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