Kellie’s Castle, an enigma within the lush greenery of Malaysia, feels like a whimsical crossroad where East meets West.
Picture a Scottish mansion imbued with Eastern aesthetics, surrounded by palm plantations – an intriguing, yet strangely harmonious combination. If you’re looking to add a twist of the unexpected to your Malaysian travel plans, this is your go-to spot.
Let’s take you through this magnificent castle and its must-see features.
Best Time to Go
The weather in Malaysia is consistently warm year-round, but it’s worth avoiding the monsoon season which typically runs from November to March on the East Coast. For the best balance between pleasant weather and crowd avoidance, aim for visits during April or May.
Just keep in mind that the castle has a distinct aura in different weather conditions, offering a cool retreat during hotter months and lending a misty, mystical appeal during the rainy season.
How to Get Around
Trains: Although there are no direct train services to Kellie’s Castle, you can reach the nearby town of Batu Gajah by train from Kuala Lumpur, and then take a taxi or ride-hailing service for the final 6 kilometres.
Buses: Regular bus services operate between Ipoh and Batu Gajah, making this an accessible and affordable option for many travellers.
Taxis: Taxis and ride-hailing apps, such as Grab, are readily available throughout Malaysia. Make sure to set your tourist destination to ‘Kellie’s Castle’ in the app.
Car service: For a more hassle-free experience, you can book a car service or hire a driver from major cities such as Kuala Lumpur or Ipoh. This will also give you the flexibility to explore the surrounding areas at your own pace.
Where to Stay Near Kellie’s Castle
Lost World Hotel
Address: 1, Persiaran Lagun Sunway 1, Sunway City Ipoh, 31150 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Phone: +60 5-540 8888
For an adventurous twist to your trip, make your home base at the Lost World Hotel. Located right next to the Lost World of Tambun Theme Park, it’s perfect for families or the young-at-heart.
The hotel offers complimentary access to the theme park and the hot springs – yes, a splash of fun before and after your castle visit! Your stay here will be anything but boring. Oh, and the views of the limestone hills from your room? Priceless.
Casuarina @ Meru
Address: 1-C, Jalan Meru Casuarina, Bandar Meru Raya, 30020 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Phone: +60 5-529 9999
Casuarina @ Meru is all about convenience and comfort. Situated in the heart of Bandar Meru Raya, the hotel sits adjacent to Terminal Amanjaya and Mydin Shopping Mall, providing an ideal mix of tranquillity and bustling city life.
The rooms are spacious and stylish, and the in-house Dulang Coffee House is just the place to start your day with a hearty breakfast. But here’s the secret sauce: their top-notch service. You’ll be feeling right at home.
Sekeping Kong Heng, Ipoh
Address: 75, Jalan Bandar Timah, 31650 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Phone: +60 12-227 2745
Ever wondered what it would be like to stay in a refurbished old building that carries decades of stories within its walls? Sekeping Kong Heng is an architectural wonder, a hotel that gives you a genuine taste of Ipoh’s charm.
Picture bare bricks, vintage furniture, and open-air courtyards, juxtaposed with modern comforts. It’s rustic, unique, and utterly photogenic. Plus, you’re a stone’s throw away from Ipoh’s famous white coffee shops. Winning!
Hotel Excelsior Ipoh
Address: 43, Jalan Sultan Abdul Jalil, 30300 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Phone: +60 5-253 6666
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly, no-frills stay that doesn’t skimp on comfort, then Hotel Excelsior Ipoh is your spot. Located in the heart of the city, it’s just a hop, skip, and a jump away from local attractions.
The rooms are clean, comfortable, and provide everything you need for a restful night’s sleep after a day of exploration. You know, it’s one of those reliable places that takes the fuss out of your stay.
The Happy 8 Retreat @ Pasir Puteh
Address: 46, Jalan Market, 31650 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Phone: +60 5-242 8838
Stay at The Happy 8 Retreat, and you’ll quickly see why they call it “happy”. The boutique hotel’s design is a beautiful fusion of nature, art and culture, with a heavy emphasis on wood carvings and creative aesthetics.
