Kellie's Castle: For Love or Folly?

I decided to stay in Malaysia for around a week before I headed to Southern Thailand to explore some of the islands. I was looking at different destinations but decided to go to Ipoh, Perak. I knew little about Ipoh but I decided to wing it anyway. Upon further research when I arrived at my hostel, I found out that I could visit an abandoned (yet restored and well-preserved) castle.

Kellie's Castle

The castle was financed by William Kellie Smith. The construction began in 1915 and remained unfinished when he passed away.

The castle was supposed to be a symbol of Kellie's love for his wife and family.

Kellie wanted to build a castle that follows Scottish, Indian, and Moorish architecture. He then hired and brought 70 craftsmen from Madras, India to help build the castle.

Sadly, Kellie died at the age of 56 when he caught pneumonia during his trip to Portugal. His wife was devastated after his death, she then moved back to Scotland.

I wandered around the mansion's different rooms and saw the overall vision of Kellie. During construction of the castle, Spanish Flu struck the workers, killing some of them. There are rumors that his ghost and some of the workmen still lurked around the castle. The vacant spaces and unfinished rooms were indeed kind of eerie, thankfully, I was in the castle during the full light of day.

The castle had a romantic yet sad aura about it. The unfinished rooms and skeletons of the different sections of the castle are now just unfulfilled memories.

Kellie's Castle is now a local tourist attraction in the town of Batu Gajah in Perak. The castle has also been used in the film Anna and the King.

How to Get to Kellie's Castle

You can rent a taxi to take you to the castle for MYR25 one way. Alternatively, you can take the train to Batu Gajah for MYR6 one way, and ride a taxi to the castle for MYR10. There is also an entrance fee of MYR10 for foreigners. I could not find any public transport that passes by the castle, but maybe you would have better luck.


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