Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Sites : Teluk Intan Leaning Tower

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Teluk Intan, Perak, Malaysia - September 2014
Talk about Teluk Intan, a small town in Perak, and inadvertently the conversation will be steered in the direction of its leaning tower. Yes, Malaysia has its equivalent of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, albeit a shorter version but one that has a noticeable lean.
While on a on a bike-packing cycling trip from Ipoh to Teluk Intan, we visited this icon twice, once at night when the tower is lit up in various dazzling colours and then again the following morning, to view it in broad daylight.

The 23.3 metres tall tower is located at the old town centre. It is not that tall, so from afar it will not be seen, just ask for directions from the local. But back in earlier days it use to act as a beacon, guiding ship sailing along the Perak River to Teluk Intan.
In local Bahasa Malaysia it is called the Menara Condong Teluk Intan.

The best location to view this tower is from the junction of Jalan Bandar and Jalan Ah Cheong, near the Hong Leong Bank. From here it's lean looks more pronounced and the red column bases can be seen to be of noticeable different heights.

Built in 1885 by Leong Choon Chong, it looks like a Chinese eight-tiered pagoda. The tower is still a functioning clock tower, with the clock facing Jalan Bandar.

The clock's mechanism is akin to that of a Swiss Cuckoo clock, operated with cables and weights. Along the upper perimeter platforms of the tower, rectangular holes allow the cables and weights to pass through unhindered.

The clock's cables act as vertical plumb-lines which shows the leaning tilt of a door frame behind them.

Other than the clock, its main function was that of a water tank tower, storing water for the town's use. Right at the top can be seen the underside of a spherical galvanized steel tank.
It is the weight of the water in the tank coupled with the soft marine clay ground on which the structure stands that has led to its leaning.
The tank is now not in used and pipes leading out from it disconnected.

On the external wall, pipe works has been uncoupled to prevent damage to the pipe and the structure.

Entrance into the tower is free and is up these bright red steps and through an arch door.

Although looking like a eight-storey building from the outside, the tower is only three storeys high. It has a inner core constructed from concrete/bricks with an outer timber structure perimeter which holds up the tiered roofs and edge windows.

At the centre of the ground level, railing barricade an opening that shows an underground well. The water from this well feeds the water-tank above.
These days it seems to be a wishing well as visitors throw coins; I wonder what they wish for - perhaps having a good time or even just to be on time.

A signboard gives a brief history of the tower.

A spiral staircase runs around the inner perimeter of the structure leading up to the top-most floor.

A internal view of the ground floor from the first floor. Photos, sketches can be seen hanging on the wall.

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Archibald Edward Harbord AnsonTeluk Intan was orignally named Telok Mak Intan, after a female Mandailing trader. During the British colonial days it was named Telok Anson, after this Edward Anson, who was the first Lieut-Governor of Penang. In 1983, during the town's centenary it was changed to Teluk Intan.

 A 1920's black & white photo of the tower, back then the river seems to run more closely to the tower. As the river silted up, Teluk Intan lost it's position as a major port for the rubber industry.

A recent pencil sketch by a young eleven year old.

A view from of the town square from the tower.

At night, the tower goes through a cycle of lighting in various coloured shadow lighting:
from green to .....

... blue to ...

... voilet to ...

... finally red. And then the cycle is repeated.

Lot 1 &2 , Jalan Bandar, Teluk Intan, Perak, Malaysia.
GPS: 4.025081,101.019415
Hours: 8:00 am to 5:00 pm (Teusdays to Fridays)
9:00 am to 6:00 pm (Saturdays, Sundays & Public Holidays)
Closed on Mondays

View Leaning Tower Of Teluk Intan in a larger map

Sites : The Shangrila-Dynamic Yunnan Show, China

Sizzling Pork Satay @ Kong Heng Restaurant

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