CK Travels

Concubine Lane in Ipoh, Malaysia – Photos and Guide 2023

This post may contain affiliate links to tours and hotels. These help us earn a small commission at no additional charge to you.

Ipoh old town’s most famous tourist attraction, Concubine Lane is a charming alley-way chock-full of gift shops and restaurants that still manages to retain some of its original charm.

Concubine Lane Ipoh

A curious mix of coffee shops, history and interesting architecture, Concubine Lane in Ipoh is a great place to buy local gifts, enjoy Malaysian cuisine or just people watch.

From a Harry Potter themed cafe to street food snacks like rainbow cheese toast, here is our guide to Concubine Lane in Ipoh, Malaysia:

All of these shops and cafes were open as of December 2023

Concubine Lane Ipoh dinosaur

You might like – Kek Lok Tong Temple in Ipoh Guide >

History of Concubine Lane

Concubine Lane has been around since the early 1890s, when it used to be known as ‘The Second Wife Lane’, due to all the ‘ladies of the night’ that operated here, along with gambling dens.

Prior to this, all of the old buildings in Ipoh’s old town were destroyed by a big blaze in 1892.

Concubine Lane Ipoh

This narrow lane was once lined with heritage homes and houses of Chinese migrants – the inscription on the plaque at one end of Concubine Lane says it was home to ‘…concubines and mistresses of Chinese tycoons…’

The Chinese name for Concubine Lane is Yee Lai Hong meaning ‘Mistress Lane’.

Concubine Lane Ipoh

As Ipoh developed, the pre-war buildings along Concubine Lane were refurbished and repurposed with many becoming respectable businesses.

Also known as Larong Paglima, Concubine Lane is now a cornucopia of coffee shops, souvenir stalls, restaurants and gift shops.

Concubine Lane Ipoh

You might like – the best cafes in Ipoh >

How to get to Concubine Lane in Ipoh

Concubine Lane is situated in the heart of Ipoh’s old town, close to the Kinta River – it is within easy walking distance of all the Ipoh old town hotels.

Getting to Ipoh by train

If you are arriving in Ipoh by train, Concubine Lane is an approximate 10 minute walk from Ipoh train station (via Birch Memorial Clock Tower) or a 5 MYR Grab taxi ride from the station.

The train from Kuala Lumpur Sentral station to Ipoh station takes as little as 2 hours 15 minutes.

Ipoh train station
Ipoh train station

Getting to Ipoh by bus

If you are arriving via the Ipoh Terminal Amanjaya bus station, it is best to get a Grab taxi – the fare to Concubine Lane will be between 12 to 20 MYR and takes around 15 to 20 minutes.

Try this – From Kuala Lumpur: Private Ipoh History & Food Day Trip >

Concubine Lane opening hours

The shops and cafes in Concubine Lane are generally open from 10am to about 6pm although individual shop and restaurant opening times may vary. Everything is closed by early evening.

Although you can walk along Concubine Lane 24 / 7, after 7pm, literally every shop and cafe is closed and the lane is in complete darkness save for a few residents eating their dinner in their front rooms.

Concubine Lane Ipoh

You might like – Things to do in Georgetown, Penang >

Concubine Lane Ipoh – Things to do

From clothing stores to cafes, durian gelato to Doraemon socks, there is plenty to see and do along Concubine Lane (and yes, the ladies of the night no longer operate here).

Concubine Lane Cafes

Platf9rm 9 ½

Perhaps the best known coffee shop along Concubine Lane, Platf9rm 9 ½ cafe is a magical coffee shop inspired by Harry Potter.

As you first enter, the serving counter looks like a train and the ground floor has been transformed into an English style street – this is truly a little bit of Britain in the middle of Ipoh.

Here at Platform 9 ½ cafe, you can try Harry Potter inspired drinks like butter beer or Phoenix cold brew coffees or even rent a Harry Potter style costume or witches broomstick.

There are also tables upstairs looking out over Concubine Lane so it is a great place to watch all the comings and goings whilst having a coffee and tea with sweet treats.

The best bit is the themed courtyard which has been transformed into an English style high street complete with bookshops and rainbow stairs. Prices for drinks here are also pretty reasonable compared to other nearby Ipoh cafes.

Read our full guide to the Platform 9 ½ here >

You might like – Tasik Cermin (Mirror Lake) in Ipoh Guide >

Concubine Lane Street Food Stalls

There are lots of foods to try along Concubine Lane, a mixture of traditional Malaysian foods plus tourist-centric street food stalls (rainbow cheese chicken chop anyone?)

Some of the street foods you can try here include:

Korean Honeycomb Candy (Dalgona)

The first thing you’ll hear if you enter Concubine Lane from the eastern end is the ominous sound of the big doll from Netflix’s smash kit South Korean drama Squid Game.

This is because a stall in the front of the Kopi Panglima coffee shop is selling the honeycomb biscuit (dalgona) which appears in the show. Each dalgona costs 6 MYR.

