Han Chin Pet Soo is a distinctively quirky museum in Ipoh’s Old Town district not far from Concubine Land and Ipoh’s most famous wall murals. One of the quirky things about Han Chin Pet Soo is its admission policy; you need to book 30 days in advance online to view the inside of the museum. There is also no set admission fee, although as a guide the website says that if you can afford a donation then 10 MYR per person would be appropriate.
Han Chin Pet Soo in Ipoh
The building which the Han Chin Pet Soo museum is located opened in 1893 and was originally used as the Han Chin Tin Miners’ Club. During the later part of the 19th Century there was a large influx of Chinese immigrants to Ipoh to work in the tin mining industry. The club was a kind of working man’s club for those Chinese immigrants, although it wasn’t a working man’s club in the sense of being somewhere for manual workers to congregate with their work fellow and drink cheap beer, in fact the Han Chin Tin Miners’ Club was a rather more exclusive club than that. Only people from certain parts of China were allowed to join and members smoked opium, were entertained by Japanese prostitutes and eat lavish meals on the premises. All in secret. The club was founded and funded by Chinese immigrant Leong Fee who was one of the first Chinese immigrants to come to Ipoh. He came to Ipoh with nothing and made a large fortune working in the tin mining industry. The original furniture and decorations have been restored and the museum is a fairly accurate representation of what a private Chinese ‘gentleman’s club’ would have looked like in the late 19th Century and early 20th Century.