Eat Cafés Beacon Point Restaurant
41 Lintasan Perajurit 6, Taman Perak, Ipoh (+605 546 9916/fb.com/BeaconPointIpoh). A stalwart on the local dining scene for over two decades, this restaurant has been serving well-priced set meals, cakes and pies to generations of diners. Menu favourites include their laksa lemak, nasi ulam, mee hailam, chicken pie and Mars Bar chilled cheesecake. Child-friendly. Credit cards accepted. Mon-Thu, 9.30am-6pm; Fri-Sun, 9.30am-10pm. $$
NEW Bits & Bobs
99 Jalan Sultan Yusuff (@Kong Heng Square), Ipoh (+6016 521 1283/ fb.com/bitsandbobsmalaysia). It’s an icy stop here with Bits & Bob’s signature ais kepal – a mound of ice shaped into an icy ball with flavoured syrups drizzled over it. There are benches where you can sit and enjoy the ice ball, or have a wander around the space. It’s filled with old collectibles and knick-knacks that are for sale too. Mon & Wed-Sun, 10am-5.30pm. $
Burps & Giggles
93 & 95 Jalan Sultan Yusuff, Ipoh (+605 242 6188/fb.com/BurpsGiggles). Don’t let the frivolous name fool you. You’re entering hipster-land when you visit these converted shophouses with fairy lights, colourful murals and mismatched furniture. Coffees are the real deal, freshly squeezed juices provide welcome relief from the heat, quirky desserts are sweet, and the burgers or pastas make for a satisfying meal. Halal. Child-friendly. Credit cards accepted. Mon & Wed-Fri, 10am-6pm; Sat-Sun, 8.30am-8pm. $$
NEW Hello Elvis
124 Jalan Sultan Iskandar, Ipoh (+6017 634 7720/Facebook: Hello Elvis Ipoh). The latest ice cream and dessert parlour in Ipoh, Hello Elvis introduces premium Italian gelato soft serve with interesting toppings like churros or crunchy cereal with pretzels. With a menu that rotates on a weekly basis, we reckon that whatever your preference, this café will be a satisfying treat to all ice cream lovers. Halal. Mon & Wed-Thu, 2-11pm; FriSun, 1-11pm. $
NEW Karat Café
137 Jalan Sultan Abdul Jalil, Greentown, Ipoh (+6013 506 5677/ www.instagram.com/karat135). Housed in a low key, traditional kampong house, Karat Café offers a succinct of western and local comfort food. The spread of good food and unique decors quickly make the café becomes one of hotspots in town for the locals to hang out with friends and family. Halal. Mon-Tue & Thu-Sun, 5pm12am. $$
103 Jalan Sultan Yusuff, Ipoh (+605 241 1385/fb.com/Patisserie.BoutiQue). This Parisian-themed café serves simple pastas, sandwiches and a constantly changing roster of cakes. Their cheesy chicken lasagne is popular. For a unique end to the meal, try the any of their interesting cakes and pies – previous selections have included the likes of pumpkin chocolate cake or charcoal yam pie. Pork-free. Child-friendly. Mon-Tue & Thu-Sun, 11am-6pm. $
75 Jalan Panglima, Ipoh (+605 249 8286/www.thebiggroup.co/planb). Try the house blend, a roast of Indonesian, Brazilian and Ethiopian beans, and savour a rich creamy espresso. This small café with quirky rustic décor also offers up a menu of mostly Western dishes, including deliciously healthy breakfasts, brunches, pastas, sandwiches and salads. Credit cards accepted. Mon-Thu, 10am-11pm; Fri, 10am-12midnight; Sat, 9am-12midnight; Sun, 9am-11pm. $$
Sidewalk Ice Cream Lounge
26 Lengkok Canning, Ipoh Garden, Ipoh (+6016 562 6844). This is essentially an ice cream parlour serving old-school sundaes with wafers, homemade sauces, nuts, fresh fruit and cream. Nothing artisanal, gelato-like or hipster, and that’s why it’s still open after two decades with regulars saying how the place hasn’t changed since they were kids – proof that nostalgia can be a crowd-puller. Child-friendly. Mon-Wed & Fri-Sun, 7.30am-11pm. $
NEW Thumb’s Café
133 Jalan Sultan Abdul Jalil, Ipoh (+6019 614 6618/fb.com/thumbscafe) Food here is a mélange of Malay and Western dishes including fried rice, Kanji (porridge), chicken chop and their signature dish of homemade meatballs. Affordable prices, great ambience and comfort food make this an ideal for a casual meal. Halal. Child-friendly. Mon & Wed-Sun, 6pm-1am. $
Chinese Aun Kheng Lim (Salted Chicken)
