Thursday, July 23, 2009

Pekan Ipoh : The Bougainville City

yesterday i drove together with azi and my boys to pekan ipoh. azi wanted to check some stuff out at yik foong. it stirs a sentimental part of me driving through the old town, passed old shophouses and familiar buildings. i was thinking of writing a tribute to my great, humble town.

* * *

ipoh town
ipoh town holds many memories of my teen years. hanging out at the local mcd opposite super kinta (pasar besar ipoh) - ade lagi ke super kinta? behind that, there's 'kompleks yik foong', lepak place and the location to get funky clothings that mirror the rap groups of my time - 4U2C, kru, feminin and res2. dengan seluar gedoboh, oversized t-shirt dan baseball cap, masa tu rasa macam kita la yang paling kool! hihi.

after a walk through pekan ipoh, (selalunya ke yik foong, kemudian ke super kinta, mungkin makan di mcd) this is where i waited for my bus - at that tall brown building on the left - i call it 'bangunan martell' - pasal ade signboard besar that says 'martell'!

and if buses don't come after few hours (it happens!) i just walk to the back of the building, where a cab company offers their service - but i have to wait until there are 4 people going to the same direction. then only we board the cab back home. nak jimat - bayar 1/4 je!

* * *

ah, cathay cinema. smelling of mouldy seats and stale popcorns. but for cheap seats and a decent cinematic experience, this was it! complete with leather seats at the 'waiting area' upstairs that looks like it's taken straight out from a jefri zain's movie!

we eat mcd or kfc, then scoot off to cathay, or lido next door. i remember once my friend accidentally bought the cheapest seats right at the front of the big screen, and we suffered stiff neck and joint-ache afterwards!

this was also the first cinema theater i went to with just my friends. yes, it was a big deal back then for me to be able to gain my mom's trust and watch movies without the family. i remember my first movie was 'home alone' and i saw it with niraku. kamu ingat tak?

* * *

pasar besar ipoh - super kinta
pass the dark murky walkways, smelly with an awful stench of a week-old poultry - and you will get to super kinta, the superstore for the ipoh folks back in my teen days. that's where 'big boy' is. that's where i buy my school uniforms. that's where i get my telekung. that's where i get my latest 4U2C cassette tapes. fresh flowers and fresh fruits. you'll get it all here in pasar besar ipoh.

i remember as a kid, this was where we get our baju raya. it was such an event for us when mak got the monetary provisions from abah (thanks abah for ALL our baju raya!) and we got to shop for our clothes - kain baju kurung beli di kamdar, and here we looked for 2 more baju raya - 'baju pusing' and a pair of shirt and jeans. these are the usuals.

ye? baju pusing tu ape? baju pusing tu baju gown la. haha. apparently i coined the term when i was younger because when i wear a dress, i like to turn round and round, hence - 'baju pusing'!

just yesterday even abah was asking aloud, "ade lagi ke supermarket kat atas tu?"

after a day of shopping at our humble neighbourhood 'mall' - we definitely rest our feet and fill our tummies with burgers and fries at the opposite mcd. yum!

mornings before going to my 1119 class. lunch before a movie. afternoon snacks after school. tea-time after staying back for club meetings. dinner - hmm, dinner tu jarang!

i always, always lepak here as a teen - in fact i had my 16th birthday bash here. 14 years and 2 kids later, i took my boys to lepak here. seeing the girls in light blue school uniform brought back so many fond memories.

korang ingat tak ade satu mamat keja mcd ni muka macam azhar sulaiman? i bet all the girls have a crush on him!

* * *

yup people. i'm ipoh mali.

there's no place like ipoh. i was born and bred here. went to school here from standard 1 to form 5. had my first ever paid-job here. met mr. khairul for the first time here. what a special place!

come raya, even after getting married, i'm glad that our destination to balik kampung is still perak. to ipoh my abah's place, and to padang rengas my in-laws' place.

Ipoh is a city in Malaysia and is the capital of the state of Perak. It is approximately 200 km (125 miles) north of Kuala Lumpur via the North-South Expressway.

The name Ipoh derives from a local tree, pohon epu or now more commonly known as pokok ipoh. The sap of this plant is poisonous and was used by Orang Asli (indigenous people) to coat the tips of the darts of their blowpipes.

- wikipedia

ipoh tree
if you guys wanna go see the ipoh tree, there's one right smack in the middle of the beautiful floral green garden right in front of the ipoh railway station, another classic landmark in my town. it combines gothic and moorish architecture, and was the setting of (tak silap aku) a scene from one of my favorite malay movies, jimi asmara.

ipoh in movies
speaking of movies, the simple and serene ipoh city has been top choice for filming - 'anna and the king' starring chow yun-fat and jodie foster, erma fatima's 'embun' and the war movie 'paloh', and even oscar-winning director ang lee's 'lust, caution' starring tony leung!

ipoh is also a favorite location for award-winning director yasmin ahmad for her movies 'gubra', 'sepet', 'mualaf' and 'talentime'. (i hope yasmin recovers soon! we need her to make more soul-searching, heart-touching movies with ipoh setting!)

