Coffee, Concubine Lane, Eat, Education, Food, Ipoh, Malaysia, The Idea Box, Thean Chun, Vacation

Ipoh Travelogue – (Part 4): Coffeeshops, Street Food and Sights

Walking around Ipoh and can’t help but fall in love with these buildings and street scene. Nevermind about some of the charming but yet crumbling architecture; they only seemed to add to the allure.

Kedai Kopi Sin Yoon Loong, a name synonymous among the locals, where a cup of white coffee and wanton mee would fill your soul. Located next to it is Kedai Kopi Sun Yuan Foong which offers one of the best chee cheong fun in town.

Many came and testified that Restoran Ipoh Kong Heng 怡保光興茶室 serves one of the best popiah, Kai si Hor fun and egg custard in town.

It is common to find Thean Chun being packed with customers throughout the day. From shredded chicken meat with hor fun, thick beans sprouts, caramel custard to chee cheong fun, everyone will be spoiled for choices.

If you find comfort in a bowl of sumptuous pork noodles, be sure to try Restoran CY Noodle, a corner shop at 26-9, Jalan Theatre, Ipoh.

Touted as one of the top 10 must-try confectionery shops in Ipoh, Biskut Lam Fong 南方饼家 freshly served Tambon cake, horseshoe cake, salty danwei, pork lotus cake, glutinous rice cake, and other varieties of biscuits.

For a moment, one wondered whether is this still a coffeeshop?

A traditional convenience store still plying its trade in the wake of online shopping.

Located next to Concubine Lane is the 90’s Classic, a local barbershop!

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Ipoh Travelogue – (Part 3): Ming Court Hong Kong Tim Sum (明阁香港点心), Kedai Kopi Sin Yoon Loong, Mural Arts Lane @ Jalan Masjid, Chang Jiang White Coffee (長江白咖啡), Funny Mountain Tau Fu Fah (奇峰豆腐花), Gunung Lang Recreational Park, Cameron Highlands, Ipoh Parade Shopping Centre, Instant Noodles World and Ipoh Bubble Tea Street

An inexpensive way of exploring Ipoh is by way of eating. For some well-establishments, diners need to be there early or else be prepared to wait.

Ming Court Hong Kong Tim Sum (明阁香港点心)

Famed for their dim sum, Ming Court comes to life the moment it is open at 6am. Customers from all walks of life will flock to Ming Court and the crowd within the restaurant will build in no time.

To avoid the crowd, I was already there at 6:05am. The restaurant’s business was so good that you might find homeless people sitting outside for handouts.

It was about 6am and customers were already inside.

Get your dim sum fix here. The restaurant adopted an old school style where waiters would serve classic dim sum selections in aluminium trays.

I noticed the portions were pretty small. Disadvantage it might be, but that meant that I could get to try more dishes before I am full.

Char siew bao.

Authentic Lo Mai Gai (糯米鸡).

Delectable Steamed Spare Ribs with Black Beans, one of my favorite.

Siew Mai (Shrimp and Pork Dumpling). There were 4 pieces but did you notice their size?

Just make sure you need to taste their Muar Chee, steamed glutinous flour dessert wrapped in finely grounded peanuts. It melts in your mouth!

Hearty breakfast! Ming Court Dim Sum restaurant is unmistakably a must-go-to eatery in Ipoh for breakfast.

Address:

36 Jalan Leong Sin Nam | 30300 Ipoh, Malaysia, Ipoh, Malaysia

Kedai Kopi Sin Yoon Loong

Some of the best street food in Ipoh could be found in a coffee shop. Kedai Kopi Sin Yoon Loong serves one of the best Ipoh white coffee that is more aromatic than other places.

Serving the best thick and creamy white coffee since 1937.

One of the best breakfast on earth – toasted bread spreaded with homemade kaya (coconut jam).

The coffee shop operates from 6am to 5pm.

Address:
15A,Jalan Bandar Timah Ipoh, Perak

Street Art in Ipoh – Mural Arts Lane @ Jalan Masjid

Street Art exploration is one of the fun activities in Malaysia. After the last trip to Penang, walking around the streets to be mesmerised by street art was actually fun.

These masterpieces were the brainchild of Eric Lai, a local art teacher. He initiated the street art project after being inspired by Ernest Zacharevic’s art.

It’s about building and celebrating our cultural differences.

