"In the middle of the 1900s, the northwestern Malaysian town of Ipoh was the world’s largest producer of tin and its booming success showed.
Informally described by locals as the “town that tin built,” Ipoh grew from a sleepy village in the valley of the Kinta River to a hotbed of cabarets, night life and conspicuous consumption, a city fueled by the fortunes of the Chinese-mining towkays (bosses)."
Ipoh is the forth largest city in Malaysia with a population of over 800,000 people and 70% of the population is 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 re-board.
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 Gajah).
Buses leave every hour between KL and Penang to Ipoh and you can also reach it from Taiping and Kuala Kangsar at the same intervals.
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 2nd, 1875.
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 best hotels of Ipoh <click>
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 Ipoh.
Tambun Hot 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.