Ipoh, the third largest city in Malaysia, has recently gained tourist popularity. Mainly popular through the famous “Ipoh White Coffee” and British Colonial architecture, locals and tourists have also started visiting the capital of Perak. If you’re still wondering what to do in Ipoh, you’re doing something wrong. Explore head first with us in this historically robust city!

  1. Drink White Coffee at Nam Heong

The famous Ipoh White Coffee that took the world by storm originated in this small coffee shop, Nam Heong, in Ipoh. White coffee is still served in old-school coffee cups in an old kopitiam setting.

Image Credits: Charles Haynes | Flickr

You can come by to enjoy an afternoon coffee while having some egg tarts to go with it. White coffee here will not cost you more that RM5, unlike having a cuppa in cafes nowadays!

Image Credits: Wikipedia

Nam Heong opens 7am to 5.30pm daily, located at a corner shop in Jalan Bandar Timah.

  1. Admire Ipoh Street Art

Just like Penang and Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh started the trend on street art around the city. Maps are provided for you to go on street art trails! How convenient!

Image Credits: Natsudragon | commons.wikimedia.org

The same artist at Penang, Georgetown, Ernest Zacharevic has led people on a trail of beautiful murals. The famous ones like the Kopi ‘O, Hummingbird, and the most popular Uncle holding a coffee cup.

Image Credit: Four Summers | Pixabay

Bring along your camera and start going on street art adventures across Ipoh now!

  1. Visit Concubine Lane

Concubine Lane is a long and uneven street that was built in 1908. The history behind the weird name was literally taken from how Chinese Magnate and British officers used to keep their mistresses in this area.

Image Credit: Vernon Chan | Flickr

Now, Concubine Lane has been taken over by food stalls, sales outlets, and mini street markets. The structures of the buildings are well kept from the olden days, hence why tourists come by to take pictures and walk along a street of over 100 years old.

Image Credit: Luke Phang | Flickr
  1. Go To Sam Poh Tong Cave Temple

Sam Poh Tong is a very beautiful and famous cave temple located in Gunung Rapat. The Chinese Buddhist Temple was discovered in 1912 in a limestone hill.

Image Credit: Prema Darshini | commons.wikimedia.org

In 1993, this temple was awarded “Best Landscaped Garden” in Malaysia. There’s a variety of landscape garden with Japanese stone lanterns and pagodas, fish ponds that you can feed tortoise, and even a vegetarian restaurant outside the temple.

Image Credit: Ultimatekldevil | Flickr

The view of Ipoh from the temple is breathtaking, even the structure of the temple is picturesque!

  1. Try Ipoh Food

All over Malaysia, different cities carry different specialty dishes and food. Ipoh is one of them. Ipoh Chicken Rice and Gai Si Hor Fun (Shredded Chicken Noodles) are the most famous Ipoh food.

Image Credit: Brown_colour | commons.wikimedia.org

Famous Ipoh Chicken Rice places include Lou Wong, Ong Kee and Cowan Street. You’ll always see these restaurants packed with locals and tourists alike. The aromatic chicken is the smoothest you will ever taste!

Image Credit: Yun Huang Yong | commons.wikimedia.org

Ipoh Hor Fun is one of the local’s favourite, you can see them in every restaurant and coffee shop in Ipoh. The restaurant that stands out the most is Thean Chun Coffee Shop, which comes highly recommended.

  1. Explore The Lost World of Tambun

Ipoh is also very family friendly – they have a theme park that is the first in Southeast Asia to have natural hot springs and various rides!

Image Credit: Shafika Tahir | commons.wikimedia.org

Their theme park also includes a water park, amusement park, hot springs and spa, and even a petting zoo. Lost World of Tambun can be the last stop of your Ipoh adventure, where you’ll be able to lounge around the hot springs after a long day of touring!

Image Credit: Phalinn Ooi | Flickr

The theme park is open Monday-Friday 11am-6pm and weekends 10am-6pm located at Persiaran Lagun Sunway 1. A day of fun and adventure will not be far off from this historical city of Ipoh.

