Last Thursday, a huge event happened in Ipoh.
AEON (formerly known as Jusco) Station 18 has finally opened its doors to Ipoh citizen!
Everyone was excited. Including me.
You see, if you’re not Ipoh born citizen then you wouldn’t get the hype. You would think eh… it’s just a mall.. what’s so fricken great about it? What’s with all the excitement? Oh it’s more than just a mall. It’s a breathe of fresh air. A release from the cave that has captured and locked us out from civilization. No, I’m not over-exaggerating. For Ipoh people, we only had two major shopping malls – Jusco Kinta City & Ipoh Parade. Kinta City is more targeted towards ‘normal’ shoppers while Ipoh Parade is more towards lala’s, ah beng’s, mat rempits and emos (a.k.a stupid annoying teens that needs to be burned alive). Because of that, I rarely ever go to Ipoh Parade if it wasn’t for the cheap novelty store where I find all the cute stuff, starbucks, and huge Popular bookstore. The parking space is bullshit for Ipoh Parade.
So basically I have only 1 small shopping mall to go to. Jusco Kinta City was opened in 1997. Imagine that, over a decade of ONE SHOPPING PLACE ONLY. Then there’s Tesco hypermarket but you don’t call that shopping mall.. Giant hypermarket is way far at Tambun and again, not a shopping mall. New Giant has opened last March 8th at Bercham.. and they said the Tambun branch will be relocated there soon.. technically we still have one Giant and not two… Then you get the small ‘mini malls’ which I don’t ever go to.
So to get a new huge shopping malls is a big deal for us Ipoh citizen.. Ipoh has FINALLY opened the doors to other new investors. We have 2 Mydin (a huge one in Meru and small one in Manjoi) coming up. Ipoh has been growing rapidly over the past 2-3 years. We’ve started seeing more businesses coming in and lots of shoplots being built. No longer so boring. No longer so ‘sien’ as my friend would describe it. My first wish was to have Domino’s in Ipoh. My wish was granted in 2010. My second wish was to have a new McDonald’s drivethru that’s closer to my place. My wish was granted in November 2011.
Now a new mall. My 3rd wish has been granted.
The mall is large, the largest in Ipoh with 160 shops inside and 2000+ parking bays.
My friends and I have been wishing for certain restaurants to open here. Restaurants that we love that’s only available in KL. Domino’s was one. And OH EM GEE. All of my wishes came and would be coming true! I’ve been wishing for:
- Wendy’s Burger
- Papa John’s Pizza
- New Starbucks (we only have one at Ipoh Parade)
- Tako Tao
- Sakae Sushi
- Daiso (totally didn’t see this one coming at all!)
- New Shihlin Snacks outlet
It’s amazing and mind-boggling at the same time because I just did not expect what I’ve been wishing for since I got back in Ipoh in 2010 has all came true. It never crossed my mind that they would actually open here for real considering that Ipoh had been a very dead down with no progress at all. Didn’t know there was any demand either. Now if only there’s Cupcake Chic, Subway, Sephora and Cold Storage here, I’ll die happy here.
I wanted to go on opening day but I’ve been doing my work all night long so I was too sleepy to go. Maybe next week. Besides, was too crowded anyway. So to kill my curiosity I’ve been watching updates on facebook and twitter to see images that people posted and status updates to see what has opened there. It was more crowded at evening time I heard and because people didn’t want to leave somehow, they opened until 11.30 pm I heard.
NANDO’S! Boy was I so excited that I’d pee myself. My friend and I share the same passion in food so we’ve been wishing for Nando’s. Now it has finally opened here, I have a friend whom I can go with to Nando’s I didn’t have anyone to go with in KL because Nando’s is nothing but just one of the many restaurants in KL. There’s many other choices.
One of my most wished for restaurant My friend ( who is now in London) and I used to go to Sakae Sushi at The Curve a lot. And then the news came when they said it’s not ‘halal’.. halal in sense that they put alcohol in their sushi or sauce or something. THAT FREAKING SUCKS OK. Actually many non muslim misunderstood what ‘HALAL’ means. It doesn’t mean if there’s no pork then it’s halal… we have to consider alcohol too, the meat and things like that.
DAISO!! I totally did not expect this to open here at all! I mean.. DAISO! My all time favorite place to spend plenty of RM5 on… When I go to The Curve in KL I would definitely stop by here.. We have 100 yen shop here, but it’s small, and it’s not as popular as Daiso. There’s everything in Daiso, even stuff you don’t even think people would make is there.
I have not actually tried anything from Mister Donut yet. You know what? They should open Shimino Japanese Crepes… Oh my God it’ll be so good. I love Japanese crepes… they’re the best.
Tako Tao T_____T You’re finally in Ipoh. I’m so happy I could cry. I absolutely and ridiculously LOVE Tako Tao.. it’s the best takoyaki ever and it’s now in my city. I’m so overwhelmed.
I no longer need to go crazy when I go to KL to find all these foods just to satisfy my craving. I know I sound like a kid who just found candyland at the Wonka’s factory but being a food fanatic and lover, it’s definitely something great. I can’t wait for Papa John’s Pizza and Wendy’s to open this /June/July. Starbucks will open this May. And finally a new TGV will open too.. ahh now everybody won’t just flock to Kinta City’s TGV.
Overall, it’s a good start to changing what was once a very dead town. However, giving way for economic and population growth has its own bad side effects. Ipoh is now no longer the peaceful quiet town. The massive traffic jam everyday during peak hours is as bad as petaling jaya and considering majority of Ipoh roads are two small lanes, NOT a good sign. Ipoh is crowded now too with lots of new housing developments. But I guess it’s give and take. I don’t mind sacrificing peaceful life for development in Ipoh. It’s my hometown, and I’d love to see it grow like Penang.
As for AEON Station 18, I wish I could see more new business ventures. It’s AWESOME to see names like Nando’s, Papa John’s, Wendy’s, Daiso etc now but I’m hoping for more. But a lot of people complained that it’s nothing special – HELLO. Be thankful that it’s there. When Ipoh is a dead town you complain, when there’s new development you still complain. Give it a chance you unappreciative fucks.
Next up – Mydin located in Meru Raya & Manjoi will open in May 2012. More options to shop. The only problem is now is to make lots of money to spend