Monday, February 22, 2010

A pocket of paradise in Taiping - the Lake Garden

Whichever way they twist, 'sentries' in a row, they seek the waters

Mirror my lovely branches

Lightly treading the waters

The plaque that says ' The Oldest Lake Garden in Malaysia

Pink fluffy flowers

In the shady embrace of the branches of the raintree

Looking through the eyes of Nature

Many a date/romance on this bridge

A little pocket of paradise on Earth sits in Taiping. So much of the fame of Taiping is owed to it. And whenever a conversation crops up about my hometown in Perak, in another breath, the Taiping Lake Garden inevitably surfaces.

KL is now my home but when the odd 'balik kampung' (back to one's village) visits take place, never would I miss a drive/stroll round the Taiping Lake Garden, still in awe of the natural beauty. The air always was ( still is!) fresher in the Lake Garden. We roamed the roads round the lakes and cycled aimlessly, taken many pictures in many favourite spots, and picnicked with classmates. My friend, Yen Peng, taught me how to ride a bike where the main children's playground stands. How we slid down those grassy slopes and shrieked with glee!

Those hide-and -seek days are gone but still loving you!

Love me forever!

Taiping in the Larut district, Perak was a town built on tin and wars were fought among the Chinese secret socieities for the lucrative mines in the 1870s. And to think its name in Chinese means 'everlasting peace'! The towkays earned their riches, the labour from China are now stories we hear of the enterprising migrants who left China to seek their fortunes and make a new home here and the dredges that pumped ore from the mining ponds are all long gone.

Fortune smiled on Taiping in 1880 when Colonel E S F Walker decided to turn the old mining ponds into the Lake Garden. Many little islands and lakes were created and a public garden - all of 62 hectacres of land at the foot of Bukit Larut (formerly known as Maxwell Hill) make up the Lake Garden.

I love the Lake Garden, a haven for everyone to enjoy. Luckily over the years, being the proud owners of this priceless green gem which no other town or city in the country can boast of, the people have not marred its beauty. In the mornings and evenings, the call of the natural beauty sees the townfolks enjoying the big parkland - walking , jogging, biking. The serenity is broken by the calls of the animals in the Zoo which is sited there. Newly -weds also love the setting for the photos to remember their wonderful day.

The clear lakes with the hills in the backdrop are picturesque. But I just love the raintrees ( Samanea saman). That, I would say, is the icing on the cake! Majestic trunks, green umbrella -shaped canopies, long branches extending tentacle -like, arching over heads and telegraph wires , dipping ever so gracefully to kiss the sweet waters of the lakes on the other side of the road. And in the bosom of their curvy, sturdier branches, the bird's nests sit prettily and grow unperturbed and really make it their home. In bloom, the tiny pink flowers look like powder puff. These trees stand in a nice row as if they have been appointed sentries to guard the beauty of the Lake Garden for posterity. If only they could speak! What tales will they tell? Well over 100 years and more, they continue to mesmerize .

Taiping is very much a historical town. It is blessed with many 'firsts' in Malaysia - for example, first prison, first British Resident's house, first hill resort (all in , more than 30 in the list!) . If there's an itch to check this town out, do not delay. Go 'cuti-cuti ( holiday) in Taiping! The Lake Garden will just take your breath away!

Natural beauty for all to enjoy

The morning sun casting its glow

Spready branches skimming the water surface

How low can you go?

Island in the sun

Old, huge and sturdy

Come , live here and make your home

Paddleboat pleasures

The zig -zag bridge still stands and what fun we had.


  1. You have got to have one of the most interesting blogs and colorful. I hope you get some visitors from my award. I typed all the url's according to the current ones at the top of the page. Some came out really good and I think yours was one.

  2. Amazing photos -thank you for such a gorgeous post.

  3. UNIQUE tree shots .....
    Its something for a Harry Potter movie ;)
    Wonderful post today my compliments !!!!

  4. Hi Keats! Sorry for another long absence, but after a busy start of the year I decided to make a break during the Carnival week, anticipating new hard weeks ahead!!

    Wonderful post with excellent pictures! Those greens are outstanding!!

    Meanwhile, Blogtrotter 2 is at sea. Hope you enjoy and have a great week!!

  5. Such gorgeous photos and evocative captions, Keats! I love raintrees too. Whenever anyone mentions Taiping, the first thing that comes to my mind are the raintrees in the Lake Gardens too. Paddleboats, bridges and gazebos... no wonder so many lovebirds choose to meet and date there! Thanks for another lovely post!

  6. Unbelievable beauty.

    Why can't we have more trees like that? Why, why, why. If we can have it in Taiping, we can make the same beauty elsewhere. The British has taught us how, why can't we continue to make our own.

    I am sorry Keats. Thank you for sharing with us such beauty and wonders. One of the trees threading water looks like it is bowing over to scoop water. Amazing grace.

  7. Beautiful lake garden! It sure looks like little paradise to me. The air most be fresh and relaxing. Have a wonderful week, my dear :)

  8. Hi
    Lucy, thank you very much for your award. I really appreciate it.

    Sonia,thanks so much!

    Anya, these trees are so special to us and we want them around forever:)

    wenn, welcome taipingite! I'm sure you know the trees as well as I do:) am really proud of OUR Lake Garden.

