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

November 2022


By |2022-11-24T15:50:09+08:00November 24th, 2022|Categories: history, Identify Photographs, Natural Heritage, People, Restoration|

This house (in Pasir Salak, Perak) was said to be built in the 1980s, to resemble the house of the late Dato Maharajalela. It later fell into a sorry state (as seen above).

But, the good news is……it was later restored!

If anyone could shed more light on this restoration project, we’d love to hear from you.

We thank Tomb Raider Hunter for these pictures 🙂

October 2022

May 2022

February 2020

Back in Action?

By |2020-02-17T16:57:53+08:00February 17th, 2020|Categories: Identify Photographs, ipoh, Natural Heritage, Restoration, tourism|Tags: |

We came across this article in the Star newspaper. If this plan goes through, perhaps we’ll be able to see the once iconic Station Hotel back in all its glory.

Here’s a recap of the inside of the Station Hotel, from the early 1920s, when a retirement dinner was given to the 14th British Resident of Perak, Lt. Col. WJP Hume.

Our donor tells us that, Lt. Col. Hume is in white, seated at the head of the table. Seated in the middle of the right row is J A S Jennings, the Editor of Times of Malaya.

December 2019

July 2018

April 2018

February 2018

Hugh Low Street & Bridge – Then and Now

By |2018-02-02T14:27:29+08:00February 2nd, 2018|Categories: Ipoh Town, Natural Heritage, Restoration, tourism|Tags: , , |


Left picture: Tinted photograph from 1950 Right picture: Same bridge and street from 1989 (courtesy of Ngai)

Yes, we’ve featured this famous bridge and street numerous times. But what I’m curious about is the building next to the Lam Looking building. In the tinted photo, it looks like just another shophouse.  In the 1989 photo however, this same building seems to have undergone a massive makeover. Can anyone tell us more about this building?

April 2017

October 2016

Old Town News…

By |2016-10-13T14:32:13+08:00October 13th, 2016|Categories: Identify Photographs, Ipoh Town, Natural Heritage, Restoration, tourism|Tags: |

Recognise this place?



Familiar, right? Perhaps the next two pictures will give you more clues.




In case you’re wondering why we put these up, this is just to show you what’s become of those food stalls in the area. They have their very own food court now….and as you can see, the area is so CLEAN! Hope it stays that way…

June 2016

A WIN for heritage!

By |2016-06-29T14:33:34+08:00June 29th, 2016|Categories: Ipoh Town, Natural Heritage, Restoration|


We featured the above picture in a previous blog. Do you know what this looks like today? The pictures below are courtesy of Charlie Choong.




Here’s more proof…that with a little hard work and determination (and love for heritage as well!), historical buildings like these CAN be restored (instead of being demolished).

The ORIGINAL Batu Gajah Police Station!

By |2016-06-21T15:02:59+08:00June 22nd, 2016|Categories: Identify Photographs, Memories, Natural Heritage, Restoration|Tags: , |



This is said to be the original building of the Batu Gajah Police Station. Our donor, Daljit Singh Guram, told us that his late grandfather is in this very photograph (back row, 11th from the left). Daljit’s late grandfather – Gurcharan Singh Guram – was in the Malaysian Police Force from 1920 to 1945.

May 2016

Tales from the Ho Yan Hor Museum grand opening…

By |2016-05-09T10:32:51+08:00May 9th, 2016|Categories: Events, history, Ipoh Town, Restoration, tourism|


On the morning of 30th April 2016, Treacher Street was all abuzz with activity. That day marked the grand opening of the Ho Yan Hor Museum – a museum which tells the story of Ho Kai Cheong, who began as an operator of a humble tea stall and later became a famous entrepreneur and philanthropist.

People from all walks of life were there, some even came from overseas. As can be seen from the picture, many were fascinated with our vehicle collection 🙂 We were happy to have helped in one way or another for the restoration of the Ho Yan Hor Museum. More about this event can be read at this link.

April 2016

Top marks for restoration :)

By |2016-04-24T19:26:30+08:00April 24th, 2016|Categories: Identify Photographs, Ipoh Town, Restoration|


On a car-free morning in Ipoh, I just happen to pass through Hugh Low Street and noticed this building. It’s at the corner of Hugh Low Street and Jalan Che Tak. I’m not sure what building this is…but I’ll say kudos to their restoration work! Does anyone know who / which company owns this building? For that matter, what was this building originally used for?

March 2016

Do You See What I See?

By |2016-03-31T10:31:56+08:00March 28th, 2016|Categories: history, Identify Photographs, Ipoh Town, Natural Heritage, Restoration, tourism|


Do you recognise these panels? They can be found on the four sides of the Birch Clock tower. Still wondering what I’m talking about? Well, the next time you pass by the clock tower, take a closer look 🙂

The Growth of Civilization.
The following is a description of the figures represented in the painted panels:
PANELS A AND B: Prehistoric Times to the Time of Christ.

