11 Best Things To Do In Ipoh, Malaysia
As one of the biggest cities in Malaysia, your gateway to Ipoh will be packed with activities as there are so many things to do in Ipoh that you would not want to miss.
If you think the old town sounds dull and die with a few old folks living there, you will change your mind after you visit Ipoh’s Old Town.
Naturally divided by the Kinta River, Ipoh Old Town is preserved and was given a new breath to attract tourists with the picturesque and quaint buildings.
Many places to visit and things to do in Ipoh which I think one day trip will not be enough for you to fully enjoy your time in this city.
WWB Writer and Ipoh local Aina, is going to guide you though all the best spots to visit in Ipoh
Best Things To Do In Ipoh, Malaysia
- Ipoh Cave Temples
- Ipoh Heritage Trail
- Gunung Lang Recreational Park
- Ipoh Oldtown Street Arts
- Tasik Cermin
- Concubine Lane
- Kong Heng Square Artisan Market
- Han Chin Pet Soo Museum
- Ho Yan Hor Museum
- The lost world of Tambun
- Local Food Hunting
This article may contain some affiliate links which means I may earn some commission when you click on it, but no additional cost to you.
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1. Ipoh Cave Temples
Your trip to Ipoh will not be complete if you do not visit any Ipoh cave temples because it is the signature of Ipoh’s interesting places to visit.
The corrosion of the limestone hills since millions of years ago caused the formation of caves which were then used as Chinese and Buddhist temples.
Tips! It is better to go early in the morning to enjoy the cool weather.
Ipoh’s famous limestone cave Temples are
Visiting Perak Tong Cave Temple must be on your list of things to do in Ipoh because it is one of Ipoh’s most popular attractions.
This temple is the closest cave temple from Ipoh town and easily found, another reason you should not miss visiting this cave temple.
The symbolic grand stairway and symmetrical architecture will give you the vibe of a Chinese mansion.
You will be amazed by the stone formation and the colorful mural paintings of Chinese mythology and Buddhist deities all over the cave’s walls once you enter the cave.
Opening Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Entrance Fee: Free
This magnificent cave is somehow different from the Perak Tong Cave Temple, but you will be astonished by the exquisite cave formations of stalactites inside the cave.
Aside from the cave, this temple has a beautiful garden called The Zen Gardens with two lakes for you to admire the beautiful view.
What else can you do?
You can feed the fish in the garden and the fish food can be bought there.
There is also a reflexology footpath for you to try if you have not experienced it before. It is good in helping alleviate stress and relaxing but for a first-timer, it will hurt but still bearable.
Opening Hours: 7:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Entrance Fee: Free
Touring around Ipoh, you will see many buildings with different colonial architecture. Malaysia has been colonized by many countries before it achieved independence in 1957.
Ipoh is not excluded from receiving the effects of colonisation.
This is the beauty of this town and you would want to include the heritage trail in the list of places to go in Ipoh.
Some Of The Famous Heritage Buildings In Ipoh
- Ipoh Railway Station
- Townhall & Old Post Office
- High Court
- Church of St. John’s the Divine
- Town Padang Mosque
- F.M.S Bar & Restaurant (now Durbar At FMS)
- Hongkong & Shanghai Bank
- Birch Memorial Clock Tower
If you want to start the heritage trail, I suggest that you start from the Ipoh Railway Station so you can park your car there and walk to the buildings.
You can use the map to guide you and make it easier for you to plan your visit as most of the buildings are near to each other.
Located off Jalan Abdul Rahman, this recreational park is a hidden park among the limestone hills. You will have to take the boat to cross the lake before you can see the park.
This man-made lake was once a mining spot then it transformed into a tourist attraction.
What To Do Here?
Nowadays, you can hardly see any traditional house in Ipoh. If you are interested to see the traditional house, you can come to the park.
You can see a few traditional wooden Malay houses at the park and go inside the house to experience living in the traditional house.
There is also a mini zoo and parks at the recreational park apart from strolling around enjoying the scenic backdrop of limestone hills of Gunung Lang.
There is a cave that looks like a gorilla’s face in the park. You should look for it if you visit Gunung Lang Recreational Park.
Operating Hours (Boat)
Monday – Thursday (8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.)
Friday (8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.) & (3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.)
Weekend & Public Holiday (8:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.)
Boat ride Fees
Adults: RM3 ($0.75)
Children (3 – 12 years old): RM1.50 ($0.40)
Senior citizens (Above 55 years old): RM1.50 ($0.40)
Another attraction in Ipoh is their abundance of street art. You will see art scattered around the town.
What special about the street arts in Ipoh is the arts are reflecting their urban environment. You can learn about them through the street arts.