  1. Drop By Qing Xin Ling Leisure and Cultural Village

Qing Xin Ling is a lush lakeside cultural village that is translated into “Serene Hill” located at Taman Saikat. This is probably the best definition to Ipoh attractions on steroids.

Image Credits: Qing Xin Ling Leisure and Cultural Village Facebook

There are so much outdoor activities to do here, like jungle trekking, bicycle riding, and having your own barbecue around a campfire. You could even feed fishes here. There are also swings set up in front of the lake for you to enjoy the beautiful view of the village.

Image Credits: Qing Xin Ling Leisure and Cultural Village Facebook

There is also a service called “Ba Zhi” that is free of charge to let someone read your fortune! If you like taking pictures, there are plenty of vintage props and spots to take photos at!

*Note: They were temporarily closed for renovations, but according to some reviews online, they’re still open for visits. Your best bet would be to give them a call at 05-3124140 before heading down so as to avoid disappointments!

Also, you’ll need to head down to Syarikat Perabot Kota at 164-166, Jalan Gopeng, Taman Sri Rokam, 31350 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia to get the tickets before heading up.

  1. Pay A Visit To Ho Yan Hor Museum

Ho Yan Hor Museum preserves old buildings as a heritage project to restore these properties and promote awareness of Ipoh’s historical heritage. It is opened from Tuesday-Sunday, from 10am-4pm, located at Jalan Bijeh Timah!

Image Credits: Ho Yan Hor Museum Facebook

Ho Yan Hor was originally a herbal tea shop, now transformed into a museum that has services like educational corner and story boards, documentary videos, antiques and artifacts, and also a tea bar serving their Ho Yan Hor tea.

Image Credits: Ho Yan Hor Museum Facebook

You can find interesting murals on the side of the building. Entrance to the museum is free! Ho Yan Hor Museum is one of Ipoh’s famous attractions to date! Yet another item from an already running list of things to do in Ipoh. Next.

  1. Go Deep Into The Gua Tambun Cave Paintings

Gua Tambun was discovered in 1959 by a British soldier and was declared as Ipoh’s national heritage in 2010. The cave has paintings as old as 3,000 years. It is located at Ulu Kinta with no charges for entrance fees.

Image Credits: Gua Tambun Heritage Awareness Project Facebook

While Gua Tambun is very much underrepresented, a group of people, Center for Global Archaeological Research USM are trying to create heritage awareness projects to stop vandalism and flora/fauna interference.

Image Credits: Gua Tambun Heritage Awareness Project Facebook

Besides having mini-tours on the cave paintings, they encourage tourists and locals to draw their own art on mini wood blocks as a way of learning the meaning of the cave paintings.

  1. Pop by Ipoh Town Hall and Old Post Office

ipoh town hall
Image Credit: Robert A | Flickr 

Clearly influenced by the British’s colonization in the early 1900s, this Victorian stronghold and its integrity have held its existence since its inception. Take a step into the compound and it seems as though you’ve transported to a time when history was being birthed at this very spot.

  1. Next Up: St Michael’s Institution

St Michael's Institution
Image Credit: Bentley Smith | Flickr

This marvel of a building poses as a historical site in Padang Ipoh since pre world war. Witness firsthand how the building has withstood the evolution of time over the years from a distance away to immerse in its full glory!

  1. Ipoh High Court, or at Least the Exterior of It

ipoh high courts

    Image Credit: WikiMediaCommons

Just a stone throw away from the train station, be sure to pop by to snap a pic (of the exterior) of the Ipoh High Court. The British colonization has left Ipoh peppered with Victorian-inspired architectures all over the city and this is just another one of those picturesque ones that has pretty much been left untainted!

  1. Grab a Cuppa at Yee Hoi Coffee Bean

Image Credit: Yee Hoi Coffee Manufacturer Ipoh | Facebook

Not only is Ipoh known for its white coffee, outlets that ground up beans traditionally are also prominent across the city. One of which establishment is the Yee Hoi Coffee Bean. Whether you’re from Ipoh or not, it is always nice to bag their local produce as souvenirs or simply for your coffee indulgence!

