This has been on our travel wish list for quite some time. Now that we are living in Ipoh, we finally decided to visit Kellie's Castle at Batu Gajah, which is about 22.5 kilometres away.
Taking advantage of the public holiday in conjunction with the Installation Ceremony of our 16th Malaysian Supreme King, HRH Al Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah ibni Almarhum Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah of the Sultanate of Pahang Darul Makmur, we decided to travel early on the morning of Monday, the 29th of July using Google Maps GPS navigation.
We stopped over at a kampong food stall @ Warong Pak Imam at Pinji for our breakfast.
After our breakfast, we continued on our journey, travelling for the first time through the rural trunk road and had to be very alert and keep our attention on the traffic as there were many large heavy trucks and heavy earth and other construction lorries coming to and fro as well.
We finally reached the old town of Batu Gajah and marvelled at the many remaining Straits era shophouses still there. One of these days, we should go photoshoot them as well.
Google Maps GPS navigation was really superb and we reached Kellie's Castle safely. We drove in and parked under the shade as a visitor's car drove out.
An Indian parking attendant came and collected RM2 as the parking fee. He volunteered to take our photo and I handed over my smartphone camera to him.
This was also the first time I wore my hat which was from Sabah gifted to me by my wife from her working trip there a few years back.
We then proceeded to the tourist centre building where there was a small cafe, souvenir stall, a commemorative visit to Kellie's Castle photo stall and the Kellie's Castle entrance ticketing office.
I set up my camera tripod stand and took several photos of us with Kellie's Castle in the background.
This photo of us is made possible by my graphic design creativity skills. The guy who took it failed to adjust the lens manually to get a crisp, sharp image of us but it's better than not to have a photo at all.
One of these guys took the photo of us standing before a green screen but his lack of photography skills robbed us of a sharper photograph. Should have just set up my tripod and switched on the self-timer to take our shot.
This is the tent under which the green screen is located. They charge RM55 for a souvenir photograph which is inserted into a Kellie's Castle folder with a write up of its history.
This leads to the toilets and at the end is the small cafe attending to the needs of the tourists and visitors to Kellie's Castle.
A location map showing other tourist attraction sites around Batu Gajah. I plan to do so one of these days because as we drove through the city of Batu Gajah, I noticed many old shophouses from the Straits Era still present. It would be a good area to go on a photo shoot. Would need to go on a walkabout around the old city.
The view from the upper level of Kellie's Castle showing the bridge which we have to cross, the photo booth, ticketing office and the main building housing the cafe, souvenir center and the toilets.
I was amused to see this framed mesh where deeply in love couples can hang up their 'love lock' symbolizing their commitment to each other. Haven't they heard of a locksmith, an angle grinder or the reliable bolt cutter? :P
This is a depiction of how Kellie's Castle would look if it had been completed? It surely would have been a grand landmark of Batu Gajah, Ipoh. Maybe, the City Council of Batu Gajah might have chosen to move in but then, they would have lost a major tourist attraction site, which is bringing in much needed revenue and drawing tourists from all over the world to visit the place.
Click here to watch a presentation which tells the story of how Kellie's Castle came to be and tragic halt to it's completion.
I will share more photos in Part Two. Thanks for visiting.