Long wait for tourists ends

Only a handful of tourists were spotted visiting Panglima Lane, or fondly known as Concubine Lane, in Ipoh since interstate travel was allowed from Monday.

BUSINESSES in Ipoh Old Town near Panglima Lane, or fondly known as Concubine Lane, are hoping to see droves of tourists following the resumption of intestate travel.

Those interviewed by StarMetro said a few visitors had started returning to the popular tourist spot, in Perak’s capital city, in the last few days since interstate travel was allowed beginning Monday.

Pastry and souvenir shop manager Tan Chun Hoe, 24, said business had started to pick up again.

“Unlike a few months ago, sales have been good during these last few days.”

His shop had been closed for about three months and only reopened in September.

“I think there will be more tourists coming here from this weekend onwards,” he added.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob had on Sunday announced that interstate travel would be allowed effective Oct 11.

Lee Fong preparing an ice ball order at Panglima Lane, Ipoh.Lee Fong preparing an ice ball order at Panglima Lane, Ipoh.

Tan Lee Fong, 47, who operates an ice ball (ais kepal) dessert stall in Panglima Lane, also said that only a handful of visitors had come to the area since Monday.

“The tourists will start to come back slowly but surely.

“I just hope that our business will continue to improve starting this weekend.

“Most businesses cannot remain closed for too long because we need to pay our bills,” said Lee Fong, who had only reopened her stall earlier this month.

Coffeeshop owner Yip Yoon Chong, 51, said he might allow dine-in at his shop to cater to tourists who were expected to come from other states.

“I have yet to allow dine-in but may do so if there is a considerable number of customers.

“I am actually a bit apprehensive to allow dine-in because there are still many Covid-19 cases being reported.

“I also worry about some uncooperative customers,” he said, adding that he stopped dine-in six months ago.

“I will ensure that the standard operating procedures are adhered to, including limiting the number of customers in the shop.

“Each table will only seat two persons and all tables will also be set apart to observe physical distancing,” he added.

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