Ipoh street art has not lost any traction since 2014 when Ernest Zacharevic first came to Ipoh to continue his street painting legacy. Other artists and paintings emerged throughout the years too.
Naturally, these paintings inevitably fade over time, especially with the fierce heat of the sun combined with occasional heavy rain.
But new splashes of Ipoh mural art are always popping up! You can seek them out during your Ipoh trip with this handy guide!
Table of contents:
- Getting Around Ipoh Street Art
- Mural Art By Ernest Zacharevic At Ipoh Old Town
- Other Ipoh Street Art At Ipoh Old Town
- Mural Art At Ipoh New Town/ Ipoh Mural Art’s Lane
- Ipoh Street Art Map
Ipoh Street Art
It’s all too easy to spend a couple of hours hunting for Ipoh murals. You can find Ernest Zacharevic’s original paintings scattered around Ipoh Old Town.
There is a map you can pick up from Ipoh Tourist Information Center (ITIC) by Ipoh Padang with locations of all Zacharevic’s work.
However, he’s not the only artist to leave his mark on Ipoh!
In fact, there’s an entire back alley in Ipoh New Town with a whole bunch of murals!
And hidden ones around Ipoh Old Town and Ipoh New Town!
Getting Around Ipoh Street Art
If you’re hotel happens to be in Ipoh Old Town, you could very well see most of these murals on your feet!
Do prepare for the unforgiving heat though!
Hats (or umbrellas), water and sunscreen will be your best friends!
Some options you can consider that will reduce the time you spend out in the sunshine:
1. Private Tour Service
RayTheTour offers private tours in and around Ipoh.
A fully-licensed and Ipoh-born guide can take you to all the local hotspots and food haunts besides the Ipoh art murals!
2. Taxi Or Grab
Your hotel can probably call a taxi for you. If not, you can whip out your phone and use the Grab App to get a driver to fetch you to where you want to go!
3. Self-drive/ Car Rental
If you don’t mind having to find parking in Ipoh Old Town, then driving your own car (or a rental car) is useful to explore more than just the historic town.
Do bear in mind that free parking is already quite limited on weekdays and near impossible on weekends and public holidays!
4. Sightseeing Bus
The sightseeing bus run by the Perak government is only available during Saturdays and Sundays.
They currently offer 12 stops around Ipoh. You can see their schedule and pricing on their website.
Mural Art By Ernest Zacharevic At Ipoh Old Town
You may have noticed this name all over this post.
Who is Ernest Zacharevic?
This is the very same artist responsible for the stunning wall murals on the streets of Penang’s Georgetown!
After painting the ones in Penang back in 2012, Ipoh Old Town White Coffee commissioned him to come to Ipoh to paint 7 murals in Ipoh Old Town.
It took him 1.5 months to complete all of them, working day to night too!
1. Old Uncle With White Coffee
A large mural of a typical old Ipoh uncle with his quintessential cup of coffee.
The mural is on the side of a building close to the Ipoh Old Town White Coffee branch by the Ipoh Padang.
It’s a proud symbol and throwback to the origins of Ipoh white coffee!
2. Paper Plane
Just a quick walk from the first mural (Old Uncle with White Coffee):
You can see this mural of two kids in a huge paper airplane high up on a building as you come out of the Ipoh Tourist Information Centre by Ipoh Padang.
Long before Starbucks came to Malaysia and even until today:
Locals love to take away their Ipoh white coffee in little plastic baggies with a nylon string to hold one end close, and a straw in the other open corner!
This large mural of 4 ikat tepi hung together are at the top of the wall in an inconspicuous open-air parking lot.
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Close to previous mural (Kopi-O) is this adorable mural of a big green humming bird seemingly hovering by a tree with a pale blue backdrop.
Evolution is tribute to Ipoh’s tin mining past. The now faded black and white mural covers almost the entire side of Ho Yan Hor Museum!
The mural presents a typical scene tin mining scene with workers in the foreground and a tin dredge looming in the background against limestone hills!
Somewhere by Market Lane:
Is this 3D mural that features an actual rickshaw that you can pose with! The mural shows a man loading up his rickshaw cart with trash bags and flattened cardboard boxes.
