Ipoh’s attractions see fewer tourists

IPOH: The ban on interstate travel has led to a much quieter mood at the city’s famous eateries and tourist spots.

These places in the new and old parts of the city are usually filled with tourists, but the movement control order that took effect on Wednesday saw some traders sitting inside their shops waiting for customers.

With Chinese New Year coming up, traders are worried over how their businesses would survive.

Panglima Lane, popularly known as Concubine Lane, was empty compared with normal days when it was packed with people.

A worker at Jelly Bar, who only wished to be known as Ong, said people would usually visit her outlet to taste the homemade ice-cream as well as to get other signature snacks, but it was all quiet now with the return of the MCO.

“Tourists from Kuala Lumpur usually visit Concubine Lane and other parts of Ipoh over the weekend to savour the food, take photos of the murals as well as do some other sightseeing.

“They (tourists from other states) are also the ones who usually purchase handicraft, accessories and other gift items.

“The locals, especially the lunch crowd, will only have their food and leave. How to make a profit, especially with Chinese New Year coming?” she asked.

A famous cheese toast stall at the lane, which is usually packed during school holidays and weekends, is finding it hard to even get five customers a day now.

Nurmuliani Mohamad Mustafa, 29, who works at the stall, said there were hardly any people walking through the lane since the interstate travel ban was announced.

“We also sell cosmetic products at a separate stall and most of the locals, some who don’t even know the lane exists, seldom buy handicraft items, ” she added.

JC Kee, 44, who makes maltose sachima (honey biscuits) in the old town area, said she had resorted to selling her products online.

“With travel restrictions, there are times when there is not even a single customer in our shop, ” she said.Over at Ipoh new town’s famous Funny Mountain Soya Bean outlet, co-owner Tan Han Seng said customer arrivals had declined by 75% since the travel ban was announced.

“People are scared to travel or come out, and the locals are also not roaming around, ” he said.

A fishball soup seller, Sam Ng, 32, said his outlet was a favourite among the older generation.

“Since Covid-19, and now with the travel ban, many senior citizens prefer to stay at home. There is a 60% decline in customers, ” he said.

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