It’s as much an art gallery as a hotel, and believe me, the character it oozes is infectious. After a day spent exploring Kellie’s Castle, coming back to this calming, happy place is just what you’ll need.
Hotel Seri Malaysia Ipoh
Address: Jalan Sturrock, Off Jalan Raja Dihilir, 30350 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Phone: +60 5-242 5333
Hotel Seri Malaysia Ipoh is a straightforward, down-to-earth choice for budget-conscious travellers. It’s got everything you need: clean rooms, a convenient location, and a refreshing pool to take a dip in after a hot day out. Sometimes, simplicity is key, and this place has nailed it.
Plus, with the delicious local fare served in their cafe, your taste buds are in for a treat too!
M Boutique Hotel, Ipoh
Address: 2, Hala Datuk 5, 31650 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Phone: +60 5-255 5566
Ready for a touch of quirkiness? M Boutique Hotel is your ticket to an extraordinary stay. Inspired by urban industrial and Straits eclectic elements, each floor is individually designed with a different theme, sparking curiosity at every turn.
As you roam about, you can admire the local art pieces peppered around the hotel, but mind you, you’ll be needing extra coffee just to explore it all. It’s right in the heart of Ipoh, so there’s no excuse not to get your local food fix either.
The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat
Address: 1, Persiaran Lagun Sunway 3, 31150 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Phone: +60 5-210 7777
In the mood for something more luxurious? The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat is your answer. Nestled amidst towering limestone hills, the retreat takes pampering to a whole new level, boasting geothermal hot springs and a plethora of wellness treatments.
The villas are the epitome of luxury, with private pools, rain showers, and a jacuzzi with natural geothermal hot spring water. And don’t even get me started on the crystal cave for meditation – pure bliss! But I warn you, you may never want to leave.
Where to Eat Near Kellie’s Castle
Nasi Vanggey Greentown
Address: 2, Jalan Dato Tahwil Azar, Taman Jubilee, 30300 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Phone: +60 5-255 4314
Also known as Nasi Ganja (don’t worry, it’s just a name), Nasi Vanggey Greentown serves a dish that locals swear by. The steaming plate of rice topped with an array of side dishes is a real crowd-pleaser. It’s simple, unpretentious, and downright delicious.
My advice? Don’t skip the fried chicken and remember, the fiery sambal sauce is not for the faint-hearted!
Pusing Public Seafood Restaurant
Address: 57, Jalan Verchres, Taman Hoover, 31650 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Phone: +60 5-243 8384
For seafood lovers, Pusing Public is your spot. This family-run restaurant has been serving up the freshest catch since 1991. The standout here? The signature dishes, such as the Nestum Mantis Prawn and Butter Milk Crabs.
It’s a flavoursome adventure, trust me. Just remember, it’s a popular place, so booking ahead is a smart move.
Thean Chun Coffee Shop
Address: 73, Jalan Bandar Timah, 31650 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Phone: +60 5-255 3076
Fancy tasting Ipoh’s local delicacies? Head over to Thean Chun Coffee Shop. It’s an old-school kopitiam (local coffee shop) known for its delectable spread of local dishes. The Kai See Hor Fun (chicken kuey teow soup) is legendary.
I mean, silky noodles in a flavourful broth, topped with shredded chicken and prawns? Sign me up! Also, don’t forget to cool down with a bowl of their refreshing Caramel Custard.
Lou Wong Bean Sprout Chicken
Address: 49, Jalan Yau Tet Shin, 30000 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Phone: +60 5-254 4199
Another must-try dish in Ipoh is the famous Bean Sprout Chicken, and no one does it better than Lou Wong. The combo of tender chicken, juicy bean sprouts, and a plate of silky or fun noodles is so simple, yet so satisfying. It’s what I call comfort food, Malaysian style.
