About, Malaysia

Ipoh Heritage Trail

Recently, I joined a group of photographers (about a dozen or so of them) from the Kuala Lumpur Photography Club for a road trip to Ipoh. We set off from Kuala Lumpur on a Sunday morning, scheduling to meet up in Old Town White Coffee situated in Jalan Tun Sambanthan, Ipoh for breakfast before starting out on our photowalk.

Old Town White Coffee turns out to be the ideal meeting point as there are ample parking along Jalan Tun Sambanthan. And also, conveniently located along Jalan Tun Sambanthan is the Ipoh Tourist Information Centre, in case you need any information about what to do in Ipoh.

Old Town White Coffee
Opposite Old Town White Coffee is the Ipoh Padang (field) and St. Michael’s Institution, one of the top schools in Ipoh
Members of Kuala Lumpur Photography Club having breakfast in Old Town White Coffee

Following is the route that we took for the photowalk, which will take in almost all the historical sights and buildings along the way. To begin, just walk to the end of Jalan Tun Sambanthan and then turn right into Jalan Dato Maharajalela.

Old colonial style building at the end of Jalan Tun Sambanthan

The first historical building that you will see along Jalan Dato Maharajalela is the Ipoh Town Hall building.

The Ipoh Town Hall building
Another view of the Ipoh Town Hall building

As you proceed to the end of Jalan Dato Maharajalela, on the right is the Ipoh High Court building.

Ipoh High Court

Across the road from the Ipoh High Court, is the Ipoh Railway Station. This colonial architectural style building was completed in around 1917 and was designed by the British architect, A. B. Hubback, who coincidentally is also the architect of the Kuala Lumpur Railway Station. Housed inside the railway station is the Majestic Station Hotel which unfortunately is now really run down (a far cry from the refurbished Majestic Hotel opposite the Kuala Lumpur railway station, now run by the Yeoh Tiong Lay group).

Ipoh Railway Station
Trains from Kuala Lumpur
The veranda of the Ipoh Railway Station

Across the road from the Ipoh Railway Station (behind the Ipoh Town Hall) you will come to a square where you will find the Birch Memorial Clock Tower. This clock tower was completed in 1909 to commemorate the first British Resident of Perak State, JWW Birch.

Birch Memorial Clock Tower
The Sultan Idris Shah II mosque can be seen across the square
Another view of the Birch Memorial Clock Tower

Proceeding down the steps of the Birch Memorial Clock Tower and continuing straight on, you will (cross Jalan Sultan Yusuff) and make you way through a narrow lane which leads to Jalan Bandar Timah (formerly known as Leech Street). This is where the Kong Heng and Thean Chun restaurant is, famous for their ipoh chicken noodle (sar ho fun). Along the way, you will see some interesting wall murals and very old shop houses.

The narrow lane to get to Jalan Bandar Timah
A member of the Kuala Lumpur Photography Club posing

Members of Kuala Lumpur Photography Club setting up their cameras

The narrow land leading into Jalan Bandar Timah
Famous pork satay which you can order whether from Kong Heng or Thean Chun restaurant
The famous Kong Heng and Thean Chun restaurant (next to each other)

Across Kong Heng and Thean Chun restaurant is a lane infamously known as “Concubine Lane” (official name now is Jalan Panglima). Concubine Lane originally was an area where prostitution, opium dens and gambling joints used to flourish. Later it was turned into a residential area where wealthy chinese businessman kept their concubine. Along this lane there are many food stalls, souvenir shops, etc, but it can get really crowded, especially during weekends.

Concubine Lane

Selling traditional hand made toys

At the end of Concubine Lane, you will come to Jalan Bijeh Timah (formerly called Teacher Street). As you turn left into the road you will see a yellow building called “Han Chin Pet Soo” building which used to operate as a Chinese Tin Miner’s Club, established in 1928. If you are interested in the history of tin mining in Ipoh, there are guided tours conducted inside this building.

“Han Chin Pet Soo” building

Other areas of interest are located along Jalan Bandar Timah and the surrounding streets. Following are some photos taken around these areas.

At the end of Jalan Sultan Yusuff, you will come to an area known as “Little India” where most of the shops and restaurants are run by the Indian community in Ipoh.

At the other end of Jalan Sultan Yusuff, you will see a yellow building called F. M. S Building. This used to be the F. M. S Bar & Restaurant, which started operation in 1923 and reputedly is the oldest restaurant in Malaysia. Sadly, this restaurant has now ceased operation.

F. M. S Bar & Restaurant
STG Boutique Cafe @ Old Town
Beautiful sunset at Jalan Tun Sambanthan

This is the view that will greet you as you enter or leave Ipoh along the old trunk road.

Limestone Hills of Ipoh

All images shot with the Nikon D610 and Nikkor 18-35mm f3.5-4.5g lens and processed in Adobe Camera Raw and Photoshop.

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