Ipoh is the capital of the state of Perak and the largest city in the country. For many tourists who travel to Malaysia, Ipoh acts as just a transit point, but it should not be left unattended.
The city boasts a host of outstanding historical sites and restaurants serving delicious Chinese and Malay food. Also, wonderful conditions for sports and active recreation have been created here, fashionable hotels have been opened. All city streets are teeming with greenery, and among the many modern buildings and cozy parks you can find many shopping malls and interesting shops.
|Square||638 km 2|
|Population density||1003 people / km 2|
|Currency||Malaysian ringgit (MYR)|
|Timezone||UTS + 8|
|Postal code||30XXX, 36XXX, 39XXX|
|International dialing code||+ 60-5|
Climate and weather
The region where Ipoh is located has a tropical climate characterized by hot and very humid weather. Special temperature changes are not observed, and the average temperature of +27 ° C . The rainy seasons fall in two periods (April – May and October – December). However, even in these seasons the weather in the region is always excellent, as the rains here are warm and short-lived. For this reason, you can come to Ipoh at almost any time, although the period from March to September is considered the most comfortable and favorable time for a trip . It is worth considering that because of the high humidity and hot weather, people with heart disease are not recommended to come here.
The city of Ipoh is located in the western part of the Malay Peninsula on the banks of the Kinta River . It is surrounded by small limestone hills that extend into the suburban areas of the city and beyond. Since Ipoh lies at the confluence of several small rivers into the Quinta, the city is distinguished by a large number of green areas, and thickets of rain jungles extend in its vicinity.
From an excursion point of view, Ipoh is a very interesting city, as there are many interesting architectural sights here. Perhaps the main one is the City Railway Station , which the townspeople call the Taj Mahal. It is a magnificent structure, made in the spirit of the best Victorian and Moorish traditions. Near the station is the neoclassical City Hall and the Majestic Hotel , which is recognized as one of the best railway station hotels in Malaysia. Another important building in the city is the three-story colonial building of St. Michael’s College . The main religious attraction of Ipoh is considered the main Mosque of the state.with mosaic domes and a minaret, the height of which reaches 38 meters. Well, the best place for walking is the Japanese Garden , on the territory of which there is a small wooden bridge, a pond with goldfish and a colorful Japanese house.
There are also very interesting museums in Ipoh, first of all it is the Geological Museum with a large collection of fossils, tin ore, minerals and precious stones. Also very noteworthy is the Darul Rizuan Museum with a collection of exhibits that tell about the history of the city.
The surroundings of Ipoh are no less interesting. For example, 40 kilometers from the city is the unfinished Kelly Castle , which was built by order of a wealthy English planter. The village of Tambun is also very popular , which is famous for its hot natural springs. And near this village are the Tambun caves , on the walls of which you can see amazing drawings, which are more than two thousand years old.
A large number of restaurants are open in Ipoh, where you can taste delicious and inexpensive Chinese food, as well as dishes of the national cuisine of the country. In general, local culinary traditions are based on the influence of East Asian countries. For this reason, rice (or nasi ) is the main ingredient in the local diet . As a rule, it is made bland and used as a side dish. In general, rice is used here almost everywhere: it is boiled in broth, stewed in coconut milk and fried with vegetables, and is also used for baking pastries, noodles and desserts. The most popular rice dishes are rice with chicken and noodles, flat noodles ” cha quai chiu ” with various fillings, fried rice ” nasi goreng ” and rice with fish curry ” nasi dagang “.
In addition to rice, among culinary specialists, vegetables, soybeans and fruits occupy an important place, from which they make original salads and snacks. It is worth saying that most of the local fruits are completely unknown to Europeans, for example, durian or mangosteen .
Meat in Malaysia is used quite rarely, mainly on holidays. Tourists are advised to try such meat dishes as: chicken kebabs ” sati ayam “, pancakes with meat ” murtabak “, rice with chicken ” hainaniz ” and meat in rendang coconut milk . Well, for seafood lovers, local chefs offer just an excellent choice: shark fin soup, fish curry, fried scallops, anchovies, etc.
The most popular drinks here are fruit juices and royal coconut milk, which is served directly in coconuts with a straw. But alcoholic beverages are not welcomed in the country and are practically not produced. This is not unusual, since Malaysia is a Muslim country. Therefore, alcohol is sold only in hotels and expensive restaurants.
Of course, Ipoh cannot boast as many hotels as the capital or the main resorts of the country, but there is a choice of accommodation options. When choosing a hotel, it should be borne in mind that breakfast is not included in the room rate in all establishments. Most often it is possible only for an additional fee. Also, in most hotels and inns, before checking in, you will need to make a deposit (insurance for possible damage to property), which is returned upon departure.
If we talk about the hotels themselves, then they are here, as in all of Malaysia, very inexpensive. For example, the cost of rooms in the comfortable four-star Syuen Hotel starts from $ 70, and in the three-star Heritage Hotel Ipoh – from $ 39. Well, lovers of luxury rest are recommended to give preference to the hotel complex The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat , which is located 15 minutes’ drive from the city. Of course, the prices here are much higher (from $ 370), but on its territory there are hot geothermal springs, ice baths and a steam cave.
Entertainment and recreation
In Ipoh, there are many entertainment venues, green parks and places for recreation, so there are more than enough ways for a pleasant and exciting stay. The most popular place for outdoor entertainment is the picturesque and romantic park named after D.R. Sinivasagama . It has several playing fields, a flower greenhouse and an artificial lake where you can ride a rented boat. There is a skate playground and a children’s railway especially for children.
