Ipohworld's World

Saving Yesterday For Tomorrow

Those who frequent the Pasar Besar (Main Market) of Ipoh might be familiar with these (picture below)

Yes, these shop houses have stood the test of time; and they’re STILL going strong! The 3rd shop from the left is particularly interesting – the one painted yellow, with the words ‘Market Terrace’ at the top.

As can be seen (picture above, left), it’s a double shop; the shop with the grey shade makes ‘lion heads’ (picture on the right). It’s rather fascinating to know that this trade is still being carried on, even till today!

Has anyone been there? Do share your thoughts; perhaps some of you have met the owners….

  1. D-Tourist says:

    or if the govt doesn’t then some association or federation of association should confer the living heritage award to the craftsman…

  2. mashi74 says:

    Yes, this is called Market Terrace, later become Tingkat Pasar. Local Chinese of my parents generation call the left side vacant land (not in this photo) as “红毛屎坑” (Western toilet) because there was a modern public toilet some time ago. People at that time like to add to the name of any new/modern features introduced by western world with “red hair” (红毛, in Hokkien is Ang Mo).

    Yes, amazingly the traditional work are still being carried out here; making the lion head is probably one of the very rare industry throughout the nation. Beside, Tingkat Pasar is also a well known place for kitchenware & house hold stuff.

  3. mashi74 says:

    To add on, Ipoh’s night market (pasar malam) during 1970’s-80’s was here. I just talked to a friend last week that i miss the night market in Tingkat Pasar. It’s a every night operating market when there was no night market at housing estates.

  4. felicia says:

    Good suggestion D-Tourist! 🙂

    Mashi74, there’s a night market along Osbourne Street. don’t know if the same traders (as Tingkat Pasar) are there. this market is there most nights.

  5. mashi74 says:

    I think they are different. Obsbourne Street night market only strated few years back but Tingkat Pasar night market was long time ago. If not mistaken they had been relocated to People’s Park, later moved into residential areas & slowly become the night market at housing estates today. For almost a decade Ipoh downtown has no more night market until MBI setup Gerbang Malam at Osbourne Street

  6. Charlie says:

    Mr Tan, not only makes the “Lion” and “Dragon” Heads, but the complete suits as you would see at all Lion and Dragon Dances. Mr Tan’s Lions have been sent worldwide, from Sydney to London to New York! He has also been featured in Asiaweek Magazine some time back. The time I visited him, I saw him busy making at least a dozen Lion Heads, all already on order. Mrs Tan will paint the Heads, and sew the “Body” according to the colours required by the customers. Unfortunately, I saw only Mr and Mrs Tan working. There were no workers and no younger Tans doing this very demanding business!

  7. ika says:

    Thanks for the detail Charlie and my apologies for not crediting you as the photographer of the above pictures.

    It is disappointing to hear that there were no little Tan’s working there, as traditional trades like this are dying out everywhere.

    If any of our readers are out of work and think they could learn this job from Mr Tan, perhaps they should pay him a visit!

    Maybe Felicia who is dong all the work when I am overseas, will put up some more shots of Charlie’s visit there on her next blog.

    Thanks Felicia for keeping our show on the road.

  8. Stex says:

    About the night markets on Tingkat Pasar, yes it was an eventful night life for Ipoh for many years until MBI wiped out the traders from operating there in the early 90s, in pursue of calling Ipoh a city of cleanliness.

    You would remember that since then, all food stalls’ operators were required to wear cap, and gloves, and apron …Then in the 90’s DBI started to chase away hawkers from the street side and force them to operate from an actual premise (i.e. coffee shop, or food court)… and that is when ipoh city became deserted at night. Since then Pasar Malam started flourishing in the suburbs like Ipoh Garden East, Stadium and elsewhere …

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