The Stone Age – A Hunter.
A Fisherman.
A Woman spinning.
The Iron Age – Man and Woman.
The Early Eastern Peoples – A Nubian with gold and ivory.
A Chaldean Astrologer.
A Woman making pottery.
An Egyptian.
An Assyrian.
A Persian.
The Eastern Meditteranean – Judaism.
A Phonecian.
A woman representing the Agean civilization.
The Far East – Confucius.
Lao Tzu.
Greece and Rome – A woman representing Greek Art.
Alexander the Great.
A Greek Philosopher.
PANELS C AND D – From the Time of Christ to the Present Day.
The Byzantine Empire – Constantine the Great.
Islam – Mohammed (pbh).
The Age of Chivalry – A Crusader.
The Age of Faith – St. Clara.
Gothic Art – A Bishop with a model of a Cathedral.
The Renaissance – Science – Galileo.
Art – Michael Angelo.
Literature – Vittoria Colonna.
Enterprise – Columbus.
The Reformation – Luther.
The Elizabethan Age – Shakespeare.
PANEL D EAST – Modern Science, Art and Social Services.
Physics – Newton.
Medicine – Harvey.
The use of steam – Watt.
Easter Art – Embroiderer.
Music – Beethoven.
Engineering – Stephenson.
Photography – Daguerre.
Social Service – Miss Nightingale.
Natural Science – Darwin.
Electricity – Edison.
Humane Surgery – Lister.

February 2016

A Monday Mystery For You!

By |2016-02-29T14:52:11+08:00February 29th, 2016|Categories: Identify Photographs, Ipoh Town, Restoration|

OH 1

I’m sure you have driven past this building in New Town Ipoh. This is the side view of a former hotel – which is now an electrical store. This building is opposite the Kamdar textile store, just in case you’re wondering. I’m sure some of you already know which building I’m talking about. What we would like to know is what those Chinese characters on the upper wall mean. Below is a close up of the words.

OH 2

January 2016

The Finished Product!

By |2016-01-15T16:15:47+08:00January 15th, 2016|Categories: Events, Exhibitions, Ipoh Town, Natural Heritage, Restoration|Tags: , , |

Sometime last year we gave all of you hints about a project of ours – at No. 1 Treacher Street (Jalan Bijih Timah) in Old Town. Yes, the blue building next door to Han Chin Pet Soo.


The story is in today’s Star Metro (15/1/2016) – “Telling A Tale Of Tea”. This new exhibit will be fully open to the public by Chinese New Year. Stay tuned for more updates!

October 2015

September 2015

Preserving heritage buildings…a burden?

By |2015-09-25T18:44:49+08:00September 25th, 2015|Categories: Identify Photographs, Ipoh Town, Natural Heritage, Restoration, tourism|

metp_my_2509_pg2_yvonneleemy_9picture courtesy of Star Publications

We admit that it was not easy, but through much hard work and determination we managed to restore the Han Chin Villa (Han Chin Pet Soo) and turn it into a museum. As can be seen in the above picture, the restored Villa stands proudly amidst the other shops. Our up-and-coming project is the blue building next to it (a secret we shall reveal in the near future, so stay tuned!).

From what today’s Star newspaper says, restoring / maintaining such buildings can be a burden to the owner(s). What do YOU think? We’d like to hear your views on the matter.

You can read the full Star article here.

August 2015

July 2015

June 2015

April 2015

‘Lady Justice’, at the Ipoh High Court

By |2015-04-29T16:06:08+08:00April 29th, 2015|Categories: Identify Photographs, Ipoh Town, Natural Heritage, Restoration|

FullSizeRender (2)

“Lady Justice is most often depicted with a set of scales typically suspended from her left hand, upon which she measures the strengths of a case’s support and opposition.She is also often seen carrying a double-edged sword in her right hand, symbolizing the power of Reason and Justice, which may be wielded either for or against any party. Since the 15th century, Lady Justice has often been depicted wearing a blindfold. The blindfold represents objectivity, in that justice is or should be meted out objectively, without fear or favour, regardless of money, wealth, power, or identity; blind justice and impartiality.”

This icon can be seen on the outer wall of the first floor, of the Ipoh High Court (the wall facing the flag poles).

January 2015

December 2014

Holiday Ideas?

By |2014-12-09T16:26:20+08:00December 9th, 2014|Categories: childhood, history, Memories, Natural Heritage, Restoration, tourism|Tags: , |

Don’t know where to go during this long break? How about Kellie’s Castle?

No, we’re not advertising for this place. Rather just showing you what this iconic landmark looked like – way back in 1957!

kellies castle

This is a photograph of Ho Hoo Wan with his siblings and friends, posing just outside the famed Batu Gajah castle. How many of you have visited this place? Has the place changed much since it was first opened to the public?

On that note, is this place really haunted…or is it just one of those myths? 😉

Another Famous Landmark in Papan

By |2014-12-04T20:54:24+08:00December 4th, 2014|Categories: history, Identify Photographs, Natural Heritage, Restoration|Tags: , , |

A couple of months ago, one of our readers – Hasbi – sent us these pictures.

Papan 2

This grand old building is the Rumah Besar of none other than Raja Bilah.

Papan 1

The gentleman in the picture is Hasbi himself with his wife. They had visited Kak Saadiah – the maternal great grand daughter of Raja Bilah. She still lives in the restored, original family house behind Rumah Besar.

If you have not been to Papan this area is well worth a visit.

September 2014

The Gopeng Pipeline

By |2014-09-17T19:00:13+08:00September 17th, 2014|Categories: history, Identify Photographs, Natural Heritage, Restoration|Tags: |

Ever wondered what happened to this famous Gopeng Landmark? Well, wonder no more! Thanks to our photographer Charlie, we have these pictures for your viewing pleasure! As the State Government once promised, a section of one of the pipes on its original structure has been saved and turned into a sort of a memorial to past technology and a symbol of Malaysia’s Heritage in the world-wide tin mining industry. gopeng2 gopeng1

And in case you were wondering about what the plaque says…

gopeng3More information about the pipelines and their history may be found at


August 2014

Going Back in Time!

