Ipoh

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Jalan Sultan Iskandar, one of Ipoh's main streets, crosses the River Kinta in colonial style

Ipoh is the state capital of Perak, on the west coast of peninsular Malaysia. It is the country's fourth largest city and a gateway to the Cameron Highlands.

Understand[edit]

Ipoh developed into one of Malaysia's main cities due to an early 19th century tin mining boom. During the British colonial era, it was Malaya's second administrative centre after Kuala Lumpur (the Straits Settlements of Singapore, Penang and Malacca were administered separately).

A post-independence economic decline let the city escape the towers of concrete that represent 1970s ideas of progress and its colonial importance still shines in the grand old buildings, such as the railway station and the town hall, which complement the rows of shophouses.

These days Ipoh is perhaps best known for its excellent restaurants, hawkers, and famous local dishes.

Streets were renamed in the 1980s. This can still be confusing as many locals still refer to the former colonial road names. The following list showing the old and new names is useful: Ipoh road names - old and new

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

Ipoh is served by the Sultan Azlan Shah Airport (IATA: IPH). Firefly operates twice daily flights to and from the budget terminal of Singapore Changi Airport.

By train[edit]

Ipoh's second concrete building, the railway station, was built in 1935. The gardens are now a construction site

Trains head as far north as Butterworth and as far south as Singapore via Kuala Lumpur. Kuala Lumpur is predictably well served by several trains per day. To KL, prices for the old diesel trains (3 hrs) range from RM12 to RM30 depending on class. New electric trains [1] (2 hrs) cost from RM25 (stopping service) to RM45 (express non-stop).

By bus[edit]

The main bus terminal is at Terminal Amanjaya, from where buses run to most of Peninsular Malaysia. Most frequent routes are to and from Kuala Lumpur (Puduraya Station), Singapore and Penang. Larger bus companies like Transnational, Plusliner, Konsortium and Sri Maju provide the most frequent, reliable and safe services. For Taiping and the Cameron Highlands, the local bus station (see Get around) is more convenient.

Some bus companies also operate from more convenient locations in the town: mainly Jalan Bendahara. Choice is limited but for KL, Singapore, Penang or Butterworth, they represent a better option than a trip out of town.

  • Sri Maju 2,4 & 6 Jalan Bendahara, 605 2535367, fairly decent selection of destinations, including Hat Yai in Thailand.
  • Lapan Lapan (88 brand), 65 63922188 (Singapore number) has services from Jalan Bendahara to Singapore (RM55).

Starshuttle and YoYo run to Kuala Lumpur International Airport from Jalan Bercham (about RM40 one way).

By car[edit]

Ipoh is well connected to the North-South Expressway. You can get into Ipoh via Exit 137: Simpang Pulai or Exit 139: Ipoh Selatan

Get around[edit]

By car[edit]

The city centre grid layout contains mainly one-way streets. Road maps are available in bookstores, tourist centres and online. Traffic is not as heavy as in other cities such as Kuala Lumpur but the rush hours are usually congested. There is adequate parking but finding a space may require some patience. Car rentals are available.

By bus[edit]

Local buses run around the city and its suburbs and have hub called Ipoh Bus Terminal, Jalan Raja Bendahara (or also bas stesen), which is actually on Jalan Tun Abdul Razak in the old town (follow the road south from the railway station and past the post office, the bus station is on the right of the first big junction). This is not to be confused with Jalan Bendahara which is in the new town and has long distance services by some bus companies.

Local bus information is not well published but there is a helpful information desk at the bus station. Visitors may find this bus station useful for its services to the Cameron Highlands, Taiping and to the main long distance bus terminal at Medan Gopeng. Useful to look out for is local bus number 94, which heads from the bas stesen through the old and new towns to the Medan Gopeng long distance terminal and the Sam Poh Tong Cave Temples. It calls at the following bus stops in the new town: Tingat Pasar, on the south side of Pasar Besar; at the junction of Jalan Raja Musa Aziz and Jalan Theatre; and on Jalan CM Yusuf, near the Grand Park Hotel and Sri Maju Bus Terminal.

