Things to do in Ipoh – Malaysia

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on the best things to do in Ipoh! Nestled in the heart of Malaysia, Ipoh offers a charming mix of history, culture, and natural beauty. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, Ipoh has something for everyone. From exploring historic landmarks to discovering natural wonders, indulging in culinary delights to immersing in cultural experiences, Ipoh is a hidden gem waiting to be explored.

As your trusted travel guide, we’ll take you through the top attractions and activities in Ipoh. Join us as we explore this enchanting city and uncover its hidden treasures.

Key Takeaways:

  • Ipoh is a charming city in Malaysia that offers a mix of history, culture, and natural beauty.
  • There are a variety of attractions and activities available in Ipoh, including exploring historic landmarks, discovering natural wonders, indulging in culinary delights, immersing in cultural experiences, and more.
  • Ipoh is a hidden gem waiting to be explored, making it an ideal destination for both first-time visitors and seasoned travelers.

Explore Historic Landmarks

Ipoh is a city rich in history and culture, with many historic landmarks showcasing its past. Visitors to this charming destination can immerse themselves in the city’s heritage and learn about its fascinating architecture.

Landmark Historical Significance Architecture
Ipoh Railway Station Built in 1914, the station served as a transportation hub during the tin mining boom. The iconic Anglo-Asian architecture features Moorish domes and minarets, with a grand clock tower.
Birch Memorial Clock Tower Built in memory of J.W.W. Birch, the first British Resident of Perak who was assassinated in 1875. The tower’s design features a mix of European and Asian influences, with intricate details and a four-faced clock.
Ipoh Town Hall Built in 1916 as the administrative headquarters of the British colonial government in Ipoh. The Neoclassical building features Corinthian columns, a central dome, and a grand staircase.

Exploring these historic landmarks is a must-do experience for visitors to Ipoh. The unique architecture and historical significance of each landmark are a testament to the city’s rich heritage and culture.

Ipoh Heritage Sites

In addition to these iconic landmarks, Ipoh also has several heritage sites that are worth a visit for history buffs. The Ipoh World at Han Chin Pet Soo museum provides a glimpse into the city’s tin mining past, and the Kellie’s Castle offers a glimpse into the life of a Scottish planter in the early 20th century.

Ipoh Historical Places

Ipoh also has several historical places that showcase its diverse cultural influences. The Sam Poh Tong Cave Temple and Kek Lok Tong Cave Temple are beautiful Buddhist temples set in natural limestone caves, while the Masjid Panglima Kinta Mosque is a stunning example of Islamic architecture.

Overall, exploring Ipoh’s historic landmarks, heritage sites, and historical places is a great way to learn about the city’s past and appreciate its unique architecture. Visitors will be captivated by the charm and character of this hidden gem.

Discover Natural Wonders

Ipoh is not just rich in history and culture but also boasts an abundance of natural wonders that makes it an ideal destination for nature lovers. From caves and limestone hills to tranquil lakes and waterfalls, there’s plenty to explore in the city’s beautiful natural surroundings. In this section, we will guide you through the must-visit natural attractions in Ipoh.

Ipoh Caves

Cave Name Description
Sam Poh Tong Cave Temple This popular cave temple features a stunning landscape dotted with ponds, pagodas, and Buddha statues. Visitors can explore the inner temple and the cave adorned with Chinese calligraphy and wall paintings.
Kek Lok Tong Cave Temple Kek Lok Tong is another impressive cave temple that features a beautiful garden with a lotus pond. Visitors can explore the inner cave that boasts stunning rock formations.

The limestone hills in Ipoh host several other caves that are worth visiting, including the Perak Tong Cave Temple and Ling Sen Tong Temple.

