Voted 9th of the World’s Top 10 Regions 2017 and 6th Best Place In Asia To Visit 2016 by Lonely Planet, Ipoh has enjoyed a surge in popularity – especially among the younger crowd.
As cliche as it may sound, one of the must-do activities in Ipoh is to take the heritage walk – simply put, walk around the old town area. Everyone knows that playing tourist game isn’t complete without strolling around the Concubine Lane and Kong Heng Square.
Kong Heng Square is a charming old town nestled in the heart of Ipoh, Perak. Initially used as hostels for theatre performers performing in the adjacent building, Kong Heng square is the living testimony to the decadent culture behind the quaint city of Ipoh. With a history dating back to the 1950s.
What previously used to be an abandoned space at the corner of the junction of Jalan Bandar Timah and Jalan Panglima, one of the busiest junctions in the heart of Ipoh’s old town, Kong Heng Square has been brought back into one of the stylish spots in town.
Culture thrives in this popular tourist spot and you can find unique craft shops aplenty. For instance, the Ipoh Craftnerds is the epicentre for artisans to display their handmade craftworks. The collaboration between the owner and local crafters has attracted a good number of visitors and shoppers, especially on weekends. From home decors to tiny knick-knacks, there is something for everyone.
Besides all the artisanal display, another reason to be here is the BookXcess @ Kong Heng Square. The bookstore occupied a historic location in Kong Heng Square on Jalan Sultan Yussuf (Belfield Street) which once housed one of the busiest banks in the 1980s.
The look and feel of the bank have been maintained to provide customers with a unique experience. The basement floor will see the customers of BookXcess selecting books from bank safety deposit boxes and from bank vaults that have been converted into bookshelves!
There is also a 'Newseum' that is dedicated to the late Yasmin Ahmad, who is renowned for her critically-acclaimed films that touch on different facets of being a Malaysian.
Consider the place as an ever-evolving space, instead of an archive because contents; be it poetry, films, or prints related to Yasmin Ahmad are refreshed every 6 months to 1 year.
Definitely, an interesting place to visit if you want to gain a deeper insight into the sociocultural background of Malaysia.