No less popular is the Japanese Garden , which is a cozy park where the traditional aesthetics of oriental gardens have been recreated. Many tropical flowers and trees grow here, as well as a real flower clock, a pond with goldfish, a wooden bridge and a colorful Japanese house.
For outdoor enthusiasts, Ipoh has an excellent Sports Complex offering an Olympic-standard swimming pool, a wave pool, tennis courts, a velodrome and hockey and rugby fields. But lovers of nightlife will not like it here too much, since there are not very many clubs and nightlife in Ipoh. But the city is famous for its many restaurants with delicious Chinese and Malay food.
The area around the city is formed by rain jungle and sandy beaches, which are used as tourist attractions for fishing and beach recreation.
Undoubtedly, fans of shopping in Ipoh will like it, because here they will find many modern shopping malls, gift shops, supermarkets and evening markets. Moreover, they all simply abound in a wide variety of goods: high-quality fashionable clothes, jewelry and bijouterie, leather goods, electronics and all kinds of souvenirs, as well as many exotic fruits and local delicacies. It is very convenient that in every shopping center there is an information desk, where you can get a plan of the location of all stores.
The best places to shop are Jalan Hospital, Jalan Dato Onn, Jalan Laksamana and Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah , home to the giant Plaza Ocean, Green Town, Super Kinta and Kinta City shopping malls , as well as a host of interesting specialty stores and boutiques. Tourists here most often buy gold jewelry with an original design, silver or pewter, souvenirs carved from wood, wicker items and batik. It is also worth asking the price for branded watches, electronics and computer “software”, the choice of which is very large here.
The most successful purchases can be made during sales periods ( March, December, July and August ), when the size of discounts for almost all products ranges from 30 to 70%. Most of the city’s shops are open from 9:30 am to 7:00 pm, and shopping centers are open almost all day, including Sundays.
In Ipoh there is a large Airport. Sultan Azlan Shah , through which regular communication with the capital, Penang island and other cities of the country is carried out. There is also a bus station and a railway station, so the road to the city will not be difficult.
The internal transport connection of Ipoh allows you to quickly move both within the city and in its suburbs. Public transport is represented by numerous buses, the cost of which is quite low. An alternative to buses are numerous city taxis, which can be ordered either by phone or stopped on the street. Fares for travel in them are quite low, however, when boarding, you need to make sure that the meter is turned on. It is recommended to pay only in local currency.
You can rent a car at one of the branches of well-known international agencies. To do this, you will need an international driving license, while the age of the renter must be at least 23 and over 60 years old. You will also need to pay for theft insurance, liability insurance, and a few local taxes.
A modern and high-quality communication system operates throughout the country, so there will be no problems with communication here. In Ipoh, pay phones are located literally everywhere: at public transport stops, near government offices, shopping centers, etc. There are rules for the use of telephones in each booth. They work with special cards that can be purchased at any kiosk, gas station or Telekom store . In some places, you can find outdated machines that only accept coins, but they are only intended for domestic calls. It is most profitable to call abroad from “card” machines or from telephone points, and a call from a hotel will cost more.
Cellular communication in Malaysia operates in the GSM standard. It is provided by the operators My Celcom, My Maxis and My Digi , whose coverage area includes not only the entire territory of Malaysia, but also Singapore.
Internet access is provided by numerous city Internet cafes and most hotels.
In Ipoh, tourists can feel completely safe, as crime is very low here, and the streets are calm day and night. The only nuisance that can happen to guests of the city is pickpocketing, however, if you follow reasonable precautions, its possibility is practically excluded.
As for women, they should take into account that Malaysia is a Muslim country, and they should try to look modest and not defiant. To visit mosques, all tourists will need clothes that hide their legs and arms.
City tap water is considered safe to drink, but we recommend that vacationers give preference to boiled or bottled water. No special vaccinations are required for the trip, but vaccination against hepatitis A and B, as well as typhoid and polio is recommended. Medical insurance will not hurt, especially if you go on a trip for a long time.
Ipoh is one of the largest cities and an important transport hub in the country, as well as a tin mining center. As for doing business, here, as in the entire territory of Malaysia, excellent conditions are provided and broad prospects open up. So, if in most countries for organizing a business, the number of shares of a representative of the country and a foreign investor must be distributed in a ratio of 50 to 50%, then here the interest rate of a foreign investor has been increased to 70%.
Buying real estate in Ipoh can be a very profitable acquisition, because, despite the large size of the city, its status and developed infrastructure, prices are quite low here. Especially when you compare them with real estate prices in many other countries. For example, an apartment in a rather prestigious residential complex in this city can cost about $ 100 thousand. Moreover, foreigners are allowed here to purchase both residential and commercial real estate, and the choice of objects offered for sale is quite large.
Despite the fact that Ipoh is a large and modern city, the locals honor and observe all the traditions of the country. For this reason, in order not to offend the feelings of the townspeople, women here are advised to dress as modestly as possible and, first of all, exclude miniskirts or shorts. To visit the temples, you will need clothes that completely cover your legs and arms. When entering a residential building or temple, you should definitely take off your shoes.
As in many Asian countries, the left hand in Malaysia is considered unclean and cannot be used to transmit or take food. It is also worth remembering that the head of any person is considered to be untouchable and sacred here, so you cannot touch it. This is especially true for Malay children.