Ipoh: A Quick Guide for A Weekend Getaway

If you’re thinking of an amazing place to spend a weekend, Ipoh could be the best option.

Conveniently located in between Kuala Lumpur and Penang, Ipoh is a historical city that takes pride of its culture and unique landscape. It boasts an impressive list of natural and colonial-era attraction, and of course, many iconic food too. A day trip is certain insufficient but you are certain to have a good time here, though only for a very short period of time.

That being said, here are things you can do for a day in Ipoh.

1. Start your day with breakfast at New Hollywood Restaurant

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Operating for over 30 years, this humble restaurant is well-known to Ipoh-ites as favourite breakfast spot. Located at Jalan Lee Kwee Foh, Canning Garden, New Hollywood Restaurant serves halal Chinese cuisines with similar concept to any other typical Chinese restaurants — a mini food court with a few small stalls stationed at all the corners of the restaurant.

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The chee cheong fun is to die for.

A must-try here is definitely the freshly made chee cheong fun, either with chicken or prawn fillings. The texture is silky smooth, ladled with sweet red sauce with a touch of soy and shallot oil, garnished with fried shallots, sesame seed, and pickled green chilies! A perfect blend of flavours in your mouth, leaving you wanting another serving!

2. Get yourself a plate of addictive ‘Nasi Ganja’ for lunch

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Nasi Kandar Ayam Merah or widely well-known as ‘nasi ganja’ is definitely a must-eat whenever you’re in Ipoh. Operating at a Chinese-owned coffee shop named Yong Suan, ‘nasi ganja’ is probably the most notable nasi kandar in town. The term ‘nasi ganja’ came about when the die-hard-fans claimed that the rice is super addictive. Some also claim that after eating the rice, you get sleepy, hence, the name.

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A decadent plate of ‘nasi ganja‘.

3. Stroll along The Concubine Lane

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Listed among Top 10 Best Places To Visit In Asia by Lonely Planet, Concubine Lane is the most vibrant on weekends and holidays when many pop-up stalls are opened, selling cactus, colourful iceballs, flower-shaped cotton candy, and other souvenirs. During the Chinese New Year season, the lane is more lively with red lanterns, making the street resemble a Chinatown. For social media influencer wannabes, lots of Instagram-worthy spots and props worth taking pictures with are around as well.

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Me (an Instagram-influencer wannabe) striking a pose.

4. Discover the hidden Kong Heng Square

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Quietly nestled at the corner of Panglima Road, at the first glance, you may not notice its presence there. The building around the square is rather old — or should I say, decaying? 

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Whispering the vibe of weekend flea markets and craft bazaars, Kong Heng Square the most breath-taking juxtaposition of ‘old old’ and ‘new old’. Adding to the bucket list, Kong Heng Square Artisan Market is a perfect example of the retro revival of Ipoh’s Old Town without compromising its history. And for that reason, you must not skip this square when strolling around the town.

5. Spend a night (or two) at M Boutique Hotel Ipoh 

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If you plan to stay over, M Boutique Ipoh is definitely the best choice. Gaining the attention of both local and foreign tourists since it began operating in 2013, M Boutique Ipoh is among the first boutique hotels in Ipoh, Perak.

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Located on the outskirts of the town, the neighbourhood is quaint and peaceful which makes the hotel a perfect spot to rest after a long, tiring day. Paying homage to the Straits Eclectic style of architecture from a bygone era, the hotel gives you a throwback to the time when the straits settlements were in their prime, but with a modern — and wicked — twist.

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One day trip might not be enough to explore the whole city of Ipoh but with these activities, you certainly can have a worthy journey and of course, a memorable one. If you plan to go again some other time, check out our trip to Ipoh here.

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*All images by UPPRE.

Basir Zainuddin

Basir Zainuddin

Of coffee, music, and sea breeze.
Basir Zainuddin

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