Count Your Blessings!

With love and passion, everyone can have a nice garden...Elaine Yim

Count Your Blessings!
Count The Garden By The Flowers, Never By The Leaves That Fall.
Count Your Life With Smiles And Not The Tears That Roll.
..... Author unknown.

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Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Taj Mahal of Ipoh

Today, we shall take a walk down another beautiful landscaped garden with equally majestic buildings.

Ipoh is rich in colonial history. At the turn of the 20th century, Ipoh was famous for its rich tin deposits and tin mines where vast fortunes were made, hence earning it the nickname, "the town built on tin" or "the city of millionnaires". Today, other nicknames has been added and this include "bougainvillea city" and "hill city". It is also famous for the wide variety or delicious food and "white coffee".
This is the Railway Station. Designed by Arthur Benison Hubback who was the British Architectural Assistant to the Director of Public Works at that time, this building was completed in 1917. Built according to "British Raj Moghul" style, the moorish domes and turrets led to its nickname "The Taj Mahal of Ipoh".

Today, this railway station also houses the Majestic Station Hotel. In front of this building, there is a beautifully landscaped bougainvillea garden complete with a war memorial and an arched walkway.

Here, there are swaying palms and rows of manicured shrubs, ixoras and bougainvilleas. The big tall tree is the Ipoh / Epu / Upas /Tree (Antiaris Toxicarial). It was found abundantly around town a very long time ago during the days when Ipoh was discovered. That was how Ipoh got its name.

This tree can grow up to a hundred feet tall. The indigenous people used its sap to make poisonous darts for their blowpipes. There is a signboard with explanatory notes next to the tree within the enclosed area.
Now, I will turn around in a clockwise direction and snap some pictures. The first picture above shows some evergreen trees (junipers?) growing slanted in a certain direction. Is it caused by the wind or do they usually grow like this? Well, I don't know.
This picture shows the Ipoh Town Hall building. Beautiful, isn't it? As usual, there are rows of bougainvilleas on both sides of the building. This building which was also designed by AR Hubback was completed in 1917. Notice the mix of renaissance and roman architectural features incorporated into the building. It has served as a post office and district police headquarters in the past. This white building is a delight for many amateur photographers wishing to take snapshots for photgraphy contests.

The Police Contingent Head Quarters of Perak is at the background, partly hidden by the arches. If you click on the photo, you'll be able to see more clearly. See the luscious lawn, ixoras, and bougainvilleas? I think we can sit or roll on the ground and take some hollywood/bollywood style pictures here.
More bougainvilleas and beautiful scenery for 'modelling' and posing for photographs or perhaps shoot some MTVs. The white building at the background is actually the post office.

If you walk down the road in front of this railway station, you will be able to see more colonial styled buildings. I have not included it here as I wish to keep to the garden theme and not deviate. In fact, this was one of the site selected for location shooting of the remake of the Hollywood film "Anna and The King" staring Jodie Foster.


  1. Around here the indigenous people used the sap of Maple trees to 'sweeten their diet'. Thanks to them we now have Maple Syrup.

    Ever since watching Tarzan as a kid I've fantasied about making poison darts. Not that I need to use them. My 'Posted - No Tresspassing' signs work well enough to keep the 'Great White Hunters' off my land

  2. Bell..., I have stayed in that hotel before!!... It used to be just Station Hotel I think, without majestic at the front..
    ~ bangchik

  3. WiseAcre, I like to eat pancake and waffle with maple syrup. I didn't know that it was introduced by the indegeneous people. How wonderful! The indigenous people are called "orang asli" here in Malaysia and they are now modernised but still very much a part of our culture. Eco-tourism with visits to orang asli villages has been organised by Tourism Operators here. You can try out their blowpipes during the tour. It can be quite accurate if you learn fast.

    Bangchik, How nice to know that you have stayed at the Station Hotel. The view from above must be spectacular. Yes, that was the former name. I really want to stay in this budget hotel to feel the grandeur but then, isn't is funny if I go back to Ipoh and don't stay at ancestral home. What will the relatives think of me? Ha Ha.

  4. The city is really beautiful now. I love the new landscape. These pictures give me a lot of memories of the past. I grew up walking along this road heading to the public library ;-D

  5. I love the Town Hall building. The landscaping is lovely.

  6. The Juniper trees caught my attention. I agree the landscaping is perfectly lovely and whats more its greens esp the slanting trees.

  7. Stephanie, I feel the same too. I find that I didn't really realised how much I have missed until recently when I came back and decided to take some time off visiting Ipoh old town. It was like walking down memory lane all over again.

    Philip, thank you very much for visiting my blog and for your nice comments

    FJL, these trees are actually slanting towards the war memorial and main road direction.

  8. I must do a trip and visit Ipoh one day. You've shown some lovely sights. Somehow, with Taiping , my hometown close by, I didn't venture there during my young days.

  9. Hi Autumn Belle! You have so many beautiful places to visit. I hope I could visit those gardens too! I only have old file factory or something like that in my hometown.

    Happy weekend!


  10. Wow! I wish I could see this in person! My boss will be flying there mid August for business and also plans to see the Taj Mahal! Fun.

  11. Sunshine girl,
    Ipoh is definitely a good place to visit. Delicious food like taugeh chicken, curry chicken wrapped in bread, salt-baked chicken, chicken shredded hor fun, chee cheong fun, many types of deserts (tong shui), portugese egg tarts, dim sum and moon cakes now. The list is endless. Everytime I go back, its like a gourmet/makan trip for me with non-stop eating througout the day and night! However, the popiah doesn't taste as good as the popiah I had in Taiping many years ago. Also, it may be a good idea to stay at the Majestic Station hotel. The railway station is within walking distance to Ipoh Old Town, where all the memories come alive.

    Kaija, yes we have beautiful places here. The Swiss Alps is also very very beautiful. Hope you can visit Malaysia one day.

  12. Daisy, I'm glad to hear this. Ipoh Old Town is just a short distance away from the Railway Station. There are many century old buildings here, like the Ipoh Field, Royal Ipoh Clubhouse, St. Michael's Institution, etc. Please look out for my next post.

  13. That's a gorgeous site, and a majestic tree! Very cool.

  14. Tatianak, thank you for visiting my blog and for the nice comments.


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