Ipoh City is the home to many a miner who has made a fortune during the heydays of tin. Once a small kampung with dilapidated buildings, Ipoh, a town that tin built, did not pass with the demise of the tin industry. Instead, it has grown with the country's economy. Poised to become the focal point of industry, business, investment, education, and social activities, Ipoh reflects the overall progress and development that Perak is experiencing.

read more here.
cuti-cuti ipoh
if you guys want to cuti-cuti ipoh, there's a lot of interesting places to visit! it might be a small, simple town but it has its little gems!

kellie's castle
try spending your nights at 'kellie's castle', which is the unfinished, abandoned mansion of an eccentric rich british dude, near batu gajah, half an hour's drive from ipoh city centre. it is believed to be haunted (biase la kalo dah abandoned) and contained secret underground passageways.

i remember going there with ani my neighbour, yong and abang mat yang nak berdating, and i took the time to explore, and we even climb windows and jumped on the other side! masa tu lagak indiana jones!

taman d.r.
after exploring your inner horror-movie fan, relax yourself at 'd. r. seenivasagam park', or simply 'taman d.r.' to the locals, located in the heart of ipoh. is known for its scenic beauty and recreational facilities, but best of all - an artificial lake filled with various types of fishes, which was our favorite haunt as children.

we used to bring our overdue bread yang dah keras tu to feed the fish. the sight of huge schools of fish racing towards your piece of thrown bread is just priceless!

gua kek lok tong
ipoh has many limestone caves due to the surrounding karst formations. the sam po tong (in chinese 三宝洞; cavern of three precious) temple, is a chinese temple built within a limestone cave. another sight worth seeing is the kek lok tong (in chinese 极乐洞; cavern of utmost happiness), another cave temple accessible through the gunung rapat housing area.

if you're coming from kl, look out for the 'simpang pulai' exit, turn right and drive straight on. after throngs of pomelo stalls, you'll definitely will catch sight of the beautiful cave temple, kek lok tong.

speaking of pomelo, ipoh is famous for this lovely round fruit, among other things. it's green, round, the size of a bowling ball. cut open and you'll find sweet, seed-like fruit in bunches, soft to the touch.

if you guys want to look for goreng-goreng yummies, the best two places i know in ipoh are the greentown area near the ipoh city council building and ipoh parade, or right near abah's house at the new ipoh bus station. long line of stalls offering hawker food hot from the wok and pan into your tummies!

lost world of tambun
if you like sunway lagoon, you may like the 'lost world of tambun', a water themepark fit to bring not only the kids but the whole family and friends for hours of non-stop fun in the water!

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are you an ipoh kid too? then you're sekampung with these popular figures!

  • Film and television: Dato' Michelle Yeoh, Angie Cheung, Amber Chia, Iqram Dinzly,
  • Mamat Khalid, Patrick Teoh, Peter Pek
  • Sports: (badminton): Koo Kien Keat, Choong Tan Fook, Lee Wan Wah, Cheah Soon Kit, Wong
  • Pei Tty, Wong Mew Choo
  • Cartoonist: Lat (yay! kampung boy!)

ipoh rocks!


Faiz said...

nice writeup~ lama nye tak dating kat McDonald pekan lama tu

nor said...

yes....i pun ipoh mali...lamanya x pi super kinta...yik foong aka glory..alamak...rindu le pulak dgn ipoh..nak balikkkkk

hani said...

aaawwww.....starbuck!!!!! u make me miss ipoh even more!

yeen said...

haha! tempat dating zaman belajar kat UTP dulu.. should mention about the ikan bakar stalls kat area blakang Jusco tu.. (i dah lupe name?) hiks ;)

Syigim said...

>> thanks faiz :) yah kak syigim pegi ni pun the first after sooooo long tak pegi

>> oh cik kak nor pun org ipoh ke! hihi.. small world! :) kat ipoh duk mane?

>> hani, come back! i'm in ipoh til end of aug!

>> yeen, ade ikan bakar ke kat blakang jusco? haha! i xtau pun! hihi. i ni org ipoh tp bukan suma tau pun :P

nor said...

Kak nor mmg org Ipoh....Kg Pasir Puteh..Syigim kat mana?...
Suka baca blog syigim ni...kembalikan nostalgia..

amirah said...

heheh..memng old town betul la ipoh ni..nice rasa skrng mcm ipoh dh sket sesak..

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