Ipohworld's World

Saving Yesterday For Tomorrow


This famous Ipoh landmark opened in 1962. Designed by Booty Edwards & Partners, the place offered each trader equal space for his/her shoplot.

The Yau Tet Shin bazaar was known to the locals as Pasar Bulat (Round / Circular Market); it offered everything from suitcases and travelling bags, to Pomelo and Groundnut stalls, and it also had 3 Chinese Restaurants – one of which was featured in our previous blog post.

40 years later (in 2002) this landmark was ‘flattened’ and now turned into a car park. I remember 2 stalls there which I once visited – a Chinese tailor, and a bag stall where I bought my first school bag.

I’m sure some of you out there visited the bazaar, before it ‘vanished’……

  1. antiquelad says:

    yes i use to frequent the shops for sports items , the round market was very famous for these kind of shops those days..

  2. ganesh says:

    my primary school days, I am there always for scouts uniform and school bags. I miss the place. I still don’t get the rationality of demolishing the building cause of not strong anymore.

  3. Othman says:

    Yes, that’s the shop. That was where I bought Bee Gees record album and other record album which were under Life Record.

  4. Allan says:

    Bought a few records there – the Quests, Teddy Robins and Playboys (HK group) and of course Ipohs Fabulous Falcons “Midnight Express” single.
    I used to dream of getting those fake airlines (BOAC) bags.

  5. Allan says:


    Unfortunately, I went overseas in 1969 and when I returned in 1980, all my records have disappeared. The only one I have are cds of the Quest which I bouth last year. I’m now living overseas, and was quite sad to see Ipoh (was there last year) town crumbling – at least old town where I was living. I thought I managed to hear the Fabulous Falcons (one song at least here: http://www.youtube.com/user/JoeWuSeattleWaUSA

  6. felicia says:

    Ipohgal, sadly some of those buildings you mentioned are either ‘in pieces’ or have already been demolished…..
    it’s sad, but that’s what happens when people have “no regard for heritage”

  7. ipohgal says:

    This is another familiar sight for me.I used to walk past this place whenever I went to Cowan Street and Jalan Leong Sin Nam for tuition.What a pity it was torn down.The problem with the authorities is that they have very little regards for buildings with colonial flavour.Hope they will not touch those in the old town area which make Ipoh so special.

  8. ika says:

    Mohd Fadli Mohd Shariff wrote on our Facebook wall: “bazar bulat… the place i bought my rubber soccer shoe… ha3…”

    Restaurants, Sports items, LP Records, Scout’s Uniforms, School Bags, fake airline bags, rubber soccer shoes. Is there anything this place did not sell?

    By the way, Allan, I followed the link you suggested but the music is not a patch on their “Midnight Express” I heard once. If anyone has that single from the Falcons we would love to borrow/buy it.

  9. Azlan Zaaiya says:

    There was a jamming studio on the 1st floor which played a role in producing 80′s malay rock bands from Ipoh. You must have been there if you are a rocker in those days.

  10. Allan says:

    The song on You Tube had Thomas Ham(?) on guitar, as the original guitarist (nicknamed no 13 in Chinese was a much better guitarist) decided to be the drummer not long after Midnight Express was released. If I could remember they abandoned their Fender guitars for Mosrite guitars.
    I remember going to the Jubilee Park nearby to listen to the bands playing – its a joget dance hall on the right as you enter Jubilee Park. Still remember a v good bass guitarist playing there with some saxaphone player – around 1964-1965.

  11. Allan says:


    Heavens no – I was in Form 2/3 at that time – no proper camera and at night as well. We were just kids standing on the outside of the dance hall – it was just closed off by some railings.

  12. Phoebe says:

    Hi, All.

    In the good old days, the locals used to refer to the Yau Tet Shin bazaar as either “Barg Gog Teng Si Cheong” (Cantonese meaning ‘octagonal station market’), “Barg Gog Lau”, or simply “Barg Gog Teng”.

    Literally translated, “barg gog” means ‘eight-sided’ or ‘octagonal’. “Teng” is ‘station’. “Si Cheong” is ‘market’.

    My late sister worked at the Music City Record Shop in the 70s.

  13. Iqbal says:

    Oh yes, Bazar Bulat as what we called it, it was here I bought my first pair of football boots, an Adidas Inter and my ever loved boots, The Puma Maradona 10, I learned to pot snooker here, and yes the SYJ Jamming studio was located here, hehe…Bazar Bulat…why la the brought it down for a car park instead, why?

