23 Best Things To Do In Ipoh: The Underrated Great Escape

things to do in ipoh
Ihsan
Ihsan 
Updated

Once considered a city in slumber, Lonely Planet has placed this heritage city in 6th place on their list of must-visit places in 2016! This capital city of Perak is strategically located only a 2-hour drive from Kuala Lumpur, attracting locals for day trips with its many exciting sights, attractions, and delicacies! Also gaining traction from the international tourist, Ipoh’s many natural wonders, cave temples, quirky boutique hotels, and delicious heritage recipes are starting to gain recognition that’s long overdue! What’s makes this once tin-mining town so interesting to visit? Here are the best things to do in Ipoh.

1. Enter the world of 3D art at Funtasy House Trick Art (from USD 4.0)

At Funtasy House Trick Art, you will get the opportunity to jump into 3D art pieces. Located within walking distance from Old Town Ipoh, this interactive museum provides guests with the opportunity to not only marvel at mind-bending art but also be part of these unique pieces. Make sure to bring your smartphone or a camera with you here as you will definitely want to take pictures of the illusions and exhibits. This venue is wheelchair-accessible, so every member of the family is guaranteed to have fun here.

Funtasy House Trick Art Admission Ticket

Duration: 1 to 2 hours

10 reviews

2. Cool off at Lost World of Tambun (from USD 18.0)

Malaysian heat can quickly take a toll on people, especially those who can’t bear the tropical climate of Southeast Asia. Lost World of Tambun provides guests with the opportunity to cool off while having fun. The theme park comes with a water park where visitors can enjoy splashing around. If the Malaysian heat doesn’t bother them, they can take a dip in the hot spring to soothe tired muscles. The theme park also features a petting zoo and fantastic performances to keep families and holidaymakers entertained.

Sunway Lost World Of Tambun WaterPark Ticket in Ipoh

Duration: 1 Day(s) Duration

2527 reviews

3. Go on a relaxing boat ride at Gunung Lang Recreational Park

Gunung Lang recreational park
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user MohdNiza85 used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Gunung Lang Recreational Park is a beautiful and serene attraction that features a pair of limestone hills called Gunung Lang and Gunung Bilike. One of the highlights of this attraction is a boat tour of the lake, where guests can see magnificent limestone rocks framing the water. The park also houses an artificial lake, which can be accessed on foot, that sits atop a hill. Families traveling with kids can have fun on the park’s playground.

Gunung Lang Recreational Park

Address: Ipoh 30010 Malaysia

4. Be entertained by the exhibits featured at Geology Museum

Night View Front JMG Museum
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Akhmar7 used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Don’t let its facade fool you. While it does look rather plain on the outside, there is much to see and learn at Geology Museum. The museum is divided into seven zones: Zone A features the history of the museum; Zone B contains dinosaurs and fossils; Zone C displays gemstones and minerals; Zone D showcases how minerals affect people’s day-to-day lives; Zone E teaches people about tin-mining history; Zone F gives an overview of geological surveys; Zone G offers kid-friendly, geology-themed games. Even visitors who have zero knowledge about geology will be entertained by the exhibits featured in this museum.

Geology Museum

Address: Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah, 30820 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia

Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 9am - 12:30pm, 2pm - 4:30pm; Fri: 9am - 12pm, 2pm - 4:30pm (closed on Sat & Sun)

5. Take a tour around Art Of Oldtown Bijeh Timah

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Art Of Oldtown Ipoh is nearly as iconic as the city’s white coffee. If you love art, make sure not to miss taking snaps of murals painted by Ernest Zacharevic, a Lithuanian artist. There are eight pieces that are included in the collection: A Bag of Coffee in Jalan Bandar Timah; A ‘Kopi’ Break in Jalan Tun Sambathan; Girl On A Wall in Jalan Bandar Timah; Old Town Relives Nostalgia with Trishaw at Concubine Lane 3; Old Uncle Drinking Coffee in Jalan Dato Maharajalela; Paper Plane at Jalan Sheikh Adam; Tin Mining Town With Chinese-Style Painting in Jalan Bijeh Timah; Yellow Hummingbird in Jalan Panglima. Other murals are located in the neighborhood, so be sure to keep an eye out for these as well.

