Concubine Lane, Ipoh

15th May 2023

Had a really sound sleep last night, we had an American Breakfast and a Nasi Lemak this morning as part of the hotel rate, it was very nice. This hotel is only rated two star but I think it is excellent, I have stayed in much worse three star hotels.

French Hotel Ipoh Malaysia

French Hotel BreakfastFrench Hotel Breakfast

In the hotel foyer there was a set of pictures of important Malaysian figures carefully arranged according to their relative importance.

French Hotel

In the centre is the King and Queen of the country , they serve for 5 years then another Sultan takes over. Flanking them is the Perak State Sultan and his wife, then on the far right is the State’s Chief Minister and on the left is the Malaysian PM.

This morning we were better prepared directionwise and set off following Google maps – our journey took us across the river to a colonial part of town.

Sungai Kinta (Kinta River)Sungai Kinta (Kinta River)Sungai Kinta (Kinta River) Weir Control

It wasn’t a long walk but crossing roads was difficult at times, there are few pedestrian crossing points. I am sure if you are familiar with the town then it is easy but we had to go three sides of a very large square just to get safely from one side to the other on a few occasions.

We made a detour to have a look at the clock tower built in 1909 and came across an Indian (though probably Pakistani) food court, one thing I have developed a taste for over the years is their tea made with condensed milk (Teh Tarik).  We also had a snack of Apom with curry – sort of a pancake done in a wok so it is thicker in the middle.

Sultan Idris Shah MosqueClock Tower IpohApom

After eating we strolled to Concubine Lane (actually called Lorong Panglima or Panglima Alley). According to Malaysia Life there are two stories as to how the lane got it’s name:

There are two different explanations of where the name ‘Concubine Lane’ came from. One theory is that the street became known as Concubine Lane because this was the place where rich local business man Yao Tet Shin gave his mistress a house to live in. There is also ‘Wife Street’ in Ipoh which, so the story goes, is so called because this is where Yau Tet Shin gave his first wife a house to live in. The other theory is that Lorong Panglima became known as Concubine Lane because this was where rich local men and the British colonial administrators kept their mistresses. The common theme to both stories is that Concubine Lane is somewhere local men came to get up to things that they would rather their families didn’t know about.

Now it is a thriving, crowded tourist attraction full of small shops selling everything from jewellery to ice cream.

Concubine Lane IpohConcubine Lane IpohConcubine Lane IpohConcubine Lane IpohConcubine Lane IpohConcubine Lane Ipoh

Afterwards we wandered the town looking at the sights and the old buildings.


All this walking was thirsty work, called into a coffee house for a Caramel Latte and to enjoy the air con before continuing on.

Caramel Latte

Slowly made our way back to the hotel for a rest from the heat (which was pretty exhausting) before venturing out again for dinner in the early evening. It was hard to choose whether to return to the place we went last night or try a new spot, in the end it was Ipoh’s famous Chicken Rice that won out. Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of the Fishball soup that went with it, but personally I prefer the Chicken Rice elsewhere where the chicken is fried not boiled, I am not a fan of boiled meat like this (or steamboat).

Chicken RiceChicken Rice

Then it was back to the hotel after checking on the car – tomorrow we leave.

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