Beneath the limestone hills of Perak, the handsome fairy-tale tower of Kellie’s Castle look down from its commanding escarpment onto the verdant agricultural land of Batu Gajah. In these surroundings awash with warm hues of local limestone and emerald green trees the Scottish Mr. William Kellie Scott built an estate.
Kellie’s Castle : A Story of Love and Tragedy
At a young age, Mr. Smith built a rubber plantation and ventured into the tin mining industry. After seeing the success of his estate, he decided to construct a castle, an apricot-colored colossal structure. This stately mansion has Moorish-styled windows, grand columns, wine cellars, huge rooms with colonial designs, a blank space supposedly designed for the first ever elevator in Malaysia, arches and walls inspired by Greco-Roman designs, and an impressive tower.
Unfortunately, the construction of the castle was stopped due to the Spanish flu that struck its workers. A Hindu temple was built nearby to appease the bad spirits and offer prayers to the gods for the castle’s completion. So the work was revived. Sadly, Mr. William Kellie Smith died in Lisbon. Agnes left brokenhearted sold the castle to Harrison and Crossfield Plantation.
Today, the castle of love and tragedy remains standing as a great reminder of the romanticism of the bygone era. Based on anecdotes, the spirit of Mr. Smith and his workers who died due to the Spanish flu still haunt the manor. Kellie’s Castle reflects the mighty power of destiny and how it can weaken even a powerful man.
Tanjung Tualang Tin Dredge: The Last One Standing
The valleys running down in Kinta Valley have taken a new face with the decline of the tin mining industry. The tin mining pools are now being used as fish ponds and farms for cultivating prawns. Thankfully, there is one great reminder of the tin mining heyday – the T.T. No. 5 constructed by W.F Payne and Sons for Pernas Chartered Management Sdn Bhd sometime in 1938.
Visitors are taken inside the modest museum first for a quick review of the tin mining history and will then head inside the tin mining dredge as the tour guide explains how this mammoth system works.
First, the massive buckets are used for quarrying the tin-bearing soil. The excavated soil then goes through a swinging barrel and then passes through a series of jigs and screens to haul out the tin. Make time to scale up the stairs to get a closer look at the massive buckets used for digging up the tin-bearing soil.
I remember watching The Tin Mine, a Thai movie, the story revolves around a boy and his life growing up in a mining camp in southern Thailand during the post World War II era. Seeing a real tin dredge is bliss!
Address: Chalet Mdkb Kellies Castle, Jalan Gopeng, Batu Gajah,Perak, 31000, Malaysia
Entrance Fee: MYR 5 /USD 1.5/Php 66
Tel: +60 5255 2772
How to get to Kellie’s Castle from Ipoh:
You can take a cab and ask the driver to wait for you. The cost is around MYR 60 (from A8 Road in Batu Gajah).
Take bus #36 or #37 from Ipoh’s local bus station to Batuh Gajah (1 hour and 30 mins). From the road with a sign “A8 Road” you can catch bus #67 to Kampar or take a cab to the main road from the bus stop in Batu Gajah.
Tanjung Tualang Tin Dredge Ship
Address : Warisan Kapal Korek (Tin Dredge Heritage), 9th Km, Jalan Tanjung Tualang, 31000, Batu Gajah, Perak. Location Map.
Open Time : Open Daily 8.30am to 6.00pm
Entrance Fee : MYR 6 / USD 1.87 / Php 82 for adult and MYR 3 / USD 0.93 / /Php 41 for children
Tel: +60 53702253
Disclosure: This trip was made possible through Celebrating 1 Malaysia Truly Asia, an event organized by Gaya Travel Magazine and Tourism Malaysia in celebration of Visit Malaysia Year 2014.
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