Ipoh is the capital of Peninsular Malaysia’s heart state, Perak and contains the multi-culture and history of this country. It offers a unique travel experience to the visitors as Ipoh is rich with numerous tourist attractions.
At the same time, Ipoh is widely known as a historic city because it was the centre of the world’s tin industry in the British period. So, you’ll get plenty of things to do here.
Before you head down to this enchanting city, quickly check out The Top 26 Best places to visit in Ipoh & Things to do.
Let’s Walk Through the History of Ipoh
When I said let’s walk through the history of Ipoh, it means you can literally walk and explore the heritage of Ipoh. Just like other cities of Malaysia, the British had also left their legacy in the colonial architectures and buildings of Ipoh. You just have to grab a map of the Ipoh heritage trail from the Ipoh information centre or online and set your way.
Address: Mostly centred around Jalan Dato Sagor, Jalan Panglima Bukit Gantang Wahab, and Jalan Dato Maharajalela.
Best Attractions in The Ipoh Heritage Trail
Here we have listed some important heritage sites that are regarded as the best attractions to the tourists.
1. Ipoh Railway Station
At the Ipoh heritage trail, the first colonial architecture you’ll notice is the Ipoh Railway Station. This building was started building in 1894 and completed in 1917. The Station reflects Moorish and Victorian styles of architecture. It also has some features of Mughal architecture, that’s why it’s affectionately called the “Taj Mahal of Ipoh”.
2. Ipoh Town Hall and Old Post Office
After visiting the Railway Station, go for Ipoh Town Hall and Old Post Office as they are just across the road from the station. These long-standing historic buildings mimic the architectural style of the train station because they were designed by the same man A.B Hubback, a British architect. Nowadays, the Town Hall is used as a venue for public events.
3. Birch Memorial Clock
Birch Memorial Clock is named after James W W Birch, the first British resident in Ipoh. The tower is placed just behind the Ipoh Old Post Office, over a renowned hawker centre. This colonial architecture is famous for its controversial history and carries British symbolism. At the top of the Birch Memorial, you will get to see four figures representing the four virtues of the British government.
5. Take A Cup of Traditional White Coffee
Your Ipoh tour is incomplete without having a cup of its famous Ipoh White Coffee. Actually, the coffee beans are not white, but they are roasted with palm oil margarine to turn white and less bitter. Serving with condensed milk is the star attraction of this traditional white coffee.
In Malaysia, the most popular brand of Ipoh white coffee is the “Old Town White Coffee”. You will get more than 200 coffee shops in Old Town, among them Nam Heong White Coffee, Kedai Kopi Sin Yoon Loong, and Chang Jiang White Coffee are the most renowned.
Nam Heong White Coffee: 2, Jalan Bandar Timah, 30000 Ipoh, Perak
Kedai Kopi Sin Yoon Loong: 15A, Jalan Bandar Timah, 30000 Ipoh, Perak
Chang Jiang White Coffee: 7, Jalan Windsor, 30250 Ipoh, Perak
6. Check Out Exclusive Street Art
Penang is known as the capital of street art in Malaysia. Still, you would be surprised to learn that Ipoh has a rich collection of murals as most of the Ipoh murals are painted by Ernest Zacharevic, the same artist who has painted Penang’s famous street art.
The star collections of Zacharevic’s painting in Ipoh are wise-looking uncle drinking coffee, the celestial hummingbird, a man stacking rubbish bags on the back of a trishaw, and so on. You will find a large number of murals around the laneways of Ipoh Old Town, but there’s also plenty of others in Ipoh New Town.
Address: Ipoh Old Town and Mural’s Art Lane in Ipoh New Town
7. Explore the Gua Tempurung
If you are a cave enthusiast, then The Gua Tempurung will give you an epic adventure. This 3-kilometre-long cave has waterfalls, strange animals, and beautiful rock formations that you can explore. They will provide professional cavers to guide you and get your way. Make sure that you bring some extra clothes, and a waterproof camera as some parts of the cave could make you wet.
