Saturday, July 31, 2010

Old Town at Night

The northern section of Old Town has many banks, legal firms & offices, especially along Belfield Street & Station Road. During day time, the area is quite congested in traffic & crowded with people at restaurants & banks. Anyway, the scene is completely different at night, where shops are closed, corridors are quiet & traffic is smooth. The vacant three-storey De Silva Building and its neighbouring offices along Station Road are kind of too dark & quiet for pedestrian.

Belfield Street is not much different from Station Road except more cars are speeding through the four-lane street. I can hardly find a shop operating at this section except some Indian shops at southern part of Belfield Street (Little India) are still open for business. Somehow I believe it is not so safe to keep the shop operating at this time.

Friday, July 30, 2010

The Little Grasshopper

A little grasshopper staying on my car. I make very slow movement to approach it and catch this image. But it is very sensitive, before I can capture a closer shot, it has jumped away.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Han Chin Pet Soo since 1929

Han Chin Pet Soo or Villa of Han Chin which located at northern Treacher Street (Jalan Bijeh Timah) is a clubhouse for tin miners in the past. It was founded by a China-born Hakka tin miner, Leong Fee in 1929. Though it is just a three-storey single-shoplot sized building, it's well known by the locals as "The Villa" or "Pit Sui" in Cantonese. The nostalgic floor & wall tiles is a unique prewar architecture & it marks the city's glorious past of tin minning industry. Opposite to it is the famous Concubine Lane (Panglima Lane).

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Comfortable Weather

This is a day with comfortable weather. It was a rainy night yesterday & become cloudy since morning. Warm sun shine is making the plants looked in a better green. The atmosphere is fresh that the monutains at far are seen clearly.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A Morning in Greentown Federal Building

I am having a seminar in the Greentown Federal Government Complex. At one of the blocks, I look out from highest floor towards city center & see Tower Regency Hotel. If not mistaken, the nearer low rise structure is part of the nursing institute behind Ipoh General Hospital.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Busy Hours for Breakfast

Normally 8am to 9am is the busy hour for breakfast in Old Town Leech Street white coffee shops. Not only difficult to find your seat in the shops but also to find parking lots nearby. After that situation will be better & the hawkers will be more relax to take a rest & chit chatting.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Indian Muslim Mosque

The Indian Muslim Mosque is located next to the St. Michael Institution. The mosque was founded by Sheikh Adam in 1908. It is well maintained & is a remarkable heritage building in town. As read in some articles mentioning that the arches are designed in Chitya India or Moghul style, which is similar to the Diwan-i-Khas of Red Fort in Dehli.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

View of Titiwangsa Mountain Range

In this sunny afternoon, the Titiwangsa Mountain Range can be seen clearly. The farthest mountain in sight could be at the other side of the Perak-Pahang state boundry, which mean that mountain might be part of Pahang state. To many Ipoh people, Pahang state seems far away from the city but in fact the state boundry is just about 35km from the city if a straight line is drawn towards east.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Going to Work in Friday Morning

To many of us, Friday is the last working day of a week (unfortunately, not to me anymore). The long waited weekend is approaching. Going to work may be less stressful while many have planned to enjoy their life, either a restful weekend at home or an exciting outing program.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Same Fate as Old Town

Not only in Old Town, nowadays many shops are being emptied in New Town as well. Probably the maintenance cost is getting higher for aged building like this and many owner would rather move to new buildings at newly developed areas. Have we really found out the reason of people migrating away from downtown? What would it be in next ten to twenty years if the migration continues? May be one day our great politician will suggest to tear down the entire downtown and rebuild with unimaginable high cost without proper survey.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Cool Start of the Day

It was raining since last night & still drizzling in the morning. The atmosphere is still misty when sun rises from the Titiwangsa Mountain Range. The beauty of this scene is speechless, yet it makes me feel the power & beauty of nature.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Sculpture on the Temple Pillar

Paloh Ku Miu (Paloh Old Temple) is one of the oldest Chinese temple in town. The hundred-year old temple houses many sculptures that brought in from China a century ago. Most of it are vivid & amazing legendary characters in Chinese history or myth. My guess on these few characters on the left pillar at main entrance could be the Tang Dynasty monk Xuan Zhuang & his three students that appear in the legend of "Xi You Ji" (Journey to the West).

Monday, July 19, 2010

Also Since 1931

At each end of this row of shop, I see the decoration on roof are made in pair which mark the completion date as 1931. This row located close to the east end (up stream of the current traffic flow) of Hugh Low Street. To me, this marks the shops are considered as a single block and fortunately none of it is replaced with modern building at this moment. However, many are already close for business nowadays. Even some are operating, the building is just barely maintained.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

New Coat on The Shops

The painting work by city council as published earlier has come to Hugh Low Street. The previous OUB building which is vacant now also converted into the designated color from its original white surface (compare to picture uploaded in 25-October-2009). Although it looked good but I feel like the unique building is now fall in same color as neighbouring shops is lossing its uniqueness. Well, pros & cons, but somehow this is not a bad move. I hope more owners will realize the benefit of maintaining their old properties which is getting less & less nowadays.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Since 1931

This is a very rare case of old building maintained in proper manner & displaying the original beauty of its architecture. Probably due to it's nature of business, it has to preserve the nice looking old fashion of decoration. Anyway, I believe we can learn from many Western cities that running modern business in heritage buildings and yet still attractive. A well-managed old building can be a better advertising tool rather than a ordinary billboard.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Breakfast Before Going To Work

