Ipoh Off The Beaten Path

  • Kellie's Castle.
    Kellie's Castle.
    by IreneMcKay
  • Kellie's Castle.
    Kellie's Castle.
    by IreneMcKay
  • Kellie's Castle.
    Kellie's Castle.
    by IreneMcKay

Most Recent Off The Beaten Path in Ipoh

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    Kellie's Castle - grounds.

    by IreneMcKay Written Feb 14, 2014
    Kellas House through the arched doorway.
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    It is also worth taking a stroll around the castle grounds. One side is bordered by the river. Close to Kellie's castle there are the stables. There are large grassy areas and at the far end there is an arched doorway which may at one time have been the main entrance to the castle.

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    • Castles and Palaces

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    Kellie's Castle - Hindu Temple.

    by IreneMcKay Written Feb 14, 2014
    Hindu temple.
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    I assumed the Hindu temple that Kellie Smith built for his Indian workers to appease the gods when the workers were all dying of Spanish flu would have been on the castle grounds, but it is not.

    To get to the temple exit the castle, cross the bridge, return to the main road and go left. You can see the temple in the distance from the top of the castle. We got our driver to take us there, though you could walk.

    The temple was closed when we got there, but we were able to see the statue of Kellie Smith on the roof of the temple.

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    Kellie's Castle - interior and ghosts.

    by IreneMcKay Written Feb 14, 2014
    Kellie's Castle - interior.
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    The interior of Kellie's Castle is interesting. One room has been furnished to show how it may have looked if the castle had been finished. The rest is empty. There's a very,very dark wine cellar, lots of spiral staircases, hidden exits, secret tunnels. Not being an expert on history, I don't know how politically stable life was in Malaya at this time, but it certainly seemed as if Kellie Smith wanted to be able to spirit his family away at the first signs of any trouble.

    The castle has a tall tower where the elevator would have been. On the rooftop there is a flat area for entertaining guests. The plans for the castle are lost, but I watched a documentary on-line about the construction and history of the castle; experts reckon they may have intended to top the castle with domes like the popular Moghul style architecture that was found in many parts of British Malaya.

    Near the furnished room there were some photos of Kellie Smith and his family during their time in Malaya.

    I noticed as I read the information plaques in each room a bit of an obsession with ghostly occurrences at the castle. The castle is supposed to be haunted by Kellie Smith himself, his wife, his daughter as a child. Even the stables were described as haunted and filled with weird incense smells. I did not find the castle at all scary, though I may not say that if you locked me in there at night!!!! I think the ghost stories arise from the castle's sad history, the fact it was left as an overgrown ruin for a long time and the unusualness of such a building in Malaysia. Old buildings there would be temples, mosques, palaces - a castle is different and therefore may seem a little creepy.

    I even found a link on-line to a group of Malaysian ghost hunters who spent a night there.

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    Kellie's Castle - then it all went wrong.

    by IreneMcKay Updated Feb 14, 2014
    Kellas House.
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    One of the first things to go wrong during the construction of the castle was that the Indian construction workers who had been brought in to built the castle were struck down by a virulent strain of Spanish Flu. Several workers died, the others approached Kellie Smith to build a temple nearby to placate the gods and take away the bad luck. Kellie Smith readily agreed. In return for this act of kindness, the workers built a statue of Kellie Smith beside the gods and goddesses on top of the temple wall. It is believed that a tunnel was built to the temple from the castle.

    In 1926 William Kellie Smith went to Lisbon, Portugal. It is not known exactly why, but it is believed he may have been purchasing the elevator for his castle. While he was there he contracted pneumonia and died at the age of 56.

    William's wife, Agnes, was devastated and decided to leave Malaya and return to Scotland. She sold Kellas House and the unfinished Kellie's Castle to a British company called Harrisons and Crossfield.

    For a long period the castle was simply left to fall apart and the jungle began to grow over the ruins. Locals used to swim across the river and visit the ruins. They were creepy, so many ghost stories grew up around the castle.

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    Kellie's Castle - History

    by IreneMcKay Written Feb 14, 2014
    Kellie's Castle -has one furnished room.
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    Entrance to Kellie's Castle is 10RM for non- Malaysians and 5RM for Malaysians. Outside the castle there is a little shop, cafe and toilets.

    The castle was built by a Scottish man called William Kellie Smith. He was born in 1870 in Kellas, Scotland. In 1890 when he was 20 years old, he arrived in Malaya to work as a Civil Engineer. He worked in Charles Alma Baker's survey firm. This firm had won concessions from the state government to clear 9000 hectares of forests in Batu Gajah, Perak. Using the money he made working here, Kellie Smith bought 1000 acres of jungle land in the district of Kinta and started planting rubber trees. He also started working in the tin mining industry.

    Kellie Smith named his land Kinta Kellas after his home farm in Scotland which was called Easter Kellas. He also started up the Kinta Kellas Tin Dredging Company. Then he returned home to marry his Scottish sweetheart, Agnes. The couple came to live in Malaysia in 1903. The next year Agnes gave birth to a baby girl and they called her Helen.