    Trotter, Good to hear from you. have a good break. Sorry to hear about the tragedy in Madeira.

    ~Covert_Operations'78~, thanks! see what I mean? Taiping Lake Garden has charmed many people! Maxwell Hill is another place I have to venture to on another trip. I really wonder what's up there now. That was also very much part of our childhood.

    Chow and Chatter, those trees are part of our heritage:))

    Ocean Girl, the beauty of these trees is beyond compare:) Yes, I agree. The town planners have to have foresight and have a 'green' heart/ mindset to get it right!

    Rosidah Abidin,i'm glad we have this beautiful garden to call our own. we have to be mindful of our actions for what's ours today can be gone tomorrow if we do not cherish them. This calls for preservation of its beauty.

  9. Cant help not thinking of Avatar when I see those huge trees. Lovely trees. Nice post. tQ

  10. I know, I love the trees over there!
    It is so alive and nostalgic ... :)

    And also, very good for Bollywood movies! :) Is that you hugging the tree?

  11. Oh I heard about the beauty of the Lake Garden in Taiping from my friends. They always said it's a very pretty place. Lol. Haha, the pictures you'd put had prove them right! Those pictures are really awesome!!!

  12. Thanks for the cheery note you left on my blog. fabulous to be back in touch. see you around...:)

  13. Nice place to go for a holiday thanks for the post.

  14. Beautiful. You have made me long foor a visit that probably won't happen. I will have to be somewhat satisfied with your pictures.

  15. Hi
    Bananaz, thanks!Would you believe it? I've not got round to watching Avatar. So, please excuse me:)The trees are real beauties indeed!

    lupie, are you from Taiping or thereabouts? Come to think of it, I wonder what movies have been shot there? Don't want damage to the lovely environment tho. Yes, it's me alright - my hubby was a bit shy when I wanted a few shots in view of passers-by! See, how huge and huggable it is!!

    FJ, welcome to my blog. glad you get to see the pics, at least for now. Do visit Taiping.

    Urban Green, i know you're feeling better now :) thanks for visiting.

    CheaHS@n, yes, I'd say 'cuti cuti' Taiping! There are many firsts to tick off the list!!

    Beyond The Garden,thanks! welcome to my blog. that's the beauty of blogs - we get to share and enjoy what's in other countries.

  16. Amazing! I love trees like that!
    I could sit there and relax...beautiful place!


  17. Taiping, I add this to my wish list. Lovely pics of the place.

  18. I hope the raintrees live on forever at Taiping Lake Gardens.

  19. Nice place. Was there recently. Have always like this lake garden since I was a kid. Nice pics.

  20. Hi
    Blogitse, definitely nice and relaxing!

    Indrani, thanks! if you're in KL, do let me know.

    Autumn Belle,same here - let's preserve and leave the rest to God:)

    AJ7, welcome to my blog. glad you're familiar with the Lake Garden too. Did you visit the Zoo there? And ride round to the foothills?

  21. Taiping is my hometown. Since after form 5, I came to KL and I miss Taiping. TAiping lake garden is my favourite place to go, I love those whimsical old trees.

  22. Yup.. took my kid for a visit to the Zoo there. Definitely one of the nicer places to visit. Has a rustic charm feel. We really like those big trees there. Love the kuihs in Taiping too.

  23. Hi
    Lay Hoon aka mescrap,welcome to my blog. Another Taipingite! Hope you're doing well. The charm of our humble town is still there for us.

    The Caffeinated Globe, thanks! when I wrote that caption, I was thinking of the song 'Jamaican Farewell' - the opening chorus line!

    Laura in Paris, thanks! trees to love and treasure - hug too!!

    AJ7, yup, the kuihs were all finished when we went to buy. Always popular. I hope modernization does not intrude into places where it should not step into!! Preserve and conserve.

  24. Gorgeous, and fantastic pictures. I love the trees, the reflections, and the water. What a beautiful place!

  25. Your post and pics are absolutely charming, Keats!

    Have a great Sunday!

  26. Hi
    Icy BC, thanks! Taiping has a rustic charm.

    Veronica Lee, if only our small towns are properly promoted by the state authorities, people will visit.A general spruce up will make the towns more presentable too.

  27. Your photos are beautiful. What a gorgeous and peaceful place this is. Thank you for sharing it.

  28. I so wish I could see this for myself. You've done a tremendous job of bringing it to life with your pictures, but it's so beautiful, I want to be there to experience it.
    Thanks for such a refreshing and inspiring post and pictures.

  29. Hi
    Pam, thanks! the Lake Garden is testimony to how we can maintain a lovely place if we have the will:))

    Anne Lynken-Garner,I'm really glad you enjoyed this post. It is a small tribute to all things beautiful:)))

  30. Love your photos! Feel like relaxing myself lol
    Hope I could visit this place someday ^_^

    Sunset in my Coffee

  31. HI
    Melanie,thanks for visiting. these trees are a shutterbug's delight! Wishes do come true - keep us on your wish list:))

  32. Hi this is my first visit, just followed your comment via Autumn Belle's. This man-made lake looks really old. Would you know how old those acacia trees are?

  33. Hi Andrea, welcome to my blog. Thank you for your interest. These trees are well over 100 years old.


Great to have you popping in!