Observations to date on Ipoh - 9th March

Observations To Date On Ipoh

Ethnicity and Religion - the statistics for Ipoh show 44% ethnic Chinese, 16% ethnic Indian, 38% ethnic Malay and 2% others. This we believe to be accurate from our street observations. There appears to be no animosity between the races.

Many of our doomsayers friends when we mentioned we may settle in Malaysia regaled us with advice such as “Why would you go to a Muslim State?” This bigotry against Islam has been spawned in Oz by the radicals not the everyday Muslim.

We have found the Muslims in Ipoh to be an asset not a problem. The women wear headscarves and some traditional clothing but are friendly, give service in shops with a smile and are most respectful of our advancing years! Their moral values are a big plus as crime and violence (the hallmark of Oz culture) seems non-existent in Ipoh. It is interesting that although there is one large Mosque in town it does not dominate the landscape as do the Casablanca Mosque or the blue Mosque in Istanbul. There is also no loud speaker calls for prayer that we have experienced in other Muslim states. It could be said that Islam rests gently on Ipoh.

The above is born out in the fact that so far we have not set eyes on a Policeman or Police vehicle. There is a large regional Police Head Quarters near the station but each time we pass there is no sign of Policemen or any activity. On reflection the sparing use of alcohol by the Ipoh populace coupled with religious beliefs may be the formula for the harmony we are witnessing.

The weather has if anything been a little cooler than Mullumbimby in the summertime. Whilst we have walked everywhere sans hats and sunscreen we have not suffered with the heat other than at times copious perspiration. Temperatures have been 34C highs and 24C lows. Erica chooses to disagree here and informs me that she has never perspired as much in her life! Maybe I still have those rose coloured glasses on!

Went for a walk to Ipoh Parade Shopping centre which once again in contrast to the shop houses on the street was thoroughly modern but less Western shops. Walked back through Chinese Food quarter of the New Town and had Dim Sum Brunch at huge Chinese Dim Sum restaurant called the Foh San. Was packed with Chinese and we were the only “Round Eyes” in the place. Soon worked out how the system worked and grazed on fabulous food with Green Tea. Staff very friendly! Total cost RM30.30 about A$10.70.

French Hotel in Ipoh

French Hotel in Ipoh

Wandered back through the Wet Market and marvelled at the vegetable and fish displays. All so fresh and cheap. Purchased large bag of fresh fruit for A$5 as feeling a little fruit deprived. No more expenditure today. Stephen and Colleen’s wonderful publication ‘Sell Up, Pack Up and Take Off’ was right on the money about Ipoh’s cost of living. Food is superb, clean and cheap.

Our Hotel (The French Hotel in New Town Ipoh) is costing us A$51 per day and has free WiFi, air con, is clean with King size bed. Service is excellent. Nothing is too much trouble. Not like any A$50 Hotel in Oz that I remember. Now off to meet the real estate agent at The Kinta Riverfront Apartments. 

Met Connie Lam at Kinta apartments and inspected 2000RM a month apartment. Erica was horrified as Ipoh Malaysians appear to have a deficit of good taste. She quickly decided to stay ensconced at The French Hotel! Connie was lovely.

Off exploring again in the morning.