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Ipoh Sights (Part 1)

Amidst the long Chinese New Year holidays, I managed to send at least half a day to visit the sights and lights of Ipoh, the city of beautiful architecture (by Malaysian standards la…) and glorious food.

I have been to the city countless times since i was a kid, and my perception of Ipoh has always been shaped by Lat’s book “Town Boy“.

For those unfamiliar with the milestone comic book story by Datuk Lat, it’s a story of how Lat comes to [tag]Ipoh[/tag] in the early 60’s as a schoolboy, meets a Chinese kid named Frankie, and how they grew up together until they finished school. Along the way, he tells the story of two distinct worlds meeting, the rural Malay kampung (village) boy and the urban Chinatown life. And some beautiful depictions of Ipoh’s landmarks.

I love [tag]Lat[/tag]’s work. I have every single one of his books, and even have two autographed by him. Lately i heard he’s living in his beloved kampung somewhere near Taiping, after they built a condo right in front of his Subang Jaya house. But that’s another story for another day.

So on with the Ipoh pics.

The first one below is this pic of St. Michael’s. We just happened to pass by and i thought it would make an excellent shot. There’s a small surau in front of the school, and across the road, a large padang (field) located in Old Town Ipoh. Make sure you stop by there for their famous white coffee.

st michael's institution

Then we moved on to Lat’s secondary school, Anderson School. The architecture here is not as intricate as St. Michael’s, but they’ve got that beautiful manicured field and the pinang tres… Somehow, I can just picture Lat and the entire marching band going past the field. He played the flute, I think…

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Here’s a close up of the clock tower. I see they’re just painted a nice coat, although i don’t think pink was the original colour.

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Below is another shot of Anderson. Can’t really get a better close up since the fence was high and closely wrought.

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This next set of photos is taken at Coronation Park, now known as Taman D.R. Seenivasagam. In his school days, Lat had to jog 4 miles every week across town, and cross this river in the park – going through the water. Once he and his friend Frankie cheated and used the bridge, and, well, read the book if you want to kow what happened…

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D.R. Seenivasagam was a prominent lawyer in Perak back in the 50’s. Together with his brother SP Seenivasagam, they formed Perak Progressive Party and did quite well in the local elections, i think. Both the brothers have passed on, and the party memory is vaguely in the current PPP.

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Tomorrow: More pics. And some of Lat’s kampung in Ipoh…

Postscript – You can read the second part here.

14 Comments

  • lucia

    st michael’s institution (SMI) is lovely and majestic. next to it is the la salle centre, which i went to now and then as some of our programmes were held there, so i’m quite familiar with the place there. even walked from there (SMI) to parkson.

    however i didn’t notice the anderson school. where is it, simon? somewhere near SMI?

  • mama23beas

    How come the magnificent limestone hills and caves are not mentioned? Next post maybe;).
    Ipoh is my playground, did a PhD on limestone in Ipoh and will continue doing research there, even working to conserve some areas.
    Will be in Ipoh this Monday;)

  • simon

    ah… i’ve got to take pics of those hills. i see it everyday when i stay there, so its kinda taken for granted. Next trip i’ve lots of places to go.

  • lilian

    DR Park still there? I used to take my nephews and nieces there when I was single, 20 yrs ago. But can’t find the place lately and thot it has turned into a jungle.

  • simon

    fishtail – yeah, man. the food is to die for… more pics tomorrow.

    lilian – eh no what. the park is still very clean and bright. bloody hot, though.

  • Bulu

    Nice postage … hey, I was frm St Michael (primary) but same building lar…. also the taman brought back memories. I remember the time when we were out and about to go back … i would ask my dad where else should we go and he would take me for a drive around the taman Dr Seenivasagam!

  • Mohd Radzi Yaacob

    Hi all,
    Studied in anderson school 1975-1979. Revisited ASI on Feb 16’08 and felt really disappointed with its maintenance. Hope they’ll spruce up my alma mater since next year will be its 100 yrs celebration. Ipoh… arghhh those were the days. Fondest memories aways.

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