About Ipoh

Ipoh, Perak’s capital city may not be as famous as its “neighbors”, Kuala Lumpur, Penang or Cameron Highlands. But as one of the most populated cities in Malaysia, Ipoh has a lot to be proud of!

Ipoh Wow Signage By The Birch Memorial Clock Tower

Back in the late 19th century, the discovery of bountiful tin deposits led to the city’s rapid development. Chinese immigrants came over to seek their fortune and their influence and descendants can still be found all over the city. The British had a strong influence in Ipoh too – most notably, by the colonial-style buildings left behind.

These days, Ipoh is home to many retirees. And the industry has shifted to cement, food, and tourism. There are a lot of Ipoh attractions to explore on both sides of the Kinta River – Ipoh Old Town (west side) and Ipoh New Town (east side). Especially if it’s your first trip to Ipoh!

Useful Info

Things To Do

It’s best to be up early so you can do some sightseeing before the afternoon heat kicks in. We would leave touring of cave temples to the afternoon though since these places have their own natural breeze.

Rain usually hits in the later afternoon or evening. Luckily, Ipoh has a fair share of boutique cafes, shopping malls, and spa centers. In addition to a couple of nice museums and galleries if you want something that’s rainproof.

Parks like Qing Xin Ling Leisure & Cultural Village, Gunung Lang Recreational Park, or Mirror Lake (Tasik Cermin) are full of greenery and have scenic views of limestone karsts.

Ipoh’s nightlife is somewhat limited, but you can still find something to do after dinner.

Popular Attractions

First-time visitors Ipoh will want to check out Ipoh Old Town first. And it’s possible to explore Ipoh Old Town on foot. You can see many landmarks if you take on the Ipoh heritage walk. You can get a map from the Ipoh World website (a volunteer organization that aims to preserve Ipoh’s heritage).

Street art is another highlight of exploring Ipoh New Town and Ipoh Old Town.

But Ipoh also has some interesting attractions further away. Like Kellie’s Castle or Gua Tempurung.

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Famous Food

Eating local food should be your priority in Ipoh. Starting with breakfast! Ipoh has many traditional coffee shops, hawker centers, and dim sum restaurants!

And while you’re in Ipoh, you have to try chicken rice, white coffee, tau fu fa, and salted chicken.

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Ipoh has a strong cafe culture. And you’ll find cafes all over Ipoh too. Close to Kong Heng Square in Ipoh Old Town is an entire street with excellent hipster cafes in a row.

If you have your own car, you can explore the cafes in Canning Garden too.

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Most shopping malls in Ipoh open from 10am to 10pm. They are convenient for getting essentials under one roof. The most popular malls in Ipoh are AEON Kinta City and Ipoh Parade.

Besides shopping malls, there are also traditional pastry shops to check out. Heong peah, kaya puffs, and egg tarts make for great snacks!

Night markets not to be underestimated too. You can try street snacks, have a fresh bowl of laksa, or get fruit and freshly made sugarcane juice! The night market in Ipoh changes location every day of the week.


Ipoh’s small airport has limited flights but the main link into and out of Ipoh is the North-South highway. And there is the ETS train as well which you can take from Ipoh Railway Station in Ipoh Old Town.

Here are some detailed guides on how to get around Ipoh. Or how to go to other nearby cities from Ipoh. A popular destination for visitors from Ipoh is Cameron Highlands.

Where To Stay In Ipoh

Ipoh’s stunning limestone hills are the backdrop of some 5-star resorts. There are also many hotels in downtown Ipoh (Greentown Ipoh or Ipoh New Town) that are more budget-friendly and close to eateries.

If you’ve got a big travel group, it’s more affordable to book a homestay in Ipoh rather than a hotel.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many days in Ipoh is enough?

If this is your first time in Ipoh, one full day is enough to try some food, see one or two cave temples, and explore Ipoh Old Town. But if you want to explore at a more relaxed pace (and try even more food), 2 days is advisable.

Because there are some great attractions outside of Ipoh, you may want to add another day to do a day trip to either Taiping, Gopeng, Batu Gajah or Kuala Kangsar too.

Cameron Highlands is a 2-hour drive one way from Ipoh. And for this reason, it is more convenient to visit it while you are in Ipoh. But we don’t think you should skip Ipoh and head to Cameron Highlands straightaway. Both places have their own unique attractions (and Ipoh has the better food even if it is hotter). Check out our Cameron Highlands guide here.

How should you spend one day in Ipoh?

If you have just one day in Ipoh, check out Ipoh Old Town and Ipoh New Town on foot. A visit to Han Chin Pet Soo is highly recommended if you want to learn more about the history of Ipoh.

Besides explore the town, you can visit Gua Tempurung or at least one cave temple (we recommend Perak Cave temple or Kek Look Tong). If you still have time to spare, visit either Tanjung Tualang Tin Dredge or Kellie’s Castle.

Why you should travel to Ipoh

For many, Ipoh’s delicious and affordable food is reason enough to come. The fact that Ipoh is close to Cameron Highlands is usually the second reason for most tourists.

But Ipoh’s rich history and unique limestone hills are not to be ignored either.

Ipoh Private Tour

If you don’t want to:

  • Deal with parking
  • Drive in an unfamiliar place
  • Walk around in the heat
  • Wait around for a taxi or bus

Then, hire a Ipoh day tour with RayTheTour.

This way, you get transport around Ipoh as well as a personal local guide to show you around!

Book by simply sending them a message on WhatsApp!