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  • Raymond Lim

History About Concubine Lane - Ipoh’s Most Famous Alley

Updated: Apr 2

Why is Concubine Lane so popular with tourists? What can you expect to see here? And what’s the history behind this short street?


Furthermore, did you know that there is more than one Concubine Lane to see in Ipoh Old Town?


Stick with us on this post and learn more about the most sought out attraction among tourists who come to Ipoh.


What Is At Concubine Lane?


Concubine Lane in Old Town Ipoh has undergone a lot of changes in its more-than-100 years history.


Most of old shops have been renovated. But the new shops keep the original designs!


Ipoh's Famous Concubine Lane In The Late Morning

Most of the shops sell knick-knacks and accessories like straw hats, bags, and sunglasses. There are shops selling coffee powder, snacks, and tea as well.


Tourists Browsing The Shops Along Concubine Lane

There is also an old Chinese restaurant (Restoran Wong Koh Kee) and a Harry Potter themed café along Concubine Lane (Platform 9 1/2).


Wong Koh Kee Restaurant At Concubine Lane
Wong Koh Kee Restaurant At Concubine Lane

If you don’t stop at every shop, it’ll take you less than 30 minutes to see everything.

Background Of Concubine Lane


There are two versions of how Concubine Lane got its unique name. The first one is that back in the tin mining era of Ipoh, many concubines of rich men lived on this lane.


Main Entrance To Concubine Lane
Main Entrance To Concubine Lane

The second story is that tin mining tycoon, Yau Tet Shin gifted the whole street of shops to his concubine. We usually go with the second version since Yau Tet Shin was instrumental in developing New Town of Ipoh. He built the first 350 shops in New Town after a fire (Great Fire of Ipoh, 1892).


Toys And Snacks For Sale Along Concubine Lane, Ipoh

There are actually three such lanes in total – Concubine Lane, Hale Lane, and Market Lane. We recommend checking the other two lanes out too because they tend to be less busy, and there are some nice street murals to see.


Other Attractions Close To Concubine Lane


Concubine Lane happens to be near coffee shop that serves Ipoh’s most famous kai see hor fun too (Restoran Thean Chun). On busy days, you could be waiting up to 45 minutes for your bowl.


Kai Si Hor Fun At Thean Chun Restaurant
Kai Si Hor Fun At Thean Chun Restaurant

There used to be a pretty good tau fu fah dessert stall on Concubine Lane, but they have since gotten their own shop lot at the end of the lane (Kedai Makanan & Minuman Ding Feng).


Ding Feng Tau Fu Fah Shop At Ipoh Old Town
Ding Feng Tau Fu Fah Shop At Ipoh Old Town

Besides this, Concubine Lane is walking distance from Kong Heng Square. Which is usually packed with tourists from Fridays to Sundays. The weekend market at Kong Heng Square is worth a quick look if you’re looking for handmade souvenirs.


One Of The Souvenir Stores On Concubine Lane
One Of The Souvenir Stores On Concubine Lane

The latest attraction to come to Concubine Lane is a new branch under OldTown White Coffee. This tall building right beside the entrance of Concubine Lane doesn’t just house a café though. They have a gallery too.


Conclusion


Concubine Lane is not on its own, an impressive or very interesting attraction to visit. But its location is very accessible if you’re already in Ipoh Old Town. You won’t need an hour to see all that it has to offer either.


If you want to see more than Ipoh Old Town, our private tours can take you further to see Ipoh’s other attractions. Like Kellie’s Castle, or one of the many cave temples in Ipoh.

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