Old Town & Kong Hen Square - 8th March

Awoken at 6am by sounds of a market setting up next to our hotel. Turned out to be major Sunday Market incorporating Memory Lane and had thousands of stalls. We were the only non-locals amongst the seething throng and it was reminiscent of the El Rastro market in Madrid.

The people once again courteous no shoving or pushing and many smiles. Even when driving there is none of the aggression and horn tooting seen in places like India.

Time to bite the bullet and see the suburbs where one might reside. Rose coloured glasses removed we headed by taxi to the new AEON Station 18 shopping centre in the southern suburbs about 15 minutes from the city centre. It was a different world. The shopping centre could have been anywhere in the world as modern as tomorrow. Prices for western stores were in line with Oz - Esprit top was $69.95 AUD. One section was local food and we brunched on Chicken Tom Yum soup and Chicken rice complete with egg for 15RM or $5.30 AUD and it was delicious.

On the way back we drove through many residential districts that consisted of the Ipoh version of a one story attached terrace. Not the most inspiring residences we have seen to put it mildly. Erica was heard to make many disparaging remarks about them, which led me to believe that one of them would most definitely not be our new home!

Erica inside Kong Hen complex

Erica inside Kong Hen complex

Forgot to mention that yesterday whilst in the Old Town we visited Kong Hen Square that has the Sekeping Kong Hen Hotel complex. Designed by Ng Sek San an Ipoh boy. Stunning concept and a stand out in Ipoh. The Old Block is a fabulous refurbishment of The United Asian Bank building. Both of these would in my opinion be the top of the range quirky place to stay with old world charm.

It's 3pm and we spent last 2 hours trawling real estate agents for short term Ipoh New Town apartment as base for next 2 months so that we can drive to Penang, Malacca etc. Have emailed some and will await their calls on the morrow.

Connie Lam from a real estate office rang us and we are meeting her at 2pm tomorrow at Kinta Riverfront building to look at an apartment to rent for a couple of months. It is 12 square metres and furnished. Not so sure about the river view as the Kinta River is the one I mentioned in an earlier blog in a not too flattering way. Will report back tomorrow.