Ipoh Limestone Hills

Ipoh is known for its magnificent limestone hills that create a unique landscape. Visitors can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities such as hiking, rock climbing, and cave exploring. The popular limestone hills include:

  • Bukit Kledang
  • Bukit Larut
  • Gunung Lang Recreational Park
  • Gua Tempurung

Ipoh Nature Attractions

Apart from caves and limestone hills, visitors can also indulge in some peaceful natural attractions in Ipoh:

  • Tambun Hot Springs: This natural hot spring features Jacuzzis, a pool, and a spa for visitors to relax and unwind.
  • Lost World of Tambun: This water park is situated amidst a natural landscape and offers a range of water activities for visitors of all ages.
  • Kinta Nature Park: This park is a haven for wildlife and plant enthusiasts. Visitors can observe several bird species, including kingfishers, herons, and eagles.

Ipoh’s natural wonders offer an incredible opportunity to explore Malaysia’s natural beauty. From stunning cave temples to majestic limestone hills and tranquil lakes, the city has something for everyone, making it a perfect destination for nature lovers.

Immerse in Cultural Experiences

Ipoh’s rich cultural heritage is an essential part of the city’s charm. Visitors can explore various museums and art galleries, participate in cultural festivals, and appreciate the city’s vibrant mural art. Here are some of our top recommendations:

Explore Museums

Ipoh is home to several fascinating museums that provide insights into the city’s tin mining heritage and its contribution to Malaysia’s development. One such museum is the Han Chin Pet Soo Museum. It was initially a social club for the wealthy and influential tin miners in the late nineteenth century. Today, the museum houses a vast collection of photographs, artifacts, and documents that illustrate the social and cultural history of the Chinese community in Ipoh. Another notable museum is the Ipoh World at Han Chin Pet Soo, where visitors can learn more about the city’s tin mining industry.

Appreciate Art Galleries

Ipoh’s art scene is thriving, with numerous art galleries showcasing the work of local and international artists. The Art of OLDTOWN is a particular highlight, featuring a range of exhibitions, workshops, and events. The gallery has a collection of paintings, sculptures, and mixed media pieces with an emphasis on the heritage and culture of Ipoh. Other notable galleries include FMS Art Gallery and ArtSpace@Seni.

Participate in Cultural Festivals

Ipoh hosts various cultural festivals throughout the year, offering visitors opportunities to witness and participate in local customs and traditions. One such festival is the Ipoh Chinese New Year Fiesta, where elaborate decorations, fireworks, and cultural performances adorn the city. Another popular festival is the Ipoh International Waiters’ Race, where waiters from all over the world compete in a thrilling race while balancing full trays of drinks.

Ipoh’s cultural experiences are diverse and offer a glimpse into the city’s history and contemporary art scene. Visitors will undoubtedly appreciate the unique atmosphere and experiences available in this charming destination.

Indulge in Culinary Delights

Ipoh is known for its delicious and unique local cuisine, making it a food lover’s paradise. From traditional dishes to modern fusion creations, there is something for everyone to savor.

Famous food in Ipoh

One of the must-try dishes in Ipoh is the chicken and bean sprouts, which is best enjoyed at Cowan Street Ayam Tauge & Koitiau Restaurant. Another popular dish is the Ipoh hor fun, a silky smooth noodle served either with shredded chicken or prawns, available at Lou Wong Bean Sprout Chicken and Tuck Kee Restaurant.

Ipoh street food

Ipoh is also famous for its street food. Take a stroll down Concubine Lane and you will find stalls selling a variety of snacks, including the egg tart, kaya puff, and the char kuey teow. Alternatively, make your way to the Ipoh Old Town area and check out the bustling food markets offering everything from satay to dim sum.

Ipoh food markets

One of the most popular food markets in Ipoh is the Pasar Karat, which takes place every Sunday morning at Jalan Horley. Here, visitors can find a range of second-hand goods, antiques, and of course, street food. Other food markets worth exploring include the Tong Sui Kai Dessert Street and the Memory Lane Night Market.

So whether you’re looking to indulge in traditional dishes or explore new flavors, Ipoh has something to satisfy every palate. Dive into the vibrant food scene and discover the culinary delights that make this city so special!

