Where would one go in the quiet tin-city state of Perak? The popular White Steamed Chicken (白斩鸡), Bean Sprout Chicken (芽菜鸡) and Curry Chicken Bread (咖哩面包鸡) stands firm for all food lovers. *I suddenly feel so smart putting the Chinese characters in but in actual fact, I can’t read a thing FML*
But disregarding our love for food, my folks and I decided to visit a quiet and serene spot yet highly frequented by foreigners in Batu Gajah, Perak. That’s about 20 minutes drive from the Ipoh town. It’s a well-known abandoned mansion called the Kellie’s Castle
The unfinished, ruined mansion (initially called the Kellas House) was built by a Scottish planter named William Kellie Smith. According to certain accounts, it was a gift for his wife. Why does everyone seem to build architectural wonders for their wives?
Hmm. Sounds like a good idea, my future husband better get an army of contractors, property developers, architects, construction workers and land owners to construct a ziggurat for me… in red. Or erect a Quadruplet Tower for me to replace the KLCC Twin Towers *hints*
Truth be told, they weren’t lazy at all. They all died of an epidermic called the flu. A virulent strain of the Spanish flu spread from Europe to Asia soon after World War I ended in Europe, killing many of the workers in the Kellas Estate, including 70 altogether.
In the end, Kellas House, later known as Kellie’s Castle or even Kellie’s Folly to some, was never completed. William Kellie Smith himself died of pneumonia during a short trip to Portugal in 1926. His heartbroken wife decided to pack up and return home to Scotland selling the estate and Kellie’s Castle to a British company
So we loitered all around the castle, from the dining area, the hall, the bedrooms, the wine cellars, the basement, the rusty metal unfinished elevator (which was off limits btw), the kitchen, the ballroom, the room which I reckon resembles a dungeon LOL, the store room and many others.
But nevertheless, I eventually succeeded in making mom sit at the ledge! Apart from cajoling and persuading her with logical reasons that she won’t fall flat on her face 100 metres down to the foot of the castle, I eventually dragged her to sit beside me 🙂
See mom? It ain’t so bad after all 🙂
BY THE WAY.
This is the best photo of mom I’ve ever taken. Truly depicts her inner soul! That high-flying corporate woman swamped with work at her desk totally needs to let down her hair and jump for joy! Literally. heh.
Soon after that, I came across a relatively deserted part of the castle – The Corridor. There were hardly anyone there but I just HAD to walk in. They say curiosity may kill the cat, but I say no fear, because I have two! Wtf.
And each cat has 9 lives so I’m pretty much invincible unless I get killed 18 times.
According to many claims, Willam Kellie Smith’s spirit was seen
hovering around this specific corridor, many a time
We climbed to the 3rd floor, where the rooftop courtyard for parties were initially planned to be. Hmm.. maybe if I were to celebrate my 21st birthday there, Kellie would pay me an eerie visit as my birthday present. Now, wouldn’t that be nais 🙂
How sad! If they ever did manage to complete it, the Kellie’s Castle would already be known for their indoor Tennis court and an elevator (the 1st in Malaysia back then).
It was already so popular as an incomplete mansion in the leading London dailies, I wonder how it will soar in fame should it be completed one day?
But if a wonder is meant to be, it will be. Kellie’s Castle is now a popular local tourist attraction and was used as a setting in the 1999 film Anna and the King. And of course, a perfect place to camwhore, be it with the family, friends or significant other!
Or all by yourself, if you please!