By |2014-08-06T15:56:56+08:00August 6th, 2014|Categories: history, Identify Photographs, Ipoh Town, Memories, movies, Restoration|Tags: |


This is not an “artist’s impression”…it is the real thing 😉 This is indeed the Ruby Cinema – all done up for a recent advertisement by Petronas. For those of you who didn’t know, this is what the Ruby Cinema used to look like once upon a time. Also take note of the old movie posters along the side of the building.

June 2014

Chung Thye Phin’s Rolls-Royce

By |2014-06-17T09:55:34+08:00June 17th, 2014|Categories: history, Identify Photographs, Memories, Restoration|Tags: |

20140601-026picture and story from: Bonhams Auctioneers, UK

Yes, folks…this is indeed the Rolls-Royce 20hp Sports Tourer once owned by Chung Thye Phin!

Chung Thye Phin bought it way back in 1925. A year or so later, this same car was lent to the Duke of Gloucester when he was touring this side of the globe. Then around 1942 this beauty ended up in the hands of the Japanese. After the Japanese left, the British Military Administration (BMA) returned the car to Chung Thye Phin; it was then sold in 1946.

The rest of the story can be found here.

May 2014

Something is Going Up in Panglima Lane

By |2014-05-29T17:41:59+08:00May 29th, 2014|Categories: Ipoh Town, Restoration, tourism|Tags: , |

DSC_6703 blog


Some years ago this site held two of the original Panglima Lane homes from 1893. Then one literally fell down into a pile of bricks. Fortunately no one was hurt. Then because the second one was considered dangerous it was also taken down.

For a while it became a sort of recreation site but soon the Lalang took over and it became an eyesore.

Just in the last few days a team of contractors moved in and this is what the site looked like this morning.

From the position of the concrete and reinforcement it looks like a double unit is going up but the big question is what will they look like from the Lane? As this is one of the main attractions of the Ipoh Heritage Trail, have the Town Council insisted on an old style matching facia to blend in with the old homes still there or have they approved some monstrous, faceless structure as they have done so often before?

Time will tell but I know what I would like to see.

Estate Manager’s Bungalow – Then and Now

By |2014-05-16T17:20:59+08:00May 16th, 2014|Categories: Identify Photographs, Memories, Restoration|Tags: |

lima_blas(click to enlarge)

We thank Ruth Iversen Rollitt for these photographs. On the left is the Lima Blas Estate Manager’s bungalow built by B M Iversen for his brother Werner as referred to in the earlier post below – just as it was in those days. On the right is the same bungalow (photo taken around 2008). Wouldn’t it be nice if more was done in preserving such places – especially in Ipoh? Just a thought 🙂

April 2014

March 2014

“Home Sweet Home” ?

By |2014-03-27T12:59:17+08:00March 27th, 2014|Categories: childhood, Identify Photographs, Memories, Restoration|Tags: , |

We were told by Ruth Iversen Rollitt that these houses were designed by her father B M Iversen.

malim_nawarclick to enlarge

Yes folks, these houses are STILL THERE – at the compound of the Perak Hydro Power Station in Malim Nawar! Those of you who once lived here, do you see YOUR former home in these pictures? 😉

January 2014

November 2013

Perak’s Famous Water Tower

By |2013-11-20T15:57:05+08:00November 20th, 2013|Categories: Identify Photographs, Natural Heritage, Restoration, tourism|Tags: , |

Some call it Perak’s version of “The Leaning Tower of Pisa”. I’ve never been there, but from recent pictures it does seem like it’s leaning a little to one side. However, here is an early 1900 picture of the same water tower in Teluk Intan (see below) – and it seems rather STRAIGHT to me 😉


So, WHEN did this tower start to lean? We’d like to know MORE about this tower – especially from the Teluk Intan folks!

Picture taken from  the book 20th Century Impressions of British Malaya.

October 2013

Sri Perak Darul Ridzuan

By |2013-10-11T14:25:48+08:00October 11th, 2013|Categories: Identify Photographs, Ipoh Town, Natural Heritage, Restoration|Tags: , |


I remember passing this building quite often on my way to St Michael’s Institution. But I never really paid attention to what it was. All I know is that this is the Sri Perak building. Any idea what’s inside? Was it one of those government offices? Or, was it like the present UTC (former Super Kinta)?

We thank Hasbi for this picture-postcard.

September 2013

July 2013

What is Happening Here?

By |2013-07-27T13:55:09+08:00July 27th, 2013|Categories: Ipoh Town, Restoration, tourism|

photo 1 blog


A couple of days ago I happened by chance to meet up with a group of KL tour guides in Old Town. They were with a Perak member of our Tour Guides’ Association and I joined up with them for a while to tell the heritage story as per ipohWorld.

When we were close to Kong Heng they noticed the above buildings, just a couple of shops away, all behind new fencing and asked what was happening. I had to say I did not know but would try to find out. My guess was that they will be demolished! They were shocked and asked why. I have no answer, do you?

The buildings include the old Modern Photo Shop on the left (Market Street) and continue round the corner of La Beaute and the two shops next door in Leech Street.

The signs on the fencing reads RENT!

Can anyone offer me a clue as to the future of this famous old part of the town?

The Simee Police Station

By |2013-07-05T15:39:22+08:00July 5th, 2013|Categories: history, Identify Photographs, ipoh, Restoration|Tags: , |


The picture is not that clear, but this is what the Kampong Simee Police Station looked like back in 1948. Kampong Simee was one of the Chinese villages which came about during the Malayan Emergency as part of the New Village programme.