    In 1909 Kellie Smith built his first mansion, Kellas House. This still stands next to and linked with Kellie's Castle but it was badly damaged in the war. Although the family wanted more children, it was difficult for Agnes to get pregnant. Eventually in 1915 she gave birth to a baby boy and they called him, Anthony.

    Now that he had a son and heir Kellie Smith started planning a huge castle with Scottish, Moorish and Indian architecture. He brought in 70 craftsmen from Madras India to help him realise his dream. All the bricks and marble for the castle were imported from India. Included in the plan for the castle's six story tower was Malaya's first elevator - the empty shaft is still there, but the elevator never got installed. There was also a rooftop courtyard for entertaining guests.

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    Kellie's Castle - getting there.

    by IreneMcKay Written Feb 14, 2014
    Kellie's Castle.
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    I like old places so when I read about Kellie's Castle and discovered it was only around 20 minutes drive away from Ipoh, I really wanted to go there. From reading up on up it, it seemed there was not much in the way of public transport to there, so we decided to take a taxi. I hate using taxis and will avoid them if possible. We made enquiries in the hotel to get a general idea of price, but they just said they did not know. Then we asked in the tourist office. They said 30RM one way. We asked how much for take us, wait for us and bring us back and they did not know. We had noticed a taxi rank outside Ipoh Station so we went there. The price started at 120RM to go there, wait an hour, come back. Eventually we got it for 90RM and one and a half hours there. As to whether that is good value, terrible value, I've no idea. Personally, I found the trip very enjoyable and our driver was a very pleasant Indian man who never rushed us and was also happy to take us to the little Hindu temple near Kellie's Castle.

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    Ling Sen Tong Cave Temple.

    by cachaseiro Written Jul 9, 2012
    Ling Sen Tong Cave Temple in Ipoh.

    Ling Sen Tong Cave Temple is one of several cave temples around Ipoh and i decided to visit this one as it was on my way out of Ipoh and made a good little rest stop.
    The Temple is a classical chinese temple, but build in to the cave which gives it a spectacular setting.
    There is a very nice little garden in front of it with various sculptures and the place was very popular with local tourists the day i went there.
    The temple is a little south of the center of Ipoh just before you leave town.
    Just take the main street heading south out of town and you will see it on your left.

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    Pet Store Perils

    by global-drifter Written Nov 9, 2010

    I discover a pet store in the central part of town on Jalan Sultan Abdul (jalan translates to road in Malay), that specializes in all things exotic. Now they called it a pet store, but by the look of the cages and cramped condition, perhaps 'exotic animal prison' would be a more fitting title. Poor-luck puppies must sleep on iron bars, as no bedding is provided. Iguanas rest on top of tortoises, forced to dwell in a cage with too many inhabitants and not enough room.

    Despite its many faults and grievances, I must admit, this pet store houses a wider variety of animals than I've seen in some zoos. To name a few; sugar gliders, both turtles and tortoises, fighting roosters, chinchillas, tapirs, iguanas, kittens, puppies and even an African Grey Parrot.

    I try coaxing a phrase out of this one, but no luck. What inspiration could he find stacked three cages high? I will try again tomorrow, and perhaps bring some snacks for all the animals. I will need to feed them discreetly though, as the shopkeeper has a fierce gaze and watches me like a hawk and not like a parrot.

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    Pet Store Perils

    by global-drifter Written Nov 9, 2010

    I discover a pet store in the central part of town on Jalan Sultan Abdul (jalan translates to road in Malay), that specializes in all things exotic. Now they called it a pet store, but by the look of the cages and cramped condition, perhaps 'exotic animal prison' would be a more fitting title. Poor-luck puppies must sleep on iron bars, as no bedding is provided. Iguanas rest on top of tortoises, forced to dwell in a cage with too many inhabitants and not enough room.

    Despite its many faults and grievances, I must admit, this pet store houses a wider variety of animals than I've seen in some zoos. To name a few; sugar gliders, both turtles and tortoises, fighting roosters, chinchillas, tapirs, iguanas, kittens, puppies and even an African Grey Parrot.

    I try coaxing a phrase out of this one, but no luck. What inspiration could he find stacked three cages high? I will try again tomorrow, and perhaps bring some snacks for all the animals. I will need to feed them discreetly though, as the shopkeeper has a fierce gaze and watches me like a hawk and not like a parrot.

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    Perak Tong Cave Temple

    by Willettsworld Written Aug 21, 2010

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

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    Perak Tong (Perak Cave) Temple is located at Gunung Tasek about 6km north of Ipoh and houses over 40 Buddha statues and many murals. The cave was discovered in 1926 by Chong Sen Yee and his wife Choong Chan Yoke who came from Jiao-Ling province in China. On approval from the Perak State Government, they started to develop a cave temple. Over a 50 year period, they worked in and around the cave temple. A 40-metre high statue of Buddha in the temple is the tallest and largest of its kind in Malaysia.

    Open: 8am-5pm.
    Take Reliance Bus 141 from Ipoh.

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    Old Federal Building

    by Willettsworld Written Aug 21, 2010

    Built in 1899 by a Ceylonese architect, C.H. Labrooy, this building was used as the Anderson Primary School between 1909 to 1919. Up until the 1960s, it was used as the Perak Chief Ministers office and the State Secretariat. The design is Neo-Classical with Roman pillars.

