You’ll be surprised that there are many unique places to visit outside of Ipoh.
Here is a list of worthwhile Ipoh road trips according to area and duration. For anyone who’s passing through Ipoh. Or for fellow Ipoh-rians looking for a quick weekend getaway or day trip with family and friends.
You can even put some of the attractions below into your Ipoh itinerary.
Table of Contents:
By the way, have you tasted any of these must-try food in Ipoh already?
Or seen everything that Ipoh has to offer? Here is a list of Ipoh’s famous places to visit!
#1. Kellie’s Castle At Batu Gajah
Kellie’s Castle near Ipoh is an abandoned mansion at Batu Gajah and 30 minutes’ drive from Ipoh.
Tourists come to admire its castle-like appearance. This was left incomplete due to the untimely death of the original owner, a Scotsman named William-Kellie-Smith.
- Address: Jalan Gopeng, 31000 Batu Gajah, Perak, Malaysia
- Opening hours: 9:30am to 5:15pm
- Contact: +605-3653381
- Malaysians: RM5 (Adult), RM3 (Child below 12 years old), RM4 (Senior)
- Foreigners: RM10 (Adult), RM8 (Child below 12 years old), RM10 (Senior)
#2. Kuala Kangsar
Kuala Kangsar is a 45 minutes’ drive from Ipoh. And it is home to many historical royal buildings of great architectural beauty.
2.1. Perak Royal Museum, Kuala Kangsar
Despite its name, it is not a museum per say:
But it is a historical building of superb and unique architecture.
Originally, it served as a temporary home for the royal family while the palace was being built. Locally known as Istana Kenangan.
Note: The Istana Kenangan is recently open after renovation.
- Address: Jalan Istana, Kuala Kangsar 33000, Malaysia
- Opening hours: 10am to 4pm; Closed on Monday
- Phone: +605-776 5500
- Cost: Free to visit (only downstairs)
- Recommended duration: Less than an hour
2.2. Ubudiah Royal Mosque
Lovely old mosque situated just beside the Perak river in Kuala Kangsar. It is closed on Fridays but open on other days of the week within 3 different time slots.
The mosque is free to enter and beautiful on the inside too.
- Address: Ubudiah Royal Mosque, Kuala Kangsar, Perak., Jalan Istana, 33000 Kuala Kangsar, Perak
- Opening hours: 9am to 12pm, 3pm to 4pm, 5:30pm to 6pm; Closed on Friday
- Cost: Free entrance to the public
- Recommended duration: Less than an hour
- Appropriate attire only and shoes must be removed before entering
- To fully appreciate the building, try to go to the other side of the river to see it from afar
2.3. Istana Iskandariah
This is the palace for the Sultan of Perak. His alternative residence, to be exact.
- Address: Taman Lerista, 33000 Kuala Kangsar, Perak
- Cost: Free but you can’t exactly go in. You can only admire the incredible architecture from outside.
- Recommended duration: < 1 hour
- Remarks: Open to the public on rare occasions (e.g. Hari Terbuka Istana)
A budget-friendly alternative to the hot springs in The Haven or Lost World of Tambun in Ipoh:
#3. Sungkai Klah hot springs
A local favorite, these are natural hot springs of varying temperatures. It’s affordable fun for the whole family!
Kids will especially love the water park (with cold water) with slides.
There is a mini zoo on site too, but it could use some sprucing up. As do other parts of the water park. For the admission fees charged, we do feel that it should be better maintained.
- Driving time: 1 hour 25 minutes’ drive
- Address: Sungai Klah Hot Spring Park, 35600 Sungkai, Perak
- Opening hours: 8am to 6pm
- Cost: RM25/adult, RM23/child, RM18/senior (above 60)
- Recommended duration: <3 hours
- Facilities are not in the best condition.
- There are shady spots to stay out of the sun
- There are some food and drink stalls (outside food is not allowed)
- Chicken eggs are sold at the park because there is one pool specifically meant for cooking the eggs in. Bring your own containers to avoid unnecessary plastic waste!
Need a break from being out all day? Check out the best Ipoh cafes on this list!
#4. Tua Pek Kong Temple, Sitiawan
Come early to see the sunrise at this temple by the sea! There are huge and beautiful white statues of the many Taoist deities. Don’t miss the mangrove boardwalk too!
The landscaping around the temple is charming and worth a wander.
Amenities on site consist of some souvenir and food stalls. Some sell cool desserts while others sell dried seafood snacks. So, the atmosphere here can feel a little touristy.
- Driving time: 1 hour 43 minutes’ drive
- Address: Tua Pek Kong Temple, Jalan Pasir Panjang, Sitiawan, Perak
- Opening hours: 7am to 10:30pm
- Cost: Free
- Recommended duration: 1-2 hours
- Very crowded during Chinese New Year
- Sunscreen and an umbrella are a must!
