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Han Chin Pet Soo is open! Book now at www.ipohworld.org/reservation

January 2009

Sending Them Off at Ipoh Airport (We had One Once!)

By |2009-01-26T05:26:57+08:00January 26th, 2009|Categories: Identify Photographs|Tags: , |

This is a photograph taken at Ipoh Airport. It is a large group and in the centre the two men dressed in suits are presumably important enough to draw the significant number of people to attend their arrival or most probably, departure. Of course with the demise of our airport photographs like this will be a thing of the past.

Any information about this photograph would be most welcome. Can you identify anyone here or do you have similar photographs or stories of similar occasions that we could use on our history archive of Ipoh and the Kinta Valley please.

To remind you all, the archive is aimed at educating young people about our heritage and social history and is not for profit. The complete archive will be available on the internet before too long.

Kinta Traders 1969

By |2009-01-26T04:59:10+08:00January 26th, 2009|Categories: Memories|Tags: , , , , |

This is a 1969 calendar produced by Kinta Traders, at 43 Treacher Street, Ipoh. They claimed to provide the latest fashion wear. It is a 6 page calendar (2 months per page) each page featuring local birds.

Does anyone have any information about Kinta Traders please? 

Anyone for Pork Rice?

By |2009-01-26T04:51:10+08:00January 26th, 2009|Categories: Identify Photographs|Tags: , , , , |

This is a rare photograph of a Kopitiam hawker cutting roast pork from a joint hanging above his chopping board, on which there is already a hearty portion of cut meat. Note the thickness of the board and how it is worn away on the side nearest to him. No doubt there is a customer anxiously waiting for his “Roast Pork Rice and Chilli Sauce”.

In the background can be seen a selection of tins and packets and partially visible,behind the hawker, is a traditional round wooden table with marble top.

Now, the key question is if anyone can recognise the man, said to be from Ipoh. If you can, please click on ‘comments’ below and share his details with us.

If anyone has any similar photographs showing the inside shops, coffee shops or restaurants, we would be delighted to include them in this archive.

Chinese Chess?

By |2009-01-26T04:42:08+08:00January 26th, 2009|Categories: What is it?|Tags: , , , |

This is said to be a Chinese Chess set and is made from paper. Each strip has two Chinese characters on it. If anyone knows how to play this game, we would be pleased to receive instructions or any comments or stories about playing the game.

Chinese Gambling Tokens?

By |2009-01-26T04:00:39+08:00January 26th, 2009|Categories: What is it?|Tags: , , , , |

In the great days of Perak mining when Kinta Valley was the world’s biggest producer of tin, gambling was one of the main evils (alongside opium, women, alchohol and the Secret Societies) that faced the hardworking mining and railway coolies, as well as the rich Towkays who often lost their fortunes.

While we are not absolutely sure that these are bone gambling tokens, but that is how they were described when we obtained them and as they are of different sizes and denominations that may be a correct assumption. However, it has also been suggested that they are something to do with a Chinese ancestors altar and may be made of ivory. Should anyone know more we would be glad to hear from them. The photograph shows 32 of the 49 in the set and covers all the different sizes.


By |2010-06-26T14:00:57+08:00January 26th, 2009|Categories: Memories|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

“To eat durian is a new sensation worth a voyage to the East to experience.” 

Alfred Russell Wallace, The Malay Archipelago.

Despite being written almost 150 years ago, that is one of the nicer quotations describing the King of Fruits.  More modern critics are likely to use descriptions that vary from being simply rude to downright obscene.  All are unprintable in a volume such as this.  Personally, the author being a keen supporter of the Durian prefers to describe its special taste and aroma as “Tastes like Heaven, smells like Hell”.  Nonetheless, no matter which side of the Durian fence you sit, lover or hater, the King of Fruits, either fresh or in any one of its many guises, is still popular with many citizens in South East Asia, young and old.

Apart from the obvious tasty snack of the raw, soft, yellow flesh, found inside that prickly exterior one longstanding Durian treat is the Durian cake or Dodol (in local parlance), not cake in the form that Caucasians would expect, but more a rubbery texture more akin to a toffee than a cake.

Anna Down, locally born but now a UK resident, has very pleasant memories of her childhood in Ipoh during that special time of the year when Durians were in plentiful supply – and cheap!