Just wondering: is this the same police station which is now next to the Hindu Temple (near the Simee roundabout)? If not, where in Simee is this landmark?

June 2013

St Michael’s Church, 1950s

By |2013-06-24T16:16:41+08:00June 24th, 2013|Categories: history, Identify Photographs, Natural Heritage, Restoration|Tags: , , |

john macauley003c

For those of you who’ve already guessed this building, give yourself a pat on the shoulder. Yes, this is none other than St Michael’s church – which is along Brewster Road, behind the former Odeon Cinema. What I’d like to point out is the road leading towards the church itself. Notice how it seems almost flat! For those who are familiar with this church would know that the present road slopes upwards. Also notice that there is no wall surrounding the cemetery. Anyone know WHEN these changes happened?

This picture is from John McAuley’s collection.

What Does It Say?

By |2013-06-21T15:12:45+08:00June 21st, 2013|Categories: Identify Photographs, Ipoh Town, Memories, Natural Heritage, Restoration|Tags: |

“Sited at the key junction of Hugh Low Street, Gopeng Road, Tambun Road and Brewster Road it welcomes travellers to Ipoh from all directions.”

Yes, we’re talking about the Sultan Yussuf Fountain (see picture below). While many of you have interesting stories about this unique landmark, we’d like to draw your attention to the plaque. Any idea what was written on it? As far as I know, that plaque is no longer there (or perhaps it’s hidden among the flowers?).


We thank Edwin Seibel for this photograph.

The ‘Magnificent’ 7!

By |2013-06-19T16:20:44+08:00June 19th, 2013|Categories: Identify Photographs, Ipoh Town, Natural Heritage, Restoration|Tags: , |

john macauley007d

No, I’m not referring to the famous cowboy series. I’m talking about this row of shops along Hugh Low Street. At present, seven of these shops have been painted according to the seven colours of the rainbow. This picture however was taken back in the 1950s.

We’re not offering any prizes for guessing, but all the same can you name any/or all of  the seven shops in particular?

We thank John McAuley for this picture.

A Tale of Two ‘Parks’…

By |2013-06-08T22:49:51+08:00June 8th, 2013|Categories: childhood, history, Identify Photographs, ipoh, Memories, Natural Heritage, Restoration|Tags: , , |

Jubilee Park, Ipoh

This was Jubilee Park then….when they first started business. Later, the Shaw Brothers gave it a ‘facelift’ (see picture below).


Today, a night club has opened at the corner of Brewster Road and Cowan Street. But this side of Jubilee Park still remains. Anyone knows what’s going on inside? Are the stalls still there?

We thank Ruth Rollitt for these two photographs.

May 2013

April 2013

The Cowan Street/Brewster Road Landmark

By |2013-04-19T09:15:30+08:00April 19th, 2013|Categories: childhood, history, Memories, movies, Natural Heritage, Restoration, tourism|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |


This is none other than the Grand Theater & Jubilee Park – before the Shaw Brothers renovated it. From the clues in the picture, some of you may be able to roughly guess the year this was taken. What was YOUR early memory of this famous landmark? Were you a patron of the Cabaret? Did you frequent the amusement park? Or, were you one of the many movie-goers?

We thank Edwin Seibel for this picture.

March 2013

Do You Remember…

By |2013-03-22T15:55:58+08:00March 22nd, 2013|Categories: history, Identify Photographs, Ipoh Town, Memories, movies, Natural Heritage, Restoration|Tags: , , |


…what the Isis Theatre looked like? My generation have most likely never heard of this cinema hall. We’re more familiar with it’s ‘new’ name – Rex! Yes, for those of you who don’t already know, Isis was renamed Rex when the Shaw Brothers renovated it 😉

February 2013

The Kampar Factory

By |2013-02-21T14:55:12+08:00February 21st, 2013|Categories: Identify Photographs, Restoration|Tags: , |

Some time back, we featured a family photo with a factory in the background. This is a close up of the said factory – the Weng Heng Aerated Water Factory in Kampar.

aerated water

We thank Lam Yuen Li for this photo. Those from Kampar, do you have any idea if this factory is still in operation? If not, as it been taken over by another company?

Can You See It?

By |2013-02-08T15:38:20+08:00February 8th, 2013|Categories: history, Identify Photographs, Ipoh Town, Natural Heritage, Restoration|

Ipoh building 4

See that little circle below the arch? If you look closely, you can make out the Freemason symbol. This was probably one of the buildings used by the masons before a permanent one was built (along Tiger Lane, next to the Royal Perak Golf Club). Last I checked, the building was still there….but I didn’t take notice of the symbol. I do wonder: is it still in place or has it been removed?

January 2013

Staff Quarters Along Tiger Lane

By |2013-01-02T16:30:09+08:00January 2nd, 2013|Categories: history, Identify Photographs, ipoh, Museums, Restoration|Tags: , |

This came to us via Ruth Rollitt – showing what we believe to be the living quarters for the staff who worked at the Geological Museum along Tiger Lane.

The house was either down the road from the museum or behind it. Not sure if this place is still there today. What say you, dear Readers?

December 2012

Congratulations for a job well done

By |2012-12-16T18:40:50+08:00December 16th, 2012|Categories: Ipoh Town, People, Restoration|Tags: , , , , |

I have chosen to feature this photo today to honout the owner, Mr. Lim of the Lim Kopi kopitiam in Hugh Low Street, who has done an outstanding restoration job on this building, inside and out. For those of you who are not aware this is the de Silva building in Belfield Street, Old Town, Ipoh which was derelict less than a year ago.

