Sandwiched between Kuala Lumpur and Penang, Ipoh is rapidly emerging as one of Malaysia’s most popular destinations. The state capital is quickly winning over travellers with its beautifully preserved historic buildings, vibrant cultural scene and laid back attitude. Plus, it’s also a convenient gateway for those heading to the Cameron Highlands or Pulau Pangkor.
Things to Do
Full of charm and character, you’ll love Ipoh's pint-sized historic centre. Founded in the 1820s, the city was once a thriving trade hub during the British Colonial era. Today, its century-old buildings have found new life as trendy art cafes, artisan craft stores, charming restaurants and boutique hotels have emerged.
While most of Ipoh’s residents are Malaysian, the city is home to a vibrant Indian community. A visit to Little India is a must, where you can stop at glittering jewellery shops, traditional curry houses and purchase colourful sari shops along the way.
Feeling restless? Escape the city and head to Gua Tempurung, the largest limestone cave network in Peninsular Malaysia. Made up of five huge domes, the well-lit interior is dripping with striking rock formations.
Ipoh doesn’t harbour the same ‘foodie’ status as Penang, but it still serves up its fair share of delicacies. Don’t miss a steaming bowl of ayam tauge, the city’s signature dish. Wash it down with a cup of Ipoh's famous white coffee, and a bowl of creamy beancurd pudding. Find some of the best street stalls to the east of the river, in Ipoh's new town.
By far, the best way to explore Ipoh’s characterful old town is by foot. If you’re venturing out of the district, taxis are a cheap and efficient option. Bicycle rickshaws are an eco-friendly way to explore the city, while hiring a driver for the day is ideal if you’re visiting sights further away, such as Gua Tempurung.