IPOH has been teeming with people from other states during the Chinese New Year period.
Done with visiting family and relatives, many have ben taking the chance to savour Ipoh’s world famous delicacies like white coffee and chicken hor fun as well as explore various sights in the city.
Particularly busy was Ipoh Old Town, thanks to the new-found love for the charms of yesteryear among Malaysians.
Having had a feel of Concubine Lane, which prior to its revival as a heritage site over a year ago was an abandoned, forgotten backlane, they make their way across the street to the Ho Yan Hor Museum at No 1, Jalan Treacher.
Museum manager Ng Chern Yuan said the pre-war building where Ho Yan Hor founder Dr Ho Kai Cheong started his herbal tea business, had been receiving over 300 visitors daily since it reopened on Wednesday after the Chinese New Year holidays.
“People will be lining up even before we open at 10am.
“At closing time at 4pm, people are still trying to get in, saying that they are from Singapore, China and Hong Kong and don’t want to miss out on the chance to visit the museum,” said Ng, adding that there were also tourists from Europe, the United States and Australia.
Ho sold herbal tea in front of the building in 1945. So popular was his herbal brew that he eventually bought over the building and started the Ho Yan Hor Medical Hall, later renamed Ho Yan Hor Sdn Bhd.
The company is now known as Hovid Bhd and is one of Malaysia’s leading pharmaceutical manufacturers.
It was a similar scene at the Kong Heng Square, next to the popular Kong Heng Coffeeshop.
Amid the bustle of activity there, fashion designer Tan Bee Yin, 27, and her friends from Kuala Lumpur were seen checking in at the Sekeping Kong Heng boutique hotel.
“I heard about this place from a friend who visited once and decided to make a trip to Ipoh and stay the night here.
“This is my first time visiting Ipoh. I’ve not gone around yet but I’m already liking this old-town charm of Ipoh that I’m seeing and feeling,” said Tan.
Over at Jalan Theatre, hordes of foodies queue for soybean and taufu fah at Funny Mountain Soya Bean and Ipoh’s chicken and taugeh at Lou Wong (Tauge Ayam) Restaurant.
Eating under a tent set up by the restaurant was contractor Lee Leng Chuan, 44, and his family.
“We are on our way back to Johor after visiting my in-laws in Kedah.
“This place is a must-stop for us whenever passing by Ipoh. My children have been eating here at Lou Wong since they were young and they love it,” said Lee, adding he also makes it a point to stop over for taugeh chicken during work trips.
Out-of-towners were also seen queuing for their favourite biscuits at the famous Sin Eng Heong on Jalan Mustapha Al-Bakri and the various shops selling salt baked chicken in the vicinity.