Even residents in Ipoh used to say it was a “sunset” city with little growth and a good place to live in retirement. So much has changed in the last ten years, with the city leapfrogging over night.
I can still remember the lonely D.R. Seenivasagam Park and the Ipoh Stadium, which was a popular make out place. Popular hotels such as the Excelsior was with audible loud thumping disco music from downstairs, much like the Hotel Anika in Kluang.
I remember the laid back Casuarina Hotel. It is now gone and reborn as the Impiana. The most recent hotel I stayed in was perhaps Tune Hotel Ipoh. It is is now renamed as Pi Hotel. Good to also see old favorites like YMCA and Tambun Inn are still around. Sadly, the vintage Majestic Hotel at the beautiful colonial railway station is gone.
What were fallen, are now replaced by many new and fancy hotels. Many of the newer hotels are exciting and luxury additions such as The Haven, Banjaran Hot Springs, Lost World of Tambun Hotel and the M Boutique Hotel.
I am guessing Ipoh’s unanticipated revival could be because of social media. The classic food outlets, chicken rice and nasi ganja became fodder for social media content hungry day-trippers from KL. There is now also a wave of new hipster cafes in Ipoh.
I remember going with Patrick Teoh when he wanted to visit the other famous Ipohan, Lat. We ended up for a drink at Malaysia’s oldest pub or bar, from 1906. The F.M.S, is now closed without ceremony. Glad we did. Oh yes, we then went on to tackle the iconic pomelo girls, they were another famous Ipoh icon.
Also remembered a trip guided by another Ipohan Adriene Leong in which we visited the very beautiful Masjid Panglima Kinta and had a real old town coffee in Ipoh old town. Can’t find the old pics. Sigh.
On another trip, I visited the late filmmaker Yasmin Ahmad at her film set in her adopted hometown Ipoh. Also went to see the Majestic Station Hotel where the cast and crew stayed.
The one and only modern mall at one time in Ipoh, for a long time, was Ipoh Parade. It is now joined by many new AEON malls.
Who can forget old Super Kinta Mall and the market? Remember the reverse T shaped logo? I think the complex may have been modeled after the original People’s Park in Singapore. Now I think it resembled the disorderly Russian Market in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Who else here is “Ipoh Mali”?
Find an Ipoh hotel here. if you are visiting. Newer hotels included:
Info compiled with assistance of Ipohan Emily Lowe. Thank you.