Address: Pusat Pelancongan Gua Tempurung,, 31600 Gopeng, Perak
Opening Hour: 9:00 am to 4:00 pm
Entrance: There are four different tours. The fee depends on which one you would like to choose
The Tempurung Cave is situated near the village Gopeng in Perak. It is not so far from Ipoh. If you have a car, you can easily get there by using google maps. Or take a train from Ipoh or Kuala Lumpur to Gopeng and then take a Grab to reach the cave.
Visit Best Three Cave Temples
Ipoh is famous for its cave temples. Here you will find some magnificent temples that are built into limestone rock formations. Sam Poh Tong, Kek Lok Tong, and Perak Cave Temple are the most prominent among them.
8. Sam Poh Tong
Sam Poh Tong is one of the oldest and largest limestone cave temples in Malaysia. This temple will impress you from both the inside and outside. You have to follow the 246 steps to visit the statues of Buddha and other deities. The temple also includes a pond that is filled with Japanese tortoises, symbolising longevity.
Address: Kampung Gunung Rapat, 31350 Ipoh, Perak
Opening Hour: Daily 7:00 am to 2:30 pm
9. Kek Lok Tong
Located in the natural area of Gunung Rapat in Ipoh, the Kek Lok Tong Cave Temple is one of the most prominent tourist attractions for its incredible architecture and award-winning garden.
The temple has some similarities with Perak Cave Temple and Sam Poh Tong, such as bronze statues, religious relics, landscape, and so on. You can experience spiritual tranquillity in the environment of this temple.
Address: Pesiaran Sepakat 3, TMN ENDAH JAYA, 31350 Ipoh, Perak
Opening Hour: Daily 7:00 am to 4:30 pm
10. Perak Cave Temple
Perak Cave Temple will impress you with its marvellous architecture and hilltop views. After entering the temple, the first thing that will catch your attention is the 40-feet tall gold Buddha statue and guardian deities at both sides of this statue. Follow the 400 steps to enjoy this magical environment.
Address: Jln. Kuala Kangsar, Kawasan Perindustrian Tasek, 31400 Ipoh, Perak
Opening Hour: Daily 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
11. Discover Ipoh’s Laneway Culture
You can see the traditional Ipoh in its Laneways. Located in Ipoh Old Town, the laneways are narrow alleyways loaded with small shops, restaurants, and coffee shops. The Old Town is the same area where you will find Ipoh’s traditional white coffee and exclusive street art. Without mentioning Concubine Lane, the list of things to do in Ipoh would be incomplete.
Concubine Lane is one of the most popular and the most visited lanes in Ipoh. It has become the top tourist attraction for its charming souvenir shops, fashion outlets, cafes, and dessert houses.
At the same time, the naming history of Concubine Lane is more interesting. According to the locals, the mining tycoon Yau Tet Shin had built this lane for his three wives. Each street was named for each of his wives.
The entire atmosphere is very akin to Jonker Street in Malacca or Armenian Street in Georgetown.
Address: Lorong Panglima, Concubine Ln, 30000 Ipoh, Perak
Opening Hour: Daily 7:00 am to 7:00 pm
12. Enter the 3D World @ Funtasy House Trick Art
Ipoh is well known for its 3D art and murals. And the Funtasy House Trick Art has taken the reputation one step further. It is a gallery with unique and spectacular murals and paintings.
Although the gallery is new (opened in 2015) and they have more attractions to add, they still, have thousands of visitors here. Because the Funtasy House Trick Art is capable of taking you to the magical three-dimensional world.
The gallery has nearly 26 murals and several trick rooms where you’ll find amusement like the circus and upside down.