OldTown Bijeh Timah

Address: 1, Jalan Bijeh Timah, 30000 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia

Website: OldTown Bijeh Timah

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

6. Pay your respects at Ling Sen Tong Temple

Ling Sen Tong Temple
Source: Pixabay

Ling Sen Tong Temple, which translates to “The Rock of Heavenly Spirits,” is a Taoist cave temple that sits right beside Sam Poh Tong and Nam Thean Tong. It is located at the foot of a limestone hill just outside of Ipoh. This temple is easily recognizable, thanks to its colorful statues and figurines. Those who are familiar with Chinese mythology may be able to spot key figures like the monkey king Sun Wukong of Journey to the West. Try to allot half a day in this area, especially if you plan on visiting the neighboring temples.

Ling Sen Tong Temple

Address: 31350 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia

7. Savor the tranquility of Qing Xin Ling Leisure & Cultural Village

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Qing Xin Ling means “serene hill”, an apt description of what you can expect to see and feel when you visit this destination. This attraction is framed by beautiful limestone cliffs and still lakes, providing plenty of photography opportunities. Make sure to wear sturdy and comfortable shoes when you come and visit as there’s an area that is only accessible by hiking. Although the trail is short, it will still require a bit of a walk, especially if your plan is to reach the peak of the hill. Other activities you can enjoy while you’re here include cycling and fish feeding. Want to know what fate has in store for you? Have a fortune-telling session while you’re here.

Qing Xin Ling Leisure & Cultural Village

Address: 22A, Persiaran Pinggir Rapat 5a, Taman Saikat, 31350 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia

Website: Qing Xin Ling Leisure & Cultural Village

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 9:30am - 5pm (closed on Sun)

8. Take Insta-worthy snaps at Second Concubine Lane

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

You will immediately know once you’ve entered Second Concubine Lane, thanks to the cute and colorful umbrellas that are used as overhead decorations. The history of this area is as colorful as its decors. Depending on who’s telling the story, the street was either named after the three wives of a mining tycoon or the concubines of rich people. Also, it was once dotted with brothels and opium dens. Today, the lane provides plenty of photo opportunities, from the cute umbrellas to the murals found in the neighborhood.

Second Concubine Lane

Address: Panglima Ln, 30000 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia

9. Learn more about mining and agriculture at Darul Ridzuan Museum

Darul Ridzuan Museum
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user User: Shoestring... used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Darul Ridzuan Museum, which is located in Kinta District, used to be the residence of a wealthy miner named Foo Choong Kit. However, in 1950, it was sold to the local government to house the administrative center of its Department of Works. After 42 years, the building was converted into a museum. The main exhibits of this attraction present the mining and agricultural history of Ipoh and key historical figures of the city. The museum occasionally hosts traveling art exhibits.

Darul Ridzuan Museum

Address: Jalan Panglima Bukit Gantang Wahab, Perak, 30000 Ipoh, Malaysia

Price: Free

10. Indulge in savory dim sum at Ming Court Hong Kong Dim Sum

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Ipoh is known for its fantastic food scene–and Ming Court Hong Kong Dim Sum is one place worth checking out. This restaurant is known for its Hong Kong-style breakfast so be sure to head out early if you want to try this for yourself and avoid long lines. Among the food items offered here are sek lau mai (pork dumplings), siu mai (steamed dumplings), pai kuat (pork ribs), chicken feet, egg tart, and rice porridge. The servers here speak limited English, so do try to have someone with you who is able to speak Cantonese.

Ming Court Hong Kong Dim Sum

Address: 36, Jalan Leong Sin Nam, Kampung Jawa, 30300 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia

11. Get your dose of history by traversing Ipoh Heritage Trail

High Court - Ipoh
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Graystravels used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Ipoh Heritage Trail features a marked path with 27 landmarks connected to the city’s past. The path can easily be followed because of the yellow footprints on the pavement. You can, however, get a free map from the tourism office if you plan on veering off-course at certain portions of the trail. The landmarks have markers with descriptions in Malay and English. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes and sunscreen. The actual trail takes about two hours to explore, but you will need a lot more time if you want to enter the museums or check out the commercial establishments and murals along the way. You can explore the trail on your own or join one of the walking tours if you want to learn more about the landmarks and the city’s history.

