Just out of Ipoh, is Kinta Nature Park (Taman Alam Kinta in Malay) and Kellie’s Castle at Batu Gajah.
For those that want to experience more than just the food, hipster café hopping and Sunway Lost World!
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.
Not surprising for this once tin-mine-rich area:
This nature bird park owes its landscape layout to previous tin-mining ponds.
The whole area covers close to 900 hectares but only about 400 hectares is gazetted as a nature park by the government.
This was done for easier management.
How to drive to Kinta Nature Park
The park is not difficult to find.
First, head to Batu Gajah if you’re coming from Ipoh. That’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. Prepare for a lot of bumps!
It’ll take you ~10 minutes to weave around all the potholes!
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!
Location of Kinta Nature Park
Kinta Nature Park Coordinates: 4.4251351,101.0533958
The park itself is thankfully, mostly trash free in comparison.
Entrance fee for Kinta Nature Park
Admission is free but you have to register with your IC.
Things to do at Kinta Nature Park
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 said that there are usually many more people in the early morning (8am). As well as from 5 pm onwards!
These are the best times to spot bird activity! In addition to all the aquatic flora and local fauna (e.g., monitor lizards and even otters!).
We saw about 6 different species of birds (you can probably tell from our descriptions that we’re not bird-watching enthusiasts) with our unpracticed eyes:
The storks and herons are the easiest to spot with their long legs and large wingspans.
There are other smaller wader birds too. And 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 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.
If you bring along your own portable stool, you can comfortably watch birds from there!
4. Observe herons at “bird island”
There is an island in the middle of the lake where most of the herons gather. A great place for their nests.
When we were here, we found it well maintained with simple facilities. Like the clear pathway that runs through the park to the waterfront.
There is a seating area at the banks. But like the lookout tower, there is bird poop all over.
The lookout post was recently painted though parts of the roof could use some TLC.
Suggested Route (Ipoh – Batu Gajah – Tanjung Tualang)
This map shows how close the 2 places (Batu Gajah and Tanjung Tualang) 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.
Even locals seldom come to Kinta Nature Bird Park! See this more peaceful side of Ipoh. It’s a big contrast to the extremely popular food haunts and Old Town.
The park is out of the way from the city but manageable if you have a car to use. As always, bring sunscreen and mosquito repellent.
Do not forget a zoom lens or binoculars.
TT5 Tin Dredge is not far from Kinta Nature Park and you might enjoy it better if you like history or have kids!
- Road trips you can do from Ipoh
- The charcoal factory in Kuala Sepetang
- Where to stay in Ipoh – affordable hotels
- Gua Tempurung Caving – Fantastic Caving Experience In Gopeng
- Hidden gem in Penang, Frog Hill – how to get there