Kampar came into prominence in the 1880s largely due to tin mining activities and its proximity to the iconic Kinta Valley. The bustling town developed rapidly but went into a slump in 1980s following a fall in demand and price of the metal worldwide.
Since the establishment of Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) in 2002, Kampar has regained its former glory and today it is often dubbed the education hub of Perak. Other educational institutions have taken root in Kampar following in the footsteps of this premier institution of higher learning which is ranked top 120 in Times Higher Education Asia University Rankings 2017.
Besides it being an education hub, Kampar is also known for its numerous touristic landmarks, which are rather exclusive to its populace. The timely exposure of these spots to visitors will enhance the marketability of Kampar, per se.
A shining example is Green Ridge the site of the Battle of Kampar in the opening days of the Japanese Occupation of Malaya (1941 to 1945). Over here fire trenches are still visible. The ferocity of the firefight between the invading Japanese Imperial Army and troops of the British Army was legendary. The ridge defenders were mainly Indians, Sikhs and Gurkhas from a composite British brigade. They managed to withhold the Japanese advance for four bloody days before retreating southwards.
The Kinta Tin Mining (Gravel Pump) Museum is a must visit for history buffs. Besides showcasing documents, it has a visual display of both rudimentary and modern tin-mining techniques and tin smelting. Records detailing the entry of Chinese indentured workers into the Kampar mining fields make good reference materials. Plans on current land reclamation exercises are also available for inspection.
Agacia Kampar City, located near UTAR and the Westlake International School is a crowd favourite due to its unique Disneyland-styled shop lots. Take a breather at cafes offering a variety of menus named after Disney cartoon characters such as Alice, Beauty and the Beast, Maleficent, Snow White and others.
Have a taste of Laksa Sanggul introduced in the early 1970s. The mouth-watering dish is available at the main market every morning between 7am and 12pm. The sauce is made from the flesh of wolf herrings, which is filtered manually. The fleshy noodles (laksa) are homemade from rice and wheat flour.
The Batu Berangkai Waterfalls is a perfect site for a family-oriented picnic on weekends. Enjoy the cool and invigorating mountain water cascading down Bujang Melaka, which stands 1233m (4045ft) above sea level.
Escape the hustle and bustle of the city for a well-deserved holiday at Refarm, a 26-acre recreational farm located just 4km from Kampar.
Here you get to see deer, rabbits, peacocks, ostriches and chickens ambling amongst the fresh and organically-grown tropical greens.
The farm’s two pools, with cool clean water sourced from the mountains, are available for swimming and various water sports making it a perfect outing for your family.
Refarm too offers comfortable and luxurious accommodation with multiple concepts. The farm’s most delectable dishes namely, Talapia Goreng Sos Batong, Ayam Lemon and Sayur Goreng Belacan will help stimulate your appetite after a gruelling day in the sun.
Let’s make a beeline to Kampar.