If only there were more owners like him.

The ‘Round Market’ Saga Continues…

By |2012-12-06T15:02:27+08:00December 6th, 2012|Categories: Identify Photographs, ipoh, Natural Heritage, Restoration, tourism|Tags: , , |

From what the Star tells us, this is the proposed design for the new Yau Tet Shin Bazaar (see picture below).

This new building will be called ‘The Octagon’, and construction of this landmark will be undertaken by One Octagon Sdn Bhd (a private company, which was formed by the Perak Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry). ‘The Octagon’ is said to contain 4 floors for parking as well as 14 floors of serviced apartments. More can be read at the Star Online.

November 2012

How Well Do You Know Station Road, Ipoh?

By |2012-11-05T16:40:31+08:00November 5th, 2012|Categories: history, Identify Photographs, Ipoh Town, Restoration|Tags: , , , , |

As most of you can guess, this is Station Road. I’m guessing this picture was taken in the 50s (I could be wrong though).

We’d like to draw your attention to the row of shops on the right. What we’re trying to find out is: what was the shop on the extreme right (next to Charles Grenier)?

This picture was sent to us by Nicholas Jennings.

October 2012

The Geological Survey building

By |2013-02-08T10:06:51+08:00October 26th, 2012|Categories: Identify Photographs, ipoh, Restoration|Tags: , |

This is another landmark in Ipoh, designed by none other than B M Iversen. Yes, it is the Geological Survey department. Can you guess the year this picture was taken? Here’s a clue: the car facing the camera bears the number plate AA 3636.

Here’s a photograph of the foundation stone, sent to us by Ruth Rollitt.

Geological Survey 1955

The Chua Cheng Bok Building

By |2016-12-07T11:44:45+08:00October 19th, 2012|Categories: history, Identify Photographs, Ipoh Town, Memories, Natural Heritage, Restoration|Tags: , , |


This was taken off a postcard; the date on the stamp says 1938, so we think the picture was taken a few years earlier.

Nevertheless, on the far left of the picture is the sign that reads as Huttenbach, Lazarus & Sons Ltd. Did any other business take up residence at the Chua Cheng Bok building?

Where Is It?

By |2012-10-06T23:34:46+08:00October 6th, 2012|Categories: Identify Photographs, Natural Heritage, Restoration|Tags: |

Here’s a little puzzle for you: Where can this building be found? Is it somewhere in Perak? Or, perhaps in another state? We think it’s a mosque….but we could be wrong.

We await your feedback 🙂

We thank Nicholas Jennings for this picture which is from his grandmother’s album of the 1920’s.

September 2012

August 2012

The ‘Round Market’ Saga

By |2012-08-03T12:31:12+08:00August 3rd, 2012|Categories: Identify Photographs, Ipoh Town, Memories, Restoration|Tags: , , |

It was early in the new millenium when the Yau Tet Shin Bazaar was demolished. It now remains an empty plot and has since been turned into a parking lot 🙁 Recently we heard about some plans to rebuild it…

What the Bazaar looked like in the 90s (the Syuen Hotel can be seen in the background, far right).

The proposed design for the New Bazaar.

Has anyone heard the latest news regarding this project? Do tell us more.

June 2012

The New Town Market, circa 1910!

By |2012-06-18T16:30:39+08:00June 18th, 2012|Categories: history, Identify Photographs, Ipoh Town, Memories, Natural Heritage, Restoration|Tags: , , , |

Believe it or not, the Pasar Besar in Ipoh New Town isn’t that ‘old’! This early 1900s picture (taken from the Kinta Valley book) is quite unique – has there been that much change since Towkay Yau Tet Shin built this place?

I’ve noticed that those large rattan baskets are still in use today….

Heritage Tourism Horror

By |2012-06-09T12:56:50+08:00June 9th, 2012|Categories: ipoh, Restoration, tourism|Tags: , , , , |

In 1999 the Perak State Government published a very nice heritage trail map of Ipoh. It was produced by our good friends from Penang, Lubis and Salma. One of the buildings featured was in Kampong Jawa and clearly the Government thought it had some heritage value as they included it in the map. It was abandoned then, but still looked good:

Today it is still published on the Internet by Perak Tourism (http://www.peraktourism.com/places/place_view.cfm?id=8A1F8B4D-5BA0-412C-8444ABE654D29B1A) as one of the “Places to Go” but now it looks like this:


I have to ask the following questions:

What on earth are they doing bringing people here? Do they really think this is heritage tourism?

And secondly,

If they thought originally that it had heritage value, why didn’t they do something about protecting it?

I look forward to your answers/comments.

The LaBrooy Building

By |2012-06-08T10:12:20+08:00June 8th, 2012|Categories: history, Identify Photographs, Ipoh Town, Restoration|Tags: |

Besides the Seenivasagam brothers, Ipoh was also ‘home’ for two brothers of the LaBrooy family – C H LaBrooy & H W LaBrooy. These brothers used to live at Dulcieville Lane, Ipoh (the area which is now Parkson Ipoh Parade).

We have here a 1980s picture of the LaBrooy Building. As you can see, it was once used by UMBC. Anyone know what the LaBrooy building is used for now? Has any company bought it/renting it?