Ipoh Heritage Trail

Address: Ipoh, Malaysia

12. Witness the beauy of Tasik Cermin

Mirror Lake in Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user hams Nocete used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Tasik Cermin, otherwise known as Mirror Lake, is one of the best-kept secrets of Ipoh. Part of the reason why only a few tourists visit this attraction is that it’s difficult to find. The road leading to this place is unmarked and getting to the attraction itself requires going through a tunnel. Once there, visitors will be greeted by the gorgeous sight of the limestone walls reflected on the surface of the lake.

Tasik Cermin

Address: Jalan Raja Dr. Nazrin Shah, 31350 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia

13. Look for unique souvenirs at Kong Heng Flea Market

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Kong Heng Flea Market used to be one of the few shopping areas in Ipoh. While there’s now a variety of malls and boutiques in the city, this destination continues to hold a special place in the hearts of locals and visitors alike. Its artisan market sells unique and beautiful handcrafted items made by local designers. Besides offering knick-knacks, this area also features a number of cafes in case shoppers want to take a break.

Kong Heng Flea Market

Address: 11, Jalan Panglima, 30000 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia

Opening hours: 10am - 5pm (daily)

14. Taste some local culinary cuisine

PA208770
Source: Photo by user CCFoodTravel.com used under CC BY 2.0

Like every other state in Malaysia, Ipoh has its own food trail every foodie needs to follow! Promising you a day of decadence, you’ll just have to get a taste of the silkiest Tau Fu Fah in town (Soy Bean Pudding with Dark Sugar Gravy), and of course, being the birthplace of Malaysia’s white coffee scene, sample some authentic Ipoh Old Town White Coffee! With so much more to offer, read our article on the 17 Best Street Foods In Ipoh!

15. Visit some cave temples

Sam Poh Tong Temple,Ipoh
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Miss Prema Darshini used under CC BY-SA 4.0

With its many mountains and caves, Ipoh has more than one cave temples worth a visit! Sam Poh Tong is one of the most famous cave temples located in Gunung Rapat. You’ll definitely be in awe visiting here, as the cave has some impressive works of art and various statues of the Buddha scattered among natural stalactites and stalagmites. Climb their famous 246 steps to the open cave above (it’ll take you about 30 minutes if you’re fit) and you’ll be rewarded with an amazing panoramic view of Ipoh! The beautiful Japanese pond garden at the cave, that symbolize longevity, will also leave you in awe! Along with the sights, your spirit will be rejuvenated with a deeper understanding of the peaceful spiritual practices carried out at these temples.

Sam Poh Tong Cave Temple

Address: Sam Poh Tong Temple, Gunung Rapat, 31350, Ipoh, Perak.

Opening Hours: 9.00 am – 6.00 pm

Contact: +60 5 255 2772 / 9962

KeK Lok Tong Cave Temple

Address: Gunung Rapat, 31350 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia

Opening Hours: 7.00 am – 6.00 pm

Contact: +60 5 312 8112

16. Have a family day at D.R. Seenivasagam Park

Dr Seenivasagam Garden
Source: Photo by Flickr user musimpanas used under CC BY-ND 2.0

The best park to go in Ipoh for a family day out in the sun - there are many things to do with your family at D.R. Seenivasagam Park! The oldest recreational park in Ipoh, the area is complete with playgrounds, football fields, picnic grounds, skate parks, bike parks and even a Japanese Zen garden with a lake! Get your camera out, your day out at this park will surely create many memories you’ll want to remember!

D.R. Seenivasagam Park

Address: Jalan Keliling Dalam, 30300 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia

Opening Hours: 24 Hours

17. Learn some history at the Han Chin Pet Soo Museum

HCPS Dining hall
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Chriscwy5435 used under CC BY-SA 4.0

To learn more about the history of Ipoh and the lives of miners in this tin mining district, Han Chin Pet Soo’s Heritage House Museum will provide you with in-depth insight into the shadowy happenings at the tin miners’ club through its exhibits. You’ll learn about the prostitution, gambling and opium smoking that was once behind the scenes of the elegant facade of the club. This is a great exhibition to go and learn about the history of the Chinese people in Ipoh!

