FINALLY! The real good news came finally and Kinta Nature Park aka Kinta Bird Park had officially gazetted as a nature reserve by Malaysia Perak State government!
Although it's been promised a long time ago (more than 19 years ago - link), nothing had been done afterward. It's been a long fight to get this ex-mining site turned migratory bird sanctuary protected as it has always been neglected. The abandoned park left us with a very bad impression on our visit more than 2 years ago with when we brought a group of guests for a visit. The road leading to the park was a long and bumpy dirt & gravel pathway filled with huge potholes. Once we arrived at the main entrance, you'll be welcomed by illegal duck farms and stinking cow dungs, damaged public facilities, and overgrown bushes taller than man surrounds you once you walk past the entrance to the park!
The facilities that were constructed following its opening subsequently went to waste because of poor management and inadequate protection. Worse still, the size of the park was reduced and the vegetation changed by the setting up of illegal duck farms and sand mining activities as well as net fishing, which persists util this day despite it being gazetted as a wildlife sanctuary back in 2010.
- The Star Online, 27 Jul 2017
I remember that Simon and I came to scout it out after Lonely Planet mentioned it in their Best in Asia 2016 article (link) which sprouts my interest to check it out again. I thought that there might be some changes making it easier to access but it's sad to say that we had to double back when the road was filled with little water ponds, adding the risk of damaging the car or get stuck in the middle of nowhere.
Our Revisit Kinta Nature Park
Since we heard the good news, I've been eager to do a visit and we and a group of guests from Vloft Backpackers went back again yesterday. It was a fine ride from Ipoh to Batu Gajah, but as soon as we turn to the pathway, we're greeted by bumpy roads again. As seen on the news link here, it seems like they had laid a new layer of sand on top, it's better than last time but still, we could not drive faster than 25 KM/H. With the raining season on the way, potholes will start to get bigger. Without tarring the road, it'll be the same old road in a matter of weeks! Hope that it'll just be a temporary solution. Upon entering the compound, it's nice to see that the area had been cleaned up, public facilities rebuild, with some personnel around the compound safeguarding and taking care of the surroundings... but the real question is: For how long? Will it last? Only time will tell!
Again, we would like to thank Lonely Planet for including Kinta Nature Park in the article. If not being for them "recognizing" this bird sanctuary, I don't think it will ever be Perak’s another natural treasure.
Check our previous tour during Mid-Autumn Festival: Here