Things To Do In Ipoh 2024 – First Concubine Lane

Ipoh, a city steeped in history, offers a rich tapestry of cultural experiences, especially within its famed Concubine Lane. When you wander down this narrow street in the Old Town of Ipoh, you’ll be walking through more than a century of history, lined with heritage buildings that give you a glimpse into the city’s vibrant past. More than just a historic landmark, Concubine Lane is alive with a plethora of activities ranging from dining on local delicacies to browsing through quaint shops offering unique souvenirs.

As you explore, you’ll notice that the area is also a canvas for contemporary culture with captivating street art and installations contributing to the aesthetic charm of the lane. The variety of attractions fit for all ages makes Concubine Lane an essential stop for anyone looking to experience the authentic flavor of Ipoh. Whether you’re indulging in the bustling daytime atmosphere or the equally exciting nightlife, every moment spent here ensures a blend of educational and entertaining experiences.

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Key Takeaways

  • Concubine Lane’s over-a-century-old history is deeply linked to Ipoh’s tin mining era, offering a glimpse into the city’s past.
  • The lane is a melting pot of traditional and modern attractions, from heritage buildings to contemporary street art and cafes.
  • It boasts a diverse culinary scene, featuring traditional Malaysian dishes, street food, and modern café culture.
  • Visitors can find a variety of souvenirs, from local handicrafts to antiques, capturing the essence of Ipoh.
  • The nightlife and evening activities in and around Concubine Lane cater to all preferences, from quiet walks to lively bars and family-friendly activities.

History of Concubine Lane

History of Concubine Lane

Concubine Lane offers a glimpse into the rich past of Ipoh, with a history stretching over a century. Your exploration of Ipoh’s heritage is incomplete without a stroll down this historic street. Initially, the lane was associated with the city’s prosperous tin mining era in the early 20th century.

Interesting Facts:

  • Established: Over 120 years ago during Ipoh’s tin mining peak.
  • Original Purpose: Built for the wealthy tin miners’ mistresses.
  • Local Names: Known to Cantonese speakers as Yee Lai Hong.

In its heyday, Concubine Lane was more than just a residential alley; it was an emblem of wealth and opulence. The tin mining magnates set up lavish dwellings for their concubines, and the lane thus became a symbol of both affluence and secrecy.

After the decline of the tin mining industry, Concubine Lane experienced a period of neglect. However, it has since been revitalized, preserving its architecture and stories. Today, as you visit, you tread the same paths where hidden stories and a bygone luxurious lifestyle once unfolded.

For a deeper understanding of its past, you may want to explore the fascinating history of Concubine Lane in detail. The lane’s transformation from exclusivity to a thriving tourist spot is a testament to Ipoh’s dynamic history and enduring charm.

Cultural Attractions

Visit Cultural Attractions - Things To Do In Ipoh

When you visit Concubine Lane in Ipoh, you’re stepping into a historical tapestry woven with stories of the past. Marvel at the century-old architecture, an eclectic mix of colorful shop houses that line the street, where traditional aesthetics meet modern art.

  • Historical Significance: Initially, a residential area for mistresses of wealthy miners, today’s Concubine Lane is a vibrant timeline of Ipoh’s history displayed through its well-preserved buildings.
  • Street Art: Look out for the whimsical murals that adorn many walls, painted by street artists and narrating local folklore.
  • Café Culture: As you walk through, you’ll notice a myriad of cafés where the aroma of freshly brewed coffee mingles with rustic charm. Each café offers its own slice of history, often occupying restored buildings with original features intact.
Heritage Shops Artisan Goods
Antique dealers Handcrafted souvenirs
Traditional cobblers Locally-made jewelry

Throughout Concubine Lane, each turn beckons with possibilities:

  • Museums and Galleries: Displaying artifacts and artworks that capture the evolution of the community.
  • Cultural Performances: On certain days, you might stumble upon traditional Chinese operas or cultural dances taking place right on the street.

Your visit to Concubine Lane is more than a sightseeing trip; it’s a journey through time, offering a glimpse into the cultural heart of Ipoh.