24 Jalan Theatre, Ipoh (+605 254 2998). This unique dish made of freerange chicken and herbs like dong quai (ginseng) and gei zhi (Chinese wolfberry) is baked with salt until the meat is melt-in-your-mouth tender. There are several stores selling this but Aun Kheng Lim has been serving one of the best renditions for over 20 years. Daily, 9am-6pm. $$
Ding Feng Tau Fu Fa
8 Jalan Panglima, Ipoh (+6012 527 1028) Looking for a twist to your Teochew tau fu fah (tofu pudding)? Head here for interesting variations including ginger syrup and sesame seeds. Get a bottle of fresh soy bean milk while you’re at it. Daily, 9.30am-4.30pm. $
49 Jalan Theatre, Ipoh (+6012 516 1607/+6012 588 6167). Quirky name aside, the tau fu fah
served here is fantastically smooth, which explains the long queues. Get here early for your soy bean milk fix. Daily, 10am-until the tau fu fah finishes. $
NEW Greentown Dim Sum Café
10 Persiaran Greentown 4, Greentown Avenue, Ipoh (+605 255 2010). Greentown is the only halal dim sum restaurant in town and serves a good selection of authentic-tasting dumplings. Their rice and noodle dishes also come highly recommended. Halal. Credit cards accepted. Childfriendly. Mon & Wed-Sun, 8am-9pm. $$
NEW Kedai Kopi Sin Yoon Loong
15A Jalan Bandar Timah, Ipoh (+605 241 4601). Touted as the true symbol of Ipoh white coffee, this classic kopitiam has been serving white coffee, butter and kaya toast with half-boiled eggs for a traditional breakfast for decades. Other dishes include chee cheong fun, siew yuk (roasted pork) and egg tarts. Daily, open from early morning until evening only. $
NEW Kedai Makanan Nam Heong
2 Jalan Bandar Timah, Ipoh (+6012 588 8766/+6011 264 33642). Across the street from Sin Yoon Loong is Nam Heong, which is famed for being the origin of the Old Town White Coffee chain found all over the country. Come here for popular Ipoh street eats like Ipoh Hakka mee, chee cheong fun, char kuey teow, egg tarts and caramel custard, and their famous white coffee, of course. Daily, 6am-5pm. $
Ming Court Hong Kong Dim Sum
32, 34 & 36 Jalan Leong Sin Nam, Ipoh (+605 255 7135). A hotspot for dim sum, this restaurant offers char siew bao, yam cakes, wu kok, fish balls and an assortment of prawn and fish paste dumplings, and they’re all good. End the meal on a sweet note with sesame and lotus seed soup. Credit cards accepted. Mon-Wed & Fri-Sun, 6am-12.45pm. $$
Restoran Ipoh Kong Heng
75 Jalan Bandar Timah, Ipoh. If you’re staying at Sekeping Kong Heng, head to this coffee shop on the ground floor for dishes like sar hor fun, chee cheong fun, Ipoh white coffee and pork satay. Also popular is the popiah, generous fillings of turnip, crunchy fried small prawns and vegetables wrapped in a paper-thin crêpe. Child-friendly. Mon-Tue & Thu-Sun, 8am-4pm $
NEW Restoran New Holly Wood
38 Jalan Lee Kwee Foh, Taman Canning, Ipoh. The place to go to try all kinds of typical Malaysian breakfast items including chee cheong fun, roti telur goyang, nasi lemak and roti canai under one roof. Pork-free. Tue-Sun, 7am-4pm. $ 49 Jalan Yau Tet Shin, Ipoh (+605 254 4199). Ipoh bean sprouts are said to be juicier, and the steamed chicken here is the perfect texture, though a little on the oily side. The chicken usually accompanies rice noodles or rice as the main. Come early to avoid the crowds. Child-friendly. Daily, 10.30am-12midnight. $
Thean Chun Coffee Shop
73A Jalan Bandar Timah, Ipoh (+605 255 3076). Thean Chun’s kai see hor fun is the most famous in Ipoh – locals love the appetising broth and tender shredded chicken and prawn. Also come here for the chee cheong fun and caramel custard. Mon-Wed & Fri-Sun, 8.30am-4.30pm. $
Tong Sui Kai
Jalan Sultan Ekram (opposite SRJKC Sam Tet), off Jalan Sultan Idris Shah, Ipoh. Also known as Ipoh’s Dessert Street, Tong Sui Kai houses around 50 hawker stalls offering a wide selection of hot and cold desserts like bowls of shaved ice topped with rose syrup, condensed milk, ice cream and mixed fruits. Or try the dessert ‘soups’ like lin chi kang, black bean, red bean, sago, sweet potato and bubur cha cha. Pork-free. Tue-Sun, 5pm-12midnight. $
NEW NorthSea Genuinely Belgian
