Ipoh, Perak , Nothern Region - Malaysia
A city that continues to rise, inspire yet keeps its nostalgic appeal
The scenic Ipoh is the third largest city in Malaysia with a population of over 750,000 inhabitants and the capital of city of the state Perak. Surrounded by picturesque limestone, the city is truly unique with a rich heritage and home to friendly, liberal people. It’s situated on the west coast of the Malaysian Peninsula and is nicknamed by the locals the “city of millionaires” referring to the money the city made during the booming tin-mining industry.
The city is situated on the tin-bearing river of the Kinta Valley. The city initially grew rapidly as a mining village but after the mining industry finished, unfortunately, the city commenced a swift descent into insignificance. After the British left and Perak gained independence in 1957, many colonial buildings become derelict and a lot of the city crumbled to disrepair and characterlessness. Many Malaysians and tourists alike considered Ipoh as a fallen city, however, excitingly, this is all changing.
Ipoh has, shall we say, risen from the ashes in the past years. With quaint coffee shops popping up, contemporary street art being painted on the city’s walls and century-old buildings have had new fresh air pumped into them- the city is on the rise. No wonder now restaurants and hotels are appearing on the scene.
Expect an inspiring medley of nostalgia and contemporaneousness in the space of a single street in Ipoh.
Real Estate in Ipoh
Ipoh is described to be a city under rejuvenation. A place where people thought was a dwindling city, is now thriving. Therefore, demand for housing and more luxury housing is on the increase. There are many modern apartments, condos, and houses up for grabs in the prospering city. More money is being poured into the city, more people are moving and looking to buy property in Ipoh.
Although the prices are rising steadily, Ipoh is relatively low compared to other booming Malaysian cities.
Living in Ipoh
Ipoh has actually always been an important economic and commercial centre for Malaysia so there is definitely a sense of growth in the city. Ipoh is a relatively quiet city if one compares it to Kuala Lumpur but there also a whole host of activities to do in Ipoh like visit the stunning limestone caves, coffee café hopping, shopping in the eclectic Chinese shop houses and taking in the historical architecture that Ipoh has to offer. Many wonder the streets and lay their eyes on the outstanding art which are inspired by Ipoh’s rich past.
Another plus of living in Ipoh is seeing all different ethnicities come together , live and work in harmony and contribute to the diverse culture. Many other places in the world are usually rather segregated, the true beauty of Malaysia is its multicultural nature and limitless opportunities and experiences.
The city is gaining popularity with expats as it offers traditions, culture, lush green nature and the cost of living is low.
Shopping in Ipoh
The old town has a vibrant shopping scene where shoppers will be spoilt for choice at low prices. The best place to shop would be in the historical Chinese shop shops situated in Leech Street. For a more modern shopping experience, the New Town is packed with malls and shops so no problem shopping till you drop in Ipoh!
Ipoh is certainly catching up to Kuala Lumpur’s ever-expanding shopping districts offering shoppers a range of shops to cater to every individuals’ tastes and budgets. If shopping during the day isn’t can option, Ipoh offers superbly unique night markets which colourfully light up the city at dusk.
Restaurants in Ipoh
Experience unparalleled cuisine in Malaysia’s finest eating hotspot. Indulge in the city’s delicious delicacies that are showcased in style restaurants or traditional markets. Ipoh is famous for its “white coffee” served with condensed milk. The coffee beans are soaked in palm oil giving it an intense flavour thus becoming very popular with locals and tourists. Chee Cheong Fun and Dim Sum are two of the favourite eating hubs in the tasty town.
From healthy exotic fruits and vegetables to satiating deep fried meats- Ipoh has it all to keep the foodies treating their taste buds all day long.
Travelling to and around Ipoh
The Sultan Azlan Shah Airport is the only airport in Ipoh which has domestic flights to Kuala Lumpur-Subang and Johor Bahru. Getting to Ipoh from Kuala Lumpur is made super easy with the ETS Electric Train Service going to and from Ipoh frequently. The duration of the journey takes an impressive 2 hours and 15 minutes. Flying to Ipoh from KL is also a cheap and fast option too. Going to Ipoh from Kuala Lumpur by car or bus is a possibility but it very much depends on the traffic.
There are lots of ways to go out and about in Ipoh and its neighbouring cities with public transport. For example Ipoh's railway station (Keretapi Tanah Melayu- KTM) located in the old city connects towns and cities nearby. The train, however, doesn’t have intra-city services like in Kuala Lumpur. An inter-city bus service is also available and also there is an extensive road network linking other major cities to Ipoh. For example, the old interstate route 1 connects Ipoh to main cities like Penang, Kuala Lumpur, and even Johor Bahru. The new North-South Expressway is an even faster option but it depends on the destination as some towns/cities can only be reached by route 1.
Education in Ipoh
There are many colleges in Ipoh and some university branches with many courses on offer. Some of which are Maxwell College, WIT College (Ipoh Branch) and Sunway College Ipoh.
Top 7 Things to do in Ipoh
1.The Old Town- become surrounded by the intense history of Ipoh and be immersed in archaic British colonial buildings and bargain hunt in traditional bright Chinese shop-houses.
2. Ipoh World- this heritage centre provides education and entertainment based exhibitions for locals and visitors to learn about the rich history of Perak, the Silver State of Malaysia.
3. Perak Cave Temple (Kek Lok Tong Cave Temple)- this is a must-see and something the adults and kids will truly love. The mysterious stunning limestone caves cover 12-acres of land in Gunung Rapat in the south of Ipoh. It’s a real gem for the nature lovers and keen historians.
4. Ipoh Heritage Walk- Take a walk around all the old sites such as the Railway station, Birch Memorial Clock and many more old spots scattered over the city.
5. Lost World Tambun- This is the place for the family to enjoy, the theme park is packed with adrenaline-filled rides and also majestic relaxation zones and spas. Everything to keep the adults and kids happy.
6. Lang Mountains- This is perhaps one of Malaysia best-kept secrets. The Lang mountains are saturated in a rich green forest and wrapped around it are meandering rivers. Perfect for a scenic, zen boat trip or a romantic date.