On foot[edit]

Most roads have pavements and marked crossings, which makes strolling around the old streets a pleasant experience.

By bicycle[edit]

There are no hard and fast rules for cyclists, but you are expected to observe road rules at all times. Cyclists are forbidden from riding on the sidewalk but often do. Helmets are optional but not common.

By taxi[edit]

Prices are by negotiation. It is possible to take the taxi all the way up to Pengkelan Hulu (near the Thailand border, ~RM170 one way, ~RM300 return). Ride within the city should cost around RM5 to RM10

Talk[edit]

Like in the rest of Malaysia, Malay is the lingua franca, However, most of the ethnic Chinese, who form the majority in Ipoh, speak Cantonese as their first language, and many are also able to speak Mandarin. Most of the Indians speak Tamil as their first language. While English is not as widespread as in Kuala Lumpur or Penang, tourists should still not have any major problems getting by with English. Most locals would be able to communicate in broken English, supplemented by non-verbal forms of communication such as pointing and gesturing.

See[edit]

Within Ipoh[edit]

Historic buildings[edit]

The Birch Memorial Clocktower always says 6.15. It hosts friezes representing the progress of civilization and depicts various religious and secular worthies. The scrubbed out figure was Mohammed.
  • Birch Memorial Clocktower - dedicated to the first British Resident Minister of Perak who was murdered by a local Malay chief. The chief's profitable trade in Orang Asli, indigenous tribal folk, was curtailed by the British abolition of slavery. The road passing the tower's north side is now named in the killer's honour.
  • Ipoh Railway Station - one of the three grand British-built stations on the former Malayan network. ETS trains connect this fondly dubbed "Taj Mahal of Ipoh" to KL's colonial beauty, Kuala Lumpur Railway Station (one stop before KL Sentral). Singapore's now disused Tanjong Pagar station is the third installment of the trilogy.
  • Ipoh Town Hall and Law Courts - the two buildings opposite the Railway Station, both are in neoclassical style.
  • Muzium Darul Ridzuan is an interesting historical museum of Perak, located in a pretty former tin-mining tycoon's mansion on Jalan Kuala Kangsar
  • Padang Ipoh - Ipoh Green, the only thing missing is a cricket match on this immaculate lawn near Jalan S.P. Seenivasagam. The surrounding historic buildings including the mock-Tudor style Ipoh Club, FMS Bar, HSBC Building and the magnificent St Michael's Institution secondary school.

Tamil temple[edit]

  • Mariamman Kovil is an old Tamil temple. Not only is it religious in nature but also a place for discourses and on Sundays children are given an introduction to verses in Tamil. Located in Jalan Sungai Pari Buntong, just before the bridge on the river.

Around Ipoh[edit]

Sam Poh Tong Chinese Buddhist Temple - accessible only through a cave, the temple and its accompanying tortoise pond create a serene and peaceful atmosphere
Kek Lok Tong

Cave temples[edit]

  • Perak Tong (Perak Cave) is located at Gunung Tasek and houses over 40 Buddha statues and many murals. There is a steep, tall staircase in the interior of the cave rising up to the top of its hill, where one is greeted by a beautiful and panoramic view of Ipoh and its surroundings. The statue of Buddha in Perak Tong is the tallest and largest of its kind in Malaysia. Perak Tong was built in 1926 by a Buddhist priest from China.
  • Sam Poh Tong (Cavern of Triple Gems) - Actually a cluster of Chinese temples in Gunung Rapat near the Medan Gopeng Bus Terminal. The first temple, Ling Sen Tong is shrouded in the smokey haze of hundred of jossticks. Its neighbour, Nam Thean Tong, has hundreds of stairs that climb right through the mountain to high up on the other side, providing great views. Sam Poh Tong itself is the third of the row, just after the small coffee shop, where you should relax after climbing all the stairs of Nam Thean Tong. By this temple's entrance is a charming landscped bonzai garden and fish pond; inside, a tunnel leads right through the rocks to the sanctuary of the temple and its tortoise pond. On the road leading to the temples are stalls selling pomeloes, a local speciality. Local bus 94 continues to right next to these temples after passing the Medan Gopeng Bus Terminal. RM10 in a taxi from the city should be enough.
  • Kek Lok Tong (Kek Look Tong, Cavern of Ultimate Bliss). Calm Chinese cave temple with good views on the other side of the same limestone hill as Sam Poh Tong. Accessible through Gunung Rapat housing area, 4km from the Medan Gopeng Bus Terminal. Taxi from Ipoh town should cost RM10 or take local bus 94 to the Medan Gopeng Bus Terminal and pick up a taxi there.