44 Jalan Sultan Abdul Abdul Jalil, Ipoh (+6011 1191 5940/fb.com/ northseaipoh). As the name suggests, this restaurant serves genuine Belgian dishes and a wide range of Belgian beers. We suggest you to try their specialties like pork meatballs, pan-seared salmon with lemon butter sauce, mussels and waffles for dessert. Credit cards accepted. Child-friendly. Mon & Wed-Sun, 6.30-10.30pm. $$
Continental Citrus Wine & Dine
38-46 Laluan Ipoh Perdana, Ipoh (+605 545 1010/fb.com/Citrus.Wine. and.Dine). A local favourite and one of the few upscale restaurants serving Continental cuisine, Citrus is just the place when taking a hiatus from the busy hawker and Chinese cuisine scene. Generous portions, attentive service and reasonably priced menu items (some with an Asian twist) keep diners returning. Ask for the chef’s recommendation on daily specials. Pork-free. Credit cards accepted. TueSun, 11.30am-3pm; 6.30-11pm. $$$
Jook Joint Bistro
4180 Jalan Sultan Idris Shah, Lumut (+6016 557 5611/Facebook: Jook-JointBistro). Lumut isn’t exactly known for its culinary scene so Jook Joint is a welcome addition with its menu of favourites like fish and chips, steaks and pasta, particularly if you’re hankering for some Western flavours. Reasonable prices and friendly staff keep regulars returning. Credit cards accepted. Daily, 10am12midnight. $$
French NEW Garvy’s French Dining
275 Jalan Raja Permaisuri Bainun, Ipoh (+605 255 8082/ www.garvysmy.com). Opened in 2013, Garvy’s is helmed by Chef Romain Fabre whose background in French fine dining is obvious in his choice of dishes. His multi-course degustation menus are very popular with the freshest ingredients sourced locally and from France, accompanied by a curated selection of wines. Pork-free. Credit cards accepted. TueFri, 11am-2pm & 6-10pm; Sat-Sun, 11am-3pm & 6-10pm. $$$
Modern European NEW Jeff’s Cellar
The Banjaran, Hotsprings Retreat, 1 Persiaran Lagun Sunway 3, Sunway City Ipoh, Ipoh (+605 210 7777/www. thebanjaran.com/Cuisine/Jeffs-Cellar) One of the most unique, private wine cellars in the world, Jeff’s Cellar is set within a 280 million-year-old Palaeozoic grotto with artfully lit stalagmites and stalactites. It’s an impressive wine bar and offers a delectable fine dining menu to ensure an unforgettable evening. Daily, 6-11pm. $$$
The Limestone’s Fine Dining Restaurant
Ground floor, Regal Lodge, 131 Jalan Raja Ekram, Ipoh (+605 242 3241/ fb.com/thelimestone).
The Limestone’s has established itself as one of the best continental dining establishments in the city. Recommended dishes include the roast leg of lamb, grilled salmon and the rotating monthly specials. Pork-free. Child-friendly. Credit cards accepted. Mon, 7-10.30am, 6-10.30pm; Tue-Sun, 7am-10.30pm. $$$
Food Court Casual Market
Taiping Casual Market, Jalan Panggung Wayang, Taiping. From traditional Nyonya kuih and chicken rice to curry mee and the famous wan tan mee, this is the place to go to for all the hawker food you want under one roof. Daily, 8am-10pm. $
Taiping Hawker Centre
Jalan Tupai, next to Taiping fire station, Taiping. Also known as Circus Ground, this food court is located next to the only fire station in town and is a weekend favourite. We suggest the roti canai, chee cheong fun, chicken noodle soup and for dessert, tau fu fah with gula Melaka. Child-friendly. Daily, 5pm-late. $
Indian Pakeeza Restaurant & Catering
15-17 Jalan Dato Seri Ahmad Said, Ipoh (+605 241 4243). A restaurant specialising in Northern Indian cuisine, Pakeeza is known for their biryani with chicken or beef, and their naan (garlic, Kashmiri, cheese) – some of the best we’ve tasted. Halal. Credit cards accepted. Daily, 11am-3pm; 6-10pm. $$
Mamak & kopitiams Ansari Cendol
92 Jalan Barrack (off Jalan Chung Thye Phin), Taiping (+6012 562 9440). The old faded signboard proclaims ‘Restaurant Ansari Famous Cendol’, so it must be good! The classic Malaysian pairing of pasembor and cendol is the mainstay here and you won’t be disappointed. Daily, 10am-7pm. $
233 Jalan Barrack, Taiping. A hop away from Ansari is Bismillah, where the cendol is again unbeatable. Try them both and see which hits the mark. Halal. Daily, 10.30am-6pm. $
NEW Nasi Kandar Yong Suan
