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Your guide to Ipoh
All About Ipoh
Halfway between Penang and Kuala Lumpur in the Malaysian state of Perak, the city of Ipoh is famous for its limestone caves, grandiose architecture, and vibrant street art. Known as one of the country’s culinary capitals, this is a great place to tour the famous hawker stalls to sample regional delicacies like ayam tauge (bean sprouts and chicken) and curry mee (wheat noodles and roasted pork in coconut-milk broth). Adrenaline seekers flock to the region to explore one of Malaysia’s largest cave networks and go whitewater rafting on the Kampar River. If you are looking for something more low-key, check out Kellie’s Castle. Construction started in the early 20th century, but when the owner died suddenly, the Scottish-style castle was left half-finished in the middle of the forest, where you can walk its supposedly haunted corridors and explore its secret tunnels.
The best time to stay in a vacation rental in Ipoh
Ipoh experiences a hot, humid tropical climate all year round. December through February are the driest and coldest months of the year, a good time to get out and explore the cave temples or Kellie’s Castle. From March until May, the weather is usually pretty comfortable and consistent, making this a nice time to book your Ipoh villa. August until November is the monsoon season, and while it can get very soggy, often the rain comes in hard, quick bursts followed by hours of sunshine. Regardless when you visit, it is always a good idea to keep a waterproof layer handy when you go out exploring for the day.
Top things to do in Ipoh
Perak Tong Cave Temple
The area surrounding Ipoh is dotted with more than 30 cave temples that were chiseled out of the limestone cliffs by Buddhist monks. One of the most stunning is Perak Tong Cave Temple, which features a 40-foot-tall Buddha statue, a beautiful Chinese temple gate, and 450 steps that lead through a series of ornate gazebos until you reach the top of the limestone hill.
Mural Art Lane
This small alleyway on the eastern bank of the River Kinta features large, brightly colored illustrations of everyday life in Malaysia, including regional customs and images from the area’s turbulent past. Not only is this a great place to enjoy work by local artists, but it also offers excellent photo opportunities.
Ipoh is famous for its Neolithic cave paintings that date from between 2,000 and 5,000 years ago. Tambun Cave, a National Heritage Site, features hundreds of these drawings of people and animals on a sheer cliff face. If you pay close attention, you may even see remnants of snail shells on the ground, thought to have been food for the original artists.