Address: 16, Jalan Market, 30000 Ipoh
Open hours: Thursday to Tuesday 09:00 am to 06:00 pm (closed on Wednesday)
Entry fee: Adults with MyCard RM15.00｜Adults without MyCard RM19.00｜Children(below 4 to 12) RM10.00
13. Rejuvenate yourself @ Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat
Surrounded by over 400 million years old limestone caves, Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat is a health and fitness sanctuary where you’ll get relief from the hustle and bustle of the city.
At first, you will be greeted by the butlers in the lobby. Then at this retreat center, you will get facilities like spectacular geothermal hot springs, steam caves, an ice bath, a heated freeform swimming pool, crystal caves, and many more.
You can also make yourself calm in the meditation cave or can get refreshment by bathing at the hot springs.
Address: 1, Persiaran Lagoon, Sunway 3, 31150 Ipoh
14. Visit Spooky Kellie’s Castle
Kellie’s Castle is famous for its mysterious stories and ghostly rumours. The castle was named after its owner William Kellie Smith who died without finishing it. Hence some claim to see the ghost of Smith roam the abandoned hallways of this castle.
The structure of the building is a mixture of Moorish, Scottish, and British Indian architecture styles. To visit this spooky, half-finish mansion, you have to pass through a jungle road.
Address: Batu Gajah, Perak
Opening Hour: Daily 9:00 am to 6:00 pm
Entrance: Malaysians, Adult: RM5.00, Child: RM3.00 ｜Foreigners, Adult: RM10.00, Child: RM9.00
How to Get to Kellie’s Castle
From Ipoh, the Castle is just a 30-minute drive away. You can use google maps or look for signboards at Jalan Gopeng pointing towards the castle.
Or you can take a taxi from Sultan Shah Airport or Ipoh Railway Station and get there directly.
If you choose to take a bus, you first have to take the Route 66 Perak Transit Bus heading to Kampar to reach Gompeng. And then take the Route 67 Perak Transit Bus heading to Batu Gajah. There is no direct bus heading to the castle.
Admire the Greenery of Ipoh
Ipoh is well known for its limestone surroundings and that’s why you will find several limestone hills, lakes and recreation parks in this town.
15. Tasik Cermin (‘Mirror Lake’)
Located near the Sam Poh Tong Cave Temple, Tasik Cermin or ‘Mirror Lake’ is a hidden gem in Ipoh, not many people know about this beautiful lake. The uniqueness of this lake is its limestone karst towers which make the lake so attractive.
Here you can admire the view of this peaceful lake and take pictures of it. Swimming may not be a good option but fishing can be a great way to spend your time here.
But sadly, this spectacularly beautiful lake is in danger from the extraction of limestone. If you’re willing to visit this natural wonder, make your visit as soon as you can.
Address: 31350 Ipoh, Perak
Opening hours: Thursday to Tuesday 09:00 am to 05:30 pm (closed on Wednesday)
16. Gunung Lang Recreational Park
For those of you who want a day tour near Ipoh, Gunung Lang Recreational Park is the perfect destination for them. Located just 5km away from Ipoh, it is a recreation park with facilities like boating, canoeing, pacifying in the gazebos, fishing, and so on.
The best part of this park is that it is set between two mighty limestone mountains Gunung Lang and Gunung Bilike. There is a cascading waterfall, mini zoo, smoothened gardens, and an observation tower.
Mostly, visitors come here for boat riding which gives you a stunning view of the surroundings. About one-third of this park is covered with a spectacular lake.
Address: Jalan Damai, 30100 Ipoh
Opening hours: Everyday 08:30 am to 06:00 pm
Entry fee: Free of charge
Boat ride: Adults RM3.00 & Children (below 3 to 12) RM1.50
17. D.R. Seenivasagam Park
Located next to the Kinta River, D.R. Seenivasagam Park is a recreational park with lush greenery and turquoise lakes. D.R. Seenivasagam was a prominent politician, and the park was named after him.
The star attraction of this park is the Japanese Zen Garden which is capable of giving you an illusion that you’re actually in Japan. Apart from natural surroundings, there is a gigantic bamboo thicket and a small playground for kids.