2 Jalan Yang Kalsom, Ipoh The specialty here is nasi vanggey – Ipoh’s delicious answer to nasi kandar. The difference is the fried chicken, salted egg and kuah campur – a mix of two or three gravies – soaked up by the steaming rice. Make sure you go the original stall as there are a few others claiming to have the same dish but aren’t up to par. Halal. Daily, 10am-7pm. $$
NEW Yum Yum Restaurant
5 Persiaran Greenhill, Ipoh (+605 253 7686/fb.com/restaurant.yumyum). Yum Yum’s menu focuses on Nyonya and Thai flavours with some Chinese flavours. Standout dishes include Assam Fish Head, Butter Basil Prawns, Pandan Chicken and the Vietnamese Garlic Chicken. Pork-free. Child-friendly. Credit cards accepted. Mon-Tue & Thu-Sun, 6-10pm. $$
Traditional Malay NEW Laksa Kedah Padang Polo
Taman Rekreasi Sultan Abdul Aziz, Jalan Brash, Ipoh (+6019 541 3541/ fb.com/LaksaKedahPadangPoloIpoh). This popular food stall sells laksa kedah (rice noodles in a mackerel and tamarind broth) and is as famous for its generous portions as the friendly owners. Halal. Tue-Sun, 2.30-10pm. $
Samudera Raya Restaurant
58 Jalan Tasek Timur, Ipoh (+605 546 8912). Travellers on their way to Pangkor Island often make a stop here to sample authentic Malay food like beef rendang and nasi lemak. Halal. Daily, 7am-1am. $
Seafood Lung Seng Restaurant
10 Jalan Besar, Tanjung Tualang (+605 360 0735). Tanjung Tualang was once one of the major tin-mining towns in the region and this restaurant is renowned for its freshwater prawns, which the chef submerges in icy water to retain their texture before cooking. There are live crabs and fish in tanks but it’s the prawn dishes diners come for, like the tasty sang har mee. Child-friendly. Daily, 12noon-9pm. $$
Mun Choong Seafood Restaurant
511-517 Jalan Pasir Puteh, Ipoh (+605 321 2815). A stalwart on the seafood eatery scene since its opening in 1978, the menu here aims to please. Must-try dishes include pan-fried prawns, stuffed crab shells and assam stir-fried vegetables with scallops. Child-friendly. Credit cards accepted. Daily, 11.30am-10pm. $$$
Vegetarian NEW Shi Fang Zai Vegetarian
6-8 Jalan Mas, Taman Mas, Ipoh (+6016 422 9389) Everyone raves about this vegetarian restaurant and while the décor isn’t anything to shout about, its array of Chinese style dishes with mock meat and tofu is budget-friendly and tasty (even for the meat eaters!). The tofu in pumpkin sauce is a particular favourite. Child-friendly. Daily, Mon & Wed-Sun, 10.30am-3pm; 5.30-10pm. $
NEW Yishensu Vegetarian Restaurant
19-21 Jalan Medan Ipoh 6, Ipoh (+605 546 6013/www.yishensu.com). This is another vegetarian restaurant serving dishes with a distinctive Chinese influence with tofu and mock meat (usually soy based) being the main proteins. Any dish you would normally order in a Chinese restaurant has a vegetarian version here. Child-friendly. Credit cards accepted. Daily, 9.45am-2.45am; 3pm-10pm. $$
Explore Adventure Nomad Adventure
Lot 17525 Kampung Chulek, Gopeng (+603 7958 5152/ www.nomadadventure.com).
Nomad Adventure is a reputable outdoor adventure company that offers a host of activities and programmes for the avid adventurer. This includes waterfall abseiling, caving, whitewater kayaking, rock climbing and more. The friendly, accommodating and, most importantly, experienced staff are always happy to arrange expeditions for your group. Call for packages and enquiries.
7A Jalan Sg Itek, Gopeng (+6014 294 4404/ www.radakadventure.com). Radak can organise a thrilling trip for the most intrepid of adventurers. Choose from a selection of thrilling activities including whitewater rafting, waterfall abseiling, spelunking, jungle trekking and camping. Not only will they take care of all the arrangements, they will also provide professional and experienced guides.
Nature Bukit Larut
Taiping. Once known as Maxwell Hill, after William George Maxwell, the state’s Assistant Resident of the time, this is Malaysia’s oldest hill station and was discovered in 1884. Transportation up to the summit is by 4WD vehicle (for a small fee) or you can make the three- to four-hour trek up. Less popular than Malaysia’s other hill resorts, Bukit Larut sports untouched scenery and a dilapidated colonial atmosphere, and there are rough and tumble colonial bungalows available for rent for the adventurous.
