Concubine Lane-Ipoh



Splendid, beautiful and warm
That’s what you are, full of charm

But history was unkind
To the truth, some were blind

Your story was interestingly told
By many as they stroll, young and old

Telltales has it, you were gifted
By a wealthy man indeed

Some whispered you were the haven
Of love untold and forbidden

You’re a silent witness
Of the truth there is that says

“I am but a memory
Of glorious past of history”.

Inspired by my recent visit to The Concubine Lane, in Old Town Ipoh, Perak.


The Concubine Lane has a history that goes all the way back to 1892 when parts of Old Town Ipoh were rebuilt after a fire. The Concubine Lanes were part of the rebuilt which was owned by a mining tycoon who has said to give these lanes to his three wives. Thus the locals call it, the wife’s lane, concubine lane, and the second concubine lane. Another version of the story is said to be that these are the lanes to which the rich men hid their second wives.

Regardless of the validity of the story, the Concubine Lane is a beautiful reminder that no matter what happens, we continue to persevere and live the life we love. We will be UPROOTED sometimes, we will be CHALLENGED, and we will be BROKEN; know that these are nothing but part of a greater plan, for us to become the better if not the best version of ourselves.

After the fire that hit the Old Town Ipoh in 1892, its people have been resilient and dedicated in their pursuit of bringing back the glory that the place used to have.


Today, Old Town Ipoh stands majestically as one of the places to visit in Ipoh. The crumbled walls and broken architecture are reminders of its past: the once broken, the once burned down, the once forgotten has risen again.


The Concubine Lane is one of the distinct and remarkable areas in Old Town Ipoh, which at the same has a story many will not be happy about. Having said that, Concubine Lane has inspired people to learn to understand the diverse culture of Malaysia through its vibrant colors, its cafes, its novelty shops, and its walls. Most importantly it teaches us a very important lesson in life; a lesson that says,ย  no matter what people think or say about you, you stand by your beliefs, your values, and your idealism. You rise up above criticisms and continue to inspire others to be good. Every wall and every corner of Concubine Lane is a manifestation that one can learn to better themselves amidst all the crises and tribulations.


Concubine Lane is a testament of love. And as we walk along with its corners, know that it will be a silent witness to a lover’s sweet whispers, a child’s biggest dream, a mother’s plea, a husband’s triumph and of dreams do come true.

Posted for calmkate’s Friday-fun- Uprooted


  1. Activity such as in this lane is abundant everywhere. When I got to go to Italy I got to visit Pompeii. Some of the wealthy business owners had such lanes leading to secluded rooms for their honored ‘guests’. Some had back entrances so the wives did not have to deal with seeing the other women.

    Always a double standard in dealing with the wants and needs of many who had not much choice in coming in second. Some people still have multiple wives that even live together under the same roof! Few though have things going the reverse one strong woman with multiple husbands.

    Thank you for sharing the history and photos.


  2. I am glad you toured my neck of the woods – Malaysia is our neighboring country and this is a really nice post as I also learnt from you about the existence of this lane. Love your photos and will keep on eagerly looking out for yours posts for your travel tales.


      1. Ipoh is and it used to be the grand town that produces the best pomegranate for our 8th lunar month. I hope you tried the fruits there as well as the local delicacies. I have never been to Ipoh though it is just across our Causeway.


      2. You have a unique Asian palate as some may not dare try it. I am so proud of you as by trying you will find the usage of Asian spices so uniquely blended that makes it exciting cuisine as compared to western steaks and or Chicken chop as examples.


  3. hah glad you made it here finally! we walked the same place last time we came and took so many photos, i have written about this place but not with this much historical background, my Ipoh post is still in drafts can you believe that! you have written a detailed and interesting account of the town. it was the centre of industry and economy for many years due to tn mining, that is what made Malaysia prosperous. we support the local charities too and made time to play with the dogs and find them forever homes.


    1. I was so happy walking along that lane Gina..seeing the dogs need to be adopted..i wish i could have them..and i felt the history in every corner and wall of the old town Ipoh…i was also fascinated by the folktales involving the Concubine lane and i thought its about time we give a different face to this i came with that poem..
      And yes, after our conversation about places to go to Ipoh i have been wanting to visit this one and i finally got the chance…its so lively..and the cafes too are really one of a kind

      Liked by 1 person

      1. yes the cafes are pretty unique as you will discover each state in Malaysia has its own flavour. did you go on the Sunday morning souvenir market?

        ya that’s how i end up having more dogs cos my kids can;t say no!

        your poem was exceptional, it showed the drama and romance of that era. i could just imagine it from your words. I am getting you two books on this very story, don;t you dare get them yourself!

        so glad you took the trip, don;t forget Kellie’s Castle ok!


      2. Ok i wont buy those books my next stop is kellie’s castle posted one about it and i am intrigued by what you said..

        It was a Saturday when we went to Old Town Ipoh Gina…

        And the dogsss yeah..i almost got myslef one..

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes, history is in the eye of the beholder, concubines might hold a special charm for men but the word belies the awful reality. Loved the message.


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