Between the metropolis of Kuala Lumpur and the bustling island of Penang lies an oft-overlooked city with a whole lot to offer. Often regarded as little more than an easy stopover on the way North or South, or as a gateway to the much loved Cameron Highlands, Ipoh has begun to catch the eye of travellers seeking roads less travelled. As the capital city of the state of Perak and home to what were once the richest tin mines in the world, Ipoh has a wealth of history and heritage within its vast confines. Local entrepreneurs are filling in the gaps with boutique hotels and modern eateries to make Ipoh one of Malaysia’s hottest destinations.
Not convinced? Here are 6 reasons Ipoh should be on your Malaysia bucket list:
The wonderfully diverse mix of pre- and post-colonial architecture, with both British and Chinese influences, are Ipoh’s main draw and make for fantastic wandering. With the help of a car to get to the far flung sights, a walking tour of the Old and New Towns is a great way to understand this historical town. A knowledgeable local guide is, of course, the best way to truly understand everything you see.
Ipoh Street Art
Walking tours are made all the more exciting with the added excitement of graffiti spotting. Lovers of charming Georgetown, Penang, will be delighted to know that Ernest Zacharevic has made his mark on Ipoh too. His distinct style fits perfectly alongside the crumbling heritage buildings.
Domestic tourists have long been flocking to Ipoh for its foodie highlights, including the simple-sounding bean spout chicken, or tauge ayam. You’ll want to seek out the traditional favourites among the newer, hipper restaurants to taste the results of decades of love and expertise. The Sin Eng Heong kaya puff is our personal favourite.
Ipoh Café Culture
Ipoh is the Seattle of Asia, home to the country’s famous coffee chain Old Town White Coffee. This flagship café remains the best in the country and, while we insist that you café-hop across town, a trip to the city wouldn’t be complete without a stop here too. Fuel all that wandering with cup after cup of delicious coffee and enjoy the relaxing ambiance of Ipoh’s hippest cafes.
Ipoh isn’t just a great city break but boasts beautiful natural scenery waiting to be explored. The Gua Tempurung cave and the Sungai Kampar white water rapids both make thrilling day trips from the city. With more time you can venture on an overnight island trip to Pulau Pangkor which is another gem of the Perak region.
A former rich mining town and ever a bustling residential city, Ipoh is just beginning to take advantage of the benefits of wider tourism. Celebrate the city’s heritage alongside its young and creative locals by taking the opportunity to see it for yourself now.
See the highlights and more on our Ipoh Heritage Tour by talking with our team of Malaysia experts today.