Travelling in Malaysia and looking for the perfect Ipoh trip itinerary? Perfect! We can help in this Ipoh itinerary blog.
A quirky place to visit, Ipoh is ideal for a long weekend – perhaps in combination with a stay at the Cameron Highlands or as a stopover when travelling between Kuala Lumpur and Penang.
Discover the city’s laidback charm on the 6.5km Ipoh Heritage Walk, taking in restored colonial buildings such as the Railway Station, Birch Clock Tower and Ipoh Town Hall and Post Office. A sometimes sleepy but atmospheric town – showing strong similarities with George Town, Penang – streets are lined with ancient Chinese shophouses and an abundance of coffee houses that spill out onto the pavements.
Noted for dramatic street art murals, check out Old Town and the more recently added Mural’s Art Lane in New Town, for colourful depictions of local family life, regional customs and traditions. Further afield, explore the region’s mystical cave temples deep within Ipoh’s limestone cliffs, and the equally spectacular Tambun Cave full of Neolithic cave paintings dating back thousands of years.
Recent investment into Ipoh has led to not only a revitalised Old Town but a regeneration of its Malaysian-Chinese cuisine and culture… and our top reason to visit Ipoh is without a doubt to sample the food, with Lonely Planet calling it the “lesser known food capital” of Malaysia. Spoilt for choice, it’s a foodie’s delight, with local restaurants, hawker stalls and expansive food courts offering mouth-watering fare at great prices!
If you’ve come in search of adventure, you won’t be disappointed with white-water rafting on the Kampar River or spelunking at West Malaysia’s most extensive cave network, Tempurung Cave. Finally, for all those young-at-hearts, head to the Sunway Lost World of Tambun for a full day of thrills, action, animal encounters, hot springs and water rides… more than enough to keep you busy!
Below, you will find the ultimate Ipoh travel itinerary! We walk you through options whether you want an Ipoh day trip itinerary, an Ipoh 2 day trip itinerary or an Ipoh 3 days 2 nights itinerary.
You can simply stop following our Ipoh tour itinerary if your trip finishes in less than 3 days when you hit the number of days you have or pick the days that sound best from the 3d2n Ipoh itinerary below.
If you have longer in Ipoh, lucky you! You can take this itinerary Ipoh slower with more time to relax at your hotel or look for other things to do in Ipoh from our full list here.
Finally, we also recommend some top places to stay in Ipoh depending on your budget and needs and there is a map below of everything you will do on your Ipoh trip.
Table of Contents
Perfect Ipoh Itinerary 2020
Remember, this is a full 3 day Ipoh itinerary. If you have less days, simply pick the days that most appeal.
I also want to add that this works as an Ipoh budget itinerary or an Ipoh itinerary for families – just take out activities if you want to make it easier or if they don’t seem suitable for your kids.
The highlights of this itinerary in Ipoh are:
- Spend a full day discovering the Old Town of Ipoh, taking in the region’s famous Ipoh White Coffee, exploring colonial buildings and a fabulous night market… and trying out the lip-smacking local cuisine along the way.
- Day two will take you out of town to nearby caves celebrating Buddhist and Taoist deities, neolithic paintings and, rather surprisingly, a Scottish castle with hidden rooms and tunnels!
- It’s a full day of fun on day 3 at the fantastic Sunway Lost World of Tambun, with rollercoasters, tiger-encounters, hot springs and more.
Day 1: Discover Old Ipoh Town
Today, you arrive in Ipoh. Today is centred on discovering the best of Ipoh within the city and perfect whether it’s the start of a longer trip or you are just looking for an Ipoh itinerary 1 day. Either way, I recommend you follow this exactly!
- Start the day at Kedai Kopi Sin Yoon Loong – the perfect place to try Ipoh’s famous white coffee and to have a roti breakfast.
- Go crazy walking around the Old Town. Check out the colonial architecture, magical laneways and keep a lookout for Ipoh’s famous street art.
- Take a short taxi trip to Restaurant Lou Wong for lunch where you can have Ipoh’s best tauge ayam.
- Have a siesta in the heat of the day ready to venture out again as things cool down in the early evening.
- Head to Gerbang Malam night market for dinner and shopping. This is particularly good on weekend nights.
Kedai Kopi Sin Yoon Loong
The Story of Ipoh in a Cup… this 1937 establishment was the Old Town birthplace of the now famed Ipoh White Coffee, and today Sin Yoon Loong is still going strong!
