Ipoh frankly doesn’t have many things to do besides the food, hipster café hopping and Sunway Lost World. But just out of Ipoh, is Kinta Nature Park (Taman Alam Kinta in Malay) and Kellie’s Castle at Batu Gajah.
Table of Contents:
- How to drive to Kinta Nature Park
- Entrance fee
- Things to do at Kinta Nature Park
- Suggested Route (Ipoh – Batu Gajah – Tanjung Tualang)
Kinta nature park is Perak’s third state-gazetted park after Royal Belum and Pulau Sembilan.
Surprisingly, nature bird park is formed from previous tin-mining ponds.
The whole area covers close to 900 hectares but only about 400 hectare was gazetted as a nature park by the government.
This was done for easier management.
The park is not difficult to find. Head for Batu Gajah. It’s roughly a 50 minute drive from Ipoh to Batu Gajah.
Turn right after crossing the bridge.
There is a signboard directing people to use a dirt road (not quite a dirt road but it does have small potholes).
The dirt road runs parallel to the main road (on the left) and Kinta river (on the right). Drive slowly.
Along the road into the park, we observed a plateau of trash on the right. Many birds stood on top, presumably to scavenge for food.
The irony that a landfill should be so near to a nature park is alarming:
In these situations, it is easy to close one eye and carry on with your life but you can actually do something:
How to create less plastic/ styrofoam waste:
It’s as simple as eating at a restaurant instead of taking a doggy bag (taobao, bungkus, takeaway, etc).
You can even go one step further and request for no straws in your drink.
If you have to takeaway some food, make sure you bring a reusable food container with you. Same goes for drinks.
Kinta Nature Park Coordinates: 4.4251351,101.0533958
The park was thankfully, mostly trash free in comparison.
Admission is free but you have to register with your IC.
Many people appear to come here to fish. The sign only mentions that fishing with nets is not allowed.
This natural park is home to about 150 bird species. Pretty unbelievable, right?
The local birdwatchers probably all know about this place already. The guard or ranger or whoever he was, said that there are usually many more people in the morning.
We saw about 6 different species:
The storks are the easiest to spot with their long legs and large wingspans.
There are other smaller water birds too – bee eaters like the one pictured below.
Of course, there are kingfishers too. You can usually see the blue kingfishers anywhere in Malaysia, as long as there is fish around.
You don’t need a pair of binoculars to enjoy the view but it does make it easier to see what the birds are doing.
I brought along my dad’s ancient pair. It’s still functional even with the mold growing inside.
3. Climb the lookout tower
The lookout is four stories high and you can have unobstructed views of three quarters of the park from here.
4. Observe herons at “bird island”
There is an island in the middle of the lake where most of the storks gather. A great place for their nests.
When we were here, we found it well maintained with simple facilities.
The lookout post was recently painted though parts of the roof could use some TLC.
This map shows how close the 2 places are to Ipoh:
We started from Ipoh (after lunch) and went to the Kinta Nature Bird Park first, followed by the tin dredge and lastly Tanjung Tualang before heading back to Ipoh.
Distance from Ipoh to Tanjung Tualang: Approximatly 45 km (55 minutes’ drive)
If you plan to do this trip, it’s best to allow at least half day for it.
See a different and more peaceful side of Ipoh. Other than the extremely popular food and Old Town.
Even locals seldom come to Kinta Nature Bird Park.
The park is a little out of the way from the city but manageable if you’ve got a car to use. As always, bring sunscreen and mosquito repellent.
Do not forget a zoom lens or binoculars.
Keen to visit this place? Know a hidden gem in Ipoh? Leave a comment below.