Some Of The Famous Street Art In Ipoh
- Fruit Seller
- Man Selling Ice-Cream
- Boat Noodle
- Men Drinking Beer
- Granny Grinding Soybeans
- Couple Having Noodle
- Three Kids Jumping
You do not need to plan a day to look for the murals as you will come across the art while you are walking around the old town.
So, you just have to make a list of the arts you want to see and when you come across it, just cross it out from the list.
This trick will surely save your time and energy and you can add more things to do in Ipoh as you plan your trip well.
You can refer to the map to see the location of the street arts and plan your itinerary.
The trip will not be complete if you miss visiting this Ipoh interesting place called Tasik Cermin (Mirror Lake). This lake is Ipoh’s hidden gem surrounded by limestones’ karst tower.
The quiet and calm surroundings will make you mesmerized by the beauty of nature and it will be a chance for you to escape the city and appreciate nature.
How To Get There?
You will have to drive to the entrance of the lake.
In case you are not confident with the location, the coordinate to the entrance is 4.559760, 101.119400. You will see an abandoned house upon arrival.
Then, walk along the trail until you find the entryway of the tunnel and the lake is on the other side of the tunnel. So, you must walk into the tunnel to get to the lake.
Although Ipoh is quite hot, the breeze at the lake will be cool.
This laneway is famous among tourists as one of the things to do in Ipoh. Originally, the lane’s name was Lorong Panglima “Panglima Lane” but the locals call it Concubine Lane.
The lane is transformed into a popular tourist attraction with varieties of pop-up stalls along the narrow path.
What To Do Here?
You can walk along the lane enjoying the vibe of old-style Chinese shophouses and try some famous food sold there such as Ais Kepal Concubine Lane at a store called Bits & Bobs and Concubine Lane Rainbow Cheese Toast.
For Potterheads, you might love this café called Platform 9 ½.
The café is inspired by the Harry Potter movie and its name is taken from the gateway between Muggle and magical transportation in the movie.
While you are there, make sure to buy their signature Butterbrew drink which is almost the same taste of [b]utterbeer in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort.
The café also has props such as robes, scarves, and Hogwarts Express trolleys for the customers to take photos.
There are two other lanes called the Wife Lane and the Second Concubine Lane to visit but not as merry as the Concubine lane.
Another best place to visit in Ipoh is Kong Heng Square Artisan Market.
This market is located at Jalan Panglima, Ipoh and this place is my favorite place in Ipoh because it has a cozy vibe. You will also get to shop some craft products at the flea market and craft bazaar as souvenirs.
All the walls inside the market are photo-worthy. So, make sure to wear beautiful clothes to take millions of photos there.
Where Else To Go?
While you are there, don’t miss to visit the BookExcess Kong Heng Ipoh, a former bank-turned-bookstore. The safety deposit boxes at the basement of the shop have been converted into bookshelves and you will get to see the original vault doors.
There is a hotel in the market if you want to stay in the city so that it is easier for you to go anywhere around it. You can book a room at the Sekeping Kong Heng.
They offer varieties of rooms to choose from as low as RM55 ($14) per night.
If you are tired of touring around the market and need a break for refreshment, there is an industrialized feel local restaurant called Plan B to stop by. They serve different kinds of foods including local foods for you to try.
Traveling will not be complete if you did not visit any local museum. Han Chin Pet Soo museum is one of Ipoh’s places to visit because this place explains the Hakka Miners’ Club in detail and the story behind it.
This museum is another Ipoh’s attraction because you can see the well-preserved heritage building, learn the history of the Hakkas and how they ended up in this country.
Location: 3 Jalan Bijeh Timah, 30100 Ipoh, Perak
Opening Hours: 4 appointment slots daily – 9:30 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m., 3:30 p.m. (closed on Monday)
Make sure to make an appointment before visiting this museum.
Ho Yan Hor Museum is to honor the memory of the Ho Yang Hor herbal tea’s founder. His hardship, spirit, and inspiring stories in building the herbal tea empire which continues for 80 years.
You will get a chance to try the Ho Yan Hor tea at the tea bar inside the museum and see the display of the antiques and artifacts from the early generation of the empire.
Location: 1, Jalan Bijeh Timah, 30000, Ipoh, Perak
Opening Hours: 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
One of the best attractions in Ipoh is the Lost World of Tambun.
This place has received the Travellers’ Choice award from Tripadvisor as a good choice to enjoy Ipoh’s natural landscape while having fun and relaxing.
This attraction is around 10km away from Ipoh city if you travel by car. I would suggest you come early so that you can experience all the activities available inside.
You will be spending the whole day here as this attraction offers a variety of parks that will make the day become an adventure.