- There is a short boardwalk through some mangroves for visitors to enjoy
- Great sunset spot
#5. Leaning Tower Of Teluk Intan
A magnificent structure with history (since 1885) but not worth a detour alone on its own:
Hence, it’s probably best if you stop by here on your way to Kuala Selangor (further down the list) from Ipoh.
Visitors can go up the tower (3 levels) to check out the view from above. And visitors that choose that visit in the evening will be able to watch something of a light show at the tower.
If there are a lot of people visiting the tower, it can be very cramped inside the tower. This is because there is no maximum number of visitors imposed.
Note: If you’re hungry, there are several eateries (including hotpot restaurants) all around the tower.
- Driving time: 1 hour 44 minutes’ drive
- Address: Menara Condong Teluk Intan, Perak., Lot 1&2, Komplex Menara Condong, Jalan Bandar, Pekan Teluk Intan, 36000 Teluk Intan, Perak
- Opening hours: 8am to 5pm on weekdays and 9am to 6pm on weekends
- Cost: RM3 per adult
- Recommended duration: <30 minutes
- You can go up until the 3rd floor for a good view of the town and the nearby lake.
- Parking is easy.
- Crowded on Saturday night due to night markets.
Read also: 13 Things To Do When The Sun Sets In Ipoh
Have a weekend to spare?
#6. Taiping Road Trip
At Taiping, you can hop on over to the famous Taiping Lake Gardens, a charcoal factory, mangroves, bird-watching, fireflies, waterfalls and Bukit Larut (a.k.a Maxwell hill).
With all those attractions, it might be worth your while to stay in Taiping for at least a night.
Driving time: This nearby town is an hour’s drive from Ipoh.
Recommended duration: Day trip to a weekend, depending on what you’re doing
6.1. Bukit Larut (or Maxwell Hill)
The jeep fare to get up here is not expensive. You can stay overnight if you wish too.
For more information, you can check out our post, Bukit Larut and Burmese Pool – Taiping.
6.2. Kuala Sepetang Charcoal Factory
Kuala Sepetang is close to Taiping. And it is here, that you can see one of the largest traditional charcoal factories in Malaysia here.
As well as the mangrove reserve close by!
Read more about the Charcoal Factory of Kuala Sepetang.
- Address: Charcoal Factory Kuala Sepetang, Jalan Taiping – Kuala Sepetang, Kuala Sepetang, 34650 Kuala Sepetang, Perak
- Opening hours: 10am to 5pm
- Cost: Free or RM3 if you take the guided tour
- Recommended duration: 1-2 hours
6.3. Taiping Lake Gardens
It’s free to stroll around these large gardens and admire all the trees and landscaping. We highly recommend seeing the huge rain trees here when you are in Taiping.
Taiping Lake Gardens is particularly popular with locals for the scenic jogging trails.
- Address: Taiping Lake Gardens, Jalan Pekeliling, Taman Tasik Taiping, 34000 Taiping, Perak
- Opening hours: 8am to 10pm
- Cost: Free
- Recommended duration: 1-2 hours
- On one side of the lake gardens, there are paddle boats you can rent out for a fee.
- If you do get bored, you can drive on over to the Taiping Zoo which is next door.
There’s tonnes more to explore in Taiping, you can check out our post (link shared above under Kuala Sepetang Charcoal Factory) for more ideas.
- 17 Famous Food in Taiping You Did Not Expect
- 11 Best And Cozy Cafes In Taiping
- 11 Hotels In Taiping With Good Ratings
- 7 Exceptional Taiping Homestays To Book For Your Trip
- Bukit Merah Laketown Resort – Affordable Family Fun Theme Park
#7. Pangkor Island
Pangkor Island has some beautiful beaches like Coral Beach and Teluk Nipah Beach. Calm waters make for great snorkeling and kayaking experiences. For history buffs, there is the remains of an old Dutch colonial fort to explore here.
Interestingly, there’s a Taoist temple and even a small Chinatown on Pangkor island too.
To get to Pangkor Island from Ipoh, you have to first drive to Lumut Jetty or the newer jetty to Pulau Pangkor, Marina Island Jetty Complex. Then take a ferry over to the island.
Ferry schedule at:
- Driving time: 1 hour 45 minutes to Lumut from Ipoh; But the ferry from Lumut to Pangkor takes another 45 minutes approximately.
- Cost: Accommodation will set you back the most. Prices are increased during the high season.
