Why Ipoh (Malaysia) is worth a getaway

The only original reasons I visited Ipoh this year were because we wanted to visit some friends living in Ipoh, and also because we decided to do a road-trip to Cameron Highlands for tea plantations and cooling weather. Ipoh is less than 2 hours a drive away from Cameron Highlands if you didn’t know, by the way.

When I was researching for places to go in Ipoh, trust me, it did seemed like a boring city. Well, Ipoh is indeed not your most exciting city, but there are still some down-to-earth, good reasons to give Ipoh a chance.

Why Ipoh is a good idea for a short trip!

The food, omg, Ipoh food is simply awesome.

My Ipoh friends informed us that they planned a simple itinerary for us, it goes something like:
Day 1: Eat
Day 2: Eat
Day 3: Eat

Lolll. Indeed we kept eating in Ipoh! One of the best perks of having friends there was getting to eat great food where the locals go!

And now, I present to you, the most delicious plate of curry noodles I’ve ever eaten.

Dry curry noodles at Restoran Nam Chau, a classic-looking coffee-shop in the Old Town of Ipoh. The curry gravy was really fragrant, the noodles extremely tasty! I miss this so much now. If there’s one dish I’ll head back to Ipoh for, this is definitely the one. Ps: they have other none-spicy options if you or your kids/friends don’t like spicy food. 

Why Ipoh (Malaysia) is worth a getaway trip • The Petite WanderessWhy Ipoh (Malaysia) is worth a getaway trip • The Petite Wanderess(If you’re up for more food recommendations, MissTamChiak food blog has a guide about Ipoh street food.)

Ipoh has street art done by the same artist that made Penang famous.

Ernest Zacharevic, no longer a stranger to people who’re familiar with Penang’s street art. He was invited to paint a few murals in Ipoh’s Old Town too – my friends actually saw him in the city!

Why Ipoh (Malaysia) is worth a getaway trip • The Petite WanderessWhy Ipoh (Malaysia) is worth a getaway trip • The Petite WanderessMore than these two large ones, he also has a few smaller murals scattered all over Ipoh.

| Also see: Street art of Penang (opens in new tab)|

Discover Ipoh’s art scene.

Why Ipoh (Malaysia) is worth a getaway trip • The Petite Wanderess

I’ll call it the Plan B area, somewhere in Old Town. Sorry! I wish I could give you more information, but I merely followed where our friends took us. This area is quite popular. It’s very near the Nam Chau coffee-shop with the curry-noodles shared above.

The area around Sekeping Kong Heng hostel is especially charming – the way the old trees and old walls were conserved and made part of the design. We were there on a Sunday and there were art stalls selling kitschy merchandise. I had a magical-looking drink from Burps & Giggles cafe too!

If you’re visiting Ipoh, be sure to make a trip to this area!

Ipoh’s cave temples are really quite something to see.

Why Ipoh (Malaysia) is worth a getaway trip • The Petite Wanderess

Ipoh has at least a few cave temples. The one we went was Kek Lok Tong cave temple. It was fascinating to take note of the interior temple they’ve made out of these mountains. And because they’re cave temples within, the mountains cannot be demolished. If you take note, there’re many quarries in Ipoh knocking down million-year-old limestone hills to obtain raw materials, a pity.

At Kek Lok Tong cave temple, you won’t experience touts hassling you to buy things. What you’ll get as a bonus though, is seeing many monkeys lurking around the cave temple at the back, and of course, get to admire the interior levels of the cave temple.

Right now, Ipoh’s not overcrowded by tourists.. yet.

That’s definitely one good enough reason to go Ipoh! #TravelIntroverts, come let’s unite.. separately. =D

Nothing really turns me off more than arriving at a place only to see it swarmed with huge crowds of tourists. I consider Ipoh still a laidback city. You can stroll and slowly admire it.

Ipoh is easily within driving distance from Cameron Highlands!

Compared to Penang, Malacca, JB, KL, I’ll tell you, Cameron Highlands has the loveliest of views and weather IMHO. Not the easiest to get to and around, but it’ll be worth it if you can arrange it. Frolick in photogenic tea plantations and enjoy the cooling temperature!

| Also read: High up in the mountains of Malaysia – Cameron Highlands! |

Are you convinced to plan a trip to Ipoh yet?

Check Ipoh hotel rates on Booking.com! or Agoda.com today!


A few things about Ipoh:

  • The airport is very small, meaning there might be a bit of queueing involved. When we reached, there were only two counters open among the four. When we departed, there was only one queue for one counter with its ONE and only officer screening and stamping the passports for the entire flight.
  • Only 2 airlines fly to the airport directly from Singapore: Scoot and Firefly. We took Scoot (Tiger, actually, during the airline-merger period). Flight time takes about 1.5 hours each way.
  • Hotels are limited in Ipoh, and those that come with swimming pools are very few. Check for available hotels in Ipoh via Booking.com! or Agoda.com today!
  • Uber and GrabCar services are available in Ipoh.

Visited: Sep 2017

More Malaysia posts here!

• (Penang) The fengshui behind the Blue Mansion
• [Penang] Penang’s street art in 15 photos
• [Cameron Highlands] High up in the mountains of Malaysia!
• [Malacca] Making noodles at Mamee Museum

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Why Ipoh (Malaysia) is worth a getaway trip • The Petite Wanderess

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6 comments

  1. I’m awed by the cave temples! Never knew Ipoh had such a heritage attraction though I’ve always heard about the good food (and pretty, demure girls ahaha.) Thanks for sharing 🙂

  2. All your food pics are mouthwatering! And now I’m craving curry noodles – yum! Would love to check this place out – I only visited KL and George Town in Malaysia. So much more to see and eat in that country!

  3. I spent a night in Ipoh a few years ago when travelling between Penang and Cameron Highlands all becasue I had heard that it was the home of Laksa. The weather was really stormy, and we just grabbed food in our hotel. I still need to get back there to taste that famous laksa. The street art looks like another reason to visit.

  4. Ipoh looks like such a cool place! Those cafes are so cute and the street art looks awesome. And those cave temples sound soooo cool! Will have to add it to my list!

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