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  #1  
Old 23-07-2005, 09:43 PM
ahbohling ahbohling is offline
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Hi all, so I am back in Singapore after my three night stay in Ipoh.

Not alot of time to really savour Ipoh...but my first impression was that Ipoh city's size works against its development.

I hope what this "outsider" is going to say won't hurt anyone's feelings.

First off, I like Ipoh. I would have love Ipoh if I get the sense that the policy makers are doing something about Ipoh. I see vast areas of the city slowly going to ruins. That's regrettable. Things tapper off in Ipoh at night. I was told the Green town area is quite happening at night but I did not go there in the night although I walked around there in the day (a stone's throw away from Excelsior where I was staying).

I like the "bae tey sau" in Ipoh. Delicious. The chicken rice and sprouts were delicious too. At night, I visited this small pasar malam which is parallel to Jalan Ekram (probably not the correct name).

The hotel I stayed in was abit dodgy (bedsheets were not changed on a daily basis- even though there were visible stains on mine cos I spilled my drink on the bedsheet kekek)- perhaps because I didnt get the newly renovated rooms. Or maybe I should have stayed in the Syuen (but cannot afford lah).

I met some really friendly Ipoh people right from thestart. The man sitting beside me in the coach from Singapore, insisted on driving me to Excelsior from the bus drop off point. He was coming back home to Ipoh from Singapore and his wife was waiting at the drop off point.

Thanks alot, friend! And I would have taken up your offer of a Saturday breakfast but as you knew my schedule was packed.

I walked around the city alot (particularly in the new town). Green Mall (maybe I remembered name wrongly) has way too many clothes/textiles shops. Kekeke.

Ipoh Parade looks good but maybe because I went on a weekday afternoon, there were not many people.

I ate alot at those coffee shops and almost everything tasted good.

I am reminded of Melaka alot when in Ipoh. Melaka is very historic just like Ipoh. It has many nice food to eat (but I dare say more so than Ipoh). But there are major differences, Melaka is doing something to its city. The old charms of Melaka were allowed to stay without is being obsolete and dying. There are obvious attempts at revitalising places at the banks of Melaka river.

Something is brewing in Melaka...is it because it's small and easier to manage? Does it all boil down to size? Or politics?

I like Ipoh but I want to love it. How leh?

ps: I will have to visit Ipoh again in the coming weeks. Maybe true blue Ipohians can recommend something good in the city itself- not driving is a big problem, I know...)
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  #2  
Old 24-07-2005, 01:29 AM
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Ahbohling,
Now that you have started this thread, I'll add my 2 cents worth. Fellows, please don't get me wrong, I'm not here to criticize. As a matter of fact, I would love nothing more, than to find compliments for this birth place of mine.
Unlike you, I was an ex-Ipohan and a re-visitor after many, many, many years of absence. I do share some of your observations.
The place we stayed at was the Heritage Hotel. Similarly we were not impressed by their rooms and cleanliness. IMHO, it was not worth the 3 stars rating in terms of quality.
Our prior visit to KL and Melacca before going back to Ipoh had also raised our unwarranted expectations, thus resulted in a bigger let down.
As you said, there are too many abandoned or neglected neighborhoods, including most of the old town and some parts of the former new town. I remembered vividly how lively the area used to be in the evenings and night time around the Capital Cinema (Ghing Do?). I still could visualize the smell and taste of the "Wat Dan Hor" in that area. Somehow, it seems to me that both the Ipoh City Govt. and the developers tend to just pick up and move with the migration of the population growth than to renovate and upgrade the existings.
Our visit to Ipoh Parade impressed me with the size and number of shops at first glance. What was missing though was the foot traffic (i.e. no crowds). Most are just small shops and there are may be 2 major anchor tenants. The food court was quite nice. Again, I don't think they have specialty shops that could draw the shoppers there.
Ipoh gave me the feeling of one city with two opposite images, depending on where I was. One represents the new growth, while the other reveals the decay!
OT [img]graemlins/alt-peace.gif[/img]

[ 24.07.2005, 01:32 AM: Message edited by: Oldtimer ]
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  #3  
Old 24-07-2005, 02:04 AM
kris kris is offline
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Hi Ahbohling

So, you are back to erm.. the Lion City! Thanks for sharing your impressions of Ipoh with us, it’s interesting to hear what a first-time visitor has to say after a 4-day stay.

‘Ipoh city's size works against its development’ – do you mean the city center is too small or too big? Care to elaborate? It is an accepted fact that development within the city has been moving at a tortoise pace here, the impetus for development is sadly lacking. You will find that the only development going on is the construction of houses and shops in the suburbs.

‘I see vast areas of the city slowly going to ruins’- I guess you are referring to the dilapidated conditions of most of the old buildings in town. Yes, you can even see trees going on some of the old buildings! Well, the incentive for such buildings to be properly maintained and restored just isn’t there. There is poor demand for shop space in the town center, rentals are poor and also the policy makers have been lax in ensuring properties are given due maintenance.