- Recommended duration: The weekend
- Best enjoyed during low season (i.e. avoid public and school holidays)
- Private Charter Boat/ Water Taxi costs ~RM300 and above
- There is a 4-hour bus from Kuala Lumpur to Lumut
Best accommodation in Pangkor:
- Pangkor Laut Resort – Absolute comfort at around RM1000/night for 2 people; Book Pangkor Laut Resort:
- Nipah Guesthouse Pangkor – Chalets at walking distance to 2 beaches. Priced at RM230/night for 2 people; Book Nipah Guesthouse Pangkor:
- Pangkor Homestay – Different sized bungalows (with kitchenettes) priced from RM180 a night. Great for large groups. Car rental service is available. Close to Pasir Bogak; Book Pangkor Homestay
A chance to see blue tears?
#8. Pulau Sembilan Road Trip
Note: Still closed to visitors
Pulau Sembilan is a bunch of small islands south of Pangkor Island and Lumut.
They are famous because it is here that you can witness the “blue tears” phenomenon.
We have a separate post on this – catching blue tears at Pulau Sembilan.
NOTE: They don’t let visitors stay on the island anymore due to over-tourism since April 2017. The tours will take you out to sea at night instead and show you the plankton by scooping some up in a net. There’s no announced date when island tours can resume.
- Driving time: You need to get to the jetty that is located in a small fishing village in Bagan Datuk. A 2 hour drive from Ipoh.
- Cost: Around RM200-250 for the overnight package (including transport to the island, basic accommodation and food)
- Recommended duration: There are daily and overnight tours.
- It’s best to go with a tour for this one as the island is privately owned and requires a permit to visit.
- Book as early as a month ahead and check with the tour agency on the peak months to visit.
- There is less plankton to see during the rainy season. We went in September and didn’t see too many.
#9. Penang Mainland
It should come as no surprise that Penang is on this list seeing that it’s only 2 hours away from Ipoh!
But we won’t touch on the usual Penang attractions here since Penang is already well-known.
Frog Hill, Tasek Gelugor near Bukit Mertajam
This place is still relatively new to tourists outside of Malaysia but locals are quickly catching on to this local beauty!
It is however, quite isolated:
Check out our full experience here – Froghill, Penang, we actually got lost and have a few tips to share if you do decide to go here.
- Driving time: ~2 hours
- Address: Exact coordinates are in our post.
- Cost: Free
- Recommended duration: Less than 2 hours but since this place is close to Penang, why not spend the rest of the weekend in Penang?
- You will most definitely need to carpool or self-drive to get here but the views are worth it.
- The hike is manageable – should be pie for anyone who does regular exercise.
- Your tires and shoes might get a little coated in sticky red clay. Beware.
Read more: How To Go To Ipoh From Penang
Had enough of the heat?
#10. Ipoh To Cameron Highlands Road Trip
The locals come here to escape the heat and to enjoy the fresh air.
Read also: 15 Best Hotels In Cameron Highlands
You can visit the mossy forest, farms and BOH tea plantations, go hiking, play golf, have tea at a fancy British-styled cafe, etc.
More details in our separate post for this – an alternative Cameron Highlands getaway.
- Driving time: It is about 2 hours’ drive from Ipoh to Cameron Highlands.
- Cost: Farm visits are often free or affordable. The cafes can be on the pricey side. It costs RM10 (locals) and RM30 (foreigners) to enter the mossy forest and you need to pay for transport if you don’t have your own car.
- Recommended duration: 1-2 days
- If you’re planning to stay here for more than a few days, consider volunteering at the local environmental NGO (non-government organization), REACH.
Heading back to Kuala Lumpur? You might want to consider visiting these awesome places!
#11. Kuala Selangor Road Trip
Driving time: Kuala Selangor is about a 3 hours’ drive away from Ipoh and an hour’s drive from Kuala Lumpur.
Tip: Don’t take the North-South Expressway if you want a more scenic route.
Recommended duration: Day trip to a weekend
This is where you can visit a rice factory, the rice paddy fields of Sekinchan and a fishing village.
Cost and all other details are in the post (link above).
11.2. Sky Mirror
The local tour companies often combine the “Sky Mirror of Kuala Selangor” (Sasaran salt flat) together with a chance to see blue tears,eagles or fireflies.
In our post (link above), we have a table comparing the different prices and tour companies.
But you can also visit these places separately.
11.3. Bukit Melawati
See the silver leaf monkeys and the old fort after a quick hike up Bukit Malawati (Google Maps has it spelled this way).
This is also a good place to check out while waiting for your Sky Mirror tour to start. It’s fairly close to the jetty.
- Cost: Free entry. Small fee if you want to take the tram or buy food for the monkeys.
- Recommended duration: 1 hour
Read more: Top Things To Do In Kuala Selangor
If you’re going down to Kuala Lumpur from Ipoh:
#12. Kuala Lumpur Road Trip
Shah Alam is essentially a 30-40 minute detour from Kuala Lumpur.