She recalls that the best place to buy Durians in the season was at the roadside around the old children’s playground at Brewster Road.  Here there were always plenty of hawkers competing for trade and for bulk buys, prices could be haggled down to a level which made the subsequent effort well worth while.  Such buying sprees were never made alone as the best prices could be obtained if a group was to buy together with the best bargainer appointed to lead the expedition.  In Anna’s case her mum always went with a group of friends and after selecting the best bargains and employing her best and most persuasive haggling technique, she would hail one or two trishaws or rickshaws where the ripe and prickly fruit would be loaded aboard and the unfortunate rickshaw puller/trishaw man would be directed to her home address where the next stage of the process was to begin.  For these Durians were destined to become home-made Durian cake.

Once unloaded and transferred to the back yard, the Durians were prised open with difficulty and the assistance of a butcher’s cleaver.  The aromatic (some would say ‘smelly’) yellow flesh was separated from its seeds and scraped into a big multi-coloured bowl from China.  Once all the Durians had been stripped of their delicious contents, the shells and seeds were discarded and the precious flesh transferred into a big copper container.  Sugar was added and the mixture was stirred constantly with a large wooden paddle over a low heat until the correct consistency was reached.  By this stage the mixture had become dark brown.  To test the consistence Anna would take a spoonful of the mixture taste if if she could get away with it and see if it another spoonful could successfully be rolled into a shape like a Swiss roll.  Once that was achieved, the entire contents of the copper container were removed from the heat and the mixture formed into as many rolls as could be made.  Once cooled the rolls were then wrapped and distributed to the families involved and the copper container could be scraped clean by Ann as a reward for her help..

Anna ends this tale by reminding us that commercial Durian cake is readily available in Malaysia today, but bears little resemblance to that home-made treat from years gone by.

 Do you have any memories of days gone by that you would like to share with us please?

Rickshaw Memories

By |2009-01-26T01:35:47+08:00January 26th, 2009|Categories: Memories|Tags: , , , , , |

As part of our objective of saving the history of the Kinta Valley for future generations we try to gather original memories about days past.  Here is one about Rickshaws. Do you have any memories we you can share with us please


“Anna Down, locally born, but now from UK, remembers that as a child in Ipoh she had a regular Rickshaw Puller to take her and two others to and from the Anglo Chinese Girls School daily.  He was a tall, well-built, Chinese man who was paid monthly for his services and despite only having a single seat vehicle, happily allowed two girls to squash into the seat and one to squat on the wooden platform.  They took turns as to who rode where and called him ‘Long-Legged Uncle on account of his physical size.

Anna remembers the rickshaw as ‘great fun’ as they used to exhort ‘Long-Legged’ to run faster and overtake the other girls in their rickshaws and trishaws which he could do with ease on account of his long legs.  She also remembers fondly that when she left Ipoh to go to UK for further studies he presented her with a ‘lovely brocade jacket’.At around the same time (early 1950’s) Anna recalls a ‘rather obese’ Chinese ‘Aunty’ who was a ‘broker’ and spent a considerable amount of her day traveling around Ipoh in a rickshaw.  On one ‘never to be forgotten journey’ she hired a rickshaw puller who was the exact opposite of ‘Long-Legged’.  He was small, positively skinny, poorly dressed and indistinguishable from others as his face was covered with the traditional ‘Good Morning’ towel and pointed hat to keep the sun off.

‘Aunty’ climbed into the rickshaw, sat herself down with a thump and ordered the puller to start the journey in the fastest possible time.  The puller promptly lifted the handles high and prepared to start running.  At that very moment ‘Aunty leant back gratefully into the comfortable seat and disaster struck.  The rickshaw tipped back and the puller was left with his feet dangling in the air, as the rickshaw continued its backwards arc, until the overweight passenger was stranded in the hood of the vehicle, upside down, with her legs in the air.  Wearing only her sarong below her waist, which had of course followed gravity and was now only enveloping her upper limbs  ‘Aunty’s modesty was at risk, but as quick as a flash the puller dropped to the ground, removed his hat and gallantly slapped it on his passengers exposed areas to protect her from public view.  His colleagues came to rescue and righted the rickshaw.  It is not recorded whether ‘Aunty’ ever traveled by rickshaw again.”  



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