The Douglas Road Mansion

By |2017-08-02T10:16:39+08:00June 7th, 2012|Categories: history, Identify Photographs, Natural Heritage, Restoration|Tags: , , , , |

Before it was converted into the Darul Ridzuan Museum, this 10-room bungalow (along Douglas Road) was built for none other than one of Ipoh’s famous miners – Foo Choong Yit – back in 1926. Later, in 1940, two air raid shelters were constructed in the compound (in anticipation of Japanese aerial attacks). Ten years later, the Government took over this building and it became the premises for the Perak National Home Guard. Post Independence (1957), this place housed the Public Services Department, then later (1992) converted in the Darul Ridzuan Museum.

[Note: This is NOT an actual photograph of Foo Choong Yit’s mansion; it has been Photoshopped to create an impression of the original building]

A Lovely Old Hotel – Did You Ever Stay There?

By |2012-06-04T08:10:23+08:00June 4th, 2012|Categories: history, Identify Photographs, Ipoh Town, Restoration|Tags: , , , |

One thing I do not understand about Ipoh  is that here we have a beautiful hotel building used as an electrical store while so many entrepreneurs are knocking up ugly buildings all over the place which they happily call one of the three b’s – backpacker, budget or boutique hotels . Why didn’t one of them consider this fine building for restoration instead?

Do you have any thoughts on this anomaly or any stories about this building?

Parkson Ria?

By |2012-06-01T12:12:04+08:00June 1st, 2012|Categories: history, Identify Photographs, Ipoh Town, Memories, Natural Heritage, Restoration|Tags: , , |

No, this is NOT a product of Photoshop!

There was a ‘Parkson Ria’ shopping mall in Ipoh, somewhere in the late 1980s/early 1990s. Does anyone remember it? Did it close because of the fire….or before the fire broke out?

[ For those of you still wondering, let me put you out of your misery – yes, this IS the famous Lam Looking Bazaar 😉 ]

May 2012

Inside the Lam Looking Building

By |2012-05-22T14:58:30+08:00May 22nd, 2012|Categories: history, Identify Photographs, ipoh, Natural Heritage, Restoration|Tags: , , |

Thanks to Ruth Rollitt, we now have some interior pictures of the Lam Looking Bazaar.

For those of you who were curious to know what the interior looked like, feast you eyes on these! 🙂

the staircase inside the building

left to right: the top floor, which became a cinema hall; the corridor on the upper floor

You’d NEVER Guess….

By |2012-05-21T15:20:44+08:00May 21st, 2012|Categories: history, Identify Photographs, Natural Heritage, Restoration|Tags: , , |

….that THIS (picture above) was the ORIGINAL design of the Lam Looking Bazaar! (click image to enlarge)

Thanks to Ruth Rollitt (daughter of the late B M Iversen), we have here the drawing of this famous building. Ruth also had this to say in her email:

The firm of Keys & Dowdeswell left Singapore in the early 30’s in disgrace, after the Board of Architects had found them guilty of professional misconduct and struck them off the register. He took over the jobs that were under construction, but it was not an easy time. My father was 25 years old and for the first time in his life – his own master.  He had to pay for the ‘goodwill’ and no longer received a monthly salary. But gradually things started to improve, he got more and more work and by 1932 he was well established, making a name for himself. From this period he really came into his own and started producing work that became landmark buildings. 

Ruth also mentioned that her father wrote to his wife, way back in 1931, about this ‘big job’ being a ‘very smart business transaction’.

We are indeed very thankful to Ruth for sharing with us this gem. 🙂

March 2012

The Station Gardens by Mark Lay

By |2012-03-17T17:03:53+08:00March 17th, 2012|Categories: Ipoh Town, Restoration|Tags: , , |

Mark, of Kinta Heritage Group took these two photographs that I failed to get earlier in the week. He first posted them on Facebook, but I am sure he will not mind them being also published here. Remember these were taken this week. They need no explanation.

But the question Mark has for you is, “Does anyone know if the MBI has plans to makeover Station Square along similar lines to the pre-war original landscaping design? Has anyone seen the final design plans? Did the MBI invite public submissions as to the final design??”

Can any of our readers give him an answer?

Update on Old Town

By |2012-03-15T00:09:41+08:00March 15th, 2012|Categories: About Us, history, Ipoh Town, Memories, Restoration|Tags: , , , , , , |

I had a brief ride around Old Town this morning to see what was happening. I couldn’t get any photo or update on the Railway Station Gardens as they are still hidden behind tall blue fencing. However apart from the Cenotaph and the Ipoh Tree there seems to be nothing of the gardens left. Not a great welcome for the tourists in “Visit Perak Year 2012!”.

Then I wandered along the road to see the Birch Clock Tower Garden renovation. What a surprise – as although it is unlikely that anything has been done to preserve the two statuues, Justice and Fortitude from falling down (see http://ipohecho.com.my/v2/2012/03/01/ipohs-virtues-in-danger/)   the tower has been repainted Black and White.

Although that may be approproiate ……… Black and white stands for mourning and cheerless occasions. For example, traditional garb for a funeral is black and white. Black for the loss, and white for their passing onto the heavens, ……… I must say I don’t like it, but then again I did not like the pink either, much preferring the 1909 odiginal version which was all-white. Clearly I am a traditionalist.

By the way, could someone suggest (again) to Datuk Bandar that he gets the clock working.

As you can see the gardens have not progressed too much either. Sigh, maybe they will be ready to celebrate the successful (?) end to our special tourism year.

We welcome your views.