So why not combine your Kuala Selangor trip with some sight-seeing in Shah Alam?
12.1. I City Shah Alam
Besides the theme park with numerous LED light displays, there is a water park and Malaysia’s largest indoor snow park!
- Driving time: 2 hours 36 minutes from Ipoh
- Address: D-1-G, Jalan Multimedia 7/AJ ,Persiaran Multimedia, i-City, Shah Alam 40000, Malaysia
- Cost: Free entry but you may opt for the all-day package. They have different packages available.
- Recommended duration: 3 hours or more
Remarks: You can read more about I City Shah Alam as well as other things to do in Shah Alam here.
12.2. Batu caves
A must-see that’s just outside Kuala Lumpur, this Hindu temple and shrine sits amid limestone caves.
But the most striking feature is a massive statue of Lord Murugan. In recent years, the steep steps were painted in an assortment of bright colors.
This iconic landmark is on the bucket list of many tourists so do expect a crowd.
- Driving time: 2 hours 25 minutes
- Address: Gombak, Batu Caves 68100, Malaysia
- Cost: Free entry
- Recommended duration: <2 hours
- It’s 272 steep steps up to the top for a spectacular view of the surroundings.
- Ladies must cover their knees and shoulders. Not sure about gents – I guess you just keep your shirts on then.
- Beware of the mischievous monkeys. They will happily go through your bags.
- Bring drinking water with you
- It’s possible to take a train to and from Batu caves.
- A one-way journey with Grab will cost around RM20 to and from Kuala Lumpur
- You can also see this place on your way out of Kuala Lumpur to Pahang (see next section)
#13. Banding Island & Belum Rainforest Resort
Belum Rainforest Resort
Belum Rainforest Resort is on Banding Island which sits in the middle of Lake Temenggor. The lake was created by the flooding of the valley when the Temenggor Dam was built.
The forest which surrounds the lake however, is an ancient (130 million years old) one named Royal Belum Rainforest.
Hence, due to its location, Belum Rainforest Resort is a very convenient starting point for appreciating the beauty of this forest reserve.
- Driving time: 2 hour 35 minutes from Ipoh
- Address: Belum Rainforest Resort, Pulau Banding, 33300 Gerik, Perak
- Cost: ~RM 200/ night (excluding the rainforest tour) for 2 people
- Recommended duration: The weekend
- A chance to see the rare Rafflesia flower without having to go over to East Malaysia
- Food served at the resort is not particularly good
- No alcohol sold here
- The resort has an infinity pool which overlooks the lake
- The nearest town is Gerik (about 35 mins drive) in case you need to buy something
Last on our list (and furthest away from Ipoh):
#14. Pahang (+Port Dickson) road trip (4 days)
This is a round trip that passes through two Malaysian states.
- Driving time: The journey from Ipoh takes 5 hours’ on the road each way.
- Recommended duration: 3-4 days
14.1. Sungai Lembing
For the novelty of sleeping in a capsule:
You can book a container at The Time Capsule Retreat in Sungai Lembing. There are modern facilities in the middle of nature.
Star gazing is great out here. And there are facilities to have your own BBQ!
And it’s conveniently located for hiking up Panorama Hill (or Bukit Panorama) before sunrise:
- Address: Time Capsule Retreat, Sungai Lembing, 26200 Sungai Lembing, Pahang
- Cost: See our post on Pahang Road Trip
Lexis Resort, Port Dickson
The sea or beaches are not the best in Port Dickson but the Lexis resort chalets are gorgeous!
Especially on the inside. We even got an upgrade to a better room when we went!
The beach (open to the public) is just walking distance too!
Cost: We paid ~RM400 for a double room.
And just to give you some ideas if you’re planning a road trip between Terengganu and Pahang:
#15. Terengganu Road Trip From Ipoh
- Lake Chini,
- Cherating Turtle Sanctuary,
- Taman Negara,
- Kenyir Lake,
- Crystal Mosque,
- Perhentian Islands,
- Redang Island,
- Kapas Island,
- Lang Tengah Island, etc.
- Chamang Waterfall,
- Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary,
- Bukit Fraser (a.k.a Fraser’s Hill),
- Teluk Cempedak (Palm Beach),
- Cameron Highlands,
- Colmar Tropicale, Berjaya Hills in Bukit Tinggi
- Genting Highlands,
- Berkelah Falls,
- Bentong, etc – we’ve also found a couple of farm resorts and one camping resort between Kuala Gandah and Fraser’s Hill.
It only takes a few days to explore Ipoh city. So, if you need a change of scenery, you can visit the other places around Ipoh and in the neighboring states of Pahang, Penang and Kuala Selangor.
Our list here is arranged by duration from the nearest to the furthest locations. Helps loads to have your own car if you want to see all of them!