Address:

Jalan Masjid, Taman Jubilee, 30300 Ipoh, Negeri Perak, Malaysia

Chang Jiang White Coffee (長江白咖啡)

Chang Jiang White Coffee in Ipoh was the next stop. The Coffee place was opened back in the 70s by the proprietor Mr Kong Wing Kheong.

Ipoh Chang Jiang White Coffee is also one of the Instagram-worthy locations. While retaining their high quality signature coffee, the place had also been refurnished with a rustic charm.

Customers can choose to sit outside or inside, whichever their preference.

Nice atmosphere and great coffee over here. On daily basis, many tourists would stop by here for coffee breaks. When the place is packed (usually in the afternoons), customers will have to take a queue number to wait for their turn.

Pure coffee is known as “white coffee”. The white coffee was thick and creamy. Would recommend to taste their coffee instead as the food were so so.

Address:

7, Jalan Windsor, 30250 Ipoh, Negeri Perak, Malaysia

Funny Mountain Tau Fu Fah (奇峰豆腐花)

The most famous tau fu fah shop in Ipoh is over here. Apart from walk in customers, cars were streaming in by the roadside to make their orders.

Choose to savour the delectable bowl of tau fu fah in your car or slurp it up on the spot. Soft, smooth and refreshing!

The prices are reasonable too.

Address:

49, Jalan Theatre, 30300 Ipoh
10:00am – 7:30pm or until finished. Closed on Tuesdays.

Gunung Lang Recreational Park

Gunung Lang Recreational Park is located off Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman (formerly Kuala Kangsar Road). It is developed around a scenic backdrop of limestone hills of Gunung Lang and Gunung Bilike.

To reach there, one must pay RM3 (adult) / RM1.50 (Senior Citizen) for a boat ride from the jetty.

Over here, there are lookout towers, children’s playground, campsite and a mini zoo.

Beware of mozzies whenever you visit a park. Spending an hour here would be sufficient.

Address:

Taman Rekreasi Gunung Lang, Off Jalan Kuala Kangsar, 30010 Ipoh, Perak

Open Time:
Monday to Thursday – 8am – 12noon / 1.30pm – 7pm
Friday – 8am – 12noon / 2.45pm – 4pm
Saturday, Sunday, Public holiday – 8am – 6.30pm

Boat Ride Fees:
Adults – RM3
Children (3 – 12 years old) – RM1.50
Senior citizens (above 55 years old) – RM1.50

Cameron Highlands

If you have a day or two to spare, you can consider exploring Cameron Highlands. A two hour journey by car from Ipoh, Cameron Highlands is the most popular of the highland retreats in Malaysia. Located at almost 2,000 meters at its highest point, it offers visitors cooling climate.

What to do in Cameron Highlands? I explored the Boh Tea Plantation.

The Lavender Garden, floral theme park with a small field of lavender.

Honey bee farm to learn a thing or two about bees and understanding the health benefits of honey.

Strawberry picking where kids will fall in love with it.

Ipoh Parade Shopping Centre

What a way to spend the night exploring the Ipoh Parade Shopping Centre, which is adjoined to the WEIL Hotel.

This is the biggest and striving shopping mall in the entire Ipoh!

Address:

105, Jalan Sultan Abdul Jalil Lot G25, Ground Floor, Ipoh Parade, Ipoh, Perak

Ipoh Bubble Tea Street

Ipoh’s Bubble Tea Street is opposite the WEIL Hotel, a short walk away.

A new concept of dining, I tried the Instant Noodles World. Instant Noodles are served in home brewed base soup.

You can choose from the wide selection of instant noodles from all over the world..

Piping hot bowl of noodles will be served to you.

Address:

BLOCK C G-6,
IPOH SOHO 1,
JALAN SULTAN ISKANDAR
30000 IPOH, Perak

Ending our Ipoh trip at Bubble Tea Street, where there are galore of over 10 bubble tea outlets! You will be spoiled for choices.

Even till late into the night, you will never fail to see bubble tea lovers flocking to the outlets to grab their daily dose of…

refreshing bubble tea!

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All photos, information and opinions, unless otherwise stated, in this post belong to Katong Kids Inc. Reproducing or copying them for use on third party sites without our written permission are strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.