Best Places to Stay

Ipoh offers a range of accommodation options to suit different needs and budgets. From luxury hotels to budget-friendly guesthouses, there is something to cater to every type of traveler.

Luxury Hotels

For those looking for the ultimate in comfort and luxury, Ipoh has some excellent options. The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat is a secluded resort nestled in a lush tropical jungle, boasting its own geothermal hot springs. The Haven Resort Hotel Ipoh is another luxurious option, featuring stunning views of the natural surroundings and elegant accommodation.

Boutique Hotels

If you’re looking for a stylish stay with a personal touch, Ipoh has several boutique hotels worth considering. M Boutique Hotel is a unique and quirky option, featuring individually designed rooms inspired by different themes. Sekeping Kong Heng is another popular boutique hotel, housed in a converted heritage building and offering comfortable and modern rooms.

Budget Accommodation

For those on a tighter budget, Ipoh has several affordable options that still provide comfortable stay. De Cafe & Rest House is a popular choice, offering clean and basic rooms in a central location. Bedrock Hotel Ipoh is another budget-friendly option, featuring modern and simple rooms at an affordable price.

Regardless of your accommodation preference, there is something for everyone in Ipoh. Book your stay and get ready to experience the charm and hospitality of this hidden gem.

Getting Around Ipoh

When it comes to transportation in Ipoh, visitors have several options for getting around the city. The most common mode of transportation is by bus, which is both affordable and reliable. Ipoh has a decent network of public buses that run frequently and cover many parts of the city.

For those looking for more convenience, taxis and ride-sharing services like Grab are readily available in Ipoh. These services offer the added benefit of air conditioning, and the fares are reasonable. Visitors can also consider renting a car to explore the city at their own pace.

Ipoh is also accessible by train from other parts of Malaysia. Trains run regularly between Ipoh and Kuala Lumpur, making it a convenient option for those looking to travel between the two cities.

Overall, getting around Ipoh is relatively easy, with plenty of options to choose from. Visitors can plan their transportation based on their budget and preferences, ensuring a smooth and hassle-free experience.

Best Places to Eat

If you’re a foodie, Ipoh is the perfect destination for you. The city’s food scene is legendary, and it’s considered one of the best places in the world for culinary experiences. Here are some of our top picks for restaurants in Ipoh.

Restoran Lou Wong Tauge Ayam Kuetiau

This restaurant is undoubtedly one of the most famous eateries in Ipoh. It has been serving delicious chicken rice since 1945, and it’s the perfect place to experience the city’s famous bean sprouts chicken. We recommend trying their signature dish as well as their kuetiau soup.

Thean Chun Coffee Shop

If you’re looking for a more traditional dining experience, head over to Thean Chun Coffee Shop. This iconic eatery has been around since the 1940s and serves up some of the best local delicacies in Ipoh. We recommend trying their caramel custard, pork satay, and chee cheong fun.

Onn Kee Tauge Chicken

Another popular spot for bean sprouts chicken is Onn Kee Tauge Chicken. This family-owned restaurant has been serving up their famous dish for over 70 years, and it’s a must-try when in Ipoh. You can also try other dishes like their braised eggplant and pork balls.

Pusing Public Seafood

If you’re a seafood lover, Pusing Public Seafood is the perfect place for you. This restaurant offers an extensive menu of fresh seafood that’s caught daily. We recommend trying their butter prawns, steamed fish, and salted egg squid.

Ipoh’s food scene is diverse and vibrant, and there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for street food or fine dining, the city has it all. So, make sure you come with an empty stomach and be prepared to indulge in Ipoh’s culinary delights!

Beaches and Parks

Ipoh has plenty of opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts looking to explore nature spots. Visitors can enjoy a plethora of beaches and parks that offer different experiences and activities. Here are some of the best beaches and parks to check out in Ipoh:

Lost World of Tambun

Located in the heart of Tambun, the Lost World of Tambun is a natural theme park that features a variety of water attractions, hot springs, and an animal petting zoo. Visitors can enjoy thrilling rides and slides, relax in the hot springs, or get up close and personal with the friendly animals.