The best way to explore the park is by biking. Rent a bicycle and visit the whole park by riding it.
Address: Jalan Keliling Dalam, 30300 Ipoh
Opening hours: Monday to Friday 09:00 am to 11:30 am & 03:00 pm to 06:00 pm｜Saturday & Sunday 08:30 am to 12:00 pm & 01:00 pm to 06:00 pm
18. Set Campfire at Qing Xin Ling Leisure & Cultural Village
Located in Gunung Rapat, Qing Xin Ling Leisure & Cultural Village has become one of the finest and latest tourist attractions for its lakeside beauty and outdoor activities. The words ‘Qing Xing Ling’ mean ‘Serene Hill’ in English.
You’ll be amazed by the view of magnificent limestones surrounding all over the lake. The park is the perfect place to set your campfire. Moreover, you can do numerous outdoor activities here, including fishing, fish feeding, jungle tracking, bicycle riding, BBQ and so on.
They also rent old-style colourful chalets at a very reasonable price. Qing Xin Ling Leisure & Cultural Village is worthwhile for a family tour. Or you can set camp with your large group of friends.
Address: 22A, Persiaran Pinggir Rapat 5a, Taman Saikat, 31350 Ipoh, Perak
Opening Hour: Monday to Saturday 09:30 am to 05:00 pm
Entrance: RM10 per person
Note: The place is close on all public holidays (Federals & states) Please call and make sure first
19. Explore Lost World of Tambun Theme Park
Lost World of Tambun is the best option to have a fun day out with the whole family. Located in Sunway City Ipoh, this premium Malaysian theme park holds the position of a popular tourist attraction. The park is surrounded by 400 years old limestone cliffs, natural hot springs, 88 attractions within ten splendid, themed areas, and a lush tropical jungle.
Address: 1, Persiaran Lagun Sunway, Sunway City, 31150 Ipoh, Perak
Opening Hour: 10:00 am to 11:00 pm
20. Kinta RiverFront
One of my favourite Ipoh nightlife activities is walking through the Kinta RiverFront. When the sun goes down, trees that are placed beside the river, are illuminated with colourful LED lights which you can never watch during the daylight.
The RiverFront turns into a magical world by the reflection of these lights. Apart from enjoying the view, you can dine at the nearby restaurants and cafes or can go to the shopping mall as well. Address: 30000 Ipoh, Perak
Visit Ipoh’s Museums
A museum is a place where you can learn history, culture, and tradition and Ipoh has so much history to reveal. So, whenever you come, don’t miss its museums.
21. Han Chin Pet Soo Museum
Located near the Kinta River, Han Chin Pet Soo Museum is the first Hakka tin mining museum not only in Ipoh but in the whole country as well. This museum used to be a tin miners’ clubhouse called “Hakka Miners”. So, if you want to see the authentic history of tin mining in Ipoh you must come to this museum.
Han Chin Pet Soo Museum showcases the authentic tools and equipment that were used in the tin mining era, photographs, antiques, furniture, collectables, and so on.
Address: 3, Jalan Bijeh Timah, 30100 Ipoh
Open hours: Saturday & Sunday 09:30 am to 03:30 pm
Entry fee: Free of charge
22. Ho Yan Hor Museum
Ho Yan Hor is actually a tea brand that was quite famous during the 1940s. And the museum Ho Yan Hor is a tribute to the tea brand and tells its visitors the interesting stories of this Chinese herbal tea.
Dr Ho had started this tea for the sake of human health. It is said that this tea is prepared with 29 natural herbs and premium Pu Erh tea leaves. This tea has several health benefits.
All this information you will get in the museum which is located just next to the Han Chin Pet Soo Museum.
Address: 1, Jalan Bijeh Timah, 30000 Ipoh
Open hours: Tuesday to Sunday 10:00 am to 04:00 pm (closed on Monday)
23. 22 Hale Street
If you’re willing to learn something new and exclusive about Ipoh, you have to visit 22 Hale Street. It’s a museum and cafe that used to be two old shops.