Restoran Tauge Ayam Lou Wong
Address: 48, Jalan Yau Tet Shin, Taman Jubilee, 30300 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Phone: +60 16-501 1888
Don’t let the similar name to the previous eatery confuse you; this spot offers its own unique take on the beloved Bean Sprout Chicken. What’s their secret sauce? It’s the years of mastery in making the chicken tender and perfectly seasoned.
This, coupled with their consistently fresh bean sprouts, creates a dish you’ll be thinking about long after your trip is over. It’s a close competition, but I say, why not try both and pick your own winner?
Foh San Dim Sum
Address: 51, Jalan Leong Sin Nam, 30300 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Phone: +60 5-254 0308
If you’re in the mood for dim sum, then Foh San is where it’s at. Known for its vast selection of handmade dim sum, it’s a bustling spot that’s always filled with locals and tourists alike.
Whether you’re craving for ‘Har Gow’ (shrimp dumplings), ‘Siu Mai’ (pork dumplings), or ‘Loh Mai Kai’ (glutinous rice with chicken), you’re in for a treat. Tip: Go early, or you’ll miss out on the best picks!
Tong Sui Kai (Dessert Street)
Please embed: https://www.instagram.com/p/CtwkSDPv-ij/?img_index=1
Address: Jalan Sultan Ekram, Taman Jubilee, 30300 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Phone: Not applicable
Craving for a sweet end to your meal? Look no further than Tong Sui Kai, which literally translates to ‘Dessert Street’. With over 50 hawker stalls lining the street, you’re spoilt for choice! However, the spotlight is definitely on the local desserts (or tong sui).
From refreshing shaved ice concoctions like ‘Ice Kacang’ and ‘Cendol’ to warming sweet soups like ‘Red Bean Soup’ and ‘Barley with Gingko Nut’, your sweet tooth will thank you. It’s street food galore and a great place to soak up the local atmosphere.
Bricks & Barrels
Address: 28-30, Jalan Lau Ek Ching, 30300 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Phone: +60 5-246 1308
If you’re yearning for a little Western cuisine or a spot of nightlife, then Bricks & Barrels is the spot for you. This stylish gastro pub dishes up some fantastic Western fare (the pizzas and steaks are a must-try) and boasts a selection of beers and cocktails to quench your thirst.
With live music setting the mood, it’s a great place to unwind after a day of exploring. It’s got that great vibe, you know, where you could easily lose track of time just chilling with friendly locals and friends, new and old. A delightful way to cap off a night in Ipoh.
What to Do in Kellie’s Castle
Explore the Kellie’s Castle
Address: 31000 Batu Gajah, Perak, Malaysia
Phone: +60 5-365 3381
Step into the scene of a romantic saga! Nope, it’s not the Scottish Highlands, but you’re not far off—it’s Kellie’s Castle in the heart of Malaysia. This unfinished marvel is shrouded in thrilling tales, making it a must-visit.
Built by Scottish planter William Kellie Smith, this bloke had grand visions of a castle decked out with sophisticated tunnels, wine cellars, and even a rooftop courtyard. Quite the dreamer, our Mr Smith, wasn’t he?
Take a moment to roam around this glorious structure, soaking in the history while admiring the blend of Scottish and Indian architectural styles. And, here’s the fun part, make sure to visit the supposed haunted room in the castle.
Delve into the Local History at Time Tunnel Museum
Address: Jalan Sungai, 39100 Brinchang, Pahang, Malaysia
Phone: +60 5-491 5823
If you’re a bit of a history buff like me, or even if you’re just curious, you’ll love a trip to the Time Tunnel Museum. This place is like Malaysia’s answer to Doctor Who’s TARDIS.
It’s touted as the country’s first memorabilia museum, and it’s chock-a-block with fascinating relics that’ll transport you back in time. You’ll get a glimpse of life in Malaysia during the pre- and post-war eras as you stroll through this cornucopia of nostalgia.
