ipoh

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The rustic town of Ipoh – Exploring this place is like venturing to an old ‘kampung’ I never had. After a rather punctual train ride and getting lost for almost an hour, it was almost instant that I knew I have to come back again (this time with my family / friends – and a car!).

Back in KL, my chicken rice is often prepared by a hired-foreigner who sometimes speaks very little English. In Ipoh, any meal of all sorts is mostly done by a local; an elderly local, if I may add. My RM3.60 bowl of Assam Laksa was cooked by an 80 year old aunty. #blessed

P.S.: Pictures above a less than impressive. Still getting use to the new lens.

I like the humor behind this “ais kopi bungkus” (packed iced coffee) graffiti art in Ipoh town. I believe, though, this artist is inspired by the famed artist, Ernest Zacharevic whose street arts in various parts of Penang turned him and the island into an instant hit - especially so amongst instagrammers and photographers alike.

Or I could be wrong that this is indeed his work. Correct me if I’m wrong - anyone? :)

10

IPOH IPOH MALI
Today was quite the adventure. We headed to Ipoh for a little R&R. 
I have to say i’ve not been to Ipoh for the longest time, and have no idea how to navigate myself around that part of Malaysia. But we went ahead anyways. 

To my surprise, Ipoh was not what i remembered it to be. Of course some of it hasn’t change that much. Especially the housing area bit, but the town though. That has changed quite a fair bit. Ipoh to me has always been this quiet place where old folks just hangout and do their thing. But its not like that at all, well at least not anymore. I guess its fair to say that it has picked up since then. 

We found amazing little places in the nooks of Ipoh town. One of them was this area that had a bunch of nice cafes, a service residence and little shops selling assorted design and vintage goods. We were lucky, cause at the time we came there was a bazaar going on in an alleyway beside the building. There were so many things to look at, from hand made produce to vintage furniture and tons of other assortments. What i like most about the whole thing was that they maintained the whole structural aspect of the building as is. It was not touched up, broken down or redid. They literally just built around whatever existing building that was there. It was beautiful. The feeling we had being in a place like that was just brilliant. U don’t feel like your in Ipoh at all, let alone Malaysia. 

It was a really nice Sunday afternoon stroll. Had the usual coffee, cakes, desserts, and went around looking and just admiring the buildings and its overall concept. Just pure brilliant. Lucky me, as we were having coffee i actually had the chance to meet the owner. Spoke a little bit about her business. She was telling us about her ideas and how they came about. She was a very pleasant lady probably in her early 50s. We sat and talked for a bit until it was time to leave. Our conversation really inspired me to hopefully one day have my own cafe like i’ve always wanted. A little more initiative and god willing. i just might.  

Ipoh was different, in some ways i can definitely relate to. It was still the town that it used to be, but it changed in a way to adapt to the new people, the new things and at the same time enhancing all that is Ipoh in the process. Now i wont feel like theres nothing there, or feel like its pointless to go there. I guess what i learned from all this is that theres always something somewhere waiting to be discovered. U just need to get on your two feet and find your way to it.

Good Sunday guys. Until the next weekend. 

10

420 km (KL Stesen Sentral, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
630 km (Ipoh KTM Station, Ipoh, Malaysia)

A few more digital photos from the epic journey I’m currently taking.
My aim is to travel all the way from Singapore to Manchester, mostly by train and entirely by land. For more up-to-date photos, follow my Instagram!

As I write this, I’m still a day or so behind with these blog posts. 

I’ve just arrived by sleeper train into Hat Yai, Thailand, which has all of the class of border towns around the world. The kind of place where things happen. Farang wait for a train into Malaysia for the visa renewal run. An Irish pub. An American saloon. Brightly coloured shopfronts, flags and banners. A motorcycle misfires. A man has his hair cut on the street outside an automotive parts shop. Wandering through a covered market I’m presented with a dizzying array of weapons, sex toys and pirate DVDs. A young woman rides past me on a motorcycle at speed, her hair flowing freely behind her. I remember how much I love Thailand, aware of a slight twinge of shame in my relief to put Malaysian conservatism behind me. 

I adjust my watch, reconfigure my universal power adapter, ask for a wifi password and change the last of my Ringgit for Baht, wondering idly how many times I will enact this new ritual at border crossings still ahead.