Ipoh is the forth largest city in Malaysia with a populate of over 700,000 people, with 70% of the population Chinese.
It's a relatively wealthy city, which earned its fortunes on the tin
trade. Ipoh has become a modern metropolis home to over half a million
people. It was once a great tin mining centre but today it is the
main tourist gateway in the state. It’s not hard to find the reason why
for this delightful city has a wide range of historic, cultural, and
architectural attractions which are relatively concentrated and easily
accessible. It has several good museums and limestone cave temples to
explore and good recreational facilities There are a number of excellent attractions you must
see on the outskirts of the city, including the Chinese cave temples,
Kellie's Castle, Tambun Hot Springs and
The Lost World of Tambun.
Ipoh is a "Chinese City". A large proportion of its population
is Chinese. No wonder as one of Ipoh`s famous citizen is:
Michelle Yeoh. She's the star actress of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
and former Bond girl in Tomorrow Never Dies.
If you're only coming
through on your way to Kuala Lumpur or
Penang, the train only stops a while so
you can run out and observe for about 15 seconds before you have to
If you have time to stop in Ipoh, you should try to find a
stall selling Ipoh Hor Fun (a noodle dish).
Ipoh 'Ngah Choy Kai' is a bean sprout and chicken dish. You should try
this. It's recommended by Lee Chin Thang, who lives in Ipoh and knows
what and where to eat. The bean sprouts in Ipoh have a distinct
quality, special taste, that is hard to find elsewhere. It is
thought to be due to the water from the limestone hills.
Many can be reached by buses from Ipoh to Gopeng and some of the
more famous include Perak Tong (on the road north toward Jelapang),
Kek Lok Tong and Sam Poh Tong (both on the road to Gopeng and Batu
Buses leave every hour between KL and Penang to Ipoh and you
can also reach it from Taiping and Kuala Kangsar at the same
One of the most beautiful and historic buildings in the city and an
outstanding example of Moorish architecture is the Ipoh Railway
Station. It is one of the most photographed buildings in Malaysia
and its architecture so distinguished that it is often referred to
as the “Taj Mahal” of Ipoh. It was built in 1917 and this
landmark building is fronted by a very attractive floral garden.
The building also houses the Majestic Station Hotel which
calls itself a 'Grandiose Moorish Colonial Hotel' and is sometimes
referred to by the locals as the Taj Mahal Of Ipoh.
But there are more notable buildings from the British
Colonial era such as the town hall. Across the station is the stately, neo classical style Town Hall and Old Post Office building (the post office portion was in the rear). This building was designed by our friend Mr. Hubback and built during the First World War.
Another outstanding landmark building in Ipoh is the State Mosque (Masjid
Negeri). One of its key architectural features is its minaret that
rises some 125 feet above its mosaic-tiled domes. Masjid Negeri is
the largest mosque in Perak. It is a splendid symbol of Islam - the
State’s official religion - and its fine architecture exercises
interest to both foreign and domestic tourists.
The Birch Memorial Tower in Jalan Raja Musa Aziz is also prominent
landmark in the city. It was constructed in memory of the British
resident. J.W.W. Birch, who was killed at Pasir Salak on November
Birch Memorial Tower
There is also
a children’s playground and out-door eateries providing some of Ipoh’s better known hawker fare.
The car number plates in Ipoh begin with the letter A- Historically
being a rich tin mining town (as you have rightly mentioned) the first
car in Malaysia was registered here. Hence the letter A was given.
The Railway Station
The Ipoh railway station was initially meant to be a hospital and used before the 20th century as such before being turned into a station. The original completion year of 1917 was delayed for three years due to lack of construction materials as well as high costs during World War I.
The Sam Poh Tong cave temple is
located in Gunung Rapat south of Ipoh. The temple is an impressive
work of art with statues of Lord Buddha interspersed among the
natural stalactites and stalagmites and is reputedly the largest
cave temple in Malaysia. The temple dates back to the 1890s and a
monk from China, passing through Ipoh found the cave and decided to
make it his domicile and a place for meditation. He remained in the
temple for 20 years until his death.
The Sam Poh Tong cave temple is still occupied by monks and nuns who
dedicate their lives to Buddha. The present temple façade dates
back to the 1950s and a climb of 246 steps leads to an open cave
with an altar hall and splendid panoramic views of Ipoh and its
surroundings. Outside the cave temple is a beautiful Japanese Garden
with a pond full of Japanese carps and tortoises. A vegetarian
restaurant is also located in the grounds of the temple.
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In the Keramat Pulai area, which stretches from the eastern edge of
Gunung Raat to the western edge of Gunung Terandum, besides Sam Poh
Tong there are a further six established cave temples. They are Ling
Sen Tong, Nam Thian Tong ,Kwan Yin Tong, Kek Long Tong,Chee Chei
Buddhist Temple and Sri Muneswari Hindu Temple.
The Perak Tong, a limestone cave temple, is situated at Jalan Kuala
Kangsar north of Ipoh. This particular Temple houses more than 40
statues, the centre piece being a 12.8 m high sitting Buddha. Next
to it is an altar for Kuan Yin (the goddess of Mercy), Maitreya (the
future Buddha vairochana) and others. Beyond the main altar, there
is a passage, which leads into the interior of the cave, on the
walls of the cave are a number of mystical mural paintings.
The Indian Temple (Kallumalai arul Migu Subramaniam Koil) at Gunung
Cheroh, set amongst impressive limestone hills is another cultural
attraction and focus for Hindu devotions and Hindu cultural
festivals such as Deepavali and
Thaipusam are widely celebrated in
Springs are situated Tanjung Rambutan 15 minutes drive east of the
city of Ipoh.
It is a natural spa located at the bottom of a limestone hill. The
hot water from a natural spring provides a very refreshing dip or
bath. There are facilities available such as saunas and rest rooms.