  14. Katherine Wong says:

    I remembered my mom bought school uniforms for us from that place. There were Tambun pomaloes, Menglembu ground nuts and other titbits of food selling there.
    Many tourists buses and outstation buses stopped there for shopping spree. It was once a popular tourist spot for shopping in Ipoh.

  15. Ally says:

    I am an Ipoh boy and left Ipoh in 1969 and have resided overseas till now. Sad that the [lace is in a mess. Reallhad fond memories of Ipoh. Sorry Allan but Thomas Ham plays rythmn guitar and not Lead. I thing you mean Joe Chin. Also I remember the band Herman Kong and the Evergreens dubbed as the Herman Hermits of Ipoh

  16. S.Y. Lee says:

    It is a pity that they demolished the Yau Tet Shin Market [I don't think it was known as the "bazaar"]. At that time there was talk of having another building there. Today it is used as a car park. I remember the restaurant Chow Kee was there.

  17. Darren Leong says:

    Round Market!
    Fond memories of the place =) Used to get everything a kid needs from there XD

    I was there too on the night it caught fire about 12yrs ago. It was deemed unsafe since then. Would still been around today if it weren’t for the fire i think.

    @Felicia: Some of the traders moved to the shop lots along Jalan Sultan Iskandar but most of them packed up.

    @Azlan Zaaiya: There’s Scissors Studio just across from the site opened by a guy named Syed. His dad and uncles were part of that prime 80′s era and the legacy lives on =)

  18. Ken Chan says:

    Talks about the resurrection of Yau Tet Shin Market have been in circulation for quite sometime. I caught the drift of this much-heralded news even though I am halfway across the world from Ipoh. Needless to say, I was elated that the piece of prime land that was wasting away as a parking lot, would soon become a distant memory. Good riddance to that ghastly eyesore, it will no longer be there to provoke our ire ever again.

    However, judging from the artist’s impression of the new Yau Tet Shin Bazaar Complex, I was not really impressed with what I saw. For starters, the visual appearance of the proposed complex looks no different from any other high-rise structure. A building like this would stick up like a sore thumb among the existing shop houses in the vicinity. Given that new construction projects would always assume a different look, the developers should still put some thought into the schematic design, the color coordination and texture of the building, so that its overall appearance would blend in seamlessly with the rest of the structures around it.

    From what I see, the new bazaar complex would be a stark contrast to the octagonal market we used to know and love. It is not a bad idea to incorporate some semblance of the old market into the design of the six-story podium block to preserve the rich legacy and tradition of the demolished building that once stood proudly on that spot. What Ipoh needs on that hallowed piece of land is a multi-purpose building that reflects the distinct identity and character of the city that tin built. Instead of a purely modernistic look, how about showing off some multi-ethnic cultural influence in the design of the building? From the perspective of aesthetics, graceful Minangkabau roofs would add a dash of local color that is much more interesting to look at than the boxy flat roof that is shown in the banner.

    A well-developed landmark property exudes timeless charm indefinitely. Hopefully, when this much talked-about project is completed, it would look better than the artist’s impression and Ipohites from near and far can proudly identify this building with our beloved hometown.

  19. Mano says:

    In the sixties, the guys used to have their leather soles shod with metal studs. The tight pants, Elvis hairdo and the crunch and clack of the shoes exhuded a tough, macho image. It all came apart as the metal shod shoes slipped on the walkway ramp to the 1st floor!

  20. Kenny says:

    I used to live across the street in the 60s and there was an open fountain facing the main road and a monkey tied to a pole and visitors fed the monkey peanuts. Those were my good memories of the place.

    The place is used to be named 8-Corners building in Cantonese and a landmark during those day. I’m dissapointed that it was demolished, it should have been preserved. Why don’t they built a bigger one on the same spot.

  21. Valerie says:

    Yes! We called it “part kok teng” in cantonese. Such a lively place with many varied traders/shops. It’s a pity that yet another Ipoh landmark is gone.
    Allan: if you’re reading this, which part of old town were you living in? I grew up in old town too.

  22. Ipoh Remembered says:

    Dear felicia … That’s a wonderful photograph. Thanks for sharing it.

    About the following (from above):

    40 years later (in 2002) this landmark was ‘flattened’


    I’m dissapointed that [the Yau Tet Shin market] was demolished, it should have been preserved. Why don’t they built a bigger one on the same spot.

    The original market in that spot in New Town was built by Yau Tet Shin in 1910, more than a century ago. It cost him about fifteen thousand dollars to construct. New Town itself had cost him more than a million dollars to create, though, obviously, he made a large profit.

    By the late 1950s Yau’s original market was thoroughly dilapidated. So, yes, the town indeed “flattened” the remnants and, in fact, it did build a bigger one on the same spot, giving it Yau’s name into the bargain.