Han Chin Pet Soo Museum

Address: 3, Jalan Bijeh Timah, 30100 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia

Price: Booking Required Click Here For More Information

Opening Hours: 9.30 am – 5.00 pm

Contact: +60 5 241 4541

18. Visit heritage buildings

Ipoh Railway Station
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Flickr user: Jaro... used under CC BY 2.0

A walk around old town Ipoh will take you to many interesting heritage buildings. If you’re interested in older architecture, take a look at this comprehensive map of a heritage walk around Ipoh here.

Ipoh Railway Station

Address: Ipoh Railway Station, Jalan Panglima Bukit Gantang Wahab, 30000 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia

Contact: +60 5 254 0481

Birch Memorial Clock Tower

Address: 31650 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia

19. Explore the street art around town

Old Uncle with White Coffee
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Natsudragon used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Along with the heritage walk aound Ipoh, you should also be on the lookout for the fantastical wall murals by Ernest Zacharevic, that aim to highlight Ipoh’s quirky culture and it’s past.

20. Go caving at Gua Tempurung

Gua Tempurung
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Calvin Teo used under CC BY-SA 2.5

For the more adventurous traveller (definitely not the faint-hearted), have a thrilling time caving at Gua Tempurung, one of the longest caves in peninsular Malaysia, at 3 kilometers (1.9 miles) long! Part of it has been modernized with electric lighting and walkways and there are a range of tours of different lengths and difficulties, one being a river cave tour, where you’ll be required to delve into a 1.6 kilometer (1 mile) river passage through the hills, passing through three large chambers of stalactites and stalagmites! A spectacular time is guaranteed! But be sure to bring a change of clothes and shoes for the occasion!

Gua Tempurung

Address: APT Consortium Sdn. Bhd., 8A Laluan Rokam , Pekan Razaki, 31350 Ipoh, Perak.

Price: Depending on Tour Package

Contact: +60 5 359 1561

Website: Gua Tempurung

21. Check out the "haunted" Kellie’s Castle

Kellie's Castle Sideview
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Bio syahmi used under CC BY-SA 4.0

A castle built out of love, Kellie’s Castle is a widely popular attraction Ipoh for its architectural beauty, romantic history and reported ghost sightings! The history of the castle is long, too long for this article. However, a condensed version would be: man (William Kellie) falls in love with woman (Helen), starts building a castle as a testament to his love (sound familiar? cough cough Taj Mahal cough cough), woman dies, castle building halted, man dies in Portugal. Sound intriguing? You can read all about the history of it here. And if you’re a movie buff, the castle was also used as a setting for Anna and the King!

Kellie’s Castle

Address: 31000 Batu Gajah, Perak, Malaysia

Price: From 1 USD

Opening Hours: 9 am – 6 pm

Contact: +60 5 255 2772 / 9962

Access: 30-minute drive and 14 km (8.7 miles) south of Ipoh City.

22. Test your bargaining skills at Pasar Karat Memory Lane

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

If you loved antiquing on Jonker Street, you’ll definitely want to give this market a visit! While you’ll find many questionable things being sold here, there are many more priceless vintage treasures to be discovered as you walk through the market!

Pasar Karat Memory Lane

Address: Jalan Horley, Kampung Jawa, 30300 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia

Opening Hours: Sundays 6am – 12pm

Contact: +60 5 208 3333

Duration: Approximately 1 ½ Hours

23. Learn more about Dr. Sun Yat Sen's story (from USD 88.0)

Sun Yat-Sen is one of the most prominent figures in the history of modern China. Referred to as “Father of the Nation,” he didn’t just leave a mark in his home country but also in other Asian countries, including Malaysia. This tour takes guests to landmarks based on the book “Road to Revolution: Dr. Sun Yat Sen and His Comrades in Ipoh,” an electronic copy will also be given to guests joining the tour. The heritage trail is dotted with landmarks linked to the lives and acts of Sun’s friends in Ipoh. This tour is a must for history lovers who want to see a different face of Ipoh.

Author's Tour: Dr. Sun Yat Sen and His Comrades in Ipoh

Duration: 3 hours

Underrated destination

As far as Ipoh has progressed as a tourist destination, it’s still fairly underrated by many. But, come on! From its great heritage past and delicious cuisine, to its junk markets and haunted castles, what more can you ask for in a destination, really? So get to planning, Ipoh awaits!

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Ihsan Ihsani is a Malaysian writer who loves to write about anything that sparks his curiosity. He travels to broaden his horizon on the many cultures and beauties of the world. When limited funds...Read more

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