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Ipoh Travelogue – (Part 1): WEIL Hotel, Concubine Lane, Ipoh Booth Cart, Thean Chun Coffee Shop (天津茶室), Kong Heng Square, Burps and Giggles, Yum Cha Tea Bar and Tong Sui Kai 糖水街

Think of Malaysia, think of Ipoh. Located within the state of Perak, Ipoh took our breath away and we were just drawn by its slower pace of life as we took a short break away from Singapore.

This trip was so impromptu that we only had a couple of days to come up with the itinerary and we thought the trip went pretty well! In this blog series, we will cover some of the best cuisines in Ipoh, well-preserved historical landmarks and quaint cafes that make you fall in love with this town.

Instead of hopping into a dreaded 8 hours journey by coach, we took the budget airline and arrived at Sultan Azlan Shah Airport after an hour flight.

The airport was relatively small and you would probably be visiting these two booths – Car Rental and Purchase of SIM Card.

I bought a 6GB plan for RM35, which was more than sufficient for a 3-day use.

We rented a MPV which cost about SGD100/day. The car park was just in front of the airport so picking up the car was a breeze.

We would be staying at the WEIL Hotel. Apart from just 6km from the airport, this beautiful hotel is adjoined to the Ipoh Parade Shopping Centre and had so many reasons why visitors should be staying there.

Concubine Lane

Our first stop was exploring the Concubine Lane, which was along Lorong Panglima and is the busiest among the three lanes today with shops and restaurants. As cliche as it may sound, one of the must-do activities in Ipoh is the heritage walk around the old town area.

It was no surprising that the street was packed with tourists since it was a weekend.

Brightly colored umbrellas.

It might sound sinful, but what a shame it would be if a visit to Ipoh was completed without trying some of their unique desserts!

We sampled the Honey Ice Ball (RM5 per ball); an ice ball bigger than the size of a fist shaped with shaved ice then drizzled generously with gula melaka (palm sugar syrup).

Kuma Brand‘s rainbow cheese toast (RM13 per toast) certainly captured our hearts! Brushed with butter on the surface, the bread was being toasted to golden yellow.

The fun part of it? Stretching the cheese to your heart’s delight.

We tried the cold dessert at Tau Fu Fa, which was a great respite from the sweltering heat. To create the traditional atmosphere, long and squatting stools were set up for dine-in customers.

Their bean curd literally melts when you eat it. A must-try dessert shop at Concubine Lane.

Panglima Dua Lima, a charming little cafe housed in an old shophouse serving freshly prepare Ipoh white coffee.

The cafe was coated with attractive interiors. Old wall, wooden furnishing and displays of old school items added a rustic charm to this place.

Address:
30000 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia

Ipoh Booth Cart

Situated on the upper floor of the corner shop lot Restoran Sun Yoon Wah was Ipoh Booth Cart. We wouldn’t know of this place (opposite Concubine Lane) if not for the banners placed outside.

This place catered to a few booths or kiosks selling souvenirs and drinks.

Hey, admission is free!

Thean Chun Coffee Shop (天津茶室)

Thean Chun Restoran is highly recommended in the media and they are famous for their “Kai See Hor Fun” aka Chicken Kuey Teow Soup, egg caramel custard, chee cheong fun and satay.

We were very full but capturing pictures is a must!

Address:
73, Jalan Market, Ipoh, 30000,
Ipoh, Perak, 30000, Malaysia

Kong Heng Square

Nestled amidst Ipoh Old Town colonial buildings is Kong Heng Square Artisan Market (KHSAM).

An area rejuvenated with rustic blend of old and new architecture and shady trees, has been given a new “life” with burgeoning local arts, crafts and eateries. It is a hub where passion meets creativity.

I fell in love with photography few years ago and felt that Kong Heng Square actually was a good spot for photo-taking.

Previously a decrepit and abandoned space, Kong Heng Square has been rejuvenated into one of the cool hangouts in town.

Can you believe on top of this building is actually a hotel?

New Star Salon, an old school barbershop that have stood the test of time.

Popular Plan B Cafe, a place for all-day dining.

We heard much about Burps and Giggles and glad that it was conveniently located at Kong Heng Square.

Customers are greeted with great ambience and the cafe is furnished with eclectic decorations.

Don’t miss out their Fish & Chips and red velvet cake.

Yum Cha Tea Bar

The Bubble Tea world is on a rage. We heard that Yum Cha Tea Bar is selling White Rabbit Bubble Tea here.

Tasted but not to my liking..

Should have tried the matcha flavour.

Traditional Tea House / Wood Craft Workshop

As evening beckoned, we chanced upon this interesting tea house as we went to collect our car.

