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Last year, Ipoh was listed as one of the Top 10 Places to Visit in Asia by Lonely Planet. It’s not hard to see why. The city has a quaint, laidback charm, with its colonial-style coffeehouses, beautiful architecture and unique, natural attractions. In recent years, the city has enjoyed a surge in popularity – especially among the younger crowd – and along with it came the hipster cafes, Instagram-worthy nooks and crannies, creative art murals, etc.

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One of these must check-out spots, a favourite hangout of youngsters, is Kong Heng Square. The term ‘old is gold’ never seemed more apt, as the cluster of restaurants, vintage stores and hip cafes are surrounded by giant trees with vines, buildings faded with age and overhung by carpets of ivy but revamped on the inside.

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Art pieces are displayed periodically to go along with permanent fixtures. During our visit, they had put up some pieces done by local art students, which used recycled items such as old bottle caps and CDs.

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Made from discarded bottle caps.

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Just a few steps away is Concubine Lane, which I’ve blogged about previously Here. Since it was a holiday, the street was packed with tourists. Stalls were selling all sorts of knick knacks, from souvenirs to handphone accessories, hair clips to biscuits and cookies.  The street was also decorated with red lanterns and hangings to suit the Chinese New Year mood.

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Literal jelly fish

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Also nearby are two museums – Hor Yan Hor (a local herbal drink) and the Han Chin Pet Soo, which I visited the last time I was in Ipoh (blog post Here). It’s a good idea to spend half a day just hanging around the Kong Heng/Concubine Lane area! 🙂

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