Local Cuisine and Dining Options


Ipoh’s culinary scene offers an enticing blend of traditional flavors and contemporary dining experiences. As you explore the city, particularly the vibrant First Concubine Lane, you’ll find a range of options from time-honored local dishes to innovative cafe fare.

Traditional Eateries

In Ipoh, traditional eateries are treasure troves of heritage cuisine, serving dishes passed down through generations. Taugeh (Beansprout) Chicken Rice is a signature dish of the area, featuring poached chicken paired with crisp beansprouts and aromatic rice. One of the best places to savor this is the renowned Cowan Street Ayam Tauge & Koitiau Restaurant, where locals and travelers alike congregate for its authentic taste.

Street Food Delights

As you meander through the alleys, you’ll encounter a myriad of street food vendors offering an array of quick and delicious bites. From the sweet and crunchy Pisang Goreng (banana fritters) to the savory Sar Hor Fun (flat rice noodles in a savory broth), street food in Ipoh is both affordable and satisfying. Don’t miss trying the diverse selection of local snacks and desserts.

Cafes and Modern Bistros

For a contemporary twist, Ipoh’s cafes and modern bistros present a fusion of local ingredients with modern culinary techniques. Sip on a cup of artisan coffee at Platf9rm 9 ½, a Harry Potter-themed cafe, or enjoy a leisurely brunch at one of the trendy establishments like Plan B cafe, nestled in the nearby Kong Heng Square. These spots offer a perfect respite with a side of modern Malaysian hospitality.

Shopping and Souvenirs

Buy Shopping and Souvenirs - Things To Do In Ipoh

When you stroll down Concubine Lane, the vibrant atmosphere is complemented by an array of shopping options, especially for those keen on taking home a piece of Ipoh. Here’s a rundown on where you can find local handicrafts and discover antique treasures.

Local Handicrafts

In Concubine Lane, traditional Malaysian crafts await. Embrace the local culture by exploring shops offering exquisite batik textiles—a stunning fabric technique to enrich your wardrobe or home décor. Additionally, masterful wooden carvings and intricate kite making are available, making for authentic souvenirs that capture the spirit of Ipoh.

Antique Shops

For history enthusiasts, Concubine Lane’s antique shops are a treasure trove. You may uncover rare collectibles from Malaysia’s vibrant past or even stumble upon unique colonial-era relics. It’s an opportunity to own a piece of history that tells a story, transforming your visit into a memorable journey through time.

Art and Museums

When you stroll down Concubine Lane, your eyes are immediately drawn to the vibrant murals and street art that adorn the walls, portraying scenes from Ipoh’s rich cultural tapestry. This visual feast, initiated as part of an urban renewal project, provides a colorful backdrop for your journey through history.

Near this historic street, you can deepen your appreciation for local heritage at the Time Tunnel Museum. Located within a short walking distance, the museum is a treasure trove of memorabilia, giving you a glimpse into Malaysia’s bygone era.

List of Art and Museums near Concubine Lane:

  • Murals and Street Art
    • Reflecting Ipoh’s history
    • Part of an urban renewal effort
  • Time Tunnel Museum
    • Exhibits historical artifacts
    • Located at No 23, Jalan Panglima, Ipoh Old Town
  • Ho Yan Hor Museum
    • Situated just 0.1 km from Concubine Lane
    • Showcases the history of a famous local tea brand

To truly savor the essence of Ipoh’s art scene, visit these sites:

  1. Start with a leisurely walk to appreciate the street art.
  2. Make your way to the Time Tunnel Museum and immerse yourself in nostalgia.
  3. Finish at the Ho Yan Hor Museum for an educational end to your cultural excursion.

Each site offers you a unique perspective on the narrative of Ipoh, ensuring your visit to Concubine Lane is an enriching encounter with art and history.

Street Art and Installations

Art and Museums - Things To Do In Ipoh

When you stroll down Concubine Lane in Ipoh, the first thing that catches your eye is the vibrant street art gracing the walls. This art was part of an urban renewal project to breathe new life into the area and has since become a beacon for tourists. Local and international artists have contributed to this open-air gallery, transforming the historic district into a contemporary art space.