The museum shows the history of tin mining and the development of Ipoh during the British period. On the ground floor of this museum, there is a shop that sells coffee, snacks, handicraft items, and so on. And a portion of their profits contributes to the charity.
Address: 22, Jalan Tun Sambanthan, 30000 Ipoh
Open hours: Wednesday to Sunday 10:00 am to 12:30 pm & 01:30 pm to 06:00 pm (closed on Monday & Tuesday)
24. Learn Geology at Ipoh’s Geological Museum
The Geological Museum is here to give you knowledge about geoscience and geology. It exhibits more than 600 minerals and 150 specimens of different rocks, and some 200 kinds of gemstones. The museum will give you a historical tour of dinosaur fossils, minerals, marine geology activities, and many more. By visiting the museum, you will get lots of things to learn and enjoy.
Address: Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah, 30820 Ipoh, Perak
Opening Hour: Monday to Thursday 09:00 am to 12:30 pm & 02:00 pm to 04:30 pm ｜Friday 09:00 am to 12:00 pm & 03:00 pm to 04:30 pm
Visit Some Famous Markets & Make Your Purchase
Travelling to Ipoh and not visiting its markets that’s nearly impossible for any tour lover. The market is the ideal place where you can communicate with locals and get knowledge of their culture and tradition.
25. Kong Heng flea market
Located in Ipoh Old Town, the Kong Heng flea market is one of the famous markets in Ipoh and a tourist hotspot. It’s a busy area and a couple of minutes walking away from Concubine Lane.
Here you’ll find every kind of shops like restaurants, souvenir shops, fashion boutiques, jewellery shops, and many more. This market is most popular for its booths and little shops where you’ll get genuine hand-crafted items that are not available anywhere else.
“Talking Trees” is another attraction of the Kong Heng Square Artisan market. Here you will see many trees that are decorated with motivational quotes. And as these trees motivate and inspire you, so they are called “Talking Trees”.
Address: 11, Jalan Panglima, 30000 Ipoh
Open hours: Everyday 10:00 am to 05:00 pm
26. Gerbang Malam Night Market
Ipoh is very popular for night markets. Some night markets are set only on a specific day of the week and some are set regularly. Gerbang Malam Night Market is an open-air flea market that opens every night.
You can come here for dinner as here you’ll find many famous eateries or you can walk through the market after dinner. Make sure you pay a visit after 9 pm when all shops are fully open.
Address: Jalan Dato Tahwil Azar, Taman Jubilee, 30300 Ipoh
Open hours: Everyday 06:00 pm to 12:00 pm
How to Get to Ipoh
From Kuala Lumpur, you can easily get to Ipoh within a few hours by car, bus, or train. Thanks to its well-paved roads and highways, you can make a smooth journey.
You will get a direct train from KL’s Sentral Station or Butterworth Penang to Ipoh. If you don’t want to get stuck in traffic congestion (Sometimes worst) then you should better take a train to reach Ipoh. The train journey to Ipoh is also comfortable and affordable. It only takes 2.5 to 3 hours to arrive in Ipoh with beautiful scenic views from window.
There are a number of buses available from Kuala Lumpur or Penang to Ipoh. You will get more than 20 bus operators who give regular services for this route. The bus is the cheapest way to travel from KL to Ipoh. Depending on traffic, it takes 3 to 3.5 hours to reach Ipoh.
You can check the price, schedule, and book tickets online on https://thesimpletravel.12go.asia/. Note: This is an affiliate link when you purchase something I will get commission at no cost to you.
If you prefer driving, you can make your journey within 3 hours from either Penang or Kuala Lumpur to Ipoh. Or you can also rent private transport (car or minivan) to have a comfortable journey. It is the fastest and easiest way to get to Ipoh.
