Ipoh doesn’t have the international recognition in Malaysia like Penang, Langkawi and Malacca but that’s about to change. Lonely Planet named Ipoh number 6 in their 2016 ‘Best of Asia’ list.
#1 View The Street Art – World Class Level
Ernest Zacharevic, most well known for the street art in Penang, has draped the walls of Ipoh’s Old Town with creative street art. The best part about the street art in Ipoh? There are no big queues to get a nice picture. There are more pieces by various artists scattered around the old town, but my favourite street art area including the piece below is mural arts lane a.k.a. Jalan Masjid.
#2 Drink White Coffee – Where It Was Founded
If you’ve seen the Old Town White Coffee franchise around the world, you might be surprised to know white coffee originated in Ipoh. It’s disputed which is the first to make white coffee (the beans are soaked in margarine) so head to one of the two cafes on the intersection of Jalan Bandar Timah and Persiaran Bijeh Timah and order one. That’s going to be a very local experience for you.
#3 Explore Concubine Lane – Where Domestic Tourism Thrives
Ipoh isn’t well known to international tourists, but is one of the most popular domestic tourist locations with its close proximity to Kuala Lumpur (two hours). You’ll be able to find the majority of these tourists hanging about Concubine Lane with creative shops and in the coffee shops nearby. If you’re looking for crowds, head to Concubine Lane & Market Lane on the weekend.
#4 Explore The Cave Temples – Combining Nature And Religion
There are three main cave temples attracting tourists with the limestone mountains ensuring everyone’s safety. Personally, I like Perak Tong Temple the most, but the locals seem to appreciate Sam Poh Tong and Kek Lok Tong more. Visit all three and decide for yourself. The caves are large, there’s no tight squeezes but they all offer nice views with enough variation to keep you interested.
#5 Tin Mining Museum – Absorb The History
The city of Ipoh was built on the tin mining boom when the Kinta River was one of the world’s largest sources of tin in the mid-20th century. The tin deposits are long gone, but not forgotten with the Han Chin Pet Soo (Tin Museum) documenting all the history. You’ll need to book a tour in advance, aim for an early time as the groups are larger as the day goes on. Afterwards, pop into the tea museum next door!
#6 Meet Locals Hiking Bukit Keledang – Do As The Locals Do
Ipoh isn’t full of sky rises but it’s spread out and this walk is a real gem letting you grasp the size of the city. Head there two hours before sunset and you’ll meet friendly locals taking their daily walk with all the tracks offering views. If you want to meet locals, this is definitely the spot. The ladies with fruit stalls when you finish? Magical!
#7 Explore Kellie’s Castle – Spirit Hunting
Many people died during the construction of Kellie’s Castle as a result of a Spanish Flu breakout. It’s believed the spirits of the deceased are still in the building creating an airy feeling as you explore the unfinished Castle. When you get to the top you’ll have some nice views and the whole castle makes for a fun spot to take photos.
The 7 Wonders of Ipoh is written by Jub. Jub is a Kiwi who has been roaming the world after finishing up University in 2010. Follow Jub at Tiki Touring Kiwi, Facebook and Twitter.
Have you visited Ipoh, Malaysia? What are the places that you have visited in Ipoh that you feel should make into the list of 7 wonders?