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
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:
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.
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.
The former Mayban Finance Berhad exhibits Georgian designs. Sadly, it now stands abandoned.
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.
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
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.
"ExpatGo welcomes and encourages comments, input, and divergent opinions. However, we kindly request that you use suitable language in your comments, and refrain from any sort of personal attack, hate speech, or disparaging rhetoric. Comments not in line with this are subject to removal from the site. "
E&O Acquires Prince House In Central London
Penang developer Eastern & Oriental Bhd (E&O), has obtained acquisition of Prince House.
Australian International School Wins At World Scholar’s Cup
The Australian International School (AISM) walked away with 56 awards at the World Scholar's Cup Malaysia Round!
More Malaysians Returning Home as Talent Corp’s Efforts Bear
Talent Corp Malaysia has received good response for its returning expert programme where experienced Malaysian professionals abroad are provided incentives to return...
Japan Street Market in Kuala Lumpur
Tourist, locals and expats (Japanese expats especially) will be able to experience the Shimokita Creative Street Market, Japan's famous creative street market,...
H.E. Simon Featherstone Officially Opens ISP
More than 500 guests, parents, Board members students, teachers and staff gathered on Tuesday 29th May 2012 for the official opening of...
Movie – Dark Shadows
The magnificent duo - Johnny Depp and Tim Burton - are back with another must watch movie, Dark Shadows.
Movie – Men in Black 3
Agents J played by Will Smith and Agent K played by Tommy Lee Jones, are back with more fun and action in...
Mizz Nina – Not Waiting for Anyone
How often do you hum along with a song on the radio without any idea who sings it? "Baby...baby..tell me whatcha whatcha...
Timothy Tsukamoto,The Man Behind the Music
As the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO) nears its 15th year of existence, a new face has arrived to join the team. While...
An Island of Food
Malaysians are passionate about their food. Each state in Malaysia is famous for one or two dishes (Johor is well known for...