What is this ‘bae tey sau’ you had?? I’ve been trying hard to figure out what it could be but in vain. The pasar malam you mentioned should be the one along Osbourne St(Jalan Mustapha Al Bakri, in front of Foh San Restaurant). Those are all Malay stalls, nothing much to see really.

Apart from the slipshod housekeeping, how was Excelsior? Haha..you are talking about ‘Green Mall’ again, after my clarification in the previous post.

I am a bit amused that you make the comparison with Melaka, the historical city. Melaka is steeped in history which dates back to 16th century. The place is unique in the sense that it had been colonized by the Portuguese, Dutch and the British and relics of the city’s rich historical past are still existing. Tourism is an established and a thriving industry and is an important money-spinner there. The city caters to both local and foreign tourists which include frequent visits by people from Singapore due to its proximity to the island republic. The history of Ipoh, pales by comparison. This city is probably a century or so old with a few buildings of historical interest, not quite enough to draw in the tourists. However, when it comes to food, I don’t think Ipoh would lose to Melaka in what it has to offer.

Ipoh is likeable but not lovable – this probably sums up your impressions of the city, I think. Understandable. [img]smile.gif[/img]
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Old 24-07-2005, 09:40 AM
ahbohling ahbohling is offline
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Kris: my caveat which I did not mention in the first post is that first impressions might not be true (and most often they are not!). [img]smile.gif[/img]

Four days is abit too quick to set any judgments on any place (hence I said it was first impressions only). And when I said its size is a problem...I meant the big sprawling nature of Ipoh city center. In a way, it is like Melaka split between eats and west section by a river. But on a much bigger scale.

I really do not know how to fix this. I suspect Ipoh has been losing alot of its younger people to places like KL and Singapore.

Oops: is it Greentown Mall?? Bay tae sau is a flaky confectionary with a sweet chestnut filling. I bought them at this place called Yik Tai...

Oldtimer: ooh, i did not go up to the foodcourt at ipoh parade. planned to do so but somehow forgot...partly because i had lunch already. should have gone up for a look see as i planned to. well, next time!
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Old 24-07-2005, 10:37 AM
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ahbohling: beh teh sou is referred as heong peng in ipoh. the most famous of all comes from gunung rapat. be sure to call them up before going there to buy - to ensure they have stock for you.

you definately need a local to show u around ipoh as the town lacks proper signage and a good public transport.
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Old 24-07-2005, 11:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by aen:
ahbohling: beh teh sou is referred as heong peng in ipoh. the most famous of all comes from gunung rapat.
you definately need a local to show u around ipoh
Aen is right. KHS led us to the factory there and we bought a few dozens, plus we tried some fragrant coconut at a road side stand. [img]graemlins/yum.gif[/img]
OT [img]graemlins/rosesmiley.gif[/img]

[ 24.07.2005, 11:10 AM: Message edited by: Oldtimer ]
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Old 24-07-2005, 11:15 AM
kris kris is offline
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Oooh..so it's 'heong peong'or mah tei sou. That must have been the Hokkien way of pronounciation ! Just being curious ABL, what language/dialect did you use to speak to the local eh?
Aen, the GR 'heong peng' is readily available in town these days. There are quite a number of shops selling that and other local specialties like pomelos, sart-keh-mah, kaya pie, etc especially around Lou Wong area. The famous heong peng from GR, Yi Hup has a branch in town too
I think it's not too bad to get around lar, most parts of town are within walking distance and you can always take a cab.
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Old 24-07-2005, 11:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by kris:
Oooh..so it's 'heong peong'or mah tei sou. That must have been the Hokkien way of pronounciation ! Just being curious ABL, what language/dialect did you use to speak to the local eh?
Aen, the GR 'heong peng' is readily available in town these days. There are quite a number of shops selling that and other local specialties like pomelos, sart-keh-mah, kaya pie, etc especially around Lou Wong area. The famous heong peng from GR, Yi Hup has a branch in town too
I think it's not too bad to get around lar, most parts of town are within walking distance and you can always take a cab.
i understand u can get GR heong peng easily in various confect. outlets in the town, but beware - there are fake ones. these posers will pack their heong peng in those red plastic bags just like the genuine ones. to play safe - always buy from the factory lor... that's what i usually do.
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Old 24-07-2005, 11:25 AM
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ABL, I agree with Aen, you'll need a local to take you around Ipoh, especially when it comes to [img]graemlins/yum.gif[/img] food. You'll get to see more of Ipoh through the eyes of a local.
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Old 24-07-2005, 11:38 AM
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Aen,

Would you take us around if ever we pass your way?

Cheers

[ 24.07.2005, 11:42 AM: Message edited by: foon ]
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