It’s like leafing through a richly illustrated history book, with vivid displays of old photographs, documents, and artefacts that narrate the story of a bygone era. If you’ve got kiddos, it’s a great opportunity to show them what life was like before the smartphone era.
Explore Gua Tempurung
Address: Pusat Pelancongan Gua Tempurung, 31600 Gopeng, Perak, Malaysia
Phone: +60 5-318 8555
Ever fancied a subterranean adventure? Well, now’s your chance! Gua Tempurung, just a short drive from Kellie’s Castle, is one of the longest caves in Peninsula Malaysia, full of stalagmites, stalactites, and all sorts of curious rock formations.
But the best part? It’s accessible for all levels of fitness. From leisurely guided tours along well-lit platforms to full-on spelunking experiences (yep, we’re talking helmets, headlamps, and the lot), Gua Tempurung caters to all.
Fancy crawling through water-filled passageways? You can. Prefer to stay dry and appreciate the grandeur of the ‘Golden Flowstone’? That’s an option too. Do note though, it can get a bit nippy down there, so don’t forget a jumper!
Wander around Qing Xin Ling Leisure & Cultural Village
Address: 22A, Persiaran Pinggir Rapat 5a, Taman Saikat, 31350 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Phone: +60 5-312 4140
If you want to step back in time (and I mean, way back), head over to Qing Xin Ling Leisure & Cultural Village. Tucked away in the limestone hills surrounding Ipoh, this hidden gem is a charming recreation of a traditional Chinese village.
As you wander through the collection of vintage houses, shops, and artefacts, it’s like stepping into a time capsule. There are old bicycles, antiquated household items, traditional games, and even a mini museum.
But the highlight? The view, my friend. From the peak of the small hill, you’ll get a panoramic view of the surrounding mountains and lakes. It’s an Instagram dream come true. Remember, old is gold!
Experience the Tambun Hot Springs
Address: Persiaran Lagun Sunway 1, Sunway City Ipoh, 31150 Ipoh, Negeri Perak, Malaysia
Phone: +60 5-542 8888
Let’s talk relaxation, shall we? Nothing screams ‘holiday mode’ more than a hot spring, and Tambun Hot Springs is just the best place to unwind after all your castle exploring. Nestled amongst the natural beauty of Ipoh, these geothermal hot springs offer a haven of tranquillity.
Here’s the deal: the springs are split into several sections, including a foot spa, a crystal spa, a topaz spa, and the scrumptiously named ‘Saphira’s Lair’. Now, I don’t know about you, but lounging in a hot spa named after a dragon sounds pretty legendary to me.
Journey through the Ipoh Heritage Trail
Address: 75, Jalan Sultan Abdul Jalil, 30450 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Okay, hear me out: a walking tour. I know, I know, it sounds all too touristy, but trust me on this one, the Ipoh Heritage Trail is more than just a walk. It’s a journey through history, culture, and architectural marvels that paints a vivid picture of Ipoh’s past.
You’ll pass colonial buildings, historical landmarks, and quaint little streets that seem untouched by time. It’s like a crash course in history, but way more fun! Plus, the added bonus of exploring the city on foot means you get to stop at the tempting food stalls along the way.
Don’t forget to try the famous Ipoh white coffee!
Take a Scenic Ride on the North-South Expressway
Address: E1 Lebuhraya Utara-Selatan, 31600 Gopeng, Perak, Malaysia
So, you’ve explored castles, wandered through villages, and even tackled caves. Fancy a road trip? Malaysia’s North-South Expressway is the perfect opportunity for a scenic drive. Running from the Thai border all the way to Singapore, it passes right by Kellie’s Castle.
But here’s the cool part: this isn’t your average motorway. Along the way, you’ll pass stunning mountain vistas, lush palm plantations, and quaint roadside stalls serving delicious Malaysian food. Don’t be afraid to pull over, take a break, and soak up the view.
