Lorong Panglima, or Concubine Lane is a narrow, uneven path in Ipoh’s Old Town filled with colonial-style terraced building. Known as ‘Yi Lai Hong’ in Cantonese, it was established in 1908 and used to be a residential area where rich Chinese magnates and British officers supposedly kept their concubines and mistresses. After Malaysia gained independence in 1957, all the British officer left, abandoning the area. Over the years, the structures have been reclaimed by nature with greens invading the spaces. The falling windowpanes and chirping paint gives the place an eerily beautiful feeling.
Since then, efforts had been carried out to restore the area, with the Ipoh government investing half a million Ringgit in hopes of transforming it into a tourist hotspot. Most of the buildings have been repaired and cleaned, with a few selected ones preserved in its rustic state to add to the atmosphere. Apart from old school eateries which have been there for a while, the lots are now occupied by hipster souvenir shops and interesting cafes. There are also little stalls selling various snacks.
It has been attracting a steady stream of visitors since then. However, some people from the older generations are still reluctant to step foot into the lane due its past reputation. Gambling, opium use and prostitution used to be prevalent there. Besides, the past occupants used to hand their laundry including underwear overhead.
Now, let’s take a look at what the lane has to offer.
Wong Koh Kee Restaurant
A chu char restaurant serving good old, simple Chinese cuisine with rice. They also sell delicious Hong Kong Egg Waffles.
Second Mama Red Bean Ice
As you can see from the name, this shop is famed for its Red Bean Ice. Apart from that, there are also delectable dishes served such as Spicy Pan Mee.
D’ Saffron Bistro
They serve both Western and local food. Their Curry Puffs are crispy and yummy, while you can choose to build your own Rose Ice Cream with various flavors.
This refreshing snack is a reminiscence of many patron’s childhood memory, with vendors in the past selling it for as low as 50 cents. It is slightly pricier but still affordable now, and you can choose to have your bundle of ice with a combination of different flavored syrup.
Who doesn’t love Cotton Candies? This fluffy cloud of happiness is available here in different patterns!
There are also various shops along the lane selling cute and unique souvenirs such as keychains and jewelry. Do check them out as you’ll be able to find some interesting things. Here’s some of them:
Meiko Kaiso Shop
Eesha Zakka Corner
Whether you are a local or a tourist, Concubine Lane is definitely one of the must-visit places in Ipoh. You’ll be able to satisfy your Instagram needs and hipster soul at the same time!