Try this – Private Tour: UNESCO Archaeological Heritage Of The Lenggong Valley from Ipoh >

Kuma Rainbow Cheese Toast

One of the most popular and Instagrammable stalls, the Kuma Rainbow Cheese stall does cracking cheese toasties with stringy rainbow cheese inside. A popular photo spot, a rainbow cheese toastie costs 21.50 MYR including a drink.

A little further down the lane, you can also get a rainbow cheese chicken chop for 19.90 MYR – the mind boggles!

Kuma Rainbow Cheese Toast
Kuma Rainbow Cheese Chicken Chop in Ipoh

You might like – 50+ things you can buy in 7-Eleven Malaysia stores >

Cola Ice Slushies

There is a popular stall which has a centrifugal cola machine that constantly spins frozen cola, to create the ultimate cola bottle slushies. A bottle of Coca Cola that has been whizzed in the ice machine costs 7 MYR.

You might like – Top things to do in Ipoh, Malaysia >

Fresh Watermelon Juice

This is incredible to watch and costs 13 MYR- they literally cut open a fresh watermelon, whack a small food mixer  / whisk inside which allows you to then slurp up the resulting water melon juice from a straw. Refreshing!

watermelon juice Concubine Lane Ipoh

Other street foods to try along Concubine Lane in Ipoh include:

Fried mushrooms for 10 MYR or fried baby crabs for 13 MYR

 Concubine Lane Ipoh Malaysia

Honey ice balls – choose four flavours to add to a frozen ice-ball; brightly coloured and a great way to cool down.

Honey Ice balls Concubine Lane Ipoh Malaysia

Fresh fruit juice from 10 MYR

Fruit juice Concubine Lane Ipoh Malaysia

Jelly Balls from 8 MYR

Jelly balls Concubine Lane Ipoh Malaysia

Bubble waffle ice-cream

Bubble waffle ice cream Concubine Lane Ipoh Malaysia

Raindrop cakes for 8 MYR (quite glutinous)

raindrop cake Concubine Lane Ipoh Malaysia

Candied fruit on a stick (Tanghulu) – 8 MYR

Candied fruit on a stick (Tanghulu)  Concubine Lane Ipoh Malaysia

Flavoured fried potato sticks – 17 MYR.

fries Concubine Lane Ipoh Malaysia

Fresh fruit gelatos from 10 MYR (including durian, strawberry, coconut and mango)

gelato mango and durian Concubine Lane Ipoh Malaysia

Bahulu bakes (traditional Malaysian pastry sponge similar to madeleine cakes) – 10 pieces for 6 MYR

Croffles from 9 MYR

You might like – Things to do in Langkawi, Malaysia >

Concubine Lane restaurants

Whilst it is mainly food stalls along the alley, there are also several sit in restaurants along Concubine Lane including:

Restoran Wong Koh Kee

The oldest restaurant on Concubine Lane, Restoran Wong Koh Kee was established around a 100 years ago, dishing out delicious Malay Cantonese food, which his grandson still continues to this day.

Reputedly, Restoran Wong Koh Kee serves Ipoh’s most iconic “Gwoo Lo Yook” dish (sweet-sour pork) and many recommend the homemade egg tofu, steamed minced pork and crispy skin chicken here – prices are also pretty reasonable.

Restoran Wong Koh Kee is open daily from 10.30am to 3:30pm

Restoran Wong Koh Kee Ipoh

Try this – Private Tour: Ipoh Secrets Full Day Heritage Tour from Ipoh >

Laksa Mania

A nice sit down restaurant to take a break from shopping and nearby gift-shops, Laksa Mania serves up cheap and affordable Malaysian cuisine (plus a few Western dishes to boot).

From roti goyang to laksa sarang sets, most dishes cost between 8 to 12 MYR, plus you can get Kopi Che and Teh O.

Laksa Mania is open from Thursday to Tuesdays from 10am to 6pm (opens at 9am at weekends).

laksamania Concubine Lane Ipoh Malaysia

You might like – Guide to Jalan Alor, KL’s most famous night market >

Concubine Lane Gift Shops

Other than food, the other main attractions along Concubine Lane are numerous gift shops selling everything from magnets to knock-off perfumes, socks to shirts.

If you are looking for Ipoh souvenirs, Concubine Lane has the highest concentration of gift shops of anywhere in Ipoh Old Town. Prices are geared towards the tourist trade although you can always shop around to check prices in other nearby stores before committing.

Ipoh jewellery souvenir

One of the biggest gift shops selling sweets and snacks is the Lim Heong Yeun gift shop and bakery, located at the western end of Concubine Lane.

Popular snacks to take away and give as gifts back home from here include salted peanuts candy, biskut madu, Ipoh fluffy Kaya puffs (a local speciality) and salted egg meat floss biscuit.