What better way to start your day than enjoying breakfast at this longtime establishment? No WiFi or air-conditioning here, in fact the rear of the café appears to have the same coat of paint from years gone by. Locals and tourists adore this place, so head out early to avoid crowds – though you may still need to queue a while for a table.
This kopitiam – traditional coffee shop – has a fairly basic menu and the coffee is perhaps not as tasty as years ago, with tourism demands leading to an urgency to churn out cup after cup, but this is one place everyone should tick off when visiting Ipoh.
And, the coffee? Well, the beans are roasted with palm oil and served with condensed milk, resulting in a rather sweet and creamy beverage. Cheers!
Address: 15A, Jalan Bandar Timah, 30000 Ipoh, Negeri Perak
Walking Around The Old Town
The highlight of your Ipoh one day trip itinerary, explore the heart of the city, at Ipoh Old Town, full of heritage buildings that showcase the town’s 130-year history from a small Malay village to a minor tourist destination. On the west side of the Kinta River that flows through the city, you’ll find colonial shoplots/shophouses, that are often likened to Penang’s Georgetown. Easy to explore on foot, due to the excessive heat you might want to consider jumping in a taxi.
At the start of the 19th Century, Malaysia was under British Colonial rule, with Ipoh the second most important city. Though a huge fire in 1892 led to most of the city being rebuilt, there is still a strong structure of Ipoh Old Town remaining, alongside newer places to explore with shoplots revamped into cafes, hotels, galleries and tea shops.
We recommend you follow the self-guided Ipoh Heritage Walk, taking you to all the major landmarks. Starting at Ipoh Railway Station, you’ll see the majestic Ipoh Town Hall and Old Post Office, High Court and much more. Check here for details.
The most famous street is probably Concubine Lane, with colourful decorations and tasty cold treats – quite different from the days of old when the shoplots housed opium and gambling dens! Today, you’ll find charming souvenir shops, fashion outlets and many cafes. A great place to visit at weekends, with its busy, lively atmosphere.
Also in Old Town, check out stunning wall murals, with the most famous by the original artist, Ernest Zacharevic. His paintings are scattered throughout the lanes, along with many newer murals. You’ll see “An Old Uncle Drinking Coffee”, “Paper Plane” and the most dramatic, “Evolution”, that covers the entire side of the herbal-tea Ho Yan Hor Museum. Check this Ipoh street-art-map for the best spots.
Finally, discover more about Islam at the stunning Sultan Idris Shah II Mosque, near to the train station and facing the Birch Memorial Clock Tower. The State Mosque of Perak, it’s unmissable with many bronze domes and majestic modern architecture.
Take a break from your Ipoh day tour itinerary because it’s time for lunch, and your destination is Lou Wong’s – the most famous Chinese restaurant in town. Be sure to select its noted dish, Tauge Ayam (bean sprouts chicken). Don’t come expecting a calm dining experience, this is a busy, sometimes hectic, restaurant with locals and tourists queuing for the famed food!
Address: 49, Jalan Yau Tet Shin, Taman Jubilee, 30000 Ipoh, Negeri Perak
Gerbang Malam Night Market
Once the sun goes down, this is the heart of Ipoh! The night market sets up around 7 pm daily, with stalls selling all manner of things from mobile phone accessories, toys, clothes, footwear, perfumes, bags, etc.
Crowded by 8 pm, enjoy the hustle and bustle in the evening’s warm air. Bargain hunt and negotiate your way to a good price. And once you’re all-shopped-out, you’ll find many dining choices in the side streets, offering delicious Chinese and Malay cuisine.
After a full day of walking, why not end your Ipoh 1 day trip itinerary with a relaxing foot massage at the market before heading back to the hotel.
Address: Jalan Dato Tahwil Azar, Taman Jubilee, 30300 Ipoh, Negeri Perak
Day 2: Enjoy Ipoh Surrounds
Now you’ve seen the sites within Ipoh, our Ipoh 2 days itinerary focuses on the attractions around Ipoh where you’ll find awesome scenery and cool cave temples!
- This morning, set out after breakfast for the short ride to Ling Sen Tong Temple
- Next up, discover Kek Lok Tong Temple and some stunning statues
- Grab a quick lunch at Restoran New Hollywood, a Halal food court serving some of Ipoh’s top specialities, located en-route to your next attraction
- Visit Tambun Cave with its thousands-of-years-old artwork
- Take a 25-minute scenic drive to the Scottish manor, Kellie’s Castle
- And, if you have time, end your day at Gunung Lang Recreational Park before heading back to Ipoh for dinner.
