A place in Malaysia you’ve probably never heard of: Kampar

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To the average tourist, Kampar is an unknown sleepy hollow 40 km south of Ipoh, but to World War II veterans, the town was the scene of a ferocious battle between British and Indian troops from the 11th Indian Infantry Division and the Japanese 5th Division.

From 30 December, 1941 to 2 January, 1942, the British and Indian forces, numbering only 1,300 men, inflicted heavy casualties on an invading force of more than 6,000, before retreating.  This battle was a Pyrrhic victory for the Japanese Imperial Army. Today, a memorial stands at Green Ridge, which, sadly, is not sign-posted.

What to do in Kampar?

Do a walkabout to see old buildings

Kampar - anglo chinese school

Exploring Kampar does not require any map as it has only two main roads. With gentrification sitting on a back-burner, the town still retains its Old World charm. Its most noted heritage building is the Anglo-Chinese School which was founded in 1903 by Reverend W.E Horley.

Located on Jalan Kuala Dipang, the present structure was built in 1919. During the Japanese Occupation, it was turned into a Kempetai detention centre. The two-storey structure features a lower veranda that is supported by semi-circular arches. Balustrades run along the entire length of the first-storey veranda.

Several other pre-war buildings located along the same road showcase a myriad of architectural styles:

Kampar - Persatuan Koo Kong ChowPersatuan Koo Kang Chow was inspired by art stucco elements. Its roof features a high broken pediment topped with five finials resting on square bases.

kampar - persatuan nam phun soon

Constructed in 1929, Persatuan Nam Phun Soon exhibits a hybrid of Chinese and Art Deco influences. A low pediment on the ridge of its flat roof is embellished with horizontal pilasters.

kampar - hokkien kong hoey


The Hokkien Kong Hoey harks back to 1937, and typifies Art Deco style with an emphasis on vertical and horizontal elements. The frieze of its roof is adorned with horizontal motifs.

kampar - mayban finance berhad

The former Mayban Finance Berhad exhibits Georgian designs. Sadly, it now stands abandoned.

Kampar - wisma tamil methodist

Another eye-catching structure is the Wisma Tamil Methodist with its Baroque and Palladian motifs and friezes above window panels. Two pediments of a pans design hem a central semi-circular pediment. The church was founded in 1952 and services are in Tamil and English.

Kamapr - catholic church

At Jalan Iskandar stands the quaint Sacred Heart Church at Jalan Iskandar. Established in 1908, the church’s present structure was constructed in 1937. Two pediments of a pans design hem a central semi-circular pediment. The church was founded in 1952 and services are in Tamil and English.

Visit the lakeside park and Muhibbah Garden


Kampar is also the site of the TAR University. Its campus stands beside a scenic lake where verdant hills form a backdrop.  Bursting with beautiful flowers, a park on the bank of the lake becomes a focal point for morning exercises and evening strolls among the town folks.

Muhibbah Park, inspired by the concept of a Japanese garden, also offers quiet moments amidst landscaped greenery. The park is located opposite the Kampar police station.


Eat claypot chicken rice and chicken biscuits

Kampar - Claypot

Finally, mention must be made of  Kampar’s famous claypot chicken rice.  The dish is rice cooked with marinated chicken pieces and sausages in a claypot, and served with a small piece of salted fish. A good buy before your goodbye is chicken biscuit, which is sold by confectionery stores and grocers.

How to find Kampar

The town is about two hours north of KL, via the Lebuhraya Utara / AH2.

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Alan Tan

Hello, I believe most of the Malaysian know where is Kampar!

Bavithiran Karuppiah

Prasana Balaratnam your propaganda ain’t gonna work okay…

Choen Lee

The Japanese victory here against the British defenders was not a phyrric victory. This battle opened a freeway southwards, allowing the invaders to march almost unchecked towards and into Singapore.

Fil Akmam Kadiron this tasek petang petang you can see memberang running2 chasing one and other here…hahhah..can fishing to..also can cuci mata..looking awek utar ..hahjajajja

Jaideep Patel

I find it hard to believe that Malaysians have not heard of Kampar.

Sasi K. Mathavan-Greig

Peter MichaelGreig Ashley Greig-Momin Vinod Tynan Greig

Nicholas Wong

Laura Lau macam so amazing like that :’D

Laura Lau

All I know is kampar is a very hot place. ?

Hon Bin Woon

When do you want to visit ?

Redzy Redz

Hon Bin Woon when u are there…

Kim Chin

A very small town, but you can find 3 ToTo outlets, 2 magnum and 2 1+3D outlets. Except for HSBC and Citibank, the rest of banks you also can find it here.

Kim Chin

Actually many peoples know Kampar….I cycle to there everyday…..。

Francis Koh

We are proud that the Indian soldiers have contributed to the defence of our country .

Gertrude Soong

We really have alot of lovely places right here in CUti Cuti Malaysia..BE thankful for it.

Ekram Uz Zaman

you got me at the chicken biscuits (cc: Shakeel Irfan)

Charanjit Mann

Hahaha u come I will take u to this place

Qalisha Liana

Kt dh p dh Hanan Lazim hehee..

Hanan Lazim

Aah la..outdoor pengantin lama Rozita Saadan 🙂

Qalisha Liana

Tu pn sbb ikot korang…klu x…xtaw ada tmpt cntik ni…heheh

Hanan Lazim

Tu kna discover n explore tmpt2 bru..sabtu ni.hahaha

Rozita Saadan

Pengantin lama tggu nk meletup ja ni Hanan Lazim

Qalisha Liana

Selamat bersalin Rozita Saadan ??

Rozita Saadan

Thanks yana comey Qalisha Liana..hepi besday yana..stay cute

Samantha Dolton

Pamela Dolton Alex Nikiteas chicken biscuits?!

Aizia Mariam

A wonderful place to visit…

Bridget O'Neill

Kadeisha Ajalon!! We are famous.

Kristen Kamini

Oh Christina Krishnan town right?? Famous people

Chris Raj

Hahahahaha!!! I just tumpang nie..

Kristen Kamini

Chris Raj your ktown clan!

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