Bitten by the Travel Bug : Road Trip to Ipoh

by - 3/20/2014 07:40:00 PM

A continuation of my last post.. After we got home that night we were joking around talking about driving down to Ipoh for chicken rice & some of us kinda wanted to visit the Taiping Zoo. It was another random, barely planned thing..The gist was.. I asked everyone if they were serious about it, then the next morning...We piled up in my mum's car and guided by the trusty waze, off we went!

My boyfriend & I took turns driving..well on the way we decided against the taiping zoo and as per Fang's request, Kellie's Castle was the first stop.  Well technically it's in Batu Gajah, around 20 minutes drive from Ipoh.

Kellie's Castle was built by a scottish planter named William Kellie Smith.He came to Malaysia in 1890. In 1903, he returned to Scotland to marry his sweetheart Agnes. He brought her back to his home in Malaysia and later that year the couple was blessed with a daughter named Helen. He loved his daughter but wanted a son, an heir to his empire. Poor Agnes found it hard to conceive a second child. It was another eleven years before she became pregnant again. In 1915, Agnes gave birth to a son named Anthony. In celebration, Smith began planning the construction of a huge castle, which was actually an extension of his Kellas House (his first mansion) behind the castle.

Walkway/Bridge leading up to the castle

Because of his fascination of the Hindu religion and India, he incorporated much of the elements in to his new home. Bricks and tiles were imported from India. He even enlisted the help of 70 Indian workers from Madras of South India as skilled laborers for the construction of the mansion. 

The ruins of the Kellas House (His first mansion)
It was to take 10 years to build Kellie's Castle. However, he ran in to one major set back. Many of the workers contracted the Spanish Flu and died in the early 1920s. A temple was built 1500 m from the castle for the deity Mariamman. Some say it was to protect those who lived on the property. Others say Kellie had it built as a way to thank Mariamman for granting his wish to have a son. Either way the temple still stands and many continue to worship in it.World War I slowed the process even more. In the end,when William Kellie Smith died of pneumonia,Kellie's Castle was never completed.

Entrance next to the Kellas Home
People often avoid coming to this castle after dark because they believe that it's haunted by the owner and the people who lived there.

The stables which purportedly has ghastly smells of incense and spirits from time to time

Ghostly Cloister Balcony
(The most famous account was of a european couple who came to kellie's castle to shoot nocturnal animals in the middle of the night ; the european lady saw a ghostly image of a man standing and looking outside the window. Was it William Kellie Smith himself? We didn't see anything though, might have run for our lives if we did .. )

We then ventured into the castle..I guess since it is an unfinished castle, the internal was a bit dirty and rundown. But it was still fun to wander around reading about the details of the home on signs posted on the walls.
The main hall (what it would've looked like)

The view from one of the rooms
After exploring the rooms(which looked pretty much the same). The interesting thing was that there were secret passageways connecting the bedrooms to the ground floor.

And here's the linen closet. Pretty huge compared to normal housing standards nowadays.
We did try to get to the rooftop (heard the view was amazing) but it was locked ..

We also bumped into a team of people filming a movie ..

Adventurous spirit satisfied, we headed back to Ipoh. Stopped by at Ipoh parade for a little exploring.. but it was quite boring actually.. :(

Wandered around aimlessly and decided to try out this 9D cinema because it looked kinda interesting
Let me be honest with you.. the 9D cinema wasn't that amazing.. the ride felt like hours long and it made all of us dizzy.. the graphics weren't scary at all (we chose a zombie movie) so.. it was just.. meh.
So with nothing better to do, we went back to our original plan.. which was to have chicken rice! :p
I'm telling youuuuu now that I will definitely go back for it if i ever travel/stop by Ipoh. (yes it's that good for me,never mind what other people think.)

Judging from the (almost) cloudless sky.. I'm sure you can tell it was a VERY hot day.. even with my car's air-con on full blast it still felt like we were being roasted over a spit. zzz.
I had kuetiau while the others had rice (Rice buckets, the lot of you! ;p just kidding.. hehehe)
I guess most of us would never forget the awkward/funny moment when the meatballs taste better than the (signature) chicken 
Hastily snapped this lopsided i prefer to think of it as artistic photo of the bean sprouts because everyone was staring daggers at me (bf especially.. i mean like ..are you that hungry? :p )

And that's the end of the trip! 
Sorry, it's hard to get a proper picture of the sunset when you're cruising on a highway :p

For me it's a really fun experience .. I loved how it brought everyone together.. because well, traveling sorta requires everyone to rely & listen to each other's opinions, and take care of each other right? Also, we've started planning future trips, talking about traveling & exploring new places together . It's like we've been consumed by this insane need to travel :p (it's not that bad, really. But you know what they say, when there's a first, there'll definitely be a next time) .Thus the title : bitten by the travel bug. 

As always,

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