The works include a range of styles:

  • Large-scale murals depicting local culture
  • Witty caricatures poking fun at daily life
  • Abstract pieces echoing Malaysia’s diverse heritage

Take your time to appreciate the details in these pieces; the art often tells stories of Ipoh’s past and its people. You’ll also find various installations that add a three-dimensional element to the experience. From ornate ironworks to interactive sculptures, these pieces invite you to engage with Ipoh’s history in a tactile way.

Remember to visit:

  1. The Corner Mural – an iconic piece that perfectly captures the spirit of Ipoh.
  2. Interactive Sculptures – fun photo opportunities that also tell the story of the area.

Don’t forget to bring your camera. The blend of traditional motifs and contemporary art styles makes Concubine Lane an ideal backdrop for your memories. As the light changes throughout the day, so does the character of the art, offering a new perspective with each visit.

Nightlife and Entertainment

Nightlife and Entertainment - Ipoh

When you find yourself in Ipoh after dusk, the city’s nightlife offers a variety of experiences. Visit Concubine Lane for a walk through history, now lined with contemporary coffee shops and eateries.

For evening entertainment, you might enjoy the following:

  • Pubs & Cocktail Bars: Sip on finely mixed cocktails or enjoy a cold beer in one of the many trendy bars. Brick & Barrels boasts live music, while Atas Speakeasy Bar Ipoh offers a more intimate atmosphere.
  • Dance Clubs: If you’re looking to dance the night away, Ipoh has dance clubs where you can enjoy various music genres.
  • Family-Friendly Activities: Perhaps a quieter night is in order. The Ipoh Heritage Walk is a great way to see the city.
  • Massage & Shopping: Relax with a massage or indulge in some late-night shopping.
  • Karaoke: Unleash your inner singer at a local karaoke spot.
  • Bowling or The Movies: For a laid-back evening, check out the bowling alley or catch a film at a local cinema.

The Sunway Lost World of Tambun, though a bit out of the way, is a unique evening adventure for families and friends.

Remember, you don’t need alcohol to enjoy Ipoh at night; the city offers a variety of activities catering to different tastes and preferences.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the top activities to experience in Concubine Lane during the evening?

In the evening, you can indulge in the eclectic fusion of street food that Concubine Lane offers, ranging from traditional desserts to local delicacies. The area comes alive with an array of souvenir shops and casual eateries, ideal for experiencing Ipoh’s local culture and cuisine.

What is the historical significance of Concubine Lane in Ipoh?

Concubine Lane’s history dates back to the early 20th century and is tied to Ipoh’s mining boom. The lane was purportedly given to a wealthy tycoon’s concubine, which led to the area’s unique name. It has since evolved from its past image, rooted in tales of opulence and vice, to a cultural hub for tourists and locals alike.

How can one locate Concubine Lane in Ipoh?

Concubine Lane is located in the heart of Ipoh’s Old Town, easily accessible from Jalan Bandar Timah. It’s a short walk from other historical attractions, making it a convenient stop on any tour of the city’s heritage sites.

Where can I find a map of Concubine Lane in Ipoh?

Maps of Concubine Lane can be found at local tourist information centers or online through travel-related websites that provide guides and maps for visitors. They offer a detailed layout of the area, helping you to navigate the charming attractions and eateries.

What are the opening hours for shops and attractions in Concubine Lane?

Most shops and attractions in Concubine Lane are open from late morning until evening. Specific opening times can vary, so it’s recommended to check with individual establishments for their exact hours, especially if planning to visit a particular shop or café.

Is there parking available near Concubine Lane, and how does one access it?

Parking can be found in the vicinity of Concubine Lane with multiple public parking lots and street parking options available. Access to these parking areas is through the main roads leading into Ipoh’s Old Town. During weekends and public holidays, finding parking might be more challenging due to higher visitor numbers.


Concubine Lane in Ipoh is a vibrant showcase of Malaysia’s rich cultural heritage, blending historical significance with modern leisure activities. This iconic street offers visitors a unique experience, from exploring its storied past and architectural marvels to indulging in the local culinary scene and engaging with contemporary street art.

Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a foodie, or an art lover, Concubine Lane promises an unforgettable journey through the heart of Ipoh’s historical and cultural landscape.