    Jalan Kuala Kangsar

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    Beruas Museum

    by chiabh Updated Apr 15, 2009

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    royal grave...

    The museum is located in the town center next to the post office building... The museum is a repository of the country’s rich history and is one of the few reminders of the former capital of the great ancient kingdom of Gangga Negara...

    On display are Chinese ceramics from the Qing Dynasty, old tin money in the shape of animals, incense containers from the ancient days of Hinduism, 19th Century plates from England, bamboo prawn traps, a rusty 128kg cannon, earthen water jars and other artefacts...

    The Gangga Negara kingdom was founded in the 8th Century by Raja Ganji Sarjuna from Kedah... During its Golden Age, the present districts of Bidor, Tanjung Rambutan, Ipoh and Sungei Siput were under its control... In 1025 and 1026, Raja Chola Rajendran of Coromandel in south India attacked Gangga Negara, leading to its collapse...

    After a lapse of some 500 years, the kingdom of Beruas was later established in the 15th century when a prince from Sumatra, named Malik al-Mansur, landed in the area after sailing upriver along the Sungai Beruas... The kingdom of Beruas grew through trade and paid tribute to Sultan Mahmud Shah of Malacca... Unfortunately, in the 17th Century, Sungai Beruas became heavily silted and the kingdom lost its importance as a trading port... Slowly, it declined into oblivion as its population moved away for greener pastures...

    The museum is opened from 9.30am to 5.00pm daily except Sundays when it is closed... Admission is free but visitors must sign a visitors book...

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    Warisan Kapal Korek - The Heritage of Dredge

    by RachelLeung Updated Apr 21, 2008

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    The Dredge
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    24 March 2008

    I have often been asked about the tin industry in Malaysia by many of my overseas friends and it was a discovery that I made with Warisan Kapal Korek (or “The Heritage of (Tin) Dredge” in English) in Batu Gajah recently that brought my 3 relatives from Hong Kong to visit it.

    We drove from Ipoh, taking the exit at Simpang Pulai toll. From there on, we followed the road to Kellie’s Castle, and entered into the Batu Gajah town. From there we followed the direction to Tanjung Tualang, a small town famous for its fresh water prawns, and reached Warisan Kapal Korek.

    The dredge forms a mammoth landscape in the vast openness of the place. It is parked on a mining pool. The place has very few trees and one can imagine how the tin miners toiled under the harsh sun not too long ago.

    There is a briefing of the tin mining process at a meeting room where photos are shown and Steven, our guide, is on hand to explain everything to us. It is very educational and I highly recommend this place for family outing and schoolchildren. After all, the history of many cities and towns in Malaysia is intertwined closely with the history of tin mining.

    The most exciting part is visiting the dredge. It is about 70m in length and 35 m in height. When we are inside, we have to climb steps and there are platforms where we can see the dredge equipment. Reaching the top is no mean achievement for someone like me who is acrophobia. Going through every floor, we feel like we are in a scene out of one of Jackie Chan’s action movies. There are irons frames, large machinery, buckets and conveyor everywhere and we have to pick our way through carefully. It is an adventure not to be missed.

    Due to the time constraint, we returned to Ipoh after the visit. However it is recommended that a traveler travels from Ipoh should make a stop at Kellie’s castle (which takes about 30 to 45 minutes to visit) first, then to the Warisan Kapal Korek, the tour of which is about 1.5 hours. Afterwards one can drive to Tuajung Tuallang for a lunch of fresh water prawns before returning to Ipoh. This will make a nice half-day tour.

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    • School Holidays
    • Archeology

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    Lata Kinjang

    by chiabh Updated Apr 4, 2007

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    lata kinjang ~ vertical view...
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    Lata Kinjang is one of the most majestic waterfalls in Malaysia. It is visible from along the NS Expressway as you travel from Tapah to Ipoh but is not accessible from the highway... To go to the waterfall, you have to exit at the Tapah interchange, and then drive about 18km on the trunk road towards Kampar town...

    The main attraction of this waterfall is the impressive series of cascades winding down a 100-meter drop... The whole length of the waterfall is about 850m high... There are parking bays and eating stalls for picnickers. Visitors may also visit an orchid garden and a bamboo park. The area is inhabited by aborigines (known as Orang Asli), with villages around Lata Iskandar and Kuala Woh...

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    Gua Tempurung

    by chiabh Updated Apr 4, 2007

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    guide to the cave...
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    Gua Tempurung literally means Coconut Shell Cave. The cave is very popular among caving enthusiasts. It is more than 3 km long and is one of the longest caves in Peninsula Malaysia. Part of it has been developed as a show cave with electric lighting and walkways for easy access. An internal underground river runs for about 1.6km through the hill. There are three very large chambers with some spectacular stalactites and stalagmites.

    Heritage Acres provides 3 type of tours in exploring the caves... viz Golden Flowstone, Top of the World and Short River Adventure... and these are of different lengths and difficulty.... The wet tour will need require a change of clothing after the tour...

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