NEW Gua Kandu
One of the hidden gems in Perak, Gua Kandu is less known among the tourists than Gua Tempurung. Known for its multi-levelled and multi-chambered cave, Gua Kandu is an ideal choice for advanced caving activities. Interestingly, this cave was a communist guerrilla hideout during the Malayan Emergency and evidence of this can still be found here.
Lembah Tempurung (+6017 527 1926/www.guatempurung.my). The largest and oldest limestone cave in Peninsula Malaysia is also called the ‘coconut shell cave’ due to fallen rock formations resembling husks and its stalactite and stalagmite formations. Rock pools form majestic and eerie shapes and it houses an ecological system of bats, mites, worms and insects. Visitors have the opportunity to engage in a range of activities, from wading in the underground river to sliding down rocks. Call to enquire about package prices and tours.
Kuala Gula Bird Sanctuary
Kampung Gula, Kuala Kurau (+605 807 0842). Between August and April, a huge annual migration of more than 200,000 birds (over 50 species) passes through on their way from the Northern Hemisphere to the Southern. Of particular interest to bird-watchers, there are visitor centres where you can also learn about the important mudflat and mangrove ecosystem that supports these mass migrations.
Lata Kinjang Waterfall
Chenderiang. The Lata Kinjang Waterfall is truly a sight to behold – an 850m tall cascade that is visible from the North-South Highway. At most waterfalls you can simply take a few pictures and wade for a bit in the pool, but Lata Kinjang Waterfall’s complex multi-tiered structure allows the more adventurous to explore the heights, crossing bridges and climbing boulders to get to the top.
Royal Belum State Park
This state park encompasses virgin rainforests dating back 130 million years and has amazing biodiversity. All of Malaysia’s ten species of hornbills can be found in the park, as well as at least three different species of the rafflesia flower. Elephants, rhinoceroses, tapirs and tigers are known to call this jungle home. The park is largely uninhabited but there are small Orang Asli settlements, particularly along the Tiang and Kejar rivers.
Taiping Zoo and Night Safari
Jalan Taman Tasik, Taiping (+605 808 6577/www.zootaiping.gov.my). One of the oldest zoos in Malaysia, Taiping Zoo was the first to introduce the Night Safari in Malaysia. It currently houses more than 180 species of animals including giraffes, tigers, tapirs, elephants and other animals in their natural habitat. Mon-Fri & Sun, 8.30am-11pm; Sat & public holidays, 8am-12midnight. Check website for entrance fees.
Theme Parks Lost World Of Tambun
1 Persiaran Lagun Sunway 1, Sunway City Ipoh (+605 542 8888/ www.sunwaylostworldoftambun.com). Surrounded by limestone cliffs and green jungle, this excitingly comprehensive theme park has the Water Park with exciting water rides; the Amusement Park with more traditional rides and Tiger Valley where the resident Siberian tigers reside. A good day out for the family especially those with younger
children who will love the Lost World Petting Zoo. Mon & Wed-Fri, 11am-6pm; Sat-Sun & public holidays, 10am-6pm. Check their website for ticket prices.
Indulge Banyan Spa
40 Jalan Raja Dihilir, Ipoh (+605 242 6866/www.banyanspa.com.my). Banyan Spa is housed in a beautiful refurbished mansion, providing solutions for all your beauty needs. Apart from relaxing massages, yoga and foot reflexology services, mani/pedis and hair treatments are available. Packages are priced from RM100 to RM500. Mon-Thu, 10am-8pm; Fri-Sat, 10am-9pm; Sun, 10am-7pm.
50 Jalan Medan Ipoh Baru 4, Bandar Baru Medan (fb.com/barbeza). The team behind Barbeza understands that the essence of a good bar lies in its service. Since its inception, Barbeza has cultivated a constant stream of regulars that come for the great Italian food (especially the thin-crust pizzas) and premium cocktails. Credit cards accepted. Daily, 5pm-2am.
Berlin’s Bier Houz
12 Persiaran Greentown 4, Greentown Business Centre (+605 241 8118/fb.com/berlinsbierhouz). Cold German beers, pork knuckle, sausages, meatballs – this perfect combination can be found in Ipoh’s bustling Greentown district. Head here for a Löwenbräu and be sure to try the pork knuckle. Child-friendly. Credit cards accepted. Mon-Thu & Sun, 11.30am-1am; Fri-Sat, 11.30am-2am.