Ling Sen Tong Temple
This colourful Taoist temple is located at the foot of a limestone mountain on the southern side of Ipoh and is full of statues of deities and animals. Literally translated it means “The Rock of Heavenly Spirits” and has a main compound area adorned with statues of characters from Chinese folklore.
Visit the garden for more wonderful statues, this time from Chinese mythology such as the Monkey King!
Address: Gunung Rapat, 31350 Ipoh, Perak
Kek Lok Tong Cave Temple
One of the most notable of Ipoh’s many cave temples is Kek Lok Tong. This Buddhist temple is the second stop today, where you’ll explore 12-acres of limestone caves and a wonderful reflexology footpath in the surrounding gardens. Translating as “Cave of Ultimate Bliss (or Great Happiness)”, this atmospheric spacious cave, first discovered in the 1920s, enjoys good natural light and a refreshing breeze throughout. It’s truly a lovely spot to sit and reflect, in the company of Buddhist and Taoist statues.
Before leaving, check out the pond next to the statue at the car park for some sweet turtles.
Address: Pesiaran Sepakat 3, Taman Endah Jaya, 31350 Ipoh, Negeri Perak
Also known as Gua Tambun, this limestone cave contains the largest number of neolithic cave paintings in Asia. Discovered in 1959 by a British soldier on a routine training exercise, they are estimated to be around 2,000-5,000 years old.
Painted on the side of a cliff (not actually inside a cave), art was found depicting animals, humans, fruit and geometric shapes. Unfortunately having been not very well preserved, today there are only a dozen or so recognisable from the original 600 found.
Address: 31400 Tambun, Perak
This unfinished, ruined mansion, is a wonderful Scottish home in the Malaysian jungle! With a story that combines romance, tragedy and mystery, it has become a popular attraction.
Owner and creator William Kellie Smith, a Scottish planter, passed away during construction leaving the project halted and forever unfinished. The castle was designed to replicate the great British Raj palaces in India, with Moorish-style arches and windows.
Shrouded in mystery for many years, eventually, three secret tunnels were discovered under the house, and rumours abound of a car found parked inside one! Spooky stories of ghosts continue to this day – whether real or perhaps as a way to increase tourism…
Today, it’s quite a surreal site in the plantations of Perak, and you’ll enjoy the dizzying road that weaves its way to the Castle.
Address: 31000 Batu Gajah, Perak
Gunung Lang Recreational Park
If time permits, finish with a trip to the Gunung Lang Recreational Park.
Covering over 30 hectares, with half consisting of lakes, this park is set to a stunning backdrop of limestone hills. The main attractions include the man-made cascading waterfall, a 2km boardwalk across a swamp and sporadic lookout towers. Children can have fun at the onsite playground and visit the mini zoo. Everyone can enjoy a short boat ride around the lake, making a great end to this Ipoh 2 days, 1 night itinerary.
Address: Jalan Damai, 30100 Ipoh, Negeri Perak
Day 3: Tons Of Fun At Sunway Lost World Of Tambun
If you have a third day in Ipoh, lucky you! Today is going to be lots of fun. That’s because you will spend it at the theme park, Sunway Lost World of Tambun. It’s easy to spend the entire day here exploring and then hanging out in the huge wave pool which may have some of the best views from a wave pool in the world!
Sunway Lost World Of Tambun
Wow, you’re in for fun-overload today! Visit the action-packed Sunway Lost World of Tambun just 10km from Ipoh. This great family-adventure destination covers 40-acres of Park, cocooned by lush tropical jungle, natural hot springs, and sits at the foot of dramatic limestone cliffs. With seven (yes, seven!) Parks, suitable for all age groups, this is your perfect Malaysian Eco-Adventure.
Featuring the longest Adventure River in Malaysia, the Lost World Water Park is the ideal place to start your morning. Featuring 20-ft twin waterfalls, a river and beach/garden area, enjoy floating along bobbing up and down on the meandering canals, or try your luck at Malaysia’s biggest wave pool – Jungle Wave Bay – with waves up to 3-ft high. Younger children will adore the giant tipping-buckets, water cannons and spraying elephants. Terrific fun!
Next, time to check-out the majestic Siberian tigers at the thrilling Tiger Valley or discover the cute Petting Zoo (great for younger visitors) where you’ll interact with a wide variety of animals.
Now it’s time for some serious fun and thrills at the Amusement Park, with a roller coaster, swing-chair ride, dragon flight and 180 degrees pirate boat swing! More child-friendly options abound too, such as a carousel, family cart ride and the giddy galleon. And, if that’s not enough, you also have Adventure Park with 13 high-rope challenges, rock climbing and a zip line along the lake!