A Facelift for an Old Lady

By |2012-03-11T09:24:22+08:00March 11th, 2012|Categories: history, Ipoh Town, Restoration|Tags: , , |

Just look what happened yesterday! I passed by in the morning and only the top half was painted but by the time I got around to going back with my camera the FB site “All About Ipoh” had beaten me to it and posted this photograph.

I am sure the authors won’t mind me using their photo as thay are clearly just as dedicated to the grand old lady as we are.

By the way the aforementioned site has many more “Likes” than we do. It is time to remind all your FB friends about us. Don’t hang back – “Just Do IT!”

February 2012

The Silibin Church and the Heritage Gallery

By |2012-02-22T21:15:59+08:00February 22nd, 2012|Categories: history, ipoh, Memories, Natural Heritage, Restoration|Tags: , , |

Today we’re featuring the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes, which is along Silibin Road. Long before the idea of a church in Silibin came about, the needs of the Tamil Catholics of Ipoh were taken care of by visiting missionaries of St Michael’s Church. Later on, more families began to settle towards Silibin area – thus the need for a proper building for Sunday worship rose. More on the church’s history can be found here.

This picture shows the first building, way back in 1905.

This 2010 picture shows the church as it stands today. The picture was taken from the ‘Bernadette Centre’ – a new building within the church grounds, which consists of the church office, classrooms/meeting rooms and more recently a Heritage Gallery. The Heritage Gallery, which is open from 10am to 5pm daily, has a unique collection of memorabilia dating back to the early 19th Century.

For more on this gallery, the following web links may assist you:



We’d like to thank Alexandar for the photographs and the above links.




These Doors Remain Closed.

By |2012-02-19T11:39:34+08:00February 18th, 2012|Categories: history, Identify Photographs, Ipoh Town, Memories, Restoration|Tags: , , |

But can anyone tell us when they will open again please. The world misses this famous hostelry which has been closed for restoration since 1 March 2008 – almost 4 years!

But what a night the 29th February was – the last night. Were you there?

By the way, for more photos of this grand old building and its history I have just put up a new album on our Facebook page.

Photographs kindly supplied by Weng Ong Lee.

January 2012

LEETON Revamped

By |2012-01-21T21:19:57+08:00January 21st, 2012|Categories: ipoh, Restoration|Tags: , |

A while ago we featured the Main Convent Primary School (http://www.ipohworld.org/?p=1618) which was housed in Leeton House and under renovation. Today I dropped in to see what had happened to the grand old building and was pleasantly surprised for although not a true restoration the owners/architects/contractors have made a good attempt to retain many of the old features and also match the new building (to some extent) to the old. I was delighted to find the old LEETON sign had been saved.

Indeed all the tiling on the ground floor, the grand staircase, pillars and other fittings have been retained. The original windows at the front are also original but unfortunately the old doors are no longer there.

These were taken with IPhone 4 and I shall return another day with another camera for more shots.

December 2011

September 2011

What’s Become of This Place?

By |2011-09-28T15:17:27+08:00September 28th, 2011|Categories: Identify Photographs, Ipoh Town, Memories, Natural Heritage, Restoration|Tags: , , |

Here’s a picture of the PCADA (Perak Chinese Amateur Dramatic Association) Building, taken on the day of the association’s Golden Jubilee. At the time the picture was taken (some time in 1953) the 3rd floor had been completed.

Foh Sun restaurant used to occupy the groud floor, before it moved. I do wonder what’s become of this building now? Care to tell us MORE?

August 2011

Is this…..

By |2011-08-15T12:52:13+08:00August 15th, 2011|Categories: Identify Photographs, Memories, Natural Heritage, Restoration, What is it?|

….the Abdul Samad Building? (see picture below)

Was this what the building looked like in the early 1900s? Or, perhaps its an entirely different building altogether?

We’d like your ‘expert’ opinions on this one………

This picture is taken from the collection of the late Percival Moss, who tailored the uniforms for the Malay States Guides.

March 2011

Words Fail Me.

By |2011-03-31T09:28:26+08:00March 31st, 2011|Categories: About Us, Memories, Restoration, What is it?|Tags: , , , |

We received the following email and pictures this morning and thought that we should share it with all you heritage supporters out there. No doubt you will be as lost for words as I am – or will you?

HI all! This is one of my favourite kampung houses just outside of Terong, Perak, on the way to Lumut. It is right on the road side & I have taken pics of it over the years and was totally shattered to find it has been turned into a swiftlet house with speakers blasting like crazy. The swiftlet house pics were taken on Friday. Perak is being over run by swiftlet farms. Pantai Remis Sungei Kerang, all a mess! This particular change looks like a joke right? Total disrespect of such a beautiful example of Malay heritage!


Care to share your thoughts with our correspondent?

February 2011

December 2010

Here’s a Little Mystery for YOU!

By |2010-12-15T09:56:50+08:00December 15th, 2010|Categories: Identify Photographs, ipoh, Natural Heritage, Restoration|Tags: , , , |

This myterious bungalow was supposedly built during British rule in the early 20th Century. It was once the home of a rubber estate Manager. Later, a Chinese Miner bought it. Since 1 January 1960, the Perak Local Defense Force used it as its base. Now, this bungalow has become the HQ for the Markas Rejimen 503 (Regiment 503 of the local Armed Forces).

Where is this place? The main entrance is along Tambun Road, just before the Ipoh Specialist Hospital. Of course, they don’t let anyone enter the army base – hence this picture was taken from a nearby high rise building.