Kinta Nature Park

Kinta Nature Park is a 1,000-acre park located on the outskirts of Ipoh. The park offers a range of outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, and bird watching. Visitors can relax amidst the serene surroundings and observe the wildlife, including monkeys and birds.

Tambun Hot Springs

The Tambun Hot Springs is a natural hot spring park located in Tambun. The park offers a range of relaxing activities such as soaking in the hot springs, getting a massage, or enjoying a picnic with loved ones. Visitors can also indulge in the park’s therapeutic fish spa.

The Haven Lakeside Residences

The Haven Lakeside Residences is a stunning nature retreat located on the outskirts of Ipoh. Visitors can enjoy a range of outdoor activities such as kayaking, rock climbing, and jungle trekking. The park features a man-made beach and a beautiful lake for visitors to relax and unwind.

Overall, Ipoh’s beaches and parks provide a great escape for those looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Visitors can enjoy a range of outdoor activities and immerse in the serene surroundings of nature spots.

Day Trips from Ipoh

If you’re looking to explore beyond the boundaries of Ipoh, there are plenty of nearby attractions worth visiting. Here are some exciting day trips you can take from Ipoh:

Cameron Highlands

Cameron Highlands is a popular destination known for its picturesque tea plantations and cool climate. Visitors can enjoy scenic drives, visit tea factories, and take a hike through the stunning Mossy Forest. There are also strawberry farms, butterfly gardens, and the colorful Cactus Point for those who prefer a more relaxed pace. Cameron Highlands is a 2-hour drive from Ipoh and can easily be done in a day trip.

Gua Tempurung

Gua Tempurung is one of the largest limestone caves in Peninsular Malaysia. Visitors can take a guided tour of the cave system, which includes exploring underground streams and caverns. The cave is also home to unique cave creatures and formations. Gua Tempurung is only a 45-minute drive from Ipoh and is perfect for adventure seekers looking to explore something entirely different.


The charming town of Taiping is an hour’s drive from Ipoh and boasts some of the country’s most impressive colonial architecture. Visitors can take a stroll around the stunning Taiping Lake Gardens, visit the Taiping Zoo and Night Safari, or explore the historic Taiping War Cemetery. Taiping is also home to the well-known Maxwell Hill, which offers panoramic views of the town and surrounding hills.

Belum Rainforest

Belum Rainforest is one of the world’s oldest rainforests and is home to a vast diversity of flora and fauna. Visitors can explore the vast wilderness by taking a boat ride along the Temengor Lake and visiting nearby Orang Asli Villages. There are also plenty of opportunities for trekking, bird-watching, and fishing. Belum Rainforest is a 2.5-hour drive from Ipoh and is perfect for nature lovers.

These are just a few of the many day trips you can take from Ipoh. Whether you’re interested in nature, history, or adventure, there’s something for everyone in the surrounding areas. Get out and explore the beauty of Ipoh’s surrounding areas!

Final Thoughts on Ipoh

As we come to the end of our Ipoh travel guide, we hope you have gained a greater appreciation for this charming city and all it has to offer. Before you set off on your Ipoh adventure, we wanted to leave you with a few travel tips to make the most of your trip.

Ipoh Travel Tips

First and foremost, make sure to bring comfortable walking shoes as there is plenty to explore on foot. Don’t forget your sunscreen and hat, as the weather can get quite hot.

Ipoh is a food lover’s paradise, so be sure to try out the local cuisine and street food for an authentic taste of the city. We recommend exploring night markets such as the Pasar Malam Taman Ipoh for some truly delicious treats.

If you’re planning on visiting some of the popular attractions, we suggest arriving early in the morning to avoid the crowds and make the most of your day. It’s also a good idea to purchase your tickets in advance to save time waiting in line.