Do[edit]

  • White Water Rafting Get up close and personal with nature, experience an exotic and mystifying rainforest where the fastest butterflies swarm by the riverbank while you enjoy swimming in the river or jump from trees or just glide down the river on a raft.
  • Kellie's Castle, the deserted mansion of an eccentric Scottish planter, is in Batu Gajah, half an hour's drive from Ipoh city center. Its main appeal lies in the belief that it is haunted and that secret passages leading to hidden chambers exist. A taxi will cost you around RM 50 - 60 and they will usually wait for an hour (which is long enough to look around). There is an entrance fee to the castle.
  • Caving. Gua Tempurung is the largest limestone cave in Peninsular Malaysia. Located close to the North South Highway's Gopeng Exit, it provides the opportunity to explore in detail the insides of a limestone cave. You can choose to experience a short tour of the cave or adventure into the far end of the cave by walking off the walkways and in the cave river.
  • Explore Tambun, once a small town north of the city, with city growth it is now a close suburb to the city centre. Tambun has been traditionally known for its juicy pomelo fruit and the Tambun Hot Springs,(now known as the Lost World Hot Springs and Spa). Soaking in these hot springs is said to bring health benefits to the body because of the high sulfur content in the water. Also in Tambun, is Ipoh's only water theme park, The Lost World of Tambun. It provides great rides and entertainment for families and also organizes tours into the nearby limestone caves for those interested in eco-tourism. It recently opened a Petting Zoo that allows children the opportunity to feed and pet a variety of animals.
  • Jungle Trekking - Trek up one of the many trails up the Menglembu-Kledang Hills (these are the hills you can see to the west of Ipoh with the radio-TV masts on the top) to enjoy the awe-inspiring view of the limestone outcrops that surround Ipoh. If unsure of how to get to these trails, just ask the many locals who trek up daily in the early mornings and late evenings. If you have a GPS hikes can either start from 101° 1.813'E/4° 34.577'N or at 101° 1.638'E/ 4° 34.312'N where the paved road to the summit begins. Many of the trails are open and hot (take a hat and water) but much of Trail 4.9 is through shady forest. There are interesting plants and some wildlife (long-tailed macaques, pig-tailed macaques, leaf monkeys, and siamang) to be seen if you are lucky.
  • Ulu Geroh and Rafflesia flower, Be an ecotourist and experience the rainforest here (GPS 101° 15.200'E/ 4° 26.420'N). This is an Orang Asli kampung about one hour's drive into the hills east of Gopeng. The last half of the ride is along a rough road (4x4 preferred) through rubber, durian and oil palm plantations to the village on the edge of the rainforest. Guides from the Orang Asli community take visitors to see the parasitic Rafflesia flower (the largest flower in the world) and the Raja Brooke's Birdwing butterfly as well as other forest bugs, plants, etc. There's also a small but beautiful waterfall. Apart from Rafflesia watching, jungle hiking, caving and white water rafting can be organized. You will need your IC or passport number for the visitor log book. Basic accommodation is available at Ulu Geroh itself or in a rural setting at three nearby eco-resorts:
  • Golf at the many golf courses around the city. The Perak Royal Golf Club is the oldest of the golf courses located close to the city centre but there are also great golf courses at Clearwater Sanctuary in Batu Gajah and Meru Valley in Jelapang. Both Clearwater Sanctuary and Meru Valley provide accommodation that make a golfing holiday all the more convenient.

