Malaysia

Road trip to Kampar

Before the existence of the North South Highway, I used to pass by Kampar on my drive back to Ipoh (my hometown) from Kuala Lumpur, where I work and live now. But since the opening of the North South Highway ages ago, I have not been to Kampar.

One Sunday (recently) we set off from Klang at about 11am to visit Kampar. We exited the North South Highway at the Rawang exit to drive to Kampar via the old trunk road – a single lane carriageway. It was a big mistake to exit at Rawang as the traffic in Rawang, even on a Sunday morning, was horrendous. A better alternative would be to exit at Slim River.

Kerling – this is one of the towns that we pass on the way to Kampar. Like most town along this old trunk road, it is just another sleepy town.

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The market of Kerling town
The market of Kerling town

Temoh – just as the previous town of Kerling, it is completely bereft of any activities – another sleepy town.

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Kampar – my memories of Kampar was of a bustling town with a lot of food stalls and famous for fish ball noodles and cutterfish with paku (a type of vegetables that grows wild, normally on the banks of rivers). The town’s economy was driven by the many tin mines there because of high tin ore reserves in the area. Before the existence of the north south highway, it is also a town that you will pass through if you are travelling from Kuala Lumpur to Ipoh or Penang and many travellers will stop here to have their lunch or shop for some of the town’s specialities.

However, the economic recessions in the 1980s put paid to the fortune of most of the tin mining companies. The opening of the North South Highway accelerated the decline of Kampar, as the town was now by-pased by the highway. Hardly any traveller will exit the highway to stop by at Kampar.

Hardly the Kampar I used to remember
Hardly the Kampar I used to remember

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The corner shop which sell the famous curry chicken bread and salted chicken
The corner shop which sell the famous curry chicken bread and salted chicken

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We had fish ball noodle in this shop. Compared to what I remember, it was mediocre to say the least
We had fish ball noodle in this shop. Compared to what I remember, it was mediocre to say the least
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Almost empty street

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Deserted
Deserted
The hawker centre with most of the shops closed
The hawker centre with most of the shops closed
Restaurant serving claypot chicken rice
Restaurant serving claypot chicken rice

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We took a walk around the sleepy town and visited the night market and bought some paku (a type of vegetables that grow wild usually along the banks of rivers) and then head for home via the north south expressway.

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Bought the paku from this uncle who also sell other kind of vegetables
Bought the paku from this uncle

Although Tunku Abdul Rahman University College (TARC) and Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) now have campuses in Kampar (situated in another area near Kampar town, I think called Kampar New Town), it didn’t seem to bring any changes to sleepy Kampar Town.

Despite Kampar being very different from what I remember, it still was a very enjoyable trip for me going down memory lane.

All photos shot with Fuji XE-1 with Fujinon 18mm f2 lens and Nikon D810 with Nikkor 24-120mm f4g lens.

2 thoughts on “Road trip to Kampar

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