10 adventure parks –
- Lost World Water Park
- Lost World Amusement Park
- Lost World Tin Valley
- Lost World Tiger Valley
- Lost World Petting Zoo
- Lost World Adventure Park
- Hippo Kingdom
Weekdays: 11.00am – 6.00pm / Weekends, School and Public Holidays: 10.00am – 6.00pm
- Lost World Hot Springs & Night Park
- Lost World Hot Springs & Spa
- Luminous Forest
Open daily: 6pm till 11.00pm
Theme Parks: RM77- RM117 ($19 – $29)
Night Parks: RM51- RM 75 ($13 – $19) *for Lost World Hot Springs & Night Park only
*Prices exclude other rentals and pay-per-ride.
*You can get the entrance ticket cheaper if you buy the ticket online using their promo code.
Enjoying nature while relaxing at night in Lost World of Tambun will be a great choice for your Ipoh night activity after a long exhausting day touring Ipoh.
You can enjoy a variety of hot springs and spas to relax and rejuvenate yourself while experiencing the night in the lost world.
If you love animals and want to experience feeding a different kind of animal, you would not want to miss this place as they have awesome showtimes and animal feedings that will give you great experience and memories.
11. Local Food Hunting
You cannot miss out to try Ipoh’s local foods while you are in this beautiful town.
Just like other places, Ipoh also has their signature foods that will make you want to come here just for their food.
I would say Ipoh’s best place to visit would be their local restaurants.
- Botanical Fried Egg Laksa (Laksa Telur Goreng Bersarang)
- Concubine Lane Tau Fu Fa
- Sin Yoon Loong White Coffee Shop
- Ipoh Hainan Chicken Rice
- Canning Dim Sum
- New Hollywood Restaurant
- Miker Pizza
Malaysia is well known for the different kinds of local laksa from the different regions including Ipoh.
All the laksa have their unique recipe so you cannot miss out on Ipoh’s laksa Utara which is one of my favorites laksa among all.
Laksa Telur Goreng Bersarang Restaurant brings the relaxed and cozy concept and you will feel like eating in an old restaurant.
Location: 1, Jalan Margosa D/8, Seri Margosa, Taman Seri Botani, 31350 Ipoh, Perak
Opening Hours: 12:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. (closed on Friday)
Other laksa restaurant
Tau Fu Fa is made of soybean curd and its taste is bland without any syrup.
To add taste, this dessert is served with different kinds of syrups and the classic tau fu fa is served with sugar syrup.
Although you can find this Chinese dessert in other places, Ipoh’s tau fu fa is known for its silky texture.
Location: 8, Jalan Panglima, 30000 Ipoh, Perak
Opening Hours: 9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (Closed on Wednesday & Friday)
Other famous tau fu fa shop
White coffee gets its name from the way it is prepared. Instead of being roasted together with wheat, margarine, and sugar, the beans are roasted with palm oil margarine only which gives a more distinctive taste.
The coffee shop has operated for more than 80 years and is one of the oldest shops in the town. Sin Yoon Loong is said to be the Ipoh White Coffee’s pioneer and still serves the white coffee the old way.
Location: 15a, Jalan Bandar Timah, 30000 Ipoh, Perak
Opening hours: Monday – Saturday (6:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.) & Sunday (6:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.)
Other famous Ipoh White Coffee
- Ipoh OldTown White Coffee (Ipoh Padang)
- Lim Ko Pi (light & sweet taste)
- Nam Heong White Coffee (moderate taste)
- Chang Jiang White Coffee (strong taste)
Ipoh taugeh (beansprout) chicken rice or well known as Ipoh’s chicken rice is famous in the town. The chicken is served with bean sprout and rice or noodle to complete the meal.
Ipoh Hainan Chicken Rice serves three kinds of cuisine which are steamed chicken, Siamese chicken (sweet & sour), and roasted chicken to try out.
Location: 107, Jalan Raja Musa Aziz, Kampung Jawa, 30300 Ipoh, Perak
Opening Hours: 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Other famous Chicken Rice Shops
Canning Dim Sum just opened in 2018, but this does not mean you cannot add to your list of places to visit in Ipoh. This halal restaurant is a good choice if you are looking for a beautiful ambiance while enjoying your meals.
Location: No 1, Lebuh Cecil Rae, Taman Canning, 31400 Ipoh, Perak
Opening Hours: 7:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Other famous dim sum restaurants
- Foh San Restaurant
- Chooi Yue Dim Sum Restaurant
- Hong Kong Dim Sum BFB Restaurant
- Hong Xing Dim Sum Restaurant
Located across the Canning Dim Sum Restaurant, this restaurant is a good choice for breakfast. You can try different kinds of local dishes in one place.
Some of the dishes that you can try are fried kuey teow, nasi lemak, yong tau fu, chee cheong fun, chakoi, curry mee, wantan mee, and pan mee.
