The first time that Jimbo visited Kellie’s Castle in Ipoh (actually nearer to Gopeng), was way back in 1986! Back then, the place was not well known and there was no proper access. Jimbo and friends had to strip down to their shorts, and wade across a river in waist deep water in order to reach the old abandoned mansion. The experience was memorable because the place was so spooky!
Back then, the entire area was overgrown with creepy crawlies and huge trees. The Kellas Mansion (the original home of Kellie Smith and family) was not seen when Jimbo went there back in 1986. Walking along the darkened and quiet corridors of the castle then was a spooky experience. There were underground tunnels and stairs leading up to nowhere!
Fast forward 23 years; Jimbo and family visited the castle last weekend. The castle and the area surrounding it has not been developed for tourism. A proper bridge has been built across the river, overgrown shrubs and trees have been cleared; the ruins of the Kellas mansion is easily seen behind the castle and the castle itself is all spic and span; losing much of its spookiness.
Here are some photos from the trip:
While there, the loudspeaker suddenly came alive in the place and a very tired, lethargic and bored male voice came on, trying to narrate the history of Kellie’s Castle. Listening to him struggling to pronounce simple English words was a torture. Why can’t they just make a good and proper recording and play the recording at intermittent hours? For a brief background of Kellie’s Castle, click here.
The place has got great tourist potential but unfortunately, is not fully explored. For instance, the souvenir shop was merely a table placed under a large umbrella and on the table were a few sorry looking badges and fridge magnets with a few very uninteresting T-shirts and caps as well.
Still, it was a good trip and it gratified Jimbo to fulfill one of his daughter’s wish.
Fri, 271109 @ 0700