Buy[edit]

Many of the ostentatious commercial buildings in Ipoh still house banks

Ipoh is inexpensive by Malaysian standards. Most tourists will better appreciate the offerings of KL or Bangkok but Ipoh offers some interesting specialties including, Ipoh Fragrant Biscuits “香饼” - traditional flaky biscuits containing a sweet paste. Hand made examples are rare - Pottery - Ipoh produces pottery for export. If pots are your bag, try Jalan Kuala Kangsar - and Ipoh White Coffee - coffee beans specially roasted with palm-oil margarine.

  • Pasar Malam - night markets, stalls selling a variety of food, groceries, toys, clothes and household items. They move to various locations throughout the week:
    • Monday: Taman Menglembu, Taman Ipoh Jaya (near Gunung Rapat)
    • Tuesday: Ipoh Garden East
    • Wednesday: Ipoh Garden (near Perak stadium), Bercham (Taman Pakatan
    • Thursday: Taman SPPK
    • Friday: Taman Pertama; Pekan Razaki (near Taman Ipoh Jaya)
    • Saturday: Taman Rasi
    • Sunday: Taman Cempaka (6PM-10PM only)
  • Memory Lane is a flea market along Jalan Lim Bo Seng that takes places every Sunday morning. It is a good place to find imitation goods, antiques and other interesting local souvenirs. Be ready to bargain for the best price and be conscious of the fact that some stuff sold are probably stolen goods.
  • Shopping Malls. The Kinta City Shopping Centre and Ipoh Parade are the two best malls within the city. Both have a fair range of branded stores, with good bargains during sale periods that could be of interest to keen shoppers.
  • For a stretch of quaint boutiques, visit Ipoh Garden South.

Eat[edit]

Like everywhere in Malaysia, the local food is dirt cheap and sublime. Some local specialities to look out for include chicken and beansprouts (芽菜雞) - chicken with boiled bean sprouts served with soy sauce, sesame oil and either rice or noodles; Ipoh sar hor fun (怡保沙河粉) - flat rice noodles in clear chicken and prawn soup with chicken shreds, prawns and spring onions; salted chicken (盐锔鸡) - whole chickens wrapped in "paper" and then baked in large woks filled with heated salt; pomelos (柚) - a citrus fruit with massive rind and mild taste, Malaysia's best are reputedly from Tambun, about 10km north of the city center.

Budget[edit]

