Ipoh street art is still popular since Ernest Zacharevic first came to Ipoh to continue his street painting legacy from Penang.
Naturally, his paintings have faded over time. Especially with the fierce heat of the sun and occasional heavy rain.
But new splashes of art are always popping up. You can seek them out during your trip with this handy guide!
Where To Start Your Search
It’s all too easy to spend an hour 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.
PS: Ipoh Tourist Information Centre has irregular opening hours
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. Besides the isolated hidden murals around Ipoh Old Town and Ipoh New Town!
Mural Art By Ernest Zacharevic At Ipoh Old Town
Ernest Zacharevic 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!
Most of these are very faded. And there are no plans to repaint them.
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 across from the Tourist Information Centre and Ipoh Padang.
It’s a proud symbol and throwback to the origins of Ipoh white coffee!
Location: An Old Uncle Drinking 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.
Location: Kids Riding A Paper Plane
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.
Location: Hanging Kopi O Ikat Tepi
Note: This mural has been demolished to make way for new development
Close to previous mural (Kopi-O) is this adorable mural of a big green hummingbird seemingly hovering by a tree with a pale blue backdrop.
Both Struggle and the Hummingbird murals share the same car park lot but at opposite ends!
The hummingbird mural is still on the wall but faded. You can see it over a wall of blue corrugated iron. The former parking lot is under development and not accessible to the public.
Location: A Yellow Hummingbird
Evolution is tribute to Ipoh’s tin mining past. The 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!
This mural is very faded.
Location: Evolution (Tin Mining Dredge)
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”.
Location: Old Town Relieves Nostalgia With Trishaw
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!
Note: This mural is no longer around
Other Street Art In 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 rusty swing that hangs just below the staircase that is on the side of Kedai Makanan & Minuman Ding Feng.
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!
On a side note, Heong Peah are great Ipoh souvenirs to bring home as the shops in Ipoh usually always churn out fresh ones daily!
This group of men toasting with their beers can be seen on a wall just outside of one end of Concubine Lane, by a public toilet.
5. Kids Jumping For Joy
Many instances of street art in Ipoh 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!
7. Cooling Down
This long mural is by Eric Lai (local art teacher). You can see it from the intersection of Arlene House and SPH de Silva Building.
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!
Note: Few steps from the “Packet of Heong Peah”
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! The parking lot has been boarded up so you can only see the top of this mural.
Note: The parking lot is marked as “Parking near Plan B Ipoh” on Google Maps.
10. Pair Of Tin Miners
A couple of miners may be found at an awkward corner close to BookXcess Kong Heng.
11. Waiting For Business
At the back of a car repair shop (WF Tyre Service Centre) beside a car park, is a full-sized mural of a man lounging in his shop of kites, lanterns, pomelo, and garlands of flowers.
12. Balancing Act
To the side of Hale Lane is this huge 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.
14. Tribute To Tin Mining
There are 2 murals of tin mining workers close to each other. You can find them behind the Ipoh Old Town White Coffee branch that faces Ipoh Padang.
This alley is between Ipoh Old Town White Coffee and the former Perak Hydro Building.
15. 3D Ipoh
This bright mural faces the side of the OCBC branch in Ipoh Old Town. You’ll see it if you’re walking from the Birch Memorial Clock Tower to the old Ipoh Municipal Car Park.
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!
Location: Mural Art’s Lane
Almost every wall in these back alleys has a 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.
Ipoh Street Art Map
We’ve put together a map that you can use while you’re in Ipoh:
Getting Around Ipoh
If you’re hotel happens to be in Ipoh Old Town, you could very well see most of these murals on your feet! But there are scooters for rent beside the Ipoh Padang if you want to move along faster without a car.
Do prepare for the afternoon 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:
- Private tour service with RayTheTour – You can have a Ipoh-born guide take you to all the local hotspots and food haunts in a comfortable vehicle. Book via WhatsApp.
- Taxi or e-hailing service – Your hotel can probably call a taxi for you. And e-hailing service is available in Ipoh Old Town and Ipoh New Town
- Self-drive – If you don’t mind struggling to find parking in Ipoh Old Town, then driving your own car (or a rental car) is useful!
- Perak Hoho Bus – This is a hop on, hop off sightseeing bus run by Perak Transit. It runs on weekends, public holidays, and school holidays. They currently offer 7-8 stops around Ipoh. You can see their schedule and pricing on their TikTok page.
This guide will help get you started on where to find street art in Ipoh.
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!