Shop at the Central Market Kuala Lumpur
Address: Jalan Hang Kasturi, City Centre, 50050 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Phone: +60 3-2031 0399
If you’re the kind of person who enjoys delving into local culture and craftsmanship, Central Market Kuala Lumpur is your one-stop shop.
Now, let’s not beat around the bush – this place is a maze of vibrant stalls bursting with local arts and crafts, textiles, souvenirs, and all sorts of knick-knacks. You can find handmade jewelry, beautiful batik prints, and traditional Malaysian puppets – even custom name embroideries!
The best part? Bargaining is part of the game here. You can haggle your way to a fair price and leave with a special keepsake of your time near Kellie’s Castle. And let’s not forget the food court upstairs – a sizzling array of Malaysian street food awaits!
The Mines Shopping Mall
Address: Jalan Dulang, Mines Resort City, 43300 Seri Kembangan, Selangor, Malaysia
Phone: +60 3-8949 6333
Alright, buckle up, because this is no ordinary mall – this is The Mines, an impressive shopping complex situated within a former tin mine, how cool is that?
Spanning four levels, The Mines is home to a range of retail outlets, eateries, and even a canal running through the center of the mall. Yes, you read that right – a canal.
With shops ranging from fashion boutiques to tech stores, you’re sure to find something to tickle your fancy. Oh, and here’s the kicker: you can take a relaxing boat ride along the canal after a heavy shopping session.
Address: 105, Jalan Sultan Abdul Jalil, Greentown, 30450 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Phone: +60 5-241 3101
Oh, Ipoh Parade. Where do I even start? Imagine a shopping mall that seamlessly blends the top international brands with homegrown favorites, sprinkle in some fantastic dining options, throw in a cinema and a karaoke center, and voila, you have Ipoh Parade.
From Nike and H&M to local favorites like Padini and F.O.S, there’s plenty to keep the keen shopper busy here. And when the retail fever subsides, you can grab a bubble tea, catch the latest blockbuster, or even belt out some tunes at the karaoke center.
Check out Kinta City Shopping Centre
Address: 2, Jalan Teh Lean Swee, Taman Ipoh Selatan, 31400 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Phone: +60 5-545 7333
Okay, my shopaholic friends, ready for another great venue? Let’s head to Kinta City Shopping Centre. This shopping haven has been the go-to retail therapy spot for locals for years now and with good reason.
The stores range from fashion, cosmetics, electronics, home decor, you name it – Kinta City has it. The mall is well-maintained, clean, and spacious, making it a pleasure to stroll around. And when hunger strikes after all that shopping? No worries!
The food court here offers an array of local delicacies. So you can rest your legs, recharge your energy, and get ready for round two!
Dataran Pahlawan Melaka Megamall
Address: BW, Jalan Merdeka, Bandar Hilir, 75000 Melaka, Malaysia
Phone: +60 6-283 2828
Just a couple hours’ drive from Kellie’s Castle, you’ll find Dataran Pahlawan Melaka Megamall. Now, we’re talking big here, folks. This place is huge. And it’s smack dab in the middle of Melaka, a UNESCO World Heritage City. So, you get history and shopping – a win-win, right?
The megamall hosts a mix of international brands, local boutiques, and enticing food and drink outlets. So you can shop ’til you drop, then refuel with delicious fare, ranging from international franchises to local delights.
And after that shopping spree, why not explore the historical city? It’s a perfect blend of culture and commerce.
Lost World Of Tambun Theme Park & Hot Springs Night Park
Address: No. 1, Persiaran Lagun Sunway 1, Sunway City Ipoh, 31150 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Phone: +60 5-542 8888
This last one’s a bit unconventional, but trust me, it’s worth a mention. You might be thinking, “A theme park? For shopping?” But hear me out! Lost World Of Tambun isn’t just a theme park – it’s also home to a collection of adorable souvenir shops.
You can find everything from cuddly toys to themed merchandise that’ll serve as a quirky memento of your Malaysian adventure. And let’s not forget, this place is a theme park, so the shopping is just a tiny part of the whole package.
