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The Old Shophouses in Old Town

Ipoh cities into the turn of 19th century to developed the booming tin-mining industry propelled the sleepy town into the height of its glory peaked in the 1950s when during the British colonial era. Architecturally, the city centre is characterized by colonial era Chinese shop houses and several impressive historical buildings from the British Colonial era.

On 27 May 1988, it was granted city status by the Sultan of Perak, Sultan Azlan Shah. It is divided naturally by the Kinta River into two main townships - Ipoh Old Town and Ipoh New Town. The old town contains older and pre-war architectures comprising government buildings, shop lots, residences and historical landmarks. So a very large of the historical buildings still existence and function.


Located at 36-38 Jalan Bandar Timah (formerly known as Leech Street) is the Eu Yan Sang medicine shop. The shop was found in 1879 by Eu Kong, a tin miner who was selling herbs to cure opium addicts. Then, his son, Eu Tong Sen took over the business and expanded the business into million dollar Chinese pharmaceutical giant, as we can see today. 

Eu Tong Sen designed the new building himself with the help of a designer from Hong Kong named Yong Chi Po.The design of the roof and its balcony is said to resemble one of the famous temples in Foshan in southern China.  The Eu Tong Sen 1907 building underwent two renovations.


Formerly named after J.M.B Leech, District Officer of Kinta. The historical Dramatists' Hostel is located on this road. Hawkers are selling their food in front of Sin Yoon Loong (lower right), on the same street with Eu Yan Sang.

Established in 1937, SIN YOON LOONG COFFEE SHOP is famous for its Ipoh white coffee. Using both evaporated and condensed milk, the coffee is pulled to make  it rich and frothy. This shop was reputedly a favorite of the Japanese military during their occupation of Ipoh 1942 - 1945.

They were built almost half a century apart. I believe very few of the Ipoh citizen nowadays has witnessed the expansion of this township. Since the traffic converted into one-way flow in1986, it is basically serving motor vehicles than pedestrian.


This shophouse was originally connected to the main Eu Yan Sang store by a first floor bridge and was used as warehouse facilities. As well as Chinese pharmaceuticals, Eu Tong Sern was also a leading tin miner and enterpreneur who had 11 wives and many palatial mansions in Ipoh, Gopeng, Kampar, Penang, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Hong Kong.


This row of five Gabled shophouses, built in the early 1900's, is a fine example of Renaissance architecture.

This unique structure clearly shows the influence of Chinese, Malay and European styles, merged and matured in response to the local environment. From the Chinese came the courtyard plan, the rounded gable ends and the French windows and decorative plaster work.


Panglima Lane or Lorong Panglima is a narrow alleyway lined with two rows of two-storey pre-war houses that date back to the turn of the 20th Century. The lane had apparently been a hotbed of vice activity, home to gambling, prostitution and opium dens, which later became a residential area from which it got its name “Second Concubine Lane” being one of three streets where the Chinese wealthy had housed their concubines.

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