The International Steam Pages
Kinta Heritage Trail 2017 Part 2
We stayed in the Reintree Lodge (Budget) Hotel, cheap and cheerful, with good sized rooms which were clean and well maintained and with excellent Wifi. It's a bit out of the way opposite the Methodist Girls School, but the nearby Curry Mee coffee shop provided an excellent breakfast. There's not much else in the immediate vicinity but plenty of choice if you walk some way north. We would particularly recommend the Ipoh Restaurant at 33, Jalan Masjid where we had three excellent Cantonese meals at a very reasonable price. The place was packed with families every evening so you can safely ignore the Tripadvisor reviews. If we were to return we might consider staying at the Abby Hotel by the River which is also competitively priced and more central.
Beyond the opulence of Ipoh's larger building's lie those where the colonialists' influence was less felt, mainly shops, offices, private houses and those for religious and association purposes. Necessarily what is shown below is a small selection, guided largely by the Kinta Heritage Group heritage trail leaflets. Ipoh is divided in two by the Kinta River, the colonial buildings in the first part are all west of it and those shown below are also on the western side. The bridge below carries Jalan Sultan Iskander, formerly known as Hugh Low Street.
On the north-west side lies the former Hotel Rex, like many of these buildings it carries information (in Chinese) which allows some identification. Around the corner is a small area which is rapidly developing into Ipoh's tourist centre with small businesses
Pride of place goes to Han Chin Pet Soo (described on its own separate page), newly opened to the left is the Ho Yan Hor Museum, dedicated to the herbal tea developed by Dr. Ho Kai Cheong. The side wall of the Ho Yan Hor museum is covered with a mural reflecting Perak's tin mining history. We had missed this first time around and only noticed it while taking the riverside walk.
Further up the path we had passed the Perak Chinese Mining Association, a not very distinguished post second world war building Returning to Han Chin Pet Soo, opposite is Concubine Lane, a narrow street of dubious reputation which later developed into a residential area for the 'ladies' of Chinese tycoons. It is now enjoying a new life with niche establishments for the tourist trade.
At the west end are two interesting survivors, on the left is the Dramatists Hostel, where actors who were playing in a nearby (now demolished) theatre would stay and next door is the former Mikasa Photo Shop. notorious as the base of one of the Japanese photographers who sent military information back before the invasion.
Finally in this area a couple more buildings which caught my eye, but which I know nothing about.
The next set of pictures covers the area west of the river and south of Jalan Sultan Iskandar. On that main street is the original Oversea Chinese Banking Corporation Building which still carries that name. A little further on is the Ambika Estates Office (with balcony) owned by M. Meyappan a Tamil Chettiar with large interests in the rubber and property sector. The leaflet says the interior is beautifully preserved but by now we were running out of time.
Nearby are two buildings associated with the Eu family. Eu Yan Sang was established by a tin miner Eu Kong as a medical shop selling prescribed herbal cures to opium addicts. His son Eu Tong Seng developed the business turning it into a traditional Chinese medicine empire. We had no time to visit his villa which is in Jalan Gopeng.
Finally in this area we came to the Paloh Ku Miao Temple. This has a long history having been established in 1872, originally on the river bank but it was moved in the 1960s and completely rebuilt. As a Hakka Da Ba Gong temple it contained some very familiar features, not least the golden centrepiece which was brought from Penang.
There was more to see in this area, but we had run out of time.
Rob and Yuehong Dickinson