49-51 Jalan Hussein, Ipoh (+605 255 5532/fb.com/EuroHousePage). If you are looking to down a few pints of premium beers like Kronenbourg and Erdinger, this is the place. Something worth mentioning is their impressive entertainment arsenal of Xbox Kinect, pool tables, LCD TVs as well as karaoke machines. Daily, 3pm-1am.
2 & 2A Persiaran Greentown 4, Greentown Avenue (+605 249 3627/ www.healymacs.com). Part of a chain, this Irish bar serves up the usual pub grub and promising mains; we recommend the Guinnessmarinated organic pork spare ribs. Service is cheerful and drinks are great. Credit cards accepted. Daily, 12noon-1am.
See Museums Archaeological Gallery of Lenggong
Kota Tampan Lenggong (+605 767 9700). The archaeological significance of this site will distract you from the lack of effort put into something so important. In 1991 the 11,000-year-old skeletal remains of Perak Man were found. This is the only prehistoric skeleton in the world showing signs of the hereditary defect known as Type A2 Brachymesophalangia; Perak Man has been of tremendous importance to our understanding of early man. Tour the Lenggong Valley’s many sites, which is a fascinating insight into our distant past. Mon-Thu & Sat-Sun, 9am-5pm; Fri, 9am-12noon, 3-5pm. Free entry.
Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah (+605 540 6000). Befitting the surrounding limestone formations, the Geological Museum was built in 1957 to showcase the many minerals and ores found in the state of Perak, including the best cassiterite specimen in the world. Apart from that, it also has samples of copper, coal, galena, hematite, iron, tungsten and much more. Mon-Thu, 8.30am-12.30pm, 2-5pm; Fri, 8.30am-12noon, 3-5pm. Free entry.
Jalan Taming Sari, Taiping (+605 807 2057). This is Peninsular Malaysia’s oldest museum and was built in 1883 and backed by Sir Hugh Low, a renowned British administrator and naturalist. The collections here focus on ethnography, botany, geology and zoology and there is also an impressive assortment of archaeological treasures including ancient weapons, aboriginal implements and ornaments that reflect the state’s rich historical heritage. Daily, 9am-6pm. Adults, RM2. Free admission for children below 12 years old and children in school uniform.
Sights Birch Memorial Clock Tower
Jalan Dato Sagor, Ipoh. Built to commemorate the first British Resident in Perak, JWW Birch, this clock tower has a panel depicting 44 important figures from world history including Moses, Confucius, Augustus, Martin Luther, Buddha, Shakespeare and Charles Darwin, as
well as a mysterious erasure. This was the Prophet Mohammad until his image was erased in the 1990s at the request of the Muslim populace. It’s a fitting twist in the tale as by most accounts Birch was widely disliked for his arrogance and utter disrespect for local customs and was assassinated in 1875 by lackeys of local Malay chief Dato Maharajalela.
Han Chin Pet Soo
3 Jalan Bijeh Timah (Treacher Street), Ipoh (+605 241 4541/ www.ipohworld.org). This building was once the base for the Hakka Tin Miners’ Club, a venue where members could relax, chat, gamble, entertain the ladies or smoke opium. It has been turned into a museum dedicated to the legacy of those first miners. Tours are free by appointment, but donations are welcomed. Tue-Fri, 9.30am, 11.30am, 2.30pm; Sat-Sun and Public holidays, 9.30am, 10am, 11.30am, 1.30pm, 2pm & 3.30pm.
Ipoh Railway Station Square
Jalan Panglima Bukit Gantang Wahab, Ipoh. One glance at this glorious station will remind you of KL’s old railway station, town hall and Masjid Jamek, which were all designed by Arthur Benison Hubback. The station is often called the Taj Mahal of Ipoh for its brilliant white exterior and soaring central dome. Checked
KM 5.5, Jalan Gopeng, Batu Gajah (+605 365 1336). The half-completed mansion was built by William Kellie Smith and meant as a gift for Kellie’s wife or his son, depending on which story you’ve heard. Influenza wiped out Kellie’s hired workers after World War I and Kellie himself died of pneumonia. The house endured years of vandalism but has since been refurbished and is now a hauntingly (some say haunted) romantic tourist spot. Daily, 9am-6pm. (MyKad holders) Adults, RM4, Secondary school students, RM3, Primary school students, RM2, Children, free; (Non MyKad holders) RM5
NEW Leaning Tower of Teluk Intan
Jalan Pasar, Pekan Teluk Intan, Teluk Intan. Built in 1885, this 25.5m tower in Teluk Intan is an interesting detour. Once a storage space for water during the dry season and in case of fire, it has since tilted to one side due to soft soil foundations. It’s a bit of a stretch calling it Malaysia’s Leaning Tower of Pisa, but you can walk up the top and have a nice view of the surrounds..