Towards the end of the day, head to the Lost World Hot Springs & Night Park. Relax in 13 different rejuvenating hot spring pools, such as the Steam Cave, Geyser of Tambun, and an Infinity Pool, soaking your tired feet! Dry off, grab some dinner at the on-site restaurant, and explore the enchanted Luminous Forest with amazing flora and fauna or the nocturnal wildlife at the Petting Zoo.
Address: 1, Persiaran Lagun Sunway, Sunway City, 31150 Ipoh
Itinerary Ipoh Map
Find all the things to do in this Ipoh itinerary on the map below.
Best Places To Stay In Ipoh
When planning to visit Ipoh, consider staying around Old Town, the centre of the city, for easy exploration of historic colonial buildings and to be well located for restaurants. Alternatively, stay out of town hidden amongst the lush jungle and limestone cliffs at Gunung Rapat or stay at Tambun, slightly north of the city, for its natural hot springs, water park and some wonderful locally grown fruits such as the native tasty pomelo.
Whatever your budget, there’s as ever a great range of hotels to choose from. To start you off, below we’ve listed a few different places to consider including a budget, mid-range and more expensive option.
Set amidst tropical jungle, this peaceful property is a luxurious sanctuary. Offering wellness, longevity, rejuvenation and detox treatments, you’re bound to leave with peace of mind and feeling terrific! Surrounded by panoramic cliffs, explore the grounds for magnificent waterfalls and take a dip in a private Balinese pool. This is not your usual accommodation, in fact a stay here will be a highlight of your visit to Ipoh!
Boasting 45 spacious, luxury villas – Lake, Garden or Water – we recommend taking one with a balcony overlooking the local canal. Villas come with private jacuzzi hot tubs filled with natural geothermal hot-spring water, private plunge pools, outdoor rain showers, private decks and sun loungers… making this is a quiet, stylish, luxury resort.
Dining is offered at Pomelo, an indoor/outdoor all-day restaurant focused on wellness and specially crafted meals to suit your needs, and Jeff’s Cellar – named one of the top 20 restaurants in Malaysia by Tatler. This stunning fine-dining restaurant and bar is set within a 260-million-year-old limestone cave!
With a famed Spa, thermal steam cave and ice-bath, meditation cave, fish pool, jungle trails, fitness centre and swimming pool, you’ll find it hard to leave the grounds of the hotel!
Available for guests of 12 years of age and above.
MID-RANGE – Regalodge Hotel Review
Location is everything here, with the hotel only 800-metres from the Ipoh Parade Shopping Centre, at the heart of the city. This 3-star hotel has a wide variety of room categories, including premier, deluxe, executive, suites, and Regal family suites. Air-conditioned rooms with modern decor and large windows, overlooking garden, mountain or city views, and a bathroom with shower, all help make this our stand out mid-range choice of accommodation.
This hotel is an excellent choice for tourists, offering free WiFi in all rooms, 24-hour front desk and has recreational facilities such as hot tub, sauna, spa, massage and steam room.
An on-site restaurant offers a selection of French cuisine at The Limestone’s Fine Dining Restaurant.
BUDGET – Beds In Garden Hostel Review
Billed as a 5-star boutique hostel, Beds In Garden is a ten-minute walk from Ipoh town centre.
Modern, quirky and full of natural light, the hostel has a mixture of air-conditioned rooms including family, female-dormitory, 6-bed mixed, single, double or quadruple rooms. Shared bathrooms come with hot water, soap and shampoo.
Guests can relax at a small but well-maintained garden area, enjoy a fitness centre, and the hostel offers WiFi in the communal areas and some parking.
A shared-kitchen area (with a local store less than 5-minutes walk) is available for guests to cook their own food, and a huge common area with a television showing movies and local news is a great place to relax or meet fellow travellers. Next door to a nightclub, we suggest you request a room away from that side of the hotel.
We love Ipoh for its pretty Old Town, filled with unusual street art and colonial buildings, next to trendy coffee shops and newer malls. There’s an air of being slightly off the main tourist-route, discovering somewhere that will soon develop into a major Malaysian destination, with both the New York Times and Lonely Planet trumpeting (quite rightly!) the delights of the local cuisine. Add in the beauty of the surrounding countryside… we recommend you book your trip soon!
We hope you enjoyed this Ipoh city tour itinerary, perfect whether you are looking for a one day itinerary Ipoh, an Ipoh 2d1n itinerary or longer. You can find more information to plan your perfect trip to Ipoh in our complete guide to Ipoh here or read our full review on Sunway here.