Ipoh was voted Lonely Planet’s 6th best place to visit in Asia for good reason: old world charm, a strong history, amazing food, and charming eccentricities combine to make Ipoh an unforgettable and uniquely Malaysian experience.
Where to Stay: Ipoh Bali Hotel, RM210 – RM480 per night
The bustling Ipoh city centre, where you’ll probably be spending most of your time, can feel a little cramped and overwhelming so you’ll love coming back to this little place with its secluded tranquility. At the end of a busy day taking in the sights, relax in the hot tub or pay a visit to the hotel spa before falling asleep to the soothing sounds of the hotel’s many water features.
All rooms come with breakfast, and the attentive staff will even bring it to you in bed the next morning if you request it.
Ipoh Bali Hotel
A: 12A, Lorong Cheah Cheang Lim, Off Jalan Tambun, 30350 Ipoh.
T: +6 05 242 0222
Where to Eat: Nam Heong Coffee Shop
You can’t go wrong with the food in Ipoh. From their out-of-this-world beansprouts to their inexplicably delicious chicken rice and silky smooth sar hor fun, Ipoh’s food is truly the stuff of legend.
If we had to pick, make your way to the Nam Heong coffee shop in Old Town. It’s famous for its now-legendary white coffee. But the star of the shop, in my opinion, is the Yong Tau Foo stall. Each delicate piece of stuffed tofu is a perfectly-flavoured work of art. A bowl of 10 pieces will only set you back less than RM10.
What to Do:
- Stroll through Old Town. Pick up biscuits from the city’s numerous renowned bakers to take home as souvenirs. Grab a takeaway box of salted chicken as well while you’re there, and your parents will probably love you for it.
- Visit the revitalised Kong Heng block, which is now bustling with Instagram-worthy cafes and shops. Fans of Yasmin Ahmad will also enjoy spending some time in the Yasmin at Kong Heng Museum nestled in an old shoplot.
- Marvel at the Kek Long Tong temple with its altars and statues embedded into the walls of a cave, then climb the stone steps to the top for an unparalleled view of the city below.