Pangkor, with its charming mix of fishing settlements and resorts, is a fascinating and convenient holiday destination. It presents the visitor with a rare chance to live near fishermen and observe their lifestyle and also to simply enjoy the fine beaches and resort amenities. The fishermen live in scattered settlements on the eastern side, facing the town of Lumut and Teluk Batik. Visitors get a chance to see some of them on the 40-minute ferry ride from Lumut as the ferry stops at the main settlements of Sungai Pinang Kecil and Sungai Pinang Besar before landing at Pangkor Town. Pangkor’s two popular beach areas of Pasir Bogak and Teluk Nipah offer sun and sea enthusiasts’ activities like scuba-diving, snorkelling, wind-surfing and fishing. While Pasir Bogak is quite developed, Teluk Nipah still retains its kampung or village atmosphere. Teluk Ketapang or Turtle Bay still receives turtles on their egg-laying pilgrimages. Some of the resorts on the island also have excellent golf courses on their property.
Sungai Klah Hot Spring Park
Sungai Klah Hot Springs is nestled in the serene and lush forest patches, surrounded by hills and clear cold mountain streams and rivers. All 6.5 hectares enjoy the scenic view of well-tended oil palm plantation and durian orchard amidst a haven of tranquility. Its unique concept of a specially designed free flowing Hot Springs Swimming Pool and Therapeutic Park at the foothill of the Titiwangsa Range 200 feet above sea level is indeed creatively engineered to attract visitors who appreciate the wonders of nature. Families visiting the park can try out the family baths and enjoy the privacy of this special treat. Another popular family activity not to miss out on is the hot springs egg-boiling experience. For visitors who are keen to experience the local Malay massage, the park offers one of the finest traditional massage packages to benefit from. For more adventure, visitors can take on the challenge of the Sungkai River or work off the calories trekking in and around the park as you immerse yourself in the natural wonders that surround the location.
Kellie’s Castle was meant to be a home away from home for Scottish Planter, William Kellie Smith in the 20th century. Being far away from home, Kellie desired his new residence to be reminiscent of his home back in Scotland. The castle is perched on top of a hill in what used to be a rubber estate. William Kellie Smith was an interesting man who was popular with his South Indian workers. Kind at heart, he erected a Hindu shrine for his workers on the castle premises. As a token of appreciation, his workers erected a statue of Kellie complete with a white suit and hat. Construction of this unique castle began in 1915. However, it came to an abrupt halt with Kellie’s sudden death in 1926. The solitary castle, looks almost surreal in these wild plantations of Perak, it projects a strong personality and an aura of mystery.
Recently, efforts have been made by the Perak State Government to rescue this magnificent structure from the encroaching foliage. Besides being haunted, the castle is believed to have hidden rooms and secret underground tunnels. The road that leads to Kellie’s Castle follows the contours of the land in a dizzying, maze-like fashion, adding to the mystery and romance of the place.
Sam Poh Tong Temple
Sam Poh Tong is a famous cave temple located in Gunung Rapat, about 5km south of Ipoh. It is said to be the biggest cave temple in the country, and is an impressive work of art with various statues of Buddha interspersed among the stalactites and stalagmites. According to legend, the cave was discovered in 1890 by a monk from China who was passing through Ipoh; he decided to make it his home and a place for meditation. He remained there for 20 years until his death. Till today, nuns and monks who dedicate their lives to Buddha still occupy the Sam Poh Tong. The present temple facade dates back to the 1950s and a stiff climb of 246 steps will lead you to an open cave with an excellent view of Ipoh and its surroundings. Other attractions at the temple include a beautiful Japanese pond full of Japanese carps and tortoises, which are a symbol of longevity. Within the temple, visitors can discover the artistic works of man and nature – beautifully carved statues of Buddha in various forms sit amidst amazing stalactites and stalagmites.