There are not many customer in this coffee shop. Most of them are coming alone to have their breakfast before going to work. The shop has no problem to survive as there are some factories nearby.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Occupant Keep Changing

This 4-storey building is located at the junction between Pasir Puteh Road & Leong Boon Swee Road, which is right beside the traffic light. This is the the closest portion of Pasir Puteh to city center & it suppose a strategic commercial location. However, the occupants of this building had been changing several times. It was even once won the Ipoh City Council's award of building decoration several years ago. I am thinking it could be the heavy traffic that leads to no parking lot around this building that cause the difficulty in attracting customer.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Lee's Ancestral Hall of Perak

When the Chinese migrated from China to South East Asia, they experienced difficult and helpless life in this new homeland. Therefore, there were many associations formed according to the originated province or family surname to take care those from same clan. Lee is a major family surname in Chinese society and there are Lee associations around the world. This is the Lee's Ancestral Hall of Perak. There are seasonal prayers to the ancestor held in this building and I used to attend with my father when I was young. There were scholarship and bounty given away anually for the good academic achievement students.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Busy & Silent Street

One of the busiest spot in Ipoh during day time, some would call it "white coffee street" (Leech Street), where the famous Old Town White Coffee originated. Many would feel little annoyed with the traffic congestion & parking lot constraint around this area. However, it will turn into a totally different atmosphere in the evening because the few coffee shops are closed around 4pm-5pm. Leech Street becomes silent and empty throughout the night where we can hardly imagine how busy it was during day time.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Colourful Sky & Rainbow

Again a beautiful partial rainbow was seen this evening. Drizzling during the sunset brought us coller atmosphere and also colourful sky & rainbow.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

A Bright Day Starting

This is a start of another day. It can be one day farther from beginning of life or one day closer to end of life; it could be a great day or a lousy day; it could be new friend found or a new enemy arises. If life ends tomorrow, what would I do now to appreciate the balance hours I have? A bright day is starting, but many are still living in darkness of their life.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Balcony Dining

Among all the pre-war shop houses I know in New Town & Old Town, there is no such design to have a balcony at first floor like this row & the row opposite to it (where I stood to capture this photo). This is so unique & owner may make full use of it for commercial or beautification purpose. Anyway some of these shops have been renovated with the balcony covered. Outdoor seating for restaurant & cafe is getting more popular nowadays. Sitting at higher spot for dining or tea break while watching traffic at below is kind of enjoyable experience. If the first floor of these shops turn into restaurant & offer seats at the balcony, I believe it can be attractive and amazing.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Lonely Corridor

During early 20th century, population of Ipoh had rapidly grown. The original town couldn't withstand anymore & the new township was extended to the east bank of Kinta River around 1908-1910. That's the Old Town & New Town we know today. However, the trend has changed since 1970's when transportation become more convenient. People started to migrate away from downtown to the suburban residential that provides larger living space. When the city's economy was badly hit during 1986 & 1997, more shops were closed down & left abandoned. The corridor once too congested with people a century ago is now empty & lonely.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Sunset When Dinner

I was having dinner nearby home & sitting at open space of this shop. Beside enjoying the better air flow out here, I was able to apperciate the beautiful sun set while waiting for my food. Despite having no better camera at that moment, but yet this scene that captured by a mobile phone camera still appeared to be nice.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

A Building Like Ship

I was spending quite some time around this area of Ali Pitchay Road during my primary school time because my aunt was staying in the shop house in orange color behind this building. This building was left vacant for many years before a college & food court moved in several years ago. People normally did not walk on its corridor (several feet above the street) because it was full of bird dropping. As I remember, it was known as the Perak Rubber Association Building during that time. It is designed in a typical 1950's-60's architecture & looked like a ship sailing on land.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Elegant Shops at Lau Ek Ching Street

I was walking along Lau Ek Ching Street again. I don't really understand how could almost the entire row of shop houses which located in the heart of the city is not occupied. In fact these buildings are so elegant & attractive if well-maintained. We can see from above pictures, the first on right is recently renovated & opened as a wedding studio, that looked so beautiful & charming. Whereas at the left end of row, there is an art gallery operating that also returns the building's nice look. These are the very limited old shops that offer front yard in town. I believe it can be an ideal place for cafe, restaurant which offers outdoor dining, or simply turn these shops become a boutique hotel themed the colonial living style. "If" I am rich :-) this will be definitely mine & I can imagine how charming the street will be, especially with decorations & light effect at night.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Properties Left Abandoned

Jalan Datoh is just a few hundred-meter long road in New Town which has no intensive development over the years. There are only few rows of shop along the road & this is probably the oldest. As seen now, 2 units are already in very bad shape while others are still in use. It is always a big question to me, is Ipoh's economic status so poor that there are so many shop owners would just abandon their properties to deteriorate in this way?

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Struggling to Survive

This is seen in front of a factory in the small-middle size industrial estate. Most of the factories are running in mess condition with lack of environmental care. The vacant land behind these trees might be a tin mine in the past as it is covered by white sand & consists of a lake. Although trees are planted alongside the road but some are already gone, leaving the dead trunk. Could it be a result of hazardous environment torture or other reasons? I don't think the factories owner care about it. They would rather focus on higher sales at lowest cost than trees & environment, which they believe is none of their business.
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