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Sunday, June 2, 2013

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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Introduction : IPOH

Introduction


These days Ipoh is perhaps best known for its excellent restaurants, hawkers, and famous local dishes.Ipoh developed into one of Malaysia's main cities due to the booming tin mining industry around the turn of the 19th century. During the British colonial era, Ipoh was Malaysia's second city for administration purposes. There are several notable buildings from the British Colonial era such as the railway station and the town hall.

Get In and Get Around

Get in


By plane

Ipoh is served by the Sultan Azlan Shah Airport (IATAIPH). Firefly operates twice daily flights to and from the budget terminal of Singapore Changi Airport.


By train

There are the regular KTM trains between Ipoh and KL Sentral. Prices for the old diesel trains range from RM12 to RM30 depending on class and take 3 hours to cover the distance. Electric train service (ETS) costs from RM 16 to RM45 (depending on express or not) and take around 2 hours.


By bus

The main Ipoh bus terminal is located at Medan Gopeng. The station provides services to and from just about any location in the country. Most frequent routes are to and from Kuala Lumpur (Puduraya Station), Singapore and Penang. Larger bus companies like Transnational, Plusliner, Konsortium and Sri Maju provide the most frequent, reliable and safe services.
Some bus companies also operate out of other locations. Sri Maju Lapan Lapan (88 brand) and Grassland Express operate services to and from Singapore from their offices at Jalan Bendahara. Tickets cost about RM50-60 one way
Starshuttle and YoYo provide bus services to and from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport from Jalan Bercham. Tickets cost about RM40 one way


By car

Ipoh is well connected to the North-South Expressway. You can get into Ipoh via Exit 137: Simpang Pulai or Exit 139: Ipoh Selatan


Get around


By car

The city centre has mostly one-way streets, which are built in a grid pattern. City road maps are easily available at bookstores, tourist centres and even online. It is advisable to have a map handy. Ipoh's traffic is not as congested as other cities such as Kuala Lumpur. However, like any major cities, traffic slowdown is inevitable especially during heavy traffic such as the morning drive to work (around 8AM-9AM), (noon-1.30PM) during weekdays due to lunch-hour & school children being in/out of school and late evening return from work (around 5PM-6PM). Parking spaces are adequate although finding one may require some patience. Car rentals are available.


By bus

Public buses do ply certain routes but information about the routes is not published and buses are rarely on time. Consulting locals would be the best way to find out information about getting around on public buses.


On foot

Ipoh is a rather pedestrian-unfriendly city, but certainly better than KL. Walking within Ipoh city centre and Ipoh Old Town is feasible but walking long distance generally is not advisable without a good pair of sandals. New town and the outlying suburbs are not good at all for pedestrians.


By bicycle

There are no hard and fast rules for cyclists, but you are expected to observe road rules at all times. Cyclists are forbidden from riding on the sidewalk but often do. Helmets are optional but not common.

By taxi

Taxis are privately owned and charged according to the driver's price. It is possible to take the taxi all the way up to Pengkelan Hulu (near the Thailand border); a fair price for that would be ~RM170 one way, ~RM300 both ways. Taxi ride to and from destinations within the city cost around RM5 to RM20

Talk

Talk

Like in the rest of Malaysia, Malay is the lingua franca, However, most of the ethnic Chinese, who form the majority in Ipoh, speak Cantonese as their first language, and many are also able to speak Mandarin. Most of the Indians speak Tamil as their first language. While English is not as widespread as in Kuala Lumpur or Penang, tourists should still not have any major problems getting by with English

SEE.

