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A big Chinatown

By Wang Kaihao (China Daily)

09:50, August 30, 2012

A typical morning in Ipoh begins with a cup of white coffee.(Photo from China Daily)

Wang Kaihao visits two northern towns of Malaysia, which brings back memories of China during his childhood days.

The first thing that comes to my mind about Ipoh is: It is the hometown of famous Hong Kong actress Michelle Yeoh, who starred in global hits, such as the James Bond movie Tomorrow Never Dies and Memoirs of a Geisha.

Little did I know that this Malaysian city is home to a huge Chinese diaspora. Chinese people make up some 70 percent of the population.

The capital of northern Perak (which means "tin" in the Malay language) State, has been a well-known tin mining capital since the late 19th century, attracting scores of laborers from China's Guangdong province, who braved the South China Sea in search of fortune.

Thus, when taking the electric train northwards from Malaysia's capital Kuala Lumpur, I expected to see many mines on the way.

But I did not see any.

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