There are 4 guided tours (75 minutes) per day: First tour: 9:30 am / 4th and last tour: 3:30 pm. Maximum: 20 pax per tour

Donation per entry: RM10 per adult (RM5 for children and students)

Founded by Towkay Leong Fee

Watch Robert’s video on Han Chin Pet Soo  >>

Official website:

Address3, Jalan Bijeh Timah, 30100 Ipoh, Negeri Perak

[Photo credits: Robert Chaen]

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Whisperer Robert Chaen (sitting at the head of table) with museum visitors from around the world.

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Ipoh Timeline Highlights shows Ipoh was FIRST in many areas:
1876 – Epau and Palau first mapped on British map
1881 – First street completed: Hugh Low Street
1890 – Recognized as the Tin Capital of the World
1892 – The Great Fire of Ipoh, over 200 houses destroyed
1893 – The Ipoh Club established
– The Hakka Tin Miners Club founded
1894 – First Railway Station built
1895 – Anglo-Chinese School (ACS) established
1898 – Ipoh Padang established to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee
1902 – First person to own a car: Eu Tong Sen
1906 – FMS Hotel & Bar established
– Convent of Holy Infant Jesus established
1912 – St. Michael’s Institution (SMI) established
1913 – First public bus service (Wearne Bros.)
1916 – Ipoh Town Hall built
1925 – The Great Flood of Ipoh
1930 – First town in Malaya to supply electricity
1935 – Ipoh Airfield built
1937 – First traffic lights in Malaya
1938 – First street lights in Malaya
1941 – Imperial Japan invasion
1942 – Ipoh became the Capital of Perak state
1945 – Imperial Japan surrender
1948 – Communist insurgency
1962 – First double-storey car park in Malaya
2015 – Opening of Han Chin Pet Soo Mining Museum
[source: Han Chin Pet Soo]

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Hakka People: “The Jews of Asia” (Diaspora)
Although evidence is sketchy, the Hakkas are thought to originate (as early as 200 BC) from lands bordering the Huang River (Yellow River) or Shanxi, Henan, and Hubei Provinces (First Hakka Migration c. 311) of the Northern China of today.

To escape calamity, Hakkas would later flee southward travelling through many lands. They eventually settled down in Jiangxi (Second Hakka Migration c. 960), Fujian (Third Hakka Migration c. 1125), and Guangdong Provinces. As they travelled south they became known by locals as “Hakka” or “guests”, thus the Hakkas appeared on the world stage for the first time in Malaya, Australia and U.S.A. (Fifth  Hakka Migration c. 1850-1864).

The Hakkas took to the road in five separate major migrations.  The nickname “Jews of Asia” intimates these mass migrations and their pioneering spirit. [source: Han Chin Pet Soo]

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The Five Hakka Migration Diaspora:

First Hakka Migration (c. 311)
Second Hakka Migration (c. 960)
Third Hakka Migration (c. 1125)
Fourth Hakka Migration (c. 1644)
Fifth  Hakka Migration (c. 1850-1864)

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Hakka Cuisine (i.e. Yong Tau Foo, Mui Choi Kau Yoke)

Vintage ceramic floor tiles

Antique lamps and vintage ceiling fans


Infinity large double parallel wall mirrors

Abacus, the greatest ancient Chinese calculating invention

Tin ingots in safe


Tortoise tin ingot (c. 1850)

Cupboard leg ant bowl (pre-fridge era)

Cooking oil used to sold by siphoning from huge barrels into large tin cans (Knife brand by Lam Soon – one of the popular cooking oil brands)


Tin core in bags


Opium smoking and resting on a hard “pillow” usually made of wood or iron where cash and valuables are kept literally inside the pillow.
Robert’s Great Grandfather from his mother’s side in Penang smoked opium as it was the norm then.


The Four Evils: Gambling, Smoking, Prostitution, Triads (Secret Societies)
[Robert’s comment: plus Drinking as the Fifth Vice]

The Chinese Civilization started around 1600 BC. The Concubine system flourished as early as 265 AD for Chinese Emperors and the wealthy upper and middle classes. In the last two centuries, the Five Vices has become the practice of the Chinese diaspora community when the Chinese migrated to Hong Kong, Macau, South East Asia, Malaya, Singapore, and to Chinatowns in USA, Australia, and Europe.

