Jun 7, 2012

Batu Gajah Heritage Trail

There's a lot more to Batu Gajah than Kellie's Castle.

If you plan a trip to Batu Gajah, make sure you don’t miss out on its heritage trail. Batu Gajah has never ranked particularly high on my to-visit list. Though I’ve been to BG about half a dozen times, they were mostly superficial visits to my relatives and back to Ipoh. Only last year, while doing an assignment for a travel magazine, did I realise that there is a lot more to this charming town, which started as a small Malay village in mukim Sungai Terap, than Kellie’s Castle.
Kapal Korek
A line of bucket scoops
Its colourful history has left in its wake a trail of well-preserved architectural and historical markers, which until now have been spared the gadarene rush of Lonely Planet-toting tourists.
The upshot: Batu Gajah has plenty of nooks and crannies which can be particularly rewarding for the mature traveller who craves more than superficial eye candy: a sense of its past, a taste of the local lifestyle, and that increasingly rare animal – the offbeat discovery.
The Court House
Any visit of BG should include a driving tour of its heritage trail at the Jalan Changkat colonial core, which can be easily covered in a day. A long strip of well-paved road winds through a leafy enclave that exudes the gentrified vibe of the colonial days. Must-sees are God’s Little Acre, Kinta Gaol and the High Court House, recently converted into a museum, and the Hospital District Batu Gajah.
Former tin mine now attracts birdlife. That's a goose farm on the far bank.

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