Why not Ipoh ?

Ipoh, what can be said about this city? Three words to describe it : colorful, food, and surprising. But why?


I chose this word not just because there are some colorful buildings… no. Ipoh is full of numerous murals that make it unique. You can’t walk through a neighborhood without seeing artworks on a building. I find it fascinating to have so much art on these walls. If Banksy comes by, he better be ready.

Of course, there are the most popular works in the tourist center of Ipoh, but if you venture a little out of the nerve center, you can also admire wonders. Art is not only reserved for tourists, no. It is an integral part of the city’s overflowing heritage.


For all the foodies, this city won’t leave you indifferent. You’ll find hundreds of restaurants offering a variety of dishes. I focused my stay on restaurants serving local food, but if you don’t like noodles and rice, don’t worry, you’ll find something to your liking.

Obviously, if you pass through Ipoh, you’ll visit Concubine Lane. This little street is THE bustling street of the city. This small tourist alley is full of typical Asian street food. Although the food is beautiful and colorful, it remains quite expensive.

I recommend moving away from this tourist center to find food (maybe less Instagrammable) but still very good. In any case, you absolutely must pass through this little alley. In short, let yourself be tempted by all sorts of dishes. And especially dare to enter the small restaurants. The servers are very welcoming in non-tourist places; they will be happy to see tourists (at least that’s how I felt).

Here are my favorites:

Wuhe Seafood for good soups you can make yourself.

Chuen Wan Kopitian to enjoy the best noodles and traditional breakfasts (toast, polo bun, steamed bread, egg toast, garlic bread, and oat bread, not to mention the famous White Coffee).

Shawarma Ipoh and Nasi Arab. You can eat all kinds of shawarmas (traditional Turkish kebabs).

Big Mom Beancurd to taste fabulous smooth and silky Beancurd, also called Tofu Pudding. If I can give you a tip : eat it with brown sugar… yummy!

Restoran Kosiswa. It’s a very pretty small restaurant by the river. You’ll find a buffet there. Make your own plate. You’ll find rice and all sorts of accompaniments, as well as noodles and many other specialties!

I told you there was something for everyone. Here you have a small list of restaurants that will satisfy all tastes. If you are in the center, it will take you a few dozen minutes to walk, but I loved the food in these places. Afterward, there are many other great places. Notably, traditional restaurants offering noodles. There are dozens of exceptional ones, but I never remember their names. The best advice I can give you is to try for yourself 😊.


Surprising because thanks to Ipoh Secrets, I discovered many hidden places with beautiful stories worth a detour. Moreover, even after several weeks, I was still discovering places. It’s strange, but I must have passed by these spots dozens of times before noticing what was there. So, make sure to open your eyes wide and look everywhere ; you might see a hidden painting, who knows.

Surprising also due to the kindness of the people. I think it’s the same all over Malaysia, but people are so kind. If you need help, the locals won’t hesitate to assist you, and that’s rather reassuring.

Additionally, when I arrived, I was surprised because the entire city (and even the whole country) was decorated in the same colors. During festivals, whether it’s Chinese New Year or Hari Raya… the country is decorated in the celebration’s colors. Thus, depending on the month of the year you visit Malaysia, the streets won’t be the same color. Pretty cool?

Ipoh itself has a lot to offer, but I haven’t even mentioned its cultural and natural heritage.

Cultural Heritage

Explore the many temples hidden in the mountains. To be honest, it’s hard to access them directly from the center without taking a taxi or renting a car. They are at least 9 km away ! Well, I did it, but not without difficulty under the scorching heat. Finally, I almost did… a kind person gave me a ride back halfway. I told you Malaysians were cool !

Anyway, back to our temples. Temples of different religions will leave you with unforgettable memories. Especially if you let John (our guide) tell you stories 😉 well, I’m just saying. If you want to visit all the temples around, I recommend setting aside half a day so you can really enjoy it. Because there’s a lot to see in these sacred places.

Continuing with cultural heritage, how about visiting museums ? Okay, maybe half of you will skip this part, but I promise they’re not boring museums (well, in my eyes, and I like museums, so maybe it’s not an objective opinion 😉).

First, I recommend the Time Tunnel Ipoh. You’ll see many old objects, a reconstruction of a house, and it’s really interesting. It’s a light museum that’s not overwhelming. You can just stroll through and go back in time. On the ground floor of the museum, you’ll find artisans selling beautiful wooden objects (the visit costs 8RM, about $1.5).

Then I recommend the Ho Yan Hor Museum, which is less entertaining because there’s a lot to read, but you’ll learn a lot about this local tea producer. Plus, at the end, you can taste the tea (the visit is free).

I also recommend visiting the small exhibition dedicated to traditional White Coffee (you can find a previous article on the subject) at the OldTown Heritage Centre. The exhibition will really help you understand what White Coffee is and what it has become over time (this visit is free).

All these museums are located in the city center. There are many other museums in the city, so if you like that, you won’t get bored.

During the tours offered by Ipoh Secrets, you will also have the chance to visit a Pomelo Orchard. Now, this is a specialty. This citrus fruit grows in Ipoh, and you can find it for sale everywhere. It’s interesting to visit the plantations because you learn a lot… not just about Pomelo Orchards. You can also see durian or papaya trees and many other trees.

Ipoh is all that, but it’s not over yet.

Natural Heritage

The city is surrounded by mountains, and mountains mean breathtaking landscapes.

If you’re a hiking fan, you’ll love the jungle near Ipoh. Wear good shoes because it’s steep, and take the opportunity to see Malaysia differently. There are many hiking trails, but they are not directly accessible from the city ; they are quite far. I recommend using Grab (it’s similar to Uber).

Natural heritage reminds me of another place I’d like to share with you. It’s called Mirror Lake. I had mixed feelings about this place. I’m sharing it because I found it very beautiful. However, access is paid, 10RM, about $1.5. But the problem is that you have to pay 10RM just to see the lake. Once there, there’s only a platform, and the visit is over ; you can go back. If you pay more, you can take a boat ride on the lake (I can’t say if it’s worth it because I didn’t do it). So, I’m sharing the information because the place is really beautiful, but just to see a lake, 10RM is a bit expensive.

Well, I hope I’ve made you want to discover this city, which undoubtedly holds many surprises 😊.

This was my last vlog, and I hope I’ve inspired you to visit Malaysia. It’s a country full of places to discover. If Malaysia doesn’t win your heart, it will always have mine. These two months in Ipoh were exceptional.

Thank you, Ipoh Secrets 🙂

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