After all, there’s nothing like a good splash in the water park or a relaxing dip in the hot springs to round off a shopping spree, right? It’s like a cherry on top of your retail adventure sundae.
Neighbourhoods to Visit in Kellie’s Castle
Ipoh Old Town
From quaint boutiques to hipster cafés, Ipoh Old Town is a charming blend of old and new that you shouldn’t miss. It’s just a 30-minute drive from Kellie’s Castle and worth every second of the journey.
The streets here are lined with British colonial-era architecture that’s an Instagram dream come true. But here’s a quick tip: put down the camera for a bit and try Ipoh’s famous white coffee. This local favourite is a smooth blend of coffee beans and condensed milk.
Pair that with some kaya toast, and you’ve got yourself an authentic Malaysian breakfast!
Kampar is a small town in Perak with a rich history. An hour drive from the Castle, it’s known for its tin mining past and is a little gem for history buffs. Make sure to visit the Time Tunnel Museum, it’s a throwback to Malaysia’s past and has some fascinating memorabilia.
And when you’re done time-travelling, take a stroll down the streets lined with Chinese shophouses. Don’t forget to stop by the local food stalls – the Kampar claypot chicken rice is a must-try!
A 45-minute scenic drive from Kellie’s Castle is Tanjung Tualang, a sleepy little town that’s quite the star when it comes to seafood. Especially if you’re a fan of freshwater prawns, you’re in for a treat!
And don’t worry if you’re not a seafood lover; the town offers plenty of other authentic Malaysian dishes that’ll have your tastebuds dancing. Not just a foodie paradise, Tanjung Tualang also has a unique tin-mining heritage.
The rusting dredges might seem odd at first, but there’s something oddly beautiful about them. It’s like time stood still in this little corner of the world, making it a perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Bercham, a suburb of Ipoh, is another spot that deserves to be on your itinerary. The area is home to the Qing Xin Ling Leisure & Cultural Village, a rustic and quaint place that’ll transport you back in time.
This cultural hub is surrounded by hills and caves, which make for a great backdrop while you explore traditional houses and antiques.
Bercham is also known for its hot springs. If you’ve had a long day of exploring, just dip into the natural hot springs and let the therapeutic waters soothe your body and soul. Oh, and did I mention the local street food scene here?
From roasted duck to fresh fruit rojak, Bercham offers a smorgasbord of flavours for the adventurous palate.
Tambun, a small town just 20 minutes away from Kellie’s Castle, is best known for its limestone hills and caves. The area is blessed with natural beauty, and if you love the outdoors, it’s a must-visit.
One of the highlights here is the Lost World of Tambun, a theme park built around the natural landscape. It has everything from water rides to a petting zoo, and it’s a great day out for families.
When the sun sets, make your way to the night market, or “pasar malam”, where a variety of local dishes await you. The fresh seafood here is excellent, so don’t hold back on those prawns and fishes!
What to Expect from Kellie’s Castle (Malaysia) Weather
Monsoon Season: Malaysia has two monsoon seasons, and Kellie’s Castle isn’t immune to these bouts of heavy rainfall. From May to September, the Southwest monsoon can bring quite a bit of rain.
And then from November to March, the Northeast monsoon can be quite a showstopper with its more intense downpours. Keep an umbrella handy or better yet, schedule indoor activities for these times.
Dry Season: Luckily, the sun does come out to play between the monsoons, around February and March, and then again in June and July. These are considered the driest months, with temperatures hovering around the high 80s to low 90s. Be sure to pack light clothes and lots of sunblock.
Hot and Humid: Being near the equator, it’s generally hot and humid throughout the year in Kellie’s Castle. But hey, you’re in a tropical paradise, right? The humidity can be intense, so it’s essential to stay hydrated.
Evening Showers: The weather is also known for its late afternoon showers, which can be quite refreshing after a day under the tropical sun. Just don’t let it catch you off guard; keep a light poncho or umbrella in your daypack.