Does anyone know MORE about this bungalow? Who owned it BEFORE the armed forces took over?

October 2010

Garden Villa – The Annex to Forest Lodge

By |2010-10-20T09:45:48+08:00October 20th, 2010|Categories: Identify Photographs, ipoh, Memories, Natural Heritage, Restoration|Tags: , , , |

This villa was build around 1910, by none other than Eu Tong Sen; Eu used this as an annex to his Chateau (Forest Lodge). We were also told that this Anglo-Malay Bungalow was the home of Japanese senior officers (between 1942-1945), and was where Ipoh residents queued up for rice coupons.

Garden Villa was also once a kindergarten, and a Christian Chapel. Today, after restoration works, it is a venue for exhibitions, talks, seminars, etc. (this was featured on a previous blog post).

Rumour has it that: the store room (in this bungalow) had a trapdoor leading to a secret room – which hid Japanese armaments! Also, this bungalow was once used as a brothel after the war!
Are there any other interesting stories about this place? I’m sure some of you out there have a tale or two to share…..

September 2010

Mystery Solved!

By |2010-09-17T09:16:26+08:00September 17th, 2010|Categories: Memories, Natural Heritage, People, Restoration|Tags: , , , |

We refer to a previous posting about a traditional Malay-type house in Gopeng (here).

Our good friend Charlie brought to our attention the following NST article, as an update on this Gopeng mystery (see pictures below).

Azim Abdul Aziz, an architect, had decided to restore his grandfather’s 80-year-old house. Since the main road was being widened, the house had to be moved – hence, it was taken apart tile by tile, plank by plank, and moved deeper into the family’s durian orchard.

Azim’s grandfather was a rubber tapper, who built this traditional Malay house; “a post and lintel timber structure with a thatched gable roof….a roof of clay tiles imported from India”. It was rather tedious, but the hard work paid off (see here for pictures of the house’s interior).

Work began in September 2002 and about 2 years later, the house was given a new coat of yellow (like the original). The only change perhaps was the adding of the lanai (a platform, overlooking the orchard), which was built at the back of the house. Azim and his family “intends to use the lanai for outdoor dining and seating” – since it ‘opens’ the area and provides a scenic view of the orchard and a stream.

So, restoration MAY take up a lot of time and money, but the end result is worth it! To Azim and his team – 3 cheers for you, for a job well done!

Rare Gems in Ipoh…

By |2010-09-08T13:37:30+08:00September 8th, 2010|Categories: Identify Photographs, ipoh, Memories, Restoration|Tags: , , |

You don’t see beauties like these anymore! Houses like these are hard to come by; the few that are left either go through EXTREME renovations, or they just end up being torn down and a modern structure replaces them.



A little patching up here, some painting over there – and there you have it! A nice cosy abode for the family 🙂 . Incidentally, these houses are almost all that remain in Ipoh of the dozens designed and built by the well known architect C H LaBrooy . They stand behind the shops in LaBrooy Road which at one time was lined on both side by houses of similar, LaBrooy, design. Now there are only these three left. We are gratefull to the LaBrooy family , for the assistance they have given us with their family photographs and information about thise old days when they lived at Dulcieville Lane – where Parkson Ipoh Parade is now.

Anyone lived in such a house before? Do share your memories with us….

August 2010

The Garden Villa, Ipoh

By |2010-08-09T13:39:38+08:00August 6th, 2010|Categories: Identify Photographs, ipoh, Natural Heritage, Restoration|Tags: , , |

Here is one way of restoring and using a heritage building…..

Garden Villa is located at No.5, Jalan Raja Dr Nazrin Shah (Gopeng Road), Ipoh. It was originally an annex to Eu Tong Sen’s mansion (Eu Chateau-Forest Lodge). Now, this place is managed by Kinta Heritage group. This Anglo-Malay architecture can be a venue for gatherings, exhibitions, talks, seminars, etc. – given it’s suitable location (Gopeng Road), which is not far away from the city centre!

Any group or association interested should call Magis at 05-2417055 / email: kintaheritage@gmail.com

Note: the sketch on this poster was done by Amiruddin Mohd Daud (an Ipoh-born artist); he was featured in one of our previous posts.

STOP PRESS For the convenience of those who prefer Bahas Malaysia rather than English:

June 2010

A Great Looking Lam Looking

By |2010-06-22T23:49:51+08:00June 22nd, 2010|Categories: Ipoh Town, Memories, Restoration|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Yes ladies and gentlemen the exterior restoration of the Lam Looking building is complete, and it really is looking good. But before you feast your eyes on the wonderful building please allow me to show you what it looked like about 60 plus years ago when still in operation.

Well there you are, with the Celestial Hotel, Cabaret and Restaurant upstairs and the bazaar on the ground floor, this was a really happening place through the 30’s and 40’s. Even the Japanese partook of the delights of the upper floors and turned part of it into a high stakes gambling casino.

Later as the clientele diminished the hotel was turned into a cinema, The Movieland Theatre, specialising in Korean and Cantonese Opera movies. But soon that also went to the wall and after the fire we all thought the old girl was finished. How wrong we were and may I present a GREAT LOOKING LAM LOOKING, photo courtesy of Peter Wang Shaoming.

Ruth Iversen, daughter of the original architect, Berthel Michael Iversen must be delighted, and so are we for at last a major building in Ipoh has actually completed its restoration. Now we await completion of the Old Post Office. Let us hope the trend catches on.

But one final thought. “I wonder what they are going to use the building for?”

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