Tuesday, April 26, 2011

20-24th April 2011 Taiping (Raintown) & Ipoh

Maxwell Hill-remembered
A visitor to Taiping will find the town “olde worlde” as many of the “colonial” buildings are very much in use.   This old town with modern traffic is surprisingly easy to get around in a car inspite of having to negotiate “roundabouts” and wait on traffic when turning into side roads.  We came to Taiping for Maxwell Hill (now known as Bukit Larut) and on our early morning up the hill we saw our “silver” bird nesting right in front of us as we walked up one of the tracks
Silver-breasted Broadbill & more Taiping Photos
In town we met “Leong” at the Tourist information who told us the information office was just reopened a week ago and he shared some old photographs showing the “old” and the “new” Taiping with little change except for the “vehicles” found on the roads.  For more information check his FB site “Raintown Taiping” which he hopes will bring more visitors to his hometown.  We found the Lake Garden and the vicinity around worth visiting especially the Perak Museum, the oldest museum in Malaysia.  Of course Maxwell Hill is a must go for some cool air and this is also the first hill station built by the British.  You can get a nice view of “Raintown” from the top station after a 25 minute ride in a jeep for which you need to get tickets at the base office.
Blue Rock Thrush & more Ipoh Photos
Two days later we drove south to Ipoh on Good Friday.  There were a few places on our list to visit with a morning stop at the Kledang-Sayong Hill.  When we arrived at 9:30am we found people walking up while the early birds were coming down from their morning walk.  One of the walkers told us it takes 2 hours to walk to the summit.  We were a little late for the birds but checked out the road to the summit.  While we heard the bird calls we spotted only a few. 

Collared Falconet & more from Kellie's Castle

We then visited a couple of the “Tong” (caves ), Ipoh is also known as “San Seng” meaning Hill City.  
In the late afternoon we visited the town (the old part and the new part).   We had been recommended to visit the “Kinta Nature Park” so on our 2nd day in Ipoh we drove early with the GPS coordinates to guide us.  

We found the park after a slow and bumpy drive on a dirt track next to a lake.  At the “park” we found lots of herons, storks and egrets among others, perched on trees in the islands in the lake.  Some people were fishing and nearby were several commercial duck farms and further on another track  some quarrying activity in operation.    In the late afternoon we drove to Kellie’s Castle and found a “Collared Falconet” perched on a bare tree, a lifer for us.   In the evening we went back to Ipoh town to check out the “Pasar Malam”, where we tried Ipoh’s  famous beansprout,  steam chicken and “Hor Fun” which was a tasty finish to our short holiday in the Kinta Valley.
More Kinta Photos

Sunday, April 10, 2011

A Quiet Morning in Panti

Saturday we made an early start for Panti and arrived at 6:50 am, just as the sky was beginning to lighten. Together with Jacky and Lioe, we spent the morning covering most of the bunker trail, but unfortunately it was not a very productive morning. It seems the vehicular traffic has again increased, after a recent lull. Also there was indication of poaching.
Link to Panti Photos