  • Thean Chun73 Jalan Bandar Timah (Next to Kong Heng),  605 2553076. 8AM-4.30PM, closed Thurs. Classic Chinese coffee shop with a variety of hawkers. Noted best for their Ipoh Sar Hor Fun. Located next to equally renown Kong Heng, one can be seated in Thean Chun and still order food from hawkers in Kong Heng. Meals from RM4.
  • Kong Heng75 Jalan Bandar Timah (Next to Thean Chun). 8AM-4.30PM, closed on Wednesdays. Also known as the "hall of mirrors" for the large mirrors adorning the walls of the coffee shop, it is famous for its pork satay and Ipoh Sar Hor Fun.Located next to Thean Chun, one can be order food from any hawker in either coffee shop. Meals from RM4.
  • Aun Kheng Lim24 Jalan Theatre 605 2542998. 11AM-10PM. The place for local speciality salt baked chicken. Whole chicken, RM16.
  • Restoran Li Heng Fatt14 Jalan Panglima. 11AM-10PM. Known for their "Hor Hee," a fishball noodle soup dish. RM3-4.
  • Funny Mountain Soybean and Traditional Tau Fu Fah49 Jalan Theatre. 10:30AM onwards. A little stall that serves creamy soy milk and silky soybean curd, "Tau Fu Fah." They will serve you curbside, so you don't even have to get out of your car. They usually run out by about 2PM. About RM1 for either product.
  • Choy Kee Confectionary & BakeryKampung Simee & 218 Lebuh 3, Kampung Simee. 5AM onwards. Chinese breakfast pastries like prawn fritters, pork buns. They are best known for their custard egg tarts. Operates from a stall in the market from 5AM-11AM, after which, they operate from their bakery at Lebuh 3. About RM1 each.
  • Dai Shu Geok (Big Tree Foot), 652 Jalan , Pasir Pinji 6012-524 5408. 8:30AM-5:30PM. Sells a variety of noodles accompanied by a large selection of "Yong Tau Foo," vegetables stuffed with fish paste. The stall is set up underneath the shade of a few big trees. RM3-RM5.
  • Nam Chau Coffee Shop54 Jalan Bandar Timah. 7AM-3PM, Closed on Saturdays. Known for their curry noodles topped with roast pork, chicken and prawns. Also, their "white coffee" is among the best. RM5-RM7.
  • Medan Aneka Selera/Gourmet Square (Tung Koo Thing), Lengkok Canning (Next to Woolley Food Court). Dinners only. Variety is the name of the game here. A giant food court with hawkers selling just about every local fare imaginable as well as local renditions of Japanese, Thai and Western fare. One of the attractions is a stall selling exotic Chinese seafood. RM4 upwards.
  • Woolley Food CityLengkok Canning, Ipoh Garden (Next to Medan Aneka Selera). Lunch Only. A food court selling a variety of local dishes as well as some localized versions of Japanese, Vietnamese, Western and Thai cuisine RM4 upwards.
White Coffee[edit]
  • Nam Heong Coffee Shop2 Jalan Bandar Timah. This Chinese coffee shop is the original home of the famous "Ipoh White Coffee," Also serves egg tarts, fried rice noodles and other local eats. Meals from RM3.
  • Sin Yoon Loong Coffee Shop1 Jalan Bandar Timah. Located across the street from Nam Heong Coffee Shop, they are rivals in the "White Coffee" business. A favored breakfast location among locals, they also serve good "kaya cakes," sponge cakes with coconut jam. Meals from RM3.

Mid-range[edit]

  • MichelangelO'S Pizzeria40, Jalan Medan Ipoh 1B, Medan Ipoh Bistari. Opened by an American, this place serves authentic American style pizzas in a lively environment. RM25 upwards a pie.
  • Restoran Samy70, Jalan Besar, Chemor. South Indian style banana leaf rice, the choices of curry are aplenty. Besides the typical chicken, fish, prawn, squid and mutton curries, they also serve crab, shark and seasonally, turkey curry as well. RM10-RM25.
  • Kalai Curry House38, Jalan Sultan Yussuf. Located in the heart of Little India, serves up Southern Indian fare for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Great Indian breads and banana leaf rice RM3-RM25.
Dim Sum[edit]

Ipoh is known to serve up some of the country's best Dim Sum. Jalan Leong Sin Nam has been coined "Dim Sim" street because of the concentration of popular dim sum outlets there.

  • Foh San Restaurant51 Jalan Leong Sin Nam 605 2540308. 6AM -1PM. Most well established dim sum restaurant in the city. Tourist flock here by the bus loads (literally). RM3-4 per plate.
  • Ming Court Restaurant32 Jalan Leong Sin Nam 605 2557134. 6AM-12PM. Many locals will argue that the dim sum here is superior to more well known Foh San. RM3-4 per plate.
  • Restoran Yoke Fook Moon67-69 Jalan Leong Sin Nam 605 2416589. 6AM-10AM, 6.30PM-11PM. The lesser known Dim Sum restaurant on "Dim Sum" street, one can generally avoid the crowds here. Portions are slightly bigger and unlike Foh San and Ming Court, this place is open for dinner too. RM3-4 per plate.
Chicken and Bean Sprouts[edit]
  • Lou Wong Restaurant49 Jalan Yau Tet Shin 605 2544199. 10.30AM-2.30AM. Proudly claims to be Ipoh's most famous purveyor of the local speciality chicken and beansprouts. about RM10 per person.
  • Onn Kee Restaurant51 Jalan Yau Tet Shin (Next to Lou Wong Restaurant),  605 2531652. 1PM-3AM. Rivalling its neighbour's claims to the best chicken and beansprouts in town, Onn Kee is also worth a visit so you can decide for yourself. about RM10 per person.
  • Cowan Street Ayam Tauge & Koitiau44 Jalan Raja Ekram 6012-520 3322. 7PM onwards, closed Mondays and Tuesdays. Less famous than Lou Wong and Onn Kee but popular among locals. from about RM10 per person.

