Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Ipoh maliiii.....

With no more movies to watch at the cinema, and nothing else much to do over the weekend, we decided to go for a quick getaway last weekend.

It was kinda of an impromptu decision, and only decided on it late on Saturday evening - after we have done a few errands here and there.

Since dah lambat, not much options are there. I wanted to go to Bukit Larut aka Maxwell Hill, but there are no shuttle service going up to the hills after 6pm, so this one is out. That leaves us with just Ipoh, or Melaka.

Having seen and visited Melaka quite a number of times, I opted for Ipoh instead. I have always wanted to explore this sleepy town, especially after passing through it everytime we are going and coming back from Penang. I have read a number of good pleasing reviews about hidden gems of Ipoh too and thought it would be a good chance to explore it.

So, we left KL around 9, after dinner. Before leaving I made a few calls to book our accomodation. Initially we thought of staying at Railway station hotel (so that I could snap photos of this ol building) but after looking at the actual room photos on the web, we were both like... errr... takpe la kot. I then googled other hotels and started making the calls. And guess what, I was so so surprised to find that ALL of the hotels I called were fully booked! I mean WHAT is there in Ipoh???? Out of options, I called Railway hotel - which is actually called and run by Majestic Hotel and as fate would have it, they have one last room available. Since dah takde choice, we just took it.

We took one slow leisurely drive and reached Ipoh (S) toll around 11.30PM. Not knowing where exactly is this Majestic hotel, we just followed signs and luckily, they do have signs of 'Stesyen Keretapi' along the way. To get there from the highway, we had to pass through Ipoh town, seriously memang dead city - except for the petaling street like road somewhere in the middle of the town.
Though we managed to find the hotel quite easily, getting to it was another story. Ipoh ni full of one way street... so pusingla satu Ipoh again before we could actually get to the train station entrance - which in actual fact a blessing in disguise, cos we got a peek of all those heritage buildings of Ipoh. Kinda keep me excited :)

Majestic hotel as expected was nothing much. After all it is only RM88 per night. But I have to say it was quite good for whats offered. Of course it is just basic, but it is extremely clean, and the room and toilet are of ample size. If only they put a more classy curtains and bedsheets, I think it would have done wonders.

I didnt waste any time but started snapping here and there that night itself. Sadly though, not much turned out nice. Nevertheless enjoy..

The next morning, more photos taken...

After check out, we went around Ipoh town again to snap more photos..

The St Michael's Institution - one of the premier school in Ipoh - built in 1912.

from wiki: St Michael

After seeing a bit of Ipoh, we made a move towards Gopeng, where the Tempurug Cave is. We passed through several suburbs like Tg Rambutan... Sg Kinding (where they are selling land 45000sqft + bungalow house for RM3++k - amazing huh?), IGB industrial area, some place called Klebang... etc... After going on about an hour or so... You know what?? we ended up back in Ipoh town. It turned out we took wrong turning somwhere and actually have been just going around Ipoh town.... so... last last.. masuk highway balik nak pergi Batu Gajah... hehehe

We exited at Simpang Pulai, and took route 1. By this time, I already acquired the Petak map, so ada la guidance sikit.

About 10 minutes from the Simpang Pulai exit, we passed through this Cave temple. I don't what is the name of this temple, but apparently it has been for a long time, even when Rizal was still small, cos he remembers it as one of the landmark he'd see on his trips to KL (dulukan takde highway). Sadly the bottom of this at the entrance they built shoplots but it was deserted, and became an eyesore instead. Rizal said it wasnt like this last time , I feel that they should have just destroy it since no one is actually occupying. There are also no more pomelo gerais like it used to be before.. so sad..

Anyway, on the map, there was also indicators of Tourist attractions. One of which is Kellie's Castle. Having read about it in travel columns some time back, I have always wanted to see it and so asked Rizal to make a quick detour to see it for myself.

I was happy we did cos Kellie's Castle is a really nice place. See some of the photos I took...

you should read the history of this place at wiki - more about Kellie's_Castle


I wanted to complete this post in one go, but my head is refusing to co-operate. So I guess I will just have to continue the rest of my journey in PART II

Till then... ta