre (1966)
SMK Raja Muda Musa, Teluk Intan
There is one boarding school in Teluk Intan that is Sekolah Menengah Sains Teluk Intan and one technical school, Sekolah Menengah Teknik Teluk Intan.
Many Malay delicacies can be found in Teluk Intan. These include 'mee rebus' Mastan Ghani, a boiled noodle dish served with a moderately spicy and sweet gravy; a more spicy noodle dish called Mee Jawa; nasi kandar, satay, and fruit rojak.
Another attraction is a beverage made of rose syrup mixed with coconut milk or milk called 'Ais Bandung'. This beverage can be found near the wet market, located on the northern riverbank.
The local Chinese community has many famous delicacies as well. One of them is 'Heong Peah' (Fragrant Biscuit). Heong Peah has a crispy pastry layer outside and a sticky filling inside (also known as beleko). It contains a mixture of flour, oil, maltose, sugar, sesame, and shallots. The 'Heong Peah' market in Teluk Intan is dominated by two family-run enterprises: Sin Guan Tin and Sin Joo Heong. Locals fondly refer to the latter as the 'Tiger' brand or mark or 'Tiger Biscuit'. The former's trademark is a butterfly.
Another famous delicacy in Teluk Intan is the 'Chee Cheong Fun', a variation of Kueh Teow containing turnip, whereas the Hong Kong Chee Cheong Fun has prawns wrapped inside.
Chinese curry mee and a variety of other food can be found at "Glutton Square" located at the corner of Jalan Sithabaram Pillai and Jalan Ah Cheong. There is also a food court (locals call it "Bumbung Biru") in front of Menara Jam Condong "The Leaning Tower".
Another long-standing tourist sight for more than 25 years is Teluk Intan's laksa sold from a bicycle by "Uncle Laksa". This man rides around the town areas such as Jln Woo Saik Hong, Jln Pasir Bedamar, Jln Ah Cheong and Jln Pasar to sell his trademark laksa, cooked on his custom-made 3-wheeler bicycle. Other types of foods found in Teluk Intan include western-style fast food restaurants and Japanese sushi.Antony Selvanayagam; Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Penang
Jamal Abdillah; pop singer and actor
Joe Flizzow; hip-hop artiste from the group Too Phat
Lau Wai Fong; Artist
Tan Eng Huat; comics artist
Mah Siew KeongMember of Parliament Teluk Intan and Minister to the Prime Minister Departement
Mohammed Hanif Omar; Inspector General of the Royal Malaysian Police from 1974 to 1994
Weeratunge Edward Perera, MBE; educator and social entrepreneur
Loke Yuen Yow; Former Deputy Finance Minister of Malaysia and current Deputy Secretary General of the Malaysian Chinese Association
Bandar Maharani (Muar), Johor, Malaysia.