Lorong Panglima, Ipoh. Also known as Concubine Lane, this charming little heritage street is crumbling now but was once a hotbed of vice. Home to gambling and opium dens, the street was also said to have a hoard of brothels. It’s now pretty gentrified and a good place to eat and shop for souvenirs.
Perak Tong Cave Temple
Jalan Kuala Kangsar, Ipoh. This impressive cave temple was founded in 1926 by a couple from Guangdong, China, and it’s their son who maintains the site to this day. Set in one of Perak’s many limestone peaks, the temple has an eerie air due to its location. The cave system’s undulating walls have been brightly painted with religious figures and calligraphy. Inside, you will also find Buddhist and Taoist statues, including a tall golden seated Buddha. Daily, 9am-6pm; Stairs open daily, 9am-4pm.
Shop Art NEW Yasmin At Kong Heng
Lorong Panglima (Behind Container Hotel), Ipoh (fb.com/yasminatkongheng). Yasmin Ahmad was one of Malaysia’s brightest filmmaking stars until her untimely death in 2009. Her unforgettable films and TV ads played on all Malaysians’ heartstrings and more importantly our collective conscience. This is a small space but it offers an intimate glimpse into her poetry, film work, scripts and essays. Well worth a visit. Sat-Sun, 10am-4pm.
Malls AEON Station 18
2 Susuran Stesyen 18, Station 18, Ipoh (13 0080 2366). AEON has been sprouting up everywhere in Malaysia, and this is the largest in Ipoh. With three levels of retail stores, it’s the newest hangout for Ipoh kids. Mon-Thu & Sun, 10am-10pm; Fri-Sat, 10am-10.30pm.
3 Persiaran Medan Ipoh, Medan Ipoh (+605 548 3689/www.degarden.com.my). Verdant and colourful, this mall has some great restaurants and cafés as well as an interesting selection of boutiques. Come here to shop for mobile and IT accessories, new clothes, then head for a hearty meal with their selection of F&B outlets. Daily, 10am-10pm.
Markets NEW Garden Market
P.O.R.T (People Of Remarkable Talents) Ipoh, Tiger Lane, Ipoh (fb.com/gardenmarketipoh). The Food Garden Market is held on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and sees up to ten food trucks at a time offering a variety of interesting food all in one venue. There’re busking performances, poetry recitals and even wayang pacak (outdoor film screenings) for your entertainment. Check their Facebook for updates. Fri-Sun, 6pm-late.
Jalan Horley, Ipoh Old Town. Also called the Horley Street Sunday Flea Market, Memory Lane stretches from Hugh Low Street to Jalan Lim Bo Seng. Locals fondly call it the ‘thieves market’, but rest assured that you’ll find plenty of legitimate and fascinating antiques and collectibles like records, watches, household goods, motorcycles and old coins. Sunday, 7am-12.15pm.
The night market is a microcosm Malaysian society and happens at different venues nightly. Everyone comes to eat, shop and wander around. There is generally one happening every night of the week, albeit in different locations. Monday-Ipoh Jaya; Tuesday-Ipoh Garden East; Wednesday-Stadium Perak; Thursday-Taman SPPK (Pengkalan); Friday-First Garden; Saturday-Menglembu; Sunday-Taman Cempaka.
Stay Deluxe The Banjaran Hot Springs Retreat
1 Persiaran Lagun Sunway 3, Sunway City (+605 210 7777/ www.thebanjaran.com). This extraordinary resort is one of the most visually exotic in the country. The Banjaran offers private villas, each with its own plunge pool, courtyard and outdoor rain shower. The tropical theme continues in the huge pools and natural springs complementing their wellness programmes and treatments.
Best Western Premier The Haven Ipoh
Persiaran Lembah Perpaduan, Ipoh (+605 220 9000/ www.thehavenresorts.com). The Haven is Perak’s tallest and most
luxurious resort ‘condotel’ (part condo, part hotel). Choose from either one- or two-bedroom apartments with full facilities, which is ideal for families. The main attractions here are the amazing pools and surrounding limestone outcrops.
Indulgence Restaurant and Living
14 Jalan Raja Dihilir (+605 255 7051/www. indulgencerestaurant.com). Seven individually themed rooms attached to a restaurant serving edgy modern European cuisine in a mock Tudor colonial bungalow – a great weekend getaway where relaxation and good eating takes precedence.
Mid-range Adeline’s Villa Resort
13302, Mukim Teja, Kampung Geruntum, Sungai Itik, Gopeng (+605 359 2833/www.adelinevilla.com). Fans of outdoor activities will love this getaway in the jungle. There’s whitewater rafting, caving at the famous Gua Tempurung, jungle treks and fishing. There’s also the added advantage of some very good food.