  1. Kek Lok Tong Cave Temple and Zen Gardens

kek long tong cave
Image Credit: N E | Flickr

It looks almost like a scene out of ‘Journey to the West’. Not only is the cave a natural phenomenon, but the surrounding sights are just as breathtaking as the main attraction; ponds with fishes in a garden at the back of the cave to soak in the greenery, and sculptures that date back to decades ago, this is the refuge you’ve been searching for in the midst of the city buzz!

  1. Funtasy House Trick Art

funtasy house trick art
Image Credit: Funtasy House Trick Art | Facebook

Forget the trick-eye museum in Singapore, visit Malaysia’s very own Funtasy House Trick Art! Whether you’re visiting or local to Ipoh, definitely check this place out! Decorated with wall art and pieces that are bound to impress and boggle your mind!

  1.  Indulge in Halal Chinese Food

dimsum chinese food
Image Credit: Restoran New Hollywood Ipoh

It is uncommon in the first place, to find traditional chinese cuisines that are Halal. Yong Tau Foo, Chee cheong fun, and even traditional Muslim food, variety is the name of the game here.

  1. Savour Ipoh’s Trademark Dish at Ipoh Tuck Kee

ipoh noodles
Image Credit: Ipoh Tuck Kee | Facebook

Ipoh’s claim to fame for hor fun or rice noodles is largely unchallenged. If you’re into al dente noodles slathered in sauces of sorts, you’ve struck motherlode at Ipoh.

ipoh hokkien noodles
Image Credit: Ipoh Tuck Kee | Facebook

Let’s not forget the hokkien mee, one of the nation’s imprint in the gastronomic world, also served at Tuck Kee! We’ll leave you wondering what are the other delicacies this establishment has to offer!

  1. Visit a Real Castle – Kellie’s Castle

kellie's castle
Image Credit: chee.hong | Flickr

Yes, an actual castle situated right smack in Ipoh! This ruined and unfinished castle seeps of the history of the colonial influences from decades ago; built from scratch with marble and bricks imported from India, this building was even planned for the first ever elevator in Malaysia!

  1. Wet Activities at Gua Tempurung

Gua Tempurung
Image Credit: EnJANEer | Flickr

More than just your typical cave-walk, a seemingly gimmick-driven attraction is so much more than what it seems. Embark on a leisure tour through some 120m tall cave, or dive head first into some of the challenging wet activities! Experience a cave trail like no other – crawl in the dark with the beautiful overhead formations of stalagmite. There’s something for everyone, thrillseekers, and someone who’s experiencing caving alike, definitely give Gua Tempurung a visit!

  1. Ipoh Railway Station

Ipoh railway station
Image Credit: Mohd Fazlin Mohd Effendy Ooi | Flickr

Being branded mostly as a railway station does no justice to its aesthetically outstanding architecture. It’s massively whitewashed building screams of its rich Victorian influence and elegance – unusual for something that comes with age, but not the Ipoh Railway Station. Hang by the garden surrounding the train station and immerse yourself in the stunning colorful fountain lights at night!

  1. Geological Museum

geological museum ipoh
Image Credit: Luc Mercelis | Flickr

Ipoh is strategically located in the tin-bearing valley, which also naturally translates to a rich geological heritage of the region. The Geological Museum simply is a collection of minerals and huge gemstones. Dinosaur fossils and murals dating back to the last century are some key attractions that you can expect here too!

Need a quick break or a short getaway? Can’t wait to look at cave paintings and soak in the atmosphere of Ipoh? We have some travel deals for you, so start booking your holidays now! Expedia and Malaysia Airlines offers discounts in the form of Expedia vouchers and Malaysia Airlines promos so be sure to use them.

In addition to these travel deals, you’ll be glad to know that ShopBack will be having our inaugural Shopping festival ShopFest later this year. Happening from 9th September to 3rd January; ShopFest is the go-to event that will help you shop the Smarter Way throughout the 6 major year-end sales.

*First Published 26 October 2017, Last Updated 24 May 2018