If you’re looking for a convenient and comfortable day trip from Kuala Lumpur to Ipoh, there are many private tour operators that offer these services. You can explore all the highlights and attractions of this historic town as well as enjoy a sumptuous local meal in one easy, stress-free day tour.
What Food You Can Eat in Ipoh
Ipoh is known as the food paradise in Malaysia. If you are visiting Ipoh for the first time, you must not miss its delicious foods and the white coffee. Here we have listed some restaurants where you can have your meal.
Popular Nasi Ganja
Famous Nasi Ganja at Kedai Kopi Yong Suan is a family-run restaurant, and the recipe of this dish is their family secret. The family doesn’t want to reveal the secret to keeping the quality and taste of Nasi Ganja authentic.
It’s a Northern Malaysian dish that is served with steamed rice, a variety of different curries, and side dishes. You will get all these items in a single plate which is quite unique and weird. And the taste is so delicious that you will surely return Ipoh for this dish. Nasi Ganja is perfect for a full-belly lunch.
Address: 2, Jalan Yang Kalsom, Taman Jubilee, 30250 Ipoh
Opening hours: Everyday 09:00 am to 05:00 pm
Canning Dim Sum
Famous for delicious dim sum, the Canning Dim Sum has gained a reputation in a short time. This popular eatery has an extensive collection of dim sums. You can go with your friends here and try a bit of every food.
Address: 1, Lebuh Cecil Rae, Taman Canning, 31400 Ipoh, Perak
Opening Hour: Thursday to Tuesday 07:30 am to 03:30 pm
Ipoh Hainan Chicken Rice
Don’t leave Ipoh without having taugeh with chicken rice. And this dish is well-served at Ipoh Hainan Chicken Rice. You’ll surely love the flavour of poached chicken with light soy sauce. Try the dish for lunch or dinner.
Address: 107, Jalan Raja Musa Aziz, Kampung Jawa, 30300 Ipoh, Perak
Opening Hour: Monday to Friday 11:00 am to 09:00 pm ｜Saturday & Sunday 10:00 am to 10:00 pm
Located in the heart of Ipoh’s Old Town, Nelli’s Deli comes with an expansive Western menu. Here you can have English breakfast sets, fish and chips, but their signature dish is nasi lemak. Although a plate of nasi lemak can be costly to you, the taste is unforgettable.
Address: 99, Jalan Sultan Yusof, 30000 Ipoh, Perak
Opening Hour: Tuesday to Sunday 10:00 am to 04:00 pm
Where to Stay in Ipoh
You’ll get plenty of accommodation options both in the Ipoh Old Town and New Town. Here we have listed a hostel, an Airbnb, and a luxury hotel. Choose whichever suits you best.
Read more: Best Hotels in Ipoh
Hostel- Dé Cafe & Rest House
If you are a backpacker and looking for the cheapest hostel, Dé Cafe & Rest House is undoubtedly the best option for you. It is located 2.1 km from Ipoh Parade and offers you air-conditioned accommodation and a restaurant. Moreover, you’ll have luggage storage and free wi-fi throughout the property.
Airbnb- Ipoh Majestic Homestay by GA Homes
You can have many accommodation options in Ipoh, but none of them can give you cosiness and a homelike environment except Airbnb. Ipoh Majestic Homestay provides you with two bedrooms, two beds, and two baths. This well-decorated accommodation will give you more facilities and is perfect for families to have comfort and space.
Luxury Hotel- The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat
To experience the ultimate luxury in Ipoh, you can choose to stay at The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat. Nestled against limestone hill, this luxury hotel provides you with lots of facilities such as geothermal hot springs, a naturally heated swimming pool, ice baths, living rooms that are fitted with TV, and so on. You’ll get complete satisfaction with their service.
Ipoh is an unforgettable place to have holidays for its spectacular views, historical sites, friendly locals, fun-filled activities, and great foods. I hope this article “The Top 26 Best places to visit in Ipoh & Things to do” has helped you to plan your Ipoh tour.