Splurge[edit]

  •    Citrus Wine & DineNo. 38-46 Laluan Ipoh Perdana +6055451010. Tues-Sun:11:30AM-3PM, 6:30PM-11PM. Closed on Monday. Modern Euro-Asia Cuisine. RM30-RM300.
  • Indulgence Restaurant and Living14, Jalan Raja Dihilir 605 2557051. Serves European inspired meals all day. Opened by nationally renowned chef Julie Song, what was once a quaint cafe has now expanded to a Western fine dining experience few can rival. RM40 per person upwards.

Friend's Cafe Ipoh

Address: 28-30 Jalan Medan Baru Ipoh 4 (Bandar Baru Medan)

Phone : +60 5-546 3667

Price = RM17++ per person upwards. Serves Italian inspired meals all day.

Business Time : 7.00pm - 12.00am

Drink[edit]

Ipoh does not have a large night scene; however, there is a large concentration of pubs and bars at Bandar Baru Medan (behind the Kinta City Shopping Center) and at the Greentown Business Centre.. Rum Jungle at Sunway Ipoh is another new night spot with live band performances that could be checked out.

Ipoh white coffee was invented here: to reduce the bitterness of coffee roasted in the European style without adding sugar (as during the roasting of Kopi-O), beans are roasted with palm-oil margarine, the result is a mild tasting kiddies' version of what westerners would call real coffee. A few genuine Chinese coffee shops that sell Ipoh white coffee are located opposite the Kinta Heights flats in the old town.

  • Miners' Arms Bistro8-10 Jalan Dato Maharajalela (In the commercial part of the old town),  605 2555181. Mock Tudor pub complete with wonky stained wooden beams and correctly placed apostrophe. The convivial clientele is entirely ethnic Chinese but the inevitable karaoke is kept at a civilized volume.
  • Old Town White Coffee3 Jalan Tun Sambathan (on the Padang, opposite the Tourist Infromation Office),  605 2435833. 9AM-12.30AM. Chain of coffee shops selling Ipoh's very own white coffee in comfortable surroundings. Reasonably priced but uninspiring snacks. A rarity in Ipoh but standard in all branches is free WiFi. Coffee RM3.50.
  • Also has a 24hr branch at 248 Jalan Raja Dr Shah (605 3126950), which is within walking distance of the Medan Gopeng Bus Station and the Sam Poh Tong cave temples.
  • Restaurant Nam Heong2 Jalan Bandar Timah 6AM-6PM. Chinese restaurant also notable as one of the long running places selling Ipoh white coffee

Sleep[edit]

Budget[edit]

There is a cluster of budget hotels around Jalan Ali Pitchay in the new Town area just off Jalan Sultan Iskandar.

