The International Steam Pages
Kinta Heritage Trail 2017 Part 3
We stayed in the Reintree Lodge (Budget) Hotel, cheap and cheerful, with good sized rooms which were clean and well maintained and with excellent Wifi. It's a bit out of the way opposite the Methodist Girls School, but the nearby Curry Mee coffee shop provided an excellent breakfast. There's not much else in the immediate vicinity but plenty of choice if you walk some way north. We would particularly recommend the Ipoh Restaurant at 33, Jalan Masjid where we had three excellent Cantonese meals at a very reasonable price. The place was packed with families every evening so you can safely ignore the Tripadvisor reviews. If we were to return we might consider staying at the Abby Hotel by the River which is also competitively priced and more central.
East of the Kinta River, there is less to attract the tourist but it does host some Malay elements missing in the rest of the city centre. Just south of Jalan Sultan Iskander is the Dato Panglima Kinta Mosque built in 1898, we paused to take a picture and were grabbed by a friendly Malay lady who obviously relished the rare opportunity to educate a foreign tourist or two. It's a beautiful building, alas, she could not tell us why it had been repainted in this fetching blue. Next door is a large matching Malay house.
Behind the house are three wooden buildings which formerly served as a Malay school. They seem safe as they have been rented out to become small art galleries.
We now walked down the riverside path on the east side alongside Kampung Kuchai, an area almost overgrown with trees among which are many traditional Malay houses. To our right we could see Bukit Kledang with its masts which we had climbed earlier.
While one house is conspicuous from the river bank, most are hidden and only when we turned off to attempt a short cut did we get a close up view. Most of the houses have been abandoned and are waiting to fall down..
Some though have had a new lease of life as bases for small Chinese workshops. John was in his element here, there were masses of ancient trucks being cannibalised, even with Malaysia's lax roadworthiness regulations I doubt any would have been fit for anything save plantation usage. By way of a change, this car was being patched up, I would hesitate to call it a restoration. Under the bonnet was a plate which proclaimed it to be a series ZA MG from the Abingdon works, car number KAA23 / 14779 with engine number BP 156A/ 14637. Known as the ZA Magnette then it would date from between 1954 and 1956. Ipoh may well be a treasure trove of such creatures, near to out hotel was a seemingly abandoned 'Austin of England' , the bonnet carried a '40 Austin 40' emblem, so I guess it is some kind of A40, at a guess the AA plate will be from the late 1950s
So ended our visit, like Taiping it was a case of 'Leave them wanting more', the more we had delved, the more we had found to interest us. It won't last for ever such is the pace of change in Malaysia, get there before it's too late.
Rob and Yuehong Dickinson