Read about >>

Polygamy & Life of the Empress & Concubines Inside the Forbidden City

Women were selected as xiunu (elegant females) for the court as early as the Jin Dynasty (265-420 AD). Polygamy was common practice in feudal China, although only upper- and wealthy middle-class men could afford to take several wives.



Mahjung: Robert’s father’s favorite pastime from his working years to his last year. Watch video about >>

“My Life Story” of my Father, Michael (his last interview)

The Hakka Miners
Founder of  Han Chin Pet Soo: Towkay Leong Fee (middle, top row)

Wash basin with useful wall indentation for the feet.


Kinta River (behind the building) – which separates Old Town and New Town (in front)


Portable urinals

Towkays (Bosses, Business Owners), Tuans and Automobiles
1902 – First person to own a car: Eu Tong Sen

Car horn.

Location of the First Concubine Lane
(those days it costs RM100 only to “yeung” or maintain a concubine)

Location of Third Concubine Lane on the far foreground.

The current touristy and iconic Concubine Lane is actually the Second Concubine Lane (“Yee Lai Hong”)


Hakka Villages

The house toilet and its Fung Shui location is so important in Chinese culture that there is a famous Chinese saying “Sun See Hung” which literally means new toilet symbolizing one’s new house or apartment.

Colorful Peacock Motif Tiles in front pillars of the house

Iron rice bowls, iron mugs, iron cooking pots, iron spoons, wooden chopsticks, bamboo serving mats

Rating: #RobertReview (Ipoh Tourism, Ipoh History, Ipoh Mining Museum): 9 | 10


Watch Robert’s video on Han Chin Pet Soo  >>


Ipoh is the capital city of the state of Perak and is one of the biggest cities in Malaysia with over 750.000 inhabitants. 70% of Ipoh’s population is of Chinese origin. The city is located at a distance of approximately 200 kilometers to the north of Kuala Lumpur. From the North-South Expressway you can reach Ipoh within 2 hours by car. From Ipoh you can reach the island of Penang in 1.5 hours (150km).

The city used to be the center of the tin industry (in the world); but those days are long gone. Nowadays the city still recovers from the important role it used to play; but it has much to offer to tourists. Ipoh is surrounded by beautiful limestone outcrops with wonderful cave temples; some of Malaysia’s biggest attractions are only a couple of hours away by car. Today’s Ipoh is well known for its excellent restaurants, hawkers, and famous local dishes. Because of this you will find famous ‘Ipoh cuisine’ hawkers at many places throughout Malaysia.

Ipoh used to be one of the most important cities in the world as it was the center of the world’s tin industry. Nowadays the city is slowly developing into an important tourism destination. Nearby Ipoh you will find popular attractions. Cameron Highlands is only a short drive away. Also the beautiful island of Pangkor is located nearby Ipoh. Another gem is Royal Belum State Park. There so many beautiful sights in and around Ipoh that the state of Perak is trying to get Ipoh listed as World Heritage Site.

Attractions in and around Ipoh:

Ipoh has many nice attractions and sights in and around the city. One popular attraction is the Gunung Lang recreation park; where many locals spend their time to relax as it is just few kilometers away from the city center. The Lost World of Tambun Park is also a very popular attraction among locals and tourists.

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Ipoh Railway Station

The city also houses beautiful architecture, such as the Railway Station, Town Hall and High Court. Other attractions are: Kinta River, Mariamman kovil temple, Ipoh Heritage Walk, Kellie’s Castle, Perak Cave with its numerous beautiful Buddha statues, Sam Poh Tong temple and the Kek Lok Tong temple. There are also numerous night markets at different locations throughout Ipoh; besides browsing for nice buys you can also buy snacks and food at the markets.


Sam Poh Tong Limestone Cave Temple: The Most Famous, Oldest & Largest Cave Temple in Malaysia