The friendly owner invited us to tour his premises.

Every bit of the interior was lovely and filled with charm.

According to the owner, this place was used to host wood craft workshop and corporate sharing sessions.

Tong Sui Kai 糖水街 or “Dessert Street”

Tong Sui Kai 糖水街 or literally “Dessert Street” is one of local’s famous food spot with many stalls selling local delicacies such as rojak, cockles, noodles and many others.

Chicken Wings at RM2.70 per piece.

Wanton Noodle (Stall 44) at RM10 and Ice Kacang at RM5.

Memories of Ipoh on our first day.

Why not try Ipoh when planning your getaway? I am in love with Malaysia. Looking forward to explore this beautiful country again.

Address:

Jln Sultan Ekram, Taman Jubilee, 30300 Ipoh, Negeri Perak, Malaysia

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California, Chinatown Gate, Christmas, Diary of a Foodster, Eat, Education, Food, Growing Up, Katong Kids Inc, Kids Activities, Las Vegas, Lombard Street, Photography, San Francisco, Shopping, Travel, Travel Blog, Traveler Wifi, Uncategorized, Vacation

California Travelogue – (Part 2): San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park, Maritime Museum, Ghirardelli Square, Lombard Street and Chinatown

Soak into the sights, sounds and smells of San Francisco. We did a tour of the Fisherman’s Wharf neighborhood, San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park. The Park includes a magnificent fleet of historic ships, a Visitor Center, Maritime Museum, Maritime Research Center, and Aquatic Park Historic District.

It was an easy tour as the place wasn’t huge.

A short walk further down was the Maritime Museum which was located in the Aquatic Park Bathhouse Building.

Ghirardelli Square is a convenient stop for chocolate and ice cream while already visiting at Fisherman’s Wharf.

No trip to San Francisco is complete without tasting sweet chocolate from those chocolate dream-makers at Ghirardelli. Ghirardelli’s sundaes are real special.

We did not drive during our stay in San Francisco. Instead, we walked, walked and walked.

As you can see, the roads here were steep and it was a test of endurance and good form of exercise.

This picture is a good example to get a sense of how steep the streets were.

We did have the chance to see the splendor of the West Coast, here was what San Francisco looked and felt like.

Strolling down one of America’s crookedest streets in the form of Lombard Street is a blessing! The steep, hilly street was created with sharp curves to switchback down the one-way hill past beautiful Victorian mansions.

Lombard Street is definitely one of the most photographed spot in San Francisco. Tourists just couldn’t resist its charm and uniqueness.

 This street has eight tight hairpin turns through the neighborhood where guests can either drive, or walk, down for an interesting adventure.

After exploring Lombard Street, we walked to the Chinatown.

San Francisco’s Chinatown is the oldest one in North America (surprisingly well maintained) and covers 24 city blocks.

Trying out the delicious and yummy dim sum!

We finally found the the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory after getting lost! Located in Ross Alley, formerly called the “Street of the Gamblers”; the little factory here makes fortune cookies.

We had no idea why it was so popular among tourists. In fact, we don’t think there is anything special about fortune cookies. Nevertheless, it was a pleasant sight watching the lady sitting at the assembly line, folding and filling the cookies by hand.

Big and Small M at the Dragon Gate, the official entrance into Chinatown on Bush Street, where Grant Avenue takes you into the heart of Chinatown.

Another Macy’s in San Francisco 🙂

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Traditional Nyonya Food – Peranakan Inn @ East Coast Road

The Peranakan Inn Restaurant located at East Coast Road.

Despite being newly renovated, we could still feel the artistic touch and reminiscence of the rich and cultural Peranakan heritage. Diners will be immersed in sophisticated comfort and plush interiors.

 Developed by Chinese-Malay Peranakans, Nyonya cooking is the result of blending Chinese ingredients with various distinct spices and cooking techniques used by the Malay/Indonesian community.

A treasure trove of Nyonya cuisine that you should scribble onto your must-eat list.

This is a beautiful, historic-rich neighbourhood that is widely adored for its colorful rows of Peranakan shophouses. So take your taste buds on a culinary adventure, Peranakan Inn is the place to get your fix.

East Coast Road
Singapore 428909
Tel: 64406195
Open Daily 11am-3pm, 6pm-10pm

 

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California Travelogue – (Part 1): San Francisco Cable Car, Powell Street and Fisherman Wharf

After our New York trip, we took a 6.5 hour flight to San Francisco.