2 Hala Datuk 5, Ipoh (+605 255 5566); 15-23, Jalan Pengkalan Barat 35, Taman Pengkalan Jaya, Ipoh (+605 321 1666/www. mboutiquehotels.com). Behind the swanky-looking façades of the two locations, this boutique hotel’s décor is a mix of tasteful colonial features and modern urban details. Both locations also boast thematic rooms and floors, strategic locations, and a comfortable friendly vibe.
Sekeping Kong Heng
75 Jalan Panglima, Ipoh (+605 241 8977/www.sekeping.com). Part of the Sekeping chain, Sekeping Kong Heng is, in keeping with the architect’s principle of his buildings being true to their surroundings, a glorious marriage of architect Sek San’s distinctive stripped down aesthetic and Ipoh’s rich heritage. What makes this property interesting is the extra dimension of Ipoh’s culture from the hollering hawkers to the whiff of white coffee from the coffee shop nearby.
Suka Suka Lake Retreat
Pulau Dang Lang/PKK/19/27, Kampung Kelantan, Kuak, Lenggong (+6013 525 1177/fb.com/SukaSukaLakeRetreat). Here’s where you can experience kampung life in this picturesque lakeside retreat with its traditional wooden houses and basic chalets clustered on the banks of Lake Chenderoh. Go fishing, boating or kayaking, or just enjoy the scenery (and a good book) while lying back in a hammock.
Budget Cititel Express Ipoh
2 Jalan SP Seenivasagam, Ipoh (+605 208 2888/www.cititelexpress.com). Right in the heart of Ipoh Old Town, Cititel Express Ipoh is a no-fuss option for budget stays in the city.
NEW Container Hotel
89-91 Jalan Sultan Yusuff, Ipoh (+605 243 3311/ www.containerhotel.my). The ideal place especially for budget travellers to place your weary body after a day of exploring Ipoh’s many sights and sounds. Strategically located, it’s an innovative hotel offering single, mixed and female-only capsule rooms in a heritage building. It’s also one of the coolest places to stay in town.
NEW Hotel French Ipoh
60-62 Jalan Dato Onn Jaafar (+605 241 3030/www.frenchhotel.com.my). Not much to look at from the outside (and nothing French about it at all); this small hotel has wallet-friendly, minimalist, clean rooms, which is a winning combination. Staff are friendly, knowledgeable of the area (especially where to eat), and they provide a much appreciated food trail map to guests.
Pangkor Eat International Daddy’s Café
Teluk Nipah (+6013 208 0404/ Facebook: Daddy’s Café Pangkor Island). There aren’t many restaurants on the island with the combination of good food and an even better location right on the beach. The rendang comes with rave reviews, and their Western food is good too. Watching the sun set from here is pretty amazing. Daily, 11am-11pm. $$
Adventure Quiver Dive
B5 & B6, Jalan Marina Avenue, Marina Island, Lumut (+6012 213 8885/www.quiver-perhentian.com). Quiver is a PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Centre more readily associated with the Perhentian islands, but they do have a base in Lumut and specialise in taking divers around the nine islands that make up Pulau Sembilan to the south of Pangkor.
Stay Deluxe Pangkor Laut Resort
Pangkor Laut Island, Lumut (+605 699 1100/www. pangkorlautresort.com). This exclusive resort is located on its own island and specialises in high end weddings and romantic honeymoon escapes. A one-time winner of the prestigious Condé Nast award for ‘Best In The World’, this resort has a lot to live up to. Ask for full board options as dining à la carte is going to cost you an arm and a leg.
WD.2 Pangkor, Pangkor Island (+604 264 3580/www.tigerrock.info). Run with a firm emphasis upon nature preservation and managed by friendly islanders, Tiger Rock is a retreat tucked away in the dense jungle. There are just three houses available for private rental so you’ll be assured of a unique experience.
Mid-range Marina Island Pangkor
Marina Island, Teluk Muruh (+605 683 2881/www. marinaislandpangkorresort.com). A more affordable alternative to staying on Pangkor Island, this resort is located on tiny man-made Marina Island. The resort might seem a little tired, but the size of the suites make up for it. Rather remote in location, it’s the kind of place to kick back and chill out.
Lot 4506 Teluk Nipah (www.facebook.com/nipah.guesthouse/ www.pangkorbeachchalet.com). One of the most unique stays on Pangkor, these rustic A-shaped huts are clean, comfortable and within walking distance to Nipah Bay and Coral Bay. There is a pool and lounging around in the deckchairs is a serious pastime here. Run by a lovely family who do everything to make you feel welcome.
Leaning Tower of Teluk Intan
Soft serves from Hello Elvis