This blog post was supposed to be written and posted last week but I’ve been preoccupied with things, like the opening of AEON Klebang Ipoh, did factory reset on my phone so that kept me busy for days and of course, been feeling sick with the terrible haze.
Last week, I joined a pre-trail with other bloggers for The Other Festival which will be held for a month starting today! This post will cover the culture, arts and city aspects of my trail. For food-related aspect, visit my other post: Bloggers (Food) Pre-Trail @ Sinfully Delicious
What is ‘The Other Festival Ipoh’?
Click pictures to enlarge
The Other Festival is a celebration of Ipoh Old Town’s history, food and arts that will take place over three weekends, from 22 Oct-8 Nov 2015. Themed ‘Mapping the City’, this inaugural festival focuses on a series of trails designed by popular personalities who are either Ipoh natives or have a connection to the city. The idea is to encourage festival goers to explore Old Town on foot and discover the inspiring tales that await behind the crumbling facades of heritage buildings.
Curated by Kakiseni in collaboration with the folks of Ipoh Old Town – business owners, landlords and other stakeholders – the programme is a lively mix of performances, guided tours, movie screenings, food trails, creative forums, exhibitions, bazaars, music, zines and various art forms.
If you’re wondering where to stay during #OtherFest, you can check out Cititel Express, the official main sponsor hotel. It’s right in the center of town, so you can just walk around town. You can find out more about the festival and the schedule by checking out Kakiseni’s social media or the website. Links at the end of this post. Don’t forget to check out the hashtag as well – #otherfest. I will be covering some of the activities I’ll be joining so do check back this site often for the review and pictures.
I’m super excited about this festival. Ipoh has been called a ‘dead city’ for a very long time. This past few years, Ipoh has been rapidly growing. Don’t get me started on food. I can’t even keep up anymore how many hipster cafes are available now. You will never go hungry in Ipoh. It’s about time for Ipoh to become one of the tourist destinations instead of a boring, quiet town that old people can retire to. It’s also about time for the younger generation to appreciate the arts and heritage buildings in Ipoh.
Alright, let’s talk about the trail now!
Last Thursday, I met the #OtherFest media peeps and bloggers from KL for the first time at the Ipoh train station after the ETS train arrived at 11.20 am. If you’re from KL and want to join the festival, it’s easy to use ETS now. Plus, you can get 20% discount as well if you mention the promo code OTHERFEST as written on the banner above.
I received this media kit containing a bottle of Ipoh limestone water which says that it’s “guaranteed to make your skin as smooth as Kuey Teow, as firm as Pomelo and your taugeh crunchier.” Haha, that amused me when I read it. There’s also a packet of beans so you can grow your own! Out of a few media kits I’ve received before, this has got to be the most creative. I’ve failed at gardening before but I’m determined to grow this one.
Apart from that, we were given some stickers to give to cafe/shop owners around town so they can stick it in their shop. If you see that sticker, it’s blogger-approved!
Then we walked from the train station to Rahamath, which is about 5 minutes away. It’s a very popular mamak place to eat. It was afternoon so it was crowded. After they finished, then we started walking around town on our own. Even though I live in Ipoh, I’ve never actually walked around Old Town Ipoh on my own before. At least with a couple of bloggers with me, it didn’t look weird when we took pictures.
There are a lot of wall arts around town. It’s just that I’m not sure of the exact location of each one. There are a few of the most popular ones that we didn’t come across. Plus it was a very hot day as well. But those that we found, were amazing.
I particularly love this one because it has a painting of a cat! I call him Sir Meow. Don’t care. 🙂
There are a few cat paintings there. Like I’ve mentioned above, I haven’t been there on my own before. It’s interesting what kind of shops we found. From old to new. I can’t explain it unless you go there and see it for yourself. Some of the shops don’t allow you to take pictures so I didn’t dare.
Then we found some shops selling dried ingredients that I never knew existed. My mom have heard of it though but never knew the exact location. In that picture above, that’s what will happen when a few bloggers just saw China Dates for the first time.
Yes, we did get weird looks from the store owner and people around.
We walked some more and found the Wheel Noodle place with the umbrella decorations. Unfortunately, some of the umbrellas were destroyed by I’m assuming the thunderstorm the night before. It was so bad that my neighborhood was badly flooded. Hell, my entire kitchen was badly flooded as well.
But on the other side across the street, the umbrellas aren’t affected. They look really nice! Makes me wanna sing Rihanna’s Umbrella song.
‘Under my umbrella… ella… ella… eh eh“
Then I saw this really nice-looking cafe as we walked around. So we separated as me and this other blogger, Zilla, went to take a look. It’s a cafe and a shop, selling food, coffee and various items. Their specialty is aromatherapy! The shop really smell nice, I swear. And it’s super cozy! I have to stop there one day to have a cup of coffee. The lady there is friendly as well.
For more pictures of the shop’s interior, visit my other post: Bloggers (Food) Pre-Trail @ Sinfully Delicious
You can also check out the shop’s website: Lifeshop Atelier
So, we gave them our ‘seal of approval‘, haha.
That shop is #awesomegilersuperpowertahapunicornilicious
Wanted a picture of the store supervisor but she was a bit shy 🙂 So we got a picture with the staff instead. After we chatted for a bit, we left the shop and continued walking.
Then we found Burps & Giggles. We were supposed to meet with others at Plan B by 3 pm so I thought we should just walk around within the vicinity. It was already almost 2.30 pm. Really, when you walk around Ipoh Old Town, a few hours will not be sufficient. You’d need at least a couple of days!
That kid just didn’t care when we took pictures of those letter boxes so I thought he could just be the model for us haha.
Then we checked out Burps & Giggles. I’ve always wanted to go there but haven’t had the chance. Of course, for more interior pictures, check out Bloggers (Food) Pre-Trail @ Sinfully Delicious
Found some more umbrellas! I seriously love this look. Colorful umbrellas, then some vines at the side acting as curtains. Vintage-looking shops and decorations. It’s like a step back into the 60s and 70s as a hipster. We then stopped at a new shop which turns out to be the 2nd branch of ‘Nellis Deli‘ that just opened on that day!
The review of Nellis Deli, plus Patisserie Boutique Cafe that we stopped at will eventually be in my food blog at Sinfully Delicious.
At about 3.30 pm or so, after having delicious food and desserts, we head to Plan B which is just a few steps away. I love how everything is in one area. There are also some shops selling crafty handmade stuff near Plan B. It’s also where some activities will be held during the festival.
I really wanted to taste ‘ais kepal’ or ice balls here at Bits & Bobs but too bad it wasn’t opened yet. After that, some of them walked back to the train station to catch the ETS train back to KL while I joined them for a bit more before heading back home at 5 pm.
More story at my other post: Bloggers (Food) Pre-Trail @ Sinfully Delicious
So that was the pre-trail for The Other Festival around Old Town Ipoh. For schedule and updates, do check out Kakiseni at:
If you’re wondering where to eat in Ipoh, don’t forget to check out my food blog at Sinfully Delicious.
This will be so #AWESOMEGILERSUPERPOWERTAHAPUNICORNILICIOUS