Think of Malaysia, think of Ipoh. Located within the state of Perak, Ipoh took our breath away and we were just drawn by its slower pace of life as we took a short break away from Singapore.
This trip was so impromptu that we only had a couple of days to come up with the itinerary and we thought the trip went pretty well! In this blog series, we will cover some of the best cuisines in Ipoh, well-preserved historical landmarks and quaint cafes that make you fall in love with this town.
Instead of hopping into a dreaded 8 hours journey by coach, we took the budget airline and arrived at Sultan Azlan Shah Airport after an hour flight.
The airport was relatively small and you would probably be visiting these two booths – Car Rental and Purchase of SIM Card.
I bought a 6GB plan for RM35, which was more than sufficient for a 3-day use.
We rented a MPV which cost about SGD100/day. The car park was just in front of the airport so picking up the car was a breeze.
We would be staying at the WEIL Hotel. Apart from just 6km from the airport, this beautiful hotel is adjoined to the Ipoh Parade Shopping Centre and had so many reasons why visitors should be staying there.
Our first stop was exploring the Concubine Lane, which was along Lorong Panglima and is the busiest among the three lanes today with shops and restaurants. As cliche as it may sound, one of the must-do activities in Ipoh is the heritage walk around the old town area.
It was no surprising that the street was packed with tourists since it was a weekend.
Brightly colored umbrellas.
It might sound sinful, but what a shame it would be if a visit to Ipoh was completed without trying some of their unique desserts!
We sampled the Honey Ice Ball (RM5 per ball); an ice ball bigger than the size of a fist shaped with shaved ice then drizzled generously with gula melaka (palm sugar syrup).
Kuma Brand‘s rainbow cheese toast (RM13 per toast) certainly captured our hearts! Brushed with butter on the surface, the bread was being toasted to golden yellow.
The fun part of it? Stretching the cheese to your heart’s delight.
We tried the cold dessert at Tau Fu Fa, which was a great respite from the sweltering heat. To create the traditional atmosphere, long and squatting stools were set up for dine-in customers.
Their bean curd literally melts when you eat it. A must-try dessert shop at Concubine Lane.
Panglima Dua Lima, a charming little cafe housed in an old shophouse serving freshly prepare Ipoh white coffee.
The cafe was coated with attractive interiors. Old wall, wooden furnishing and displays of old school items added a rustic charm to this place.
Ipoh Booth Cart
Situated on the upper floor of the corner shop lot Restoran Sun Yoon Wah was Ipoh Booth Cart. We wouldn’t know of this place (opposite Concubine Lane) if not for the banners placed outside.
This place catered to a few booths or kiosks selling souvenirs and drinks.
Hey, admission is free!
Thean Chun Coffee Shop (天津茶室)
Thean Chun Restoran is highly recommended in the media and they are famous for their “Kai See Hor Fun” aka Chicken Kuey Teow Soup, egg caramel custard, chee cheong fun and satay.
We were very full but capturing pictures is a must!
73, Jalan Market, Ipoh, 30000,
Ipoh, Perak, 30000, Malaysia
Kong Heng Square
Nestled amidst Ipoh Old Town colonial buildings is Kong Heng Square Artisan Market (KHSAM).
An area rejuvenated with rustic blend of old and new architecture and shady trees, has been given a new “life” with burgeoning local arts, crafts and eateries. It is a hub where passion meets creativity.
I fell in love with photography few years ago and felt that Kong Heng Square actually was a good spot for photo-taking.
Previously a decrepit and abandoned space, Kong Heng Square has been rejuvenated into one of the cool hangouts in town.
We heard much about Burps and Giggles and glad that it was conveniently located at Kong Heng Square.
Customers are greeted with great ambience and the cafe is furnished with eclectic decorations.
Yum Cha Tea Bar
The Bubble Tea world is on a rage. We heard that Yum Cha Tea Bar is selling White Rabbit Bubble Tea here.
Traditional Tea House / Wood Craft Workshop
As evening beckoned, we chanced upon this interesting tea house as we went to collect our car.
The friendly owner invited us to tour his premises.
Every bit of the interior was lovely and filled with charm.
According to the owner, this place was used to host wood craft workshop and corporate sharing sessions.
Tong Sui Kai 糖水街 or “Dessert Street”
Tong Sui Kai 糖水街 or literally “Dessert Street” is one of local’s famous food spot with many stalls selling local delicacies such as rojak, cockles, noodles and many others.
Chicken Wings at RM2.70 per piece.
Wanton Noodle (Stall 44) at RM10 and Ice Kacang at RM5.
Memories of Ipoh on our first day.
Why not try Ipoh when planning your getaway? I am in love with Malaysia. Looking forward to explore this beautiful country again.
Jln Sultan Ekram, Taman Jubilee, 30300 Ipoh, Negeri Perak, Malaysia
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