Ipoh Travel Guide, Malaysia

10 Best Things To Do In Ipoh, Malaysia

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The historic city of Ipoh is located in Perak, Malaysia. Surrounded by Karst mountains, the Kinta River flows through the city. The natural landscape, the British-era colonial buildings, and the cave temples attract throngs of visitors throughout the year. This guide lists the top 10 must-do activities in Ipoh and other vital information such as where to stay, the best time to visit, how to reach, and so much more.

A Complete Ipoh Travel Guide

How To Reach?

By Air

Sultan Azlan Shah Airport (IATA Code: IPH, 6 Km) is the nearest airport to Ipoh. From the airport, you can take a Grab to reach your accommodation. City buses are also available just outside the airport.

By Train

The ETS trains run between KL Sentral and Ipoh. Although the fastest and most convenient, ETS trains are expensive compared to the buses. Also, booking is mandatory and has to be done at least a week in advance.

KTM Komuter trains run between Butterworth and Ipoh. They are the fastest, most convenient, and most economical way to transit between the two cities. ETS trains are also available on this route.

Ipoh train station is located close to the city center. You can walk from the station to your accommodation or take a Grab taxi.

By Bus

Buses ply between Ipoh and various places, including Kuala Lumpur, Butterworth, and Cameron Highlands. Two inter-city bus terminals exist at Ipoh: Sri Maju Bus Station at Jalan Bendahara and Amanjaya or Meru Raya. The main terminal is the Amanjaya.

If you deboard at the Amanjaya terminal, you can take the T30A bus to Terminal Kidd and walk to the town. It costs RM 1-2, while it is expensive in Grab. The T30A bus is infrequent – available once an hour. The first bus starts at 6 AM and the last at 9 PM.

We took a bus from Cameroon Highlands as there were no trains. You can also hitchhike from Cameron Highland to Ipoh.

Best Time to Visit Ipoh

Wall art at Ipoh

Ipoh can be visited throughout the year. It experiences tropical warm weather most of the year, with heavy rains in April, May, October, and November. The best time to explore Ipoh is during the dry summer months, from December to May and June to September.

Where to Stay?

Ipoh is a huge city with a wide range of options for visitors to stay. You can choose your accommodation from various hostels, hotels, and resorts. We stayed at Beds In Garden Hostel ($). Some other accommodations that we highly recommend are:

Where to Eat?

Due to the higher percentage of Malay and Chinese populations, these cuisines are widely found in Ipoh. You will be spoilt for choice, with Pakistani, Indian, Italian, French, and Thai cuisines also available in the city.

Commuting Around

You can walk to the most prominent spots in the city, as they are located nearby. For places on the outskirts of the city, use Grab taxi services. Public buses are also available to commute between different places. Choose based on your convenience.

Top 10 Activities to do in Ipoh

1. Hike up the Gunung Keledong

Kledang Hill or Gunung Keledong, Ipoh, Malaysia

Gunung Keledong is the highest peak located close to Ipoh City, at 810 m. Hiking the Gunung Keledong with the Couchsurfers was an amazing and offbeat experience. We took Route 54 during the ascend and descended via Route 42. You can also cycle or ride a two-wheeler to the hilltop. Find more information in this detailed Gunung Keledong hiking guide.

2. See the Aerial View of Ipoh

View of Ipoh from the Gazebo Viewpoint

The best aerial view of Ipoh can be seen from the Gazebo Viewpoint. It is located along the same hiking trail as Gunung Keledong. With the Malaysian flag marking the summit, you can see the entire city lit during the golden hours and the distant view of the Cameron Highlands mountain ranges. A short hike from the parking lot through the stairs or paved main road will lead you to the viewpoint.

3. Take a Dip at the Buntong Waterfall

Buntong Waterfall

Located close to Gunung Keledong, the Buntong Waterfall gives you the space for a refreshing dip. A quick walk for 5 minutes will lead you to this hidden waterfall. We had the waterfall all to ourselves, even during a weekend. It was a serene experience, surrounded by the beauty of nature.

  • Enter fee: Free
  • Timings: Open at all times, but it is recommended to go during the daytime before sunset.

4. Get lost in the Concubine Lane

Concubine Lane

Since 1908, this lane has been popularly known as ‘The Second Wife Lane’ or ‘The Mistress Lane’. Many believe that it was home to the concubines and mistresses of Chinese tycoons.

Today, the cozy narrow streets have a variety of food outlets, and gift and souvenir shops. The street is popular among tourists and is crowded during weekends.

5. Admire Street Murals

Interactive wall art in Ipoh, Malaysia

Ipoh is known for its Street Murals. An entire street is covered with murals, and you can also find some in Concubine Lane. Most of them were created by the Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic.

You can be creative and take interactive pictures with them. For easier navigation, get the location map from the tourist information center. Spot them effortlessly as you walk by.

6. Quench Your Thirst for Shopping

If you know when and where to look, you can spot many markets. The Gerbang Malam Ipoh is an evening market between 7 PM  and 10 PM. You can buy things like perfumes, sunglasses, tees, shoes, etc. at an affordable cost. The Memory Lane Sunday Morning Market starts from 6 AM to 12 PM. You can see antique stalls and old photographs among other shops. The Kong Heng Flea Market is also a good place to buy souvenirs and fashionable items.

7. Take a Walk along the Kinta River

Kita Riverwalk

Take a leisurely walk along the Kingta River. It’s a good place to hang out with family and friends. Hop on an electric cycle or go on a colorful doll ride decorated with lights. The Miker Food restaurant with live music is highly recommended for authentic Malay food and Pizza. The ambiance is great, and the location is just perfect.

8. Visit the Cave Temples

Sam Poh Tong temple, Ipoh
Sam Poh Tong temple

Ipoh is home to numerous Chinese cave temples with magnificent statues of Buddha. Some noteworthy ones include Perak Cave Temple, Kek Look TongPerak Guanyin Cave, and Sam Poh Tong Cave Temple. Entry is free to all these temples. The Perak Cave Temple and Kek Look Tong have impressive rock formations. All of these cave temples are frequently visited by the Chinese. You can tour these temples on your own.

9. Take a Boat Ride in the Mirror Lake

Tasik Cermin Mirror Lake, Ipoh

Tasik Cermin 1, or Mirror Lake 1, is accessible after passing through the Miner tunnel. The reflection of the surrounding mountains on the lake is so breathtaking and serene. You can hear the birds chirping around in the morning hours.

Located close to the Tasik Cermin 1, Tasik Cermin 2 is also a mirror lake. You can take a boat ride on Mirror Lake. The sailor also helps you take pictures and explain the history and geography of the area.

  • Entry Fee to the tunnel: RM 4 for Malaysians and RM 10 for foreigners.
  • Boat Ride cost: RM 25 for a 20-minute boat ride
  • Timings: 9 AM – 6 PM

10. Eat Street Food at Night Market

Street food at Ipoh

Ipoh is popularly known for its diverse variety of street food. Many popular Malaysian YouTubers come to Ipoh for the best food. Many street food stalls are lined up opposite the Small Village Cafe. They are known for their Chinese and Malay desserts. The price is also affordable here. We tasted Ice Kachang, a dessert made up of mouthwatering scraped ice. The shops are open until 11 or 12 PM every day.

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