Another name for this mural is “Street Art is Rubbish”.
7. Girl With Stool And Birdcage
The original location of this famous mural portraying a little girl standing on a stool to reach a birdcage was on a wall opposite Hale Lane.
However, in October 2017, it was painted over by the owner of the building with no qualms or protests from the artist who said that street art is temporary and that’s part of their charm.
You can read the full article here if you wish.
8. Small Kopi-O
I know we wrote that there are 7 paintings but I’m pretty sure this is one of his too as it bears a similar style to the rest. Particularly since the artist admitted to having a penchant for coffee too!
Read more: 5 Best Hot Spring Ipoh
Other Ipoh Street Art At Ipoh Old Town
As you explore the tourist hotspots like Concubine Lane, you’re sure to bump into some of these:
An interactive mural with a somewhat rusty swing that hangs just below the staircase and entrance to Ipoh Booth Cart.
2. A Tree With Many Fruits
This gorgeous mural is tucked in a hidden alleyway:
What’s interesting about this mural is the fact that the tree in the mural bears more than one type of fruit – all are local fruits by the way! Durian, pomelo, jackfruit, papaya and rambutan!
3. Packet Of Heong Peah
You’ll probably notice this one (or not because it’s pretty small) as you go through Concubine Lane. Heong Peah is a popular flaky Chinese biscuit with a sweet sticking filling on the inside!
Heong Peah are great Ipoh souvenirs to bring home as the shops in Ipoh usually always churn out fresh ones on a daily basis!
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This group of men toasting with their beer can be seen on a wall just outside of one end of Concubine Lane by the public toilet.
5. Kids Jumping For Joy
Many instances of Ipoh street art tend to feature kids playing and this one’s no exception.
You’ll find this cheery mural at Market Lane.
6. Kopitiam Scene
On the same lane as the previous mural, this mural even has a stool for would-be posers who like to pretend they are part of the scene!
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7. Hidden Door
Keep your eyes open for this one. It’s a painting of a typical alleyway in Ipoh Old Town but on a door!
8. Kopitiam Scene 2
There’s another old coffee shop scenario painted on one of the walls at Concubine Lane. It takes a bit of patience to wait for a clear shot though as tonnes of tourists frequently pass this way!
A comical depiction of the real-life problems of finding a parking spot in Ipoh Old Town!
If you don’t understand the languages, you would think it’s just a heap of cars at a junkyard!
Ironically, the mural is on the wall of a parking lot!
10. Pair Of Tin Miners
A couple of women miners (not too sure about the second one) may be found at an awkward corner close to BookXcess Kong Heng.
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11. Waiting For Business
At the back of a car repair shop just beside a car park, is this full-sized mural of a man lounging in his shop selling kites, lanterns, pomelo, and garlands of flowers.
12. Balancing Act
To the side of Hale Lane is this dramatic mural showcasing a troop of men balancing a humongous flag with Chinese characters that bear well wishes for everyone!
13. Cat Vs Mouse
In the past, cats were often kept in Malaysian households (and shops) to deal with rat populations. This little mural is a tribute to that relationship.
Read more: 13 Things To Do In Ipoh At Night
Mural Art At Ipoh New Town/ Ipoh Mural Art’s Lane
Have a tight schedule to keep up with but want to see lots of Ipoh mural art?
Head over to Mural Art’s Lane in Ipoh New Town!
Almost every wall in this long stretch of alleyway has some colourful mural on it!
Many have cultural significance attached to them.
Like a childhood game or local Malaysian festival.
Can you find the boy with his back turned? Presumably counting while his friends hide?
These are his friends (picture below):
Or local Malaysian festivals and celebrations.
While others are just random!
This one of a whale with its head in a plastic bag brings awareness on the current plight of single-use plastic on the environment.
Can’t get enough of murals in Ipoh? How bout some on trees?
You can see some painted trees at HOGA Gaharu Tea Valley in Gopeng!
Ipoh Street Art Map
We’ve put together a map that you can use while you’re in Ipoh:
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This guide will help get you started on where to find the best of Ipoh street art.
Don’t worry! We still left out a lot of murals for you to discover on your own!
Just keep your eyes peeled as you wander around Ipoh!