Why Study at Kampar?
Kampar, in Perak, evokes thoughts of a laid-back lifestyle surrounded by nature’s greenery. The town rose to prominence in the 1800s after tin was discovered there. The area was officially named Kampar in 1891 as miners rushed to find their fortunes. The mining boom attracted mining magnates who made a beeline to extract the precious ore there.
The town’s fortunes took a slight dip after the tin mining boom faded but has reinvented itself to become one of Malaysia’s premier education hubs today. Situated centrally the state of Perak, Kampar is about 40 minutes from Ipoh, the state’s capital. In addition, the town is just over two hours away from the country’s capital city of Kuala Lumpur. Nestled within the lush Kinta Valley, the town fits the modern demands for balanced education in a conducive environment.
As an education hub, Kampar boasts of several internationally renowned institutions, including Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR), and Tunku Abdul Rahman University College (TARUC). In addition to the availability of higher education, Westlake International School has established itself at this central location to serve the educational needs for primary, secondary, and pre-university (A Levels).
What is there at Kampar?
Locals and long-term residents affectionately label the two major areas of the town “Kampar Old Town” and “Kampar New Town”. Although not officially designated as such, both the old town and new town combine the best of the old with the shine of the new.
As the name shows, Kampar Old Town is where the living traditions, culture, and heritage are kept alive. The area retains much of its prewar charm. Rows of heritage shop houses, some with their original facades lovingly maintained, greet those who make their way there.
The old town is still the best place to have a bowl of freshly prepared noodles and washed down with a hot cup of coffee. Many Westlake International School faculty, staff, and even students, have their personal favorites and will happily share where their must-goes are when asked. The school’s Marketing, Boarding, and Operations (MBO) director Dion Ooi recommends “leicha” (rice served with a tea made from pounding a mixture of fragrant herbs), Hakka noodles, and Indian food.
Kampar New Town meanwhile is where most of the development is taking place. The area is home to modern office buildings and commercial services setup to serve the education industry, as well as the growth in small-medium-enterprises (SME) mushrooming in and around the district. This place is also home to several many hypermarkets including Lotus, and Econsave, which offers a broad range of sundries and groceries for shoppers. The town has a variety of fast food eateries such as Mc Donald's, Starbucks, Subway and Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) which is highly populated by students from Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR), and Tunku Abdul Rahman University College (TARUC) as it is just around the corner.
Housing options are varied enough to suit all types of residents. Many houses are available for rent, while landed homes are reasonably priced. Kampar also represents one of the best chances to snag a hidden property gem. Snuggled within the Kinta Valley is the Kampar Lake and dotted around its shores are many lakeside properties for the discerning real-estate buyer.
What can I do at Kampar?
Eat. Malaysia is well known for good food and Kampar is no exception. The town is home to Malays, Chinese, Indians, and Orang Asal (OA), the indigenous people of the country, and the local cuisine reflects a melting pot of delectable delicacies.
Start the day with a morning walk around the lake. After working up an appetite, head to the old town and breakfast at the many quaint coffee-shops slippery noodles and hot coffee. For those who want spice, Malay and Indian options are widely available as well. Pair fragrant nasi lemak (coconut rice) with crispy anchovies or match fresh chutneys with thosai (fermented rice pancake) at the many eateries. Otherwise, look out for trays of freshly steamed dimsum at the many Chinese coffee-shops dotted around.
Walk off the heavy breakfast by with an educational visit to the Kinta Tin Mining Museum to step into the history of this more than 100 years’ old town. Also visit the Tanjung Tualang TT5 tin mining dredge. Although no longer in use, the huge factory was one of the giants in driving development for the surrounding areas of Kampar, and Perak.
Options for lunch are as varied as that for breakfast. For something hearty, go for curry chicken bread where a spicy but creamy chicken curry is wrapped in soft, pillowy bread. Alternatively, keep an eye out for clay pot chicken rice or go down the traditional route with authentic and hearty Hakka cuisine. If that is too heavy, go for a bowl of fish ball soup with bouncy fishy bites floating in ladles of light but flavorful broth. Otherwise, down a bowl of laksa, where thick rice noodles are immersed in a fragrant broth of fish and local herbs.
Then escape the afternoon heat with a trek to the Lata Kinjang Waterfall and cool off under clear and cold rushing waters. Alternatively, get a guide and visit the nearby Orang Asli villages for a learning journey and cultural immersion like no other.
If time permits, grab a pair of binoculars and head for the many hiking trails within the serene jade-green Kinta Valley. Home to many migrating birds, bird watchers are sure to delight in the many avian wings they spot.
For the adventurous, Kampar is a Malaysian byword for riverine sports. Book a seat for a thrilling white-water rafting experience. After that nail-biting experience, grab a tube to float lazily down the river while enjoying the cool breeze and riverbank scenery. For something less of an adrenaline rush but still hinting of adventure, set the GPS to one of the many limestone caves to marvel at how water and time combine to create wonders underground.
As the afternoon creeps into the evening and after enjoying nature at one of the many waterfalls and public gardens, go local for a pick-me-up. Visit one of the many old-school bakeries to tuck into a custardy egg tart hot off the oven. Also, locals, visitors, as well as Westlake staff and students, are also known to have their favorite haunts where local pastries and confections, like the “chicken biscuits” and “egg tarts” are snapped up by the dozen to snack on.
In the evening, end the day with fresh seafood at the rows of seafood eateries in Tanjung Tualang, just a 15 minute drive away. Choose from an array of fish, squid, crabs, and assorted shellfish, which are cooked to order. Enjoy the sunset with a freshly opened coconut before heading back home by the lake, where the lights of Westlake International School can be seen glittering on the waters.
Why choose Westlake International School?
The Westlake International School is a purpose-built campus overlooking the serene Kampar lake. The school’s strategic location excels in providing boarding services for students who can retreat to nature while enjoying modern amenities a modern town offers.
Built within the Kinta Valley’s lush greenery, the location is the perfect environment to focus on studies and develop as a person. The school offers a wide range of educational programmes and boarding is designed to nurture the unique talents of each individual learner.
The curriculum includes the language center, short-term programmes, character and career coaching (CCC), primary education, secondary education, and A Levels. Learn more about how the school is driving education excellence at https://westlakeschool.edu.my/education/# or contact us at https://westlakeschool.edu.my/contact-us/ and our friendly education consultant will get back soonest.