  • Abby Hotel Ipoh. Chemor, Kanthan, Tasek Ipoh. 10 minutes drive from the city center
  • Fresh Hotel Ipoh, Taman Mas, Falim Ipoh. 10km from the city.
  • Grand Park Hotel19 Jalan Bendahara (Opposite Sri Maju bus station),  60-(0)5-2411333. A centrally located, nostalgic Chinese family mansion. Original Chinese decor is reflected in the connecting upstairs patio, the foyer and the large upstairs double rooms to the front of the building. Converted to a hotel in the 1950s, it also had a restaurant in the 60s and 70s. Rooms from RM50.
  • Hotel Eastern, Jalan Raja Musa Aziz. Close to the Old Town in one of the most pedestrian friendly areas of the city
  • Hotel Fair Park IpohNo 85, Jalan Kamaruddin Isa 605-548-8666. Conveniently located 5 minutes from Ipoh's city centre and conveniently located close to major sporting and government facilities like the Ipoh Stadium and Indera Mulia Indoor Stadium. Rates from RM99.
  • Hotel Grand View Ipoh, 36 Jalan Horley. Located right outside Memory Lane's weekly flea market. Rooms available from RM79nett
  • Hotel Ipoh City, Jalan Dass, off Jalan Horley, rooms frm RM90 upwards. Conveniently located close to the colonial buildings of Ipoh Old Towm.
  • New Caspian, 20-26 Jln Ali Pitchay, from around RM55.
  • Paradise Hotel, 29-A & 29-B Jln Ali Pitchay. Clean, comfortable, and basic. High ceilings and lots of windows make it an attractive option. The shared bathroom for the cheaper rooms has a squat toilet. Hand basin as standard in all rooms. A/C RM39. Fan RM32. 052542203 & 052542204.
  • Seri Malaysia Hotel Ipoh, Jalan Sturrock, off Jalan Tambun.
  • Sun Inns Hotel Ipoh, Sunway City Ipoh. Located at Sunway City Ipoh in Tambun area. It is a close walk to the Lost World of Tambun Theme Park and Extreme Park.
  • Tambun Inn Ipoh, 91, Jalan Tambun, Ipoh. 30350, Phone booking: 05-5477211, located center of Ipoh; within minutes drive to stadium, Ipoh Old town and Lost World of Tambun.
  • Wan Wah Hotel, Jln Ali Pitchay, from around RM30.
  • YMCA IpohJalan Raja Musa Aziz (beside D.R. Park).

Mid-range[edit]

  • Hotel Excelsior43 Jln Sultan Abdul Jalil 605-253 6666fax: 605-253 6912. Four star hotel. They have the current walk in rates at about RM 136 nett with Continental/Local breakfast. Located at opposite Overseas restaurant.
  • Ritz Garden +605-242 7777fax: +605-242 1166. 86 & 88, Jalan Yang Kalsom (easily recognized as the building with the pyramid-shape roof). [2]. A popular three-star hotel located in the heart of Ipoh city. The hotel provides free wireless internet access in its public areas as well as guestrooms. Deluxe rooms with breakfast for 2 pax go for RM110 nett but they do have walk-in (standard room) rates of RM95 nett. Deluxe and standard rooms are old and not in the best of condition. Ask for the new rooms (in a connected building, opened Nov 2010) which start from RM210 nett. The new building also has a private cinema, gym, swimming pool, computer / reading room, billard table for all staying guests - no extra charge. Decent indian restaurant just beside selling good fried chicken.
  • Heritage Hotel Ipoh. On Jalan Raja DiHilir is a three star hotel that provides decent accommodation.
  • Hillcity Hotel & Condo, on Jalan Gopeng is located just opposite the Sam Poh Tong Caves and the famous pomelo fruit stalls.
  • Tower Regency Hotel Ipoh. 27, Jln Dato Seri Ahmad Said (Located opposite the MBI building). New hotel launched in January 2009 with rooms and service apartments. Located close to the Greentown Business Centre and Ipoh Parade Shopping Mall
  • Lost World Hotel. Persiaran Lagun Sunway 1, Sunway City, Ipoh. Located just a stone's throw away from The Lost World of Tambun Theme Park, this hotel is convenient for any traveler who plans to spend time visiting the attractions within the vicinity of the park. A night's stay includes access to the famous Tambun Hot Springs Spa. The hotel is also close to Tambun town, home of the famous pomelos.
  • MH Hotels Ipoh +605 545 1000fax: +605 545 9300. A brand new 21-storey concept Boutique Corporate Hotel centrally located in Ipoh’s latest “Golden Triangle” adjacent to several travel key establishments. The hotel has 111 stylish and well-appointed guest rooms combined with concept theme floor for discerning guest spacious deluxe rooms and suites. Our rooms are among the most spacious in Ipoh with an additional Privilege Check in floor for ladies. For extra entertainment step in to experience the ‘SKY BAR’ when the moon takes the tides.
  • Syuen Hotel Ipoh +605 253 8889fax: +605 253 3335. 88, Jln Sultan Abdul Jalil. A four star hotel in Greentown, an up and coming part of the city, it offers a full range of services for both business and holiday travellers.