Ipoh Recommendations

If you’re looking for something unique to do in Ipoh, we recommend taking part in the Kellie’s Castle Night Tour. This historical site offers a fascinating experience under the stars.

For those seeking a relaxing day trip, we recommend visiting the Banjaran Hot Springs. This luxurious retreat offers a range of hot spring pools, a spa, and stunning natural surroundings.

Ipoh Travel Advice

When travelling in Ipoh, it’s important to respect the local culture and traditions. Be sure to dress appropriately when visiting religious sites or attending cultural events.

If you’re travelling on a budget, there are plenty of affordable accommodation options available in the city. Consider staying in a budget-friendly guesthouse or homestay to save some money while still enjoying a comfortable stay.

We hope our guide has inspired you to explore Ipoh and create some unforgettable memories. Whether you’re interested in history, nature, food or culture, this hidden gem has something for everyone. Start planning your trip today!


Q: What are the best things to do in Ipoh?

A: Some of the best things to do in Ipoh include exploring historic landmarks, discovering natural wonders, immersing in cultural experiences, indulging in culinary delights, visiting famous food spots, staying at top-rated accommodations, getting around the city with public transport, trying out the best restaurants, enjoying beaches and parks, and going on day trips to nearby attractions.

Q: What historic landmarks can I visit in Ipoh?

A: Ipoh is home to several historic landmarks, including the iconic Ipoh Railway Station, Birch Memorial Clock Tower, and Ipoh Town Hall. These landmarks showcase unique architecture and offer a glimpse into the city’s history.

Q: What natural wonders can I discover in Ipoh?

A: Ipoh is known for its natural wonders, such as the Sam Poh Tong Cave Temple, Kek Lok Tong Cave Temple, and Gunung Lang Recreational Park. These attractions feature stunning limestone formations and provide a serene environment for visitors to enjoy.

Q: What cultural experiences can I immerse in while in Ipoh?

A: Ipoh offers various cultural experiences, including visiting museums like the Han Chin Pet Soo Museum and exploring the Ipoh Mural Art Trail. There are also cultural festivals throughout the year that showcase the rich heritage of the city.

Q: What are some famous food spots in Ipoh?

A: Ipoh is renowned for its delicious food. Some famous food spots include Cowan Street Ayam Tauge & Koitiau Restaurant, which is known for its chicken and bean sprouts, and the vibrant food markets where visitors can sample a variety of local delicacies.

Q: Where can I find the best places to stay in Ipoh?

A: Ipoh offers a range of accommodation options. Some recommended places to stay include luxury hotels like The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat, boutique hotels such as M Boutique Hotel, and budget-friendly accommodations that provide comfortable stays for travelers on a tighter budget.

Q: How can I get around Ipoh?

A: Getting around Ipoh is convenient with its reliable bus system, taxis, and ride-sharing services. The city is also reachable by train services, making it easy to travel from other parts of Malaysia.

Q: Where can I find the best places to eat in Ipoh?

A: Ipoh offers a vibrant food scene with a variety of dining options. Some recommended restaurants include Restoran Lou Wong Tauge Ayam Kuetiau, known for its delectable chicken rice. Visitors can explore different cuisines to satisfy their taste buds.

Q: Are there any beaches and parks in Ipoh?

A: While Ipoh is not located directly on the coast, there are nearby attractions like Tambun Hot Springs and Lost World of Tambun, which offer both natural beauty and thrilling water park experiences. Kinta Nature Park is also a great place to explore and observe wildlife.

Q: What are some recommended day trips from Ipoh?

A: For those looking to explore nearby attractions, some recommended day trips from Ipoh include visiting Cameron Highlands, known for its tea plantations, and exploring Gua Tempurung, one of the largest limestone caves in Peninsular Malaysia.

Q: What are some final thoughts on Ipoh?

A: Ipoh is a charming destination with a rich history, natural beauty, delicious food, and diverse cultural experiences. We recommend exploring all that Ipoh has to offer and suggest starting to plan your Ipoh adventure today.