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Ipoh, Malaysia


Ipoh—capital of the tiny Malaysian state of Perak— is often given short shrift and excluded from the itineraries of most visitors, and it is for precisely this reason that I made it a point to check it out, family in tow. It can be reached easily and comfortably by train from almost anywhere in Malaysia, and small enough to cover in a day or two. The thing that hits you full on is the variety of architecture in this rare, hidden gem of a small town.

IMG_1794At the Ipoh Railway Station

The buildings range from the sophisticated grandeur of the railway station built in the British colonial style, to the peculiarly fascinating style of Chinese cave temples, of which several are packed in nearly the same stretch of road one after the other.

IMG_1816Sam Poh Tong Cave Temple

The singularly beautiful Kellies's Castle stands a little further away on the outskirts of town and perched atop a green hill and was left in the middle of construction by the Scotsman William Kellie-Smith, a planter who embarked on this mission out of the deep love for his wife and son to arrive. It resonates with poignancy and offers an endless number of opportunities for indulging in photography of the 'enfilade' style—in both the main castle and also the adjoining half-finished ramparts.

IMG_1857Kellie's Castle

And of course, elsewhere in the city is an equally heady array of colourful buildings with interior decor to match- shops, shopfronts, offices, houses and restaurants. Enjoy!


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