Splurge[edit]

  • The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat. This five star wellness and spa resort has 25 luxury villas and is located in a 56-acre valley that is surrounded by a cluster of towering limestone hills with natural caves, waterfalls and geothermal hot springs, all unblemished by time.
  • Indulgence Living14 Jalan Raja Dihilir +60 5 255 7051. Boutique hotel with 3 designer suites and 4 themed rooms. Located above the fine dining Indulgence Restaurant.
  • Impiana Hotel18 Jalan Raja Dr. Nazrin Shah +60 5 255 5555. A four star hotel that offers lavish facilities set against breathtaking views of rugged limestone hills, the Ipoh Turf Club and the Royal Perak Golf Club. Newly refurbished modern rooms are equipped with individually controlled air-conditioning unit, direct dialing, WiFi broadband services, five Astro Channels, coffee and tea making facilities, in-room private safe.

Stay safe[edit]

Ipoh is in general a very safe city, certainly by international standards. However, there are some irritants like beggars, especially at bus terminals. It is better not to attract any unwanted attention by giving money to the beggars as most of them are professional beggars operated by syndicates.

Perhaps not so much a safety thing per se, but at the Central Market in New Town, particularly if you are an orang putih (white person), don't let the traders rip you off (which they are likely to do, if you let them). If the prices are signed clearly, hold them to it! Furthermore, Ipoh is probably not as tourist friendly as publications, such as Lonely Planet, make it out to be.

The city centre is relatively safe, but again, pickpockets do work in the stations. If you are carrying a bag make sure that it's secured (all zipped up). If you have a wallet in your pocket keep a hand near it while exiting the buses. It is not advisable to leave your handbag dangling on your shoulder while walking next to main roads, as motorcycle snatch thefts do happen.

Cope[edit]

  • President Pro DC - 4 Jalan Yang Kalsom (Near the budget hotels on Jalan Ali Pitchay) 605 2557477 Laundry and dry cleaning. Same day wash and fold RM3 per kilo, minimum RM6.

Go next[edit]

  • Pulau Banding is an island in the middle of the huge man-made Temenggor Lake, 3 hours' drive along federal road 4 leading to Kelantan. A quiet hideout with a hotel resort.
  • Pangkor is a 2 hour drive and ferry ride away. It is a quiet fishing village island with many beautiful beaches. This less well known island is significantly quieter than other more popular islands in Malaysia but still provides a wide selection of accommodation for backpackers and budget travelers as well five star hotels and world class resorts for those with money.
  • Cameron Highlands is Peninsular Malaysia's most famous highland destination, known for its vegetable, strawberry and tea farms as well as its cool weather and beautiful scenery. There is a toll-free road to Cameron Highland close to the Simpang Pulai Exit off the North South Expressway. The journey up is just about an hour long.
  • Taiping is about 1 hour North on the North South Expressway. Some of the most scenic views of mountain ranges and rain forests can be captured on the stretch of highway between Ipoh and Taiping. Taiping town is one of the oldest and most historic in the country.
  • Bukit Merah, a family eco-tourist destination by a lake. Home to the largest water theme park in Northern Peninsular Malaysia and the only Orang Utan Island in the country.
  • Penang is a 2 hour bus ride or drive away. The island is a UNESCO World Heritage site with some good beaches and great Malaysian food.
  • Kuala Lumpur, the nation's capital is just a two hour drive by car or a three hour journey by bus or train.
  • Singapore, the island city state is just an hour away by plane, somewhat longer by bus or train.
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