Ipoh is the capital city of Perak, one of the states which make up the northern region of Peninsular Malaysia. This city used to be an important place during the British colonial times when it was the second center used by the British for administration.
Facts about Ipoh
- Currency: MYR (Malaysian Ringgit)
- Dialling code: Ipoh uses the 605 prefix if you need to call the land lines here.
- Airport: Ipoh is served by the Sultan Azlan Shah Airport
- Airport Tax: applies for both domestic and international flights
- Distance from airport to city centre: The Sultan Azlan Shah Airport is very near to the city centre which is less than 10 kms away.
- Temperature: Ipoh experiences yearly temperature between 23 and 33 degrees Celsius
- Climate and Weather: Tropical with high humidity
- Common languages: Bahasa Malaysia, English Language, Chinese and Tamil
- Ipoh is accessible via North-South Expressway
- Estimated population of over 700,000.
Highlights of Ipoh
There are countless things to see in the small city of Ipoh. Among those that you could check out include:
- Go visit the Gua Tambun Cave – Here is where you can see some old cave drawings dating back to more than 3,000 years which has been likened to those found in Papua New Guinea and Australia
- Heritage – Ipoh houses some of the oldest buildings in Malaysia. This includes The Birch Memorial Clocktower, the age-old railway station, the Ipoh Town Hall and Law Courts and others.
- Muzium Darul Ridzuan – The place to go if you want to find out the history of the city.
- Padang Ipoh – You can see this field literally in the heart of Ipoh city. Surrounded by its rich architecture and structures, the majestic ground is home to the Royal Ipoh Club.
- Concubine Lane
- Street art – along the buildings in Ipoh Old Town, you can see the murals painted by international mural artist Ernest Zacharevic here.
- Religious buildings – visit some of the oldest places of worship here like the Sam Poh Tong Temple, the Kek Lok Tong Cave Temple, the Enlightened Heart Tibetan Temple and the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple Buntong.
Foods around Ipoh
Ipoh is known for its food. The local delights here are the main attraction among Malaysians and foreigners alike. When you are in Ipoh, you must try, among others the following:
- Hakka Mee – Available in many places like Paris Restaurant and Restoran Hakka
- Chicken Koay Teow Soup – Locals call it Kai See Hor Fun. You can get this at literally every coffee shop you go to
- Chicken Rice – Lou Wong is the best and famed place to go.
- White Coffee – The Ipoh White Coffee is one of the largest franchise in the country. Need we say more?
Upscale Properties with hotels & apartments
Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah Selatan and Jalan Raja Dr Nazrin Shah is where there are the upscale properties. Along here, one can find Jalan Tun Dr Ismail and Jalan Kelab Golf which are roads known to house the upper class residents. State property is located around many areas here that include that of Datuk Seri Michelle Yeoh.
More commercial land in Ipoh
Commercial land in Ipoh is increasing each year that includes Jalan Gopeng which was recently gazetted by the state government for commercial use. Here, there are many homes that can be used for commercial purposes which is where one can find many homestays and rooms for rent. Among the places here with costlier places to stay include The Enclave and the Thompson Flora Tropika Residences.
Ipoh’s Education Sector
The most prominent educational institution here is the recently launched Quest International University which is located along Jalan Raja Permaisuri Bainun. Due to this, the residential areas surrounding the university like Jalan Sarmukh, Persiaran Kampar and Jalan Batu Bungkhal are in high demand from students who come and take the course here. It must be noted that the renowned Perak Girls School is located around the vicinity as well.
Entertainment in Ipoh
In terms of entertainment, Ipoh city has several shopping locations like the Kinta City Shopping Center, Ipoh Parade which is located along Jalan Sultan Abdul Jalil, Billion Shopping Center and several more. For those who enjoy the nightlife, the Bandar Baru Medan, which is located behind the Kinta City Shopping Center, is one of the most popular night hangouts.
Government Offices and Public Sector in Ipoh
Government offices in Ipoh are concentrated around the city center. Jalan Panglima Bukit Gantang Wahab houses offices like:
- Jabatan Kerja Raya Negeri Perak
- the Kompleks Kerajaan
- Jabatan Perhutanan
- Perbadanan Kemajuan Negeri Perak
- and many more
Meanwhile, the Majlis Bandaraya Ipoh, which is the local council of the city is located along Jalan Dato Seri Ahmad Said which is a stone’s throw away from the Tower Regency Hotel and Apartments and not far from the Regalodge Hotel Ipoh.
Architecture and heritage
It must be noted that Ipoh is a very historical town. As such, one can find many pre-war buildings here which have been preserved and maintained and still in use, especially among the public departments. There is several large land spaces scattered around Ipoh town where there are bungalows that date back to more than 50 years ago while the city center is filled with many new apartments and condominiums like The Osborne Apartments which is located along Jalan Dato Tahwil Azhar.
Once a thriving mining town
Ipoh was a prosperous city in 19th century due to tin mining industry and it is due to this reason that prompted the state’s administrator to develop it into a thriving city. Take a trip down memory lane because you’ll never be disappointed with the historical buildings in Ipoh such as the railway station and town hall (built since British Colonial era). More than half of the city’s population is of Chinese origin. This city is best known for its delectable local dishes and fantastic restaurants serving mouth-watery delights.
Now a modern city
Prior to the conferment of city status in May 1988, Ipoh was once known as a ‘dead’ city and thus, reputed as one of the best locations in Malaysia for retirement. But nevertheless, more development projects were announced following the conferment of city status. Here’s a little fact you may not know – you can get the cleanest and purest water supplies throughout Malaysia right here in Ipoh because it originates from the waterfalls nearby Tanjung Rambutan. Getting into the city is not a major issue but getting around Ipoh is the main problem. The best way to travel around this historical city is by driving a car.
Attractions in Ipoh
Among some of the must visit attractions within Ipoh are:
- Mariamman Kovil
- Ipoh Town Hall
- Muzium Darul Ridzuan
- Old Railway Station
- and Padang Ipoh.
If it is possible, do travel slightly further away from the city centre to Kellie’s Castle, Sam Poh Tong, Perak Tong and Kek Lok Tong.
From RM25, you can get a prepaid taxi from the airport to the city centre. That is probably the best way to get into Ipoh from the airport. Within the city, you can hail taxi services from most shopping malls, hotels and major landmarks. Bus services are available but it would be more suitable for the locals. Ride sharing services like Grab and Uber are available as well.
If you are up for an adventurous trip, take the local public buses. However, you need to constantly ask the locals or bus drivers the routes because there are no indication where it may head to. Besides, buses are rarely on time. Since Ipoh is considered a pedestrian unfriendly city, it is best not to walk around town. Well, if you are considering to hire a cab, be prepared to negotiate the price with cab drivers because they do not use meters.
Within Ipoh city, it is fairly easy to get around as the traffic flow here is very well managed. In fact, there are many one-way streets that can easily connect one place with another. There are bus service shere which are serviced at the Ipoh Bus Terminal located at Jalan Raja Bendahara. The bus service here basically goes around Ipoh town while there are inter-city services that head out to other parts of Perak as well. Taxi services are easily available which can be waved down at any locations while it is easier to get them at commercial centers like hotels and shopping malls.