Kellie Castle,Perak Tong & The City That Tin Built
Trip Start Jan 08, 2011
261Trip End Dec 20, 2011
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Another busy day planned, set off at a reasonable time, which is unusual, and headed for Kellies castle, on the taxi ride there we saw more country side, housing estates of sorts that look like they have been taken out of an American movie set, lone house that look identical to those on selsey or felpham sea front, and the normal wooden house on stilts!
The construction industry looks like it is in full bloom, always see lots of places to buy diggers, and all other equipment, and everywhere new buildings being built, I think we got here just in time, its not touristy at all, there are no stupid tourist buses.(i'll have a bit more of a winge about this in a moment!)
The castle on first impressions didn't look that amazing but once you have a real look at it and read the who what when and why's, it turns into what it is, beautiful, it was built for a scotish man,William Kellie Smith, he came to Malaysia when he was twenty, he was a civil engineer, he teamed up with a newzealand man Charles Alma Baker, and together they carried out survey work and building roads, with the profits he brought 1,500 acres of land, which he intended to use as a rubber plantation.
In 1903 he met his wife on a visit back to Scotland.
He built Kellies house on the rubber plantation in 1904 for himself his wife and baby daughter, borrowing against his wifes inheritance.
In 1908 with the birth of a son and heir, Smith decided to extend kellies house, building kellies castle.
Work was carried out by skilled craftsmen from Madras, India, work was slow over the years and came to a stop beacause of supply problems during the war.
Work comenced in 1915 and continued well until 1918 when work halted again due to a outbreak of flu which had struck down many of the Indian workers, people said that there needed to be a temple built near by, so kellys put all of the men to work on the temple and work halted on the castle once more.
Work started again in 1920 and by 1926 the castle had taken on its final shape.
In the same year smith went to Europe to visit his wife and to take delivery of the lift shaft he had commisioned for the castle, on this journey he developed pneumonia and after a short illness he died at the age of 56, work stopped again and was never to be started again.
The castle was sold unfinished, unfurnished and un lived in.
The castle was left to ruins and had been taken over by the jungle until it got take over by musem authorities.
It is a shame it had never been finished as even now as it stands unfinished it is beautiful, the wooden Windows and doors are all still in imaculate condition, the castle has 4 main bedrooms all with there own dressing rooms and bathrooms, and every upstairs room has a secret staircase which leads to the outside. Can't really describe how beautiful it is, you can imagine what it would have looked like if it had been completed, it is definitley up there with houses I want!
We found a internet place at last, got all our photos of, did a bit of organsizing and then went to have a late lunch in good old McDonald's!
We hopped onto a local bus to get to the bus station, then got onto another bus to go to the budda caves, the buses here are mostly new and go regularly it feels like we are finally travelling again, Malaysia please don't change!
The people who work in the bus station and on the buses are so friendly and helpful, so we were able to get to everywhere we wanted with out having to pay ridiculous amounts for taxis. Some of the best interaction / conversation that we have had with locals is always on the buses, one of the purposes of travel (or so we believe) is to get to know the country as well as the people, in no other Asia country have we been able to do this quite so easlly, by doing tourist buses and everything for you they cut out all the fun and learning. Everything about Malaysia so far is winning against any other country we have been too!
The perak tong temple (budda cave) was brilliant apart from the walk! When we first walked in we didn't really know what to expect so to come straight into an area that has paintings of flowers, gods, women, men all over the walls and three massive golden statues was pretty cool, we had to hurry past all at first as the steps up to the top shut an hour earlier than the book had said so we only had twenty minutes to get to the top and back down again, it was hard work and when you think we had reached the top there was yet more steps, got to a point and me and lauren where well and truely finished we could not go any further and as Phil always seems to have a ridiculous amount of energy he continued, we did think he had got lost as it took him ages to get back down.
[It was amazing, well worth it, got no idea how they got the path in]
We made our descent with others on the way up asking how much further, it was hard work.
Got to the bottom and got to take in all the statues and paintings, took lots of pictures,
Definitely worth the trip just for the first cave.
The women in the shop falsely sold us a fruit saying it was a favorite Malaysia fruit and that it was sweet and jucey, she lied basically it was gross so we had to take it away with us to dump as soon as possible, all of us had the discustiong taste in our mouths for ages.
Waiting on the side of a busy dual carrage for our bus, there are no proper bus stands so it was a case of waving down the next bus and hoping it would stop, it did and we got on our merry little way, back to bus station more conversation with which bus then once on the bus had a nice conversation with a girl who helped us to tell the bus driver where we wanted to go, very nice and friendly.
Got off had a walk back and got ready to go to the hot springs, all ready to go get in the taxi and he said it was closed so that was that, walked around looking for somewhere to eat, decided on pizza hut, sad we know but there is not a lot of choice. We checked on the internet about the hot springs and the taxi driver had been wrong they had been open so all a bit annoyed but we know we will come across another one.
Back to the room for the campionship of sudoku all three of us trying to finish it first, lauren won, yes we are sad but it keeps our brains alive just a bit and we don't spend money we don't have! Then it was night night time!