Teluk Intan’s Leaning Clock Tower
While the leaning tower of Pisa is well known, the leaning clock tower
of Teluk Intan is virtually unheard of outside Malaysia. Yet it is the
second largest tower so inclined. it was built in 1885 by a Chinese tin
tycoon Leong Choon Chong in the
shape of a Chinese pagoda.
It stood at an imposing height of 25.5m (84ft), but started to tilt
slowly between 1889 and 1895 due to its unstable foundations. The local
inhabitants believed the tower was under a curse and some even moved
Teluk Intan is in Southern Perak on the Perak River,
some 90 km from Ipoh
the castle was built by a Scottish planter, William Kellie-Smith. Born
William Smith in Kellas, Scotland on March 1, 1870, he later added the
name Kellie which was his mother’s maiden name. It is said he came in
1890 when he was 20 and made his fortune in rubber and tin mining. His
first rubber estate, Kinta Kellas, became a household name. He married
Agnes Smith in 1903 and they had two children.
Oddly though, he built an eccentric mansion that combined three distinct
architectural styles – Moorish, Greco-Roman and Indian. In doing so he
achieved a unique blend of east and west and this legacy of his has
survived the passage of time.
What prompted Kellie-Smith to build a castle in Malaya? According to the
many stories – It was for the love for his wife / he wanted a home in
the style of his old country as both he and his wife missed home
Construction began in 1920 and went on for six years. Kellie personally
supervised the construction of the castle. He brought in workers who
specialised in marble construction from Madras, India. The whole castle
was built from quality red bricks. Kellie also brought in an architect
from England to construct this castle.
An epidemic of Spanish flu killed most of the 70 Indian construction
workers brought in to work on the project. Kellie-Smith then stopped
construction of the castle and instead built a Hindu temple nearby for
his workers. The story behind this being that Kellie-Smith had vowed to
build the temple if his wife bore him children. When she did, the temple
was erected. Upon scrutiny of the temple, which is still standing today,
you will see the statue of Kellie-Smith sculptured on its roof, in
remembrance of the man said to have won the hearts of his employees.
The construction was stopped when Kellie failed to return from one of
his ill-fated trips to England. He passed away in Lisbon, Portugal in
December 1926. It was also said that he had gone to England to bring
back a lift that he intended to install in the tower of the castle. But
he never returned. Rumour has it that Kellie-Smith died of pneumonia.
This left his dream castle uncompleted. His children decided to return
to England and his son Anthony was killed during World War II. The
castle has been declared as a historical ruin and is frequently visited
curious local and foreign tourists.
In June 2003, during a road widening project at the 6th kilometre
stretch of the Gopeng-Batu Gajah road, workers uncovered a section of
tunnel believed to connect the castle to the Hindu temple. Measuring
1.5km high by 1m wide, the tunnel added yet another touch of mystery to
Kellies Castle exudes a somewhat eerie feeling – as if some spirits from another world roan the place.
There are many tales of this place, including visitors who claim to have seen a six-year-old white girl in what’s called Helen’s
Room as well as the man himself, William Kellie Smith, roaming its corridors.
The stories about Kellie’s Castle and its creator continue
to be told from generation to generation. The beautiful part of Kellie’s
Castle is that there are no answers to every question, allowing us
ponder at it and the man behind it.
Located near Batu Gajah and is about 30 minutes’ drive from Ipoh
One of the best known falls in and tallest falls of Malaysia, it
consists of a series of falls and cascades ranging in height from a few
metres to over 100m!
The total height of the Kinjang series of falls is said to be well over
800m. Cement steps bring you to a suspension bridge and to the main
cascade. Climbing up the sides of the falls you will be rewarded with a
spectacular view of the surrounding landscape.
Visitors will find a parking area, foodstalls, an orchid garden and
bamboo park here, too.
About 18km from Tapah town, Lata Kinjang is accessible from the
North-South highway, take the Tapah Exit, and continue north on the
trunk road nr 1. Follow the signboards to Chenderiang. Past this village
the road to the falls is clearly indicated. At the end of this road,
there are hawker stalls and you can park your car.