Location: Taman Canning, 31400 Ipoh, Perak
Opening Hours: 7:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. (closed on Monday)
Other famous breakfast restaurants
- Moon De Moon Restaurant
- Kedai Kopi Keng Nam
- Min Chee Wan Tan Mee At Stall No.36 (located at Medan Selera Stadium)
- Fai Kee Restaurant
Miker Pizza is owned by the locals. They serve New York-style pizza in the city. You can go to their restaurant if you feel like having something different but still a local restaurant. It will be a good choice for places to visit in Ipoh at night.
Location: No 1, Jalan Tun Sambanthan 30000 Ipoh, Perak
Opening Hours: 11:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
How To Get To Ipoh?
You can buy a flight ticket online from Kuala Lumpur to Ipoh and you will be landing at Ipoh’s Sultan Azlan Shah Airport.
Classes of ticket
ETS Platinum – 2 hours 30 minutes duration
ETS Gold – 2 hours 40 minutes duration
ETS Silver – 2 hours 50 minutes duration
The ticket price varies depending on the class of ticket and the time slot. Not all classes are available each day so you need to check on the schedule beforehand.
It is time-consuming if you choose to go to Ipoh by bus as compared to others but if you wish to travel by bus, you can buy the ticket online.
If you travel to Ipoh by car, you need to use the Lebuhraya Utara–Selatan (North-South Expressway) and take exit 137 – Simpang Pulai. Make sure your Touch&Go has enough balance.
You can top up at any 7/11 shop.
Touch&Go is a smart card known as the Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) that is used at all highways in Peninsular Malaysia.
You also can use this card for parking in some places like at malls and theme parks.
This smart card is commonly used for public transports in Klang Valley. It is convenient if you have this card while you travel in Malaysia.
Getting Around Ipoh
Walking Around Ipoh
Most of the attractions in Ipoh’s town are only within walking distance. If you decide to walk around the town, you can use the map to guide you.
Taking The Bus
Having some adventure using the public bus can be fun. You can refer to this if you want to see the bus’s route in Ipoh town.
Grab is a commonly used e-hailing in Malaysia. This application offers a few ride services that you can choose from depending on your preference.
Using this service is easier if you wish to go somewhere without worry of where to park the car.
What Is There To Do In Ipoh In The Morning?
- Gaharu Tea Valley – begin your day with the mesmerizing and breath-taking views of the agro-tourism plantation and enjoy a cup of freshly-made organic agarwood tea.
- Ulu Geroh Rafflesia Trail – get a chance to see the largest flower in the world with the help of local guides of which Rafflesia trail to trek.
- Kellie’s Castle – A combined style mansion of Moorish, Roman influences, and Indo-Saracenic that left romance, tragedy, and mystery for you to discover.
- Memory Lane Flea market – take a walk to Sunday flea market to see some collectibles that you find rare and antiques.
- Spelunking at Gua Tempurung – uncover the beauty inside the cave while having some adventure trip.
- TT5 Tin Dredge – Discover the last tin dredge in the country that was built in 1938.
- Buy Pomelo Fruit – Pomelo fruit or Limau Bali is famous in Ipoh. You can get it at any fruit stalls in Ipoh but not in other places.
Where Can I Go At Night In Ipoh?
- Kinta Riverfront Walk – walk along the mini I-City of Ipoh to enjoy the night view of Ipoh night attraction and hangout after an exhausting day.
- Ipoh Night Market – experiencing the local culture of the night market where you buy varieties of food from a fleet of stalls will be things to do in Ipoh at night you cannot miss.
- Jeff’s Cellar at The Banjaran Hot Springs Retreat – Dining in a cave would be a lifetime experience you do not want to miss .
Unique Tips You Should Know When Visiting Ipoh, Malaysia
- Always check on the opening days especially MONDAY because most of the place will close on this day.
- Always bring mineral water because the weather in Ipoh is quite hot.
- Wear comfortable clothes and shoes because you will walk most of the time under the sun.
- Make sure to buy a parking coupon from a nearby store to avoid buying at double or triple price from the locals that patrol the parking lots.
- If you buy laksa utara, ask for some “otak udang” paste too. The paste will enhance your laksa’s gravy flavour. You need to add little by little to adjust the taste to your liking. Avoid it if you are allergic to seafood.
- It is better to go to any nature places such as tasik cermin and gua tempurung in the daylight to avoid mosquito bites at dusk.
- You will enjoy it more if you eat Ipoh chicken rice and some other foods such as nasi lemak and chakoi using your hand instead of using a fork and spoon. You can ask the locals to teach you or watch how they eat and make sure to wash your hand first!
- Practice using chopsticks as a preparation before you visit Ipoh, Malaysia to avoid struggling with it while enjoying the Chinese foods here. It took me quite some time to get used to it but once you get a grip on it, you will feel like you have unlocked an achievement.
Isn’t Ipoh being the best place to enjoy both the town and nature?
So, you need to plan out your itinerary now to get the best of both worlds.