San Francisco, in northern California, is a hilly city on the tip of a peninsula surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay. It’s known for its year-round fog, iconic Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars and colorful Victorian houses.

Our first impression of San Francisco was its cleaniness. The tram was really clean and a big contrast to NYC in which it was not crowded.

Thanks to our friends staying in California, we were recommended to take the BART train to Powell Street.

So clean and fresh!

We would be staying at Axiom Hotel, which was just located above the Powell Station. It took about 2 to 3 mins walk to the hotel.

The reason we chose Axiom Hotel was it’s close proximity to the train station. The place was centralised to every tourist activities but we were cautioned that it was near to the Tenderlion neighbourhood where the streets were shady and you wouldn’t want to bump onto people you wouldn’t want to meet. Glad that there was a right soul who walked up and told us not to cross the street, else we would be venturing into the neighbourhood. Yes, the google map did fail us at times.

Cute robot to attend to our needs.

Burger King was beside our hotel.

We were glad that the cable car station was outside our hotel. During peak hour, the queue could linger till late into the night. The ticket cost $7 each.

We are going to the Fisherman’s Wharf. Fisherman’s Wharf, on the northern waterfront, is one of the city’s busiest tourist areas. Souvenir shops and stalls selling crab and clam chowder in sourdough bread bowls appear at every turn.

The streets of San Francisco was just amazing. It would take a lot of energy just to walk up the slopes and they were appearing at every junction we stopped.

Slopes again. How to survive without owning cars here?

No experience is more uniquely San Francisco than a ride on a cable car. A must-try experience here!

It’s convenient to travel here and we don’t really need to drive.

The Ross store is a great place to find cheap stuff.  

Love these laundry buckets so much (only $13) but how to bring back home 😦

The crab meat and prawns were very juicy. It cost about US$70.

Spent the afternoon exploring the streets.

If In-N-Out Burger comes to Singapore, it will beat all the fast food restaurants hands down.

Our favourite pasttime. Buying a loaf of cheap bread when visiting the harbour to feed the birds.

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London Travelogue – (Part 5): Stevenage and Emirates Stadium

We were greeted with light rain on our final day in London. The sky was cloudy but we were determined to end the day fruitfully.

With most of the main attractions covered, we took it easy today and googled for nearby places to explore.

The rain started to pelt and we took shelter at a train station.

Hopping onto the train with our Oyster cards, we had no idea where to go. Since we were not driving, taking a train ride to see the surroundings might be a good idea.

Thanks to the rain, the weather were freezingly cold and we were loving it!

The train took us into the countryside and we passed by hills, seen cattle grazing and lovely houses.

We were kind of lost and didn’t know where to alight. The train captain was surprised we had no destination in mind and recommended that we visit a little town by the name of Stevenage. Stevenage is a town and borough in Hertfordshire, England, 28 miles north of London.

Alas, oyster card is not valid here and we had to pay a fine of about $50. The staff was friendly and chatted with us while he prepared tickets for us to exit.

A lovely little town to explore. Maybe not that fantastic for sightseeing but it was an ideal place to buy cheap loots.

Stevenage was pretty much like Bedok neighbourhood where you could find rows of shophouses.

Delicious germany sausages..nice to try in such a cold weather.

Yes, everything’s $1!

A haven for shopping.

The Iceland store. Wait till we see how cheap the items were.

How we wished we were living over here. It’s near impossible to find such prices over in Singapore. These items were not junk qualities either.

At the other end of the town, there were restaurants and a large Cineplex.

Had our dinner here. The chicken looked kind of dry.

We headed back to our Airbnb but before that we suddenly realised our place was near to Emirates Stadium! And so we alighted from the train and followed the signs to Arsenal.

It took about 15 mins to walk from the train stadium. Along the way, we came across houses and they were so beautifully lighted and decorated with Christmas props.

The residents living in these houses were probably the most blessed of all. Just 20m in front of the Emirates Stadium, they could attend EPL match at their convenience every week!

They might not appreciate soccer but it was a worthwhile visit to the famous soccer club.

This capped off our London trip and we booked a Blackberry Car to the airport at 1am. No hidden cost and the driver was professional. The next time we visit London, we will definitely book with them again. Next up, we will travel over 3500 miles or 8 hours of flight time to New York City!

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