Ipoh is the capital of Perak state and has a mix of traditional shophouses, British colonial architecture, and great food. While the tin industry collapsed in the 1970s, tourism still thrives here.
The Old Town is very walkable with lowrise shophouses whose ground floors are usually sheltered from the weather.
Grand colonial architecture sits interspersed between the shophouses.
Similar to Penang, wall murals have been painted on many buildings around the Old Town. This one celebrates Old Town White Coffee, a famous drink that came from Ipoh.
Town Hall is an imposing white building dating from 1916. It didn't look too well-maintained and wasn't open to visitors when I arrived.
Across the street, the Birch Memorial Clock Tower was built in 1909 to celebrate Perak state's first British resident. He was assassinated and his killer now bears the name of the street in front of this tower.
Trains from Kuala Lumpur take less than 2.5 hours to reach Ipoh's main railway station. Designed in the Raj style, the 1917 structure looks far better on the outside than inside.
Heading back into the Old Town, several other banks also occupy stately colonial buildings along these streets.
Interspersed within these few blocks are restaurants and shophouses that offer interesting fares.
Ipoh is famous for wonderful food. I started my foodie tour with a pandan tart.
Prices are extraordinarily cheap by Western standards. Enjoy eating!
Thean Chun is another famous eatery for its noodles. The chicken noodle was very tasty and a bargain!
Concubine Lane has been transformed from a sleazy area for second wives and mistresses to shopping and eating today.
Several eateries had long lines along this narrow lane. One was for the tofu fa shop. With bird's nest on top, it only costed 3 ringgit!
A few doors down, pay 1 ringgit to explore the shophouse's upstairs section, which has been populated with various old relics from an era long before my time.
Leaving the shopping area, Ho Yan Hor made his fortunes selling herbal tea around the country. His old shop has been turned into a museum celebrating his entrepreneurship.
After some herbal tea, walk a few shops down for a cheap fish ball noodle. 10 ringgit is more than enough for all this.
The Old Town's streets are quite tidy and well-groomed for tourists. Construction sites and dilapidated buildings like this are uncommon.
Malaysia is a multicultural country. There are several mosques for Muslims around the Old Town.
Just a bit beyond the typical tourist area are some more colonial buildings worth a look. St. Michael's Institution is a Gothic 3-storey Catholic school that was completed in 1912.
Further south, the Anglo-Chinese School is over a century old and sits behind a protective fence so photos of the entire building are not possible.
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