Lim Heong Yeun Ipoh

We’d estimate there are about 15 to 20 gift shops along Concubine Lane with the most popular items sold being:

  • Pocket watches
  • Hats (some with counterfeit logos / brands)
  • Knock-off perfumes (fake fumes!)
  • Fans (to help beat the heat)
  • Card games for all ages including kids and ‘adult games’
  • Keyring characters like Doraemon and Hello Kitty  – 10 MYR
  • Sunglasses
  • Jewellery galore
  • Cartoon / movie character merchandise like Netflix Squid Game plushies
Ipoh board games souvenir
Ipoh squid game plushie souvenir
Ipoh magnet souvenir
Doraemon hat yellow helicopter

Try this – The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat Day Pass in Ipoh >

Other ‘Concubine Lanes’ in Ipoh

Although this is the main Concubine Lane that everyone refers to, there have been several Concubine Lanes over the years.

After a fire destroyed the Old Towbin 1892, its lanes of shops were rebuilt. Three of these lanes became gifts from a mining tycoon, Yao Tet Shin, to his three wives. Locals nicknamed them:

  • The Wife Lane – today’s Lorong Hale
  • The Concubine Lane – today’s Lorong Panglima (the Concubine Lane you can still see today)
  • The Second Concubine Lane – today’s Market Lane (bedecked with colourful streamers and lanterns).
Market Lane

You might like – How to get to Ipoh from Kuala Lumpur >

Ipoh street art in Concubine Lane

Ipoh is famous for its street art and one artwork found along Concubine Lane shows two people drinking tea at the famous Restoran Wong Koh Kee.

Whilst there is only one mural in Concubine Lane itself, the area immediately around it has many illustrations to enjoy.

Ipoh Concubine Lane street art

At the eastern end of Concubine Lane, there are several street art illustrations to enjoy including several works by famous artist Ernest Zacharevic. His tricycle artwork can be found in Market Lane nearby (beneath all the colourful umbrellas and lanterns).

Ernest Zacharevic tricycle street art Market Lane Ipoh
Ernest Zacharevic’s tricycle street art
Market Lane street art

On Jalan Bijeh Timah (about a 30 second walk from Concubine Lane), you’ll also discover the huge Evolution illustration also by Zacharevic.

To note a lot of the street art in Ipoh is on pretty poor condition and doesn’t seem to be maintained anymore.

As of late 2023, several of the most famous pieces are boarded up or inaccessible due to building work such as the impressive ‘Hummingbird’ Ipoh street art.

You might like – things to do in Melaka, Malaysia >

Other coffee shops near Concubine Lane

Opened in 2022, is one of the newest coffee shops in Ipoh and literally a 30 second walk from the east entrance to Concubine Lane.

A European style coffee shops specializing in French style pastries like canales and croissants, this is an impressive cafe but the prices are on the more expensive side. cafe Ipoh cafe Ipoh cafe Ipoh

Baby Coco

Next to the east entrance of Concubine Lane, Coco Baby churns out cooling coconut shakes, with their original coconut shake costing 11.90 MYR.

Baby Coco coconut shake Ipoh Malaysia

We’ve tried a LOT of coconut shakes in Ipoh and Melaka and this one of the best – creamy coconut goodness with small lumps of actual coconut finished off with a dollop of ice-cream, amazing!

Coco Baby offer up lots of coconut shake blends including Oreos, Strawberries or avocado – go coco-nuts and try them all!

Try this – Jungle Trekking Experience in Ipoh >

Other things to know about Concubine Lane in Ipoh

  • Be careful of people brandishing wooden skewers / sticks carelessly after they’ve finished their street food; this is also true of umbrella spikes on rainy days (watch out if you’re tall!)
  • Most of the branded merchandise seems to be fake / reproductions so caveat emptor / buyer beware
  • Concubine Lane is busiest between 11am and 4pm and on the weekends. It can also get very popular during public holidays and Chinese New Year.
Ipoh Concubine Lane

Hotels near to Concubine Lane, Ipoh

There are several Ipoh hotels within a 5 minute walk including:

Brick Box Ipoh

A 3* hotel built in 2016 in the heart of Ipoh Old Town; rooms are modern with red brick walls and flat screen TVs. Check rates and availability for Brick Box Ipoh >

Cititel Express Ipoh

Located on the river and a short walk into Ipoh Old Town, the Cititel Express Ipoh is a 3* hotel with great views of downtown. Check rates and availability for Cititel Express Ipoh >

Ipoh Hotels further afield

M Boutique Hotel

This is where we stayed in Ipoh – it is around a 15 minute walk from Concubine Lane but given it is out of town, the rooms are huge here plus the interior decor is quite quirky, especially the reception area.

Each floor is themed and there is also a free laundry onsite – a Grab from here to Concubine Lane is only 5 MYR.

Check rates and availability on or Klook.

M Boutique Hotel Ipoh
M Boutique Hotel Ipoh

Concubine Lane address

Jalan Panglima, 30000 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia

Concubine Lane Ipoh

Other Malaysia blog posts you might like

Did you enjoy our blog post? Let us know in the comments or by sharing it on social media.

You can follow CK Travels on: 

You Might Also Like...

No Comments

    Leave a Reply