    That original market built by Yau Tet Shin in 1910 was never Ipoh’s main market. The first main market, built by stages in the 1890s, was at the river end of Market Street. The second, designed by Mason Lane and built three years before Yau Tet Shin’s market, was on Patrick Street. Both these main markets were in Old Town. Ipoh’s third main market was built in New Town in 1930. (I know I have stated all these facts here before; please pardon the repetition.)


    Yau Tet Shin arrived from China in the late 1870s. He first made his way locally in the Seremban area but was soon enough drawn to Kinta. As far as I can recall, one of his first public ventures in Ipoh, in the early 1890s just as the town was getting started in earnest, was a “stable farm” — that is to say, it was a government contract to build and run a stable (near the Rest House). In that same year he donated funds to expand Ipoh’s hospital (also near the Rest House).

    By the way, it is not widely known, and some readers may find it interesting, that of Yau’s fifteen or so children, about half — all of them boys — were educated in South India.


    Incidentally, I remarked some months ago that the database contains numerous incorrect entries crediting Yau Tet Shin for the construction of Ipoh’s third main market, namely its first main market located in New Town. Quite apart from the embarrassing fact that the towkay could not have built that market because he had been dead for two decades when it was built, it was actually the town that built it at public expense. Unfortunately, the numerous incorrect entries are still in the database. Are there any plans to correct them?

    • ika says:

      Yes, we always try to get the database correct but we are very limited on staff and always struggling with a backlog. As you say, there are several errors on this particular item and may I suggest that you help me out by rewriting the entry and send it to us by email so that we can paste it straight in with a credit to you.

      If you can agree, that would be very helpful.

        • ika says:

          Dear NCK. Running this blog and archive is intended to get an accurate picture as possible on the history of Ipoh and the Kinta Vallry for the purposes of education, not gratification.

          Unfortunately we often get it wrong as hearsay and legend creeps in without being noticed. However we do try our best to correlate information but that is not always possible. Fortunately, from time to time we do get corrections that do tie up. Obtaining 100& accuracy is not easy buy we always welcome suggested corrections. If you can disprove anything on our database we shall be glad to replace it with your set of facts as long as seem to tie in with whatever is available elsewhere.

          If you are talking about my recent request to Ipoh Remembered, once the article has been submitted it will be viewed against what other details we can find and as long as nothing is obviously incorrect it will be promptly published. There is no doubt that it will be far more accurate than what I currently have. You or any other reader may then suggest further amendments as you see fit, which we will consider as always..

          Getting the history correct from scratch is an iterative process as we learn something new every day.

      • Ipoh Remembered says:

        Dear ika … Happy to do it. Will send you a note to do with as you please. (Might take me up to a week to organize because more than one database entry repeats the error and all need to be corrected.)

        • Ipoh Remembered says:

          Dear ika

          The “Ipoh-market-related” errors in the database are mostly of two kinds: (1) mistaking Ipoh’s second main market (on Patrick Street) for its third main market (on Laxamana Road in New Town); (2) asserting that the second main market was built by Yau Tet Shin; and (3) asserting that the third main market was built by Yau Tet Shin.

          Upon cursory examination: of the 299 entries in the database that use the word “market,” 28 contain the errors described above; 2 entries, although quite correct, could use a small clarification; and 1 entry, although also correct, could use a different small clarification.

          That makes 31 entries that need modification. Would it be practical for me to send you 31 draft entries by e-mail? Or should we find a better way to proceed?

          • IKA says:

            Yes you have highlighted a problem that grew up due to the somewhat haphazard system that I started on my home PC whereby every photo had text. We then moved to another semi professional database with a succession of temporary clerks/students where we followed the same principle. Clearly this led to duplication of errors.

            The database got hacked and we lost about 60 items. We shut down for almost a year while we had a local IT company produce what we have today. It is far from perfect.

            Presently the aim should be to have one main article on one subject with other photos linked to it with no more than a two line comment relating to the photo(s) on that page. It is important to have more than one page with photos in order to identify the donor and date.

            Please therefore correct the main article only and we will amend all the supporting ones and ensure they are linked them to the new main article.

  23. NCK says:

    Dear IKA, I don’t believe all academics treat facts diligently enough, let alone blog administrators. Inaccuracies are understandable as long as they are honest mistakes (not meant to deceive or shape opinions). You are right to feel responsible for your blog’s accuracy, but it is not your duty to disprove someone else’s facts – it should be the person’s duty to prove his facts to you. So much for common sense which is often found wanted lately.

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