See



Within Ipoh

  • The Ipoh Railway Station. It bears similar architecture to that of the Old Kuala Lumpur Railway Station and is nicknamed the "Taj Mahal of Ipoh"
  • Padang Ipoh or Ipoh Field is located on Jalan S.P. Seenivasagam. The field is a well kept and surrounded by many historic buildings that feature classic colonial architecture, including the mock-tudor style Ipoh ClubFMS BarHSBC Building and the magnificant St Michael's Institution secondary school.
Jalan Yang Kalsom on a rainy morning
Jalan Yang Kalsom on a rainy morning
  • Ipoh Town Hall located across the road from the Railway Station also features some interesting gothic architecture.
  • Muzium Darul Ridzuan is an interesting historical museum of Perak, located in a pretty former tin-mining tycoon's mansion on Jalan Kuala Kangsar
  • Mariamman Kovil is an old Tamil temple. Not only is it religious in nature but also a place for discourses and on sundays children are given an introduction to verses in Tamil. Located in Jalan Sungai Pari Buntong, just before the bridge on the river.
  • Kellie's Castle, the deserted mansion of an eccentric Scottish planter, is in Batu Gajah, half an hour's drive from Ipoh city center. Its main appeal lies in the belief that it is haunted and that secret passages leading to hidden chambers exist. A taxi will cost you around RM 50 - 60 and they will usually wait for an hour (which is long enough to look around). There is an entrance fee to the castle.
  • Perak Tong (Perak Cave) is located at Gunung Tasek and houses over 40 Buddha statues and many murals. There is a steep, tall staircase in the interior of the cave rising up to the top of its hill, where one is greeted by a beautiful and panoramic view of Ipoh and its surroundings. The statue of Buddha in Perak Tong is the tallest and largest of its kind in Malaysia. Perak Tong was built in 1926 by a Buddhist priest from China.
  • Sam Poh Tong (Cavern of Triple Gems) is a Chinese temple located at Gunung Rapat near the Simpang Pulai Toll exit(less than 10 minutes drive from the toll). The temple is built within a limestone cave. It has a popular attraction: a tortoise pond which houses hundreds of tortoises and terrapins (a symbol of longevity) of various sizes. There are several other cave temples immediately next to Sam Poh Tong: for example, Nan Tian Tong. They have been renovated recently and now there are colourful Buddha statues and Chinese zodiac animals for children and adults to ride on and take pictures. Right outside Sam Poh Tong are famous pomelo stalls next to the main road.
  • Kek Lok Tong (or Kek Look TongCavern of Ultimate Bliss), a cave temple that lies on the other side of the same limestone hill as Sam Poh Tong, is accessible only through Gunung Rapat housing area. Hence, Kek Lok Tong has a cleaner, quieter and more cooling environment and has the best scenic view from the cave.

Do Around Ipoh .



  • White Water Rafting.Get up close and personal with nature, experience an exotic and mystifying rainforest where the fastest butterflies swarm by the riverbank while you enjoy swimming in the river or jump from trees or just glide down the river on a raft.
  • Caving. Gua Tempurung is the largest limestone cave in Peninsular Malaysia and is believed to have been in existence since 8000BC. Located close to the North South Highway's Gopeng Exit, it provides the opportunity to explore in detail the insides of a limestone cave. You can choose to experience a short tour of the cave or adventure into the deep ends of the cave that includes trekking in a cave river and other uneven terrain.
    Gua Tempurong exterior view
    Gua Tempurong exterior view
  • Explore Tambun, once a small town north of the city, with city growth it is now a close suburb to the city centre. Tambun has been traditionally known for its juicy pomelo fruit and the Tambun Hot Springs,(now known as the Lost World Hot Springs and Spa). Soaking in these hot springs is said to bring health benefits to the body because of the high sulfur content in the water. Also in Tambun, is Ipoh's only water theme park, The Lost World of Tambun. It provides great rides and entertainment for families and also organizes tours into the nearby limestone caves for those interested in eco-tourism. It recently opened a Petting Zoo that allows children the opportunity to feed and pet a variety of animals.
  • Jungle Trekking - Trek up one of the many trails up the Menglembu-Kledang Hills (these are the hills you can see to the west of Ipoh with with the radio-tv masts on the top) to enjoy the awe-inspiring view of the limestone outcrops that surround Ipoh. If unsure of how to get to these trails, just ask the many locals who trek up daily in the early mornings and late evenings. If you have a GPS hikes can either start from 101° 1.813'E/4° 34.577'N or at 101° 1.638'E/ 4° 34.312'N where the paved road to the summit begins. Many of the trails are open and hot (take a hat and water) but much of Trail 4.9 is through shady forest. There are interesting plants and some wildlife (long-tailed macaques, pig-tailed macaques, leaf monkeys, and siamang) to be seen if you are lucky.
  • Ulu Geroh and Rafflesia flower, Be an ecotourist and experience the rainforest here (GPS 101° 15.200'E/ 4° 26.420'N). This is an Orang Asli kampung about one hour's drive into the hills east of Gopeng. The last half of the ride is along a rough road (4x4 preferred) through rubber, durian and oil palm plantations to the village on the edge of the rainforest. Guides from the Orang Asli community take visitors to see the parasitic Rafflesia flower (the largest flower in the world) and the Raja Brooke's Birdwing butterfly as well as other forest bugs, plants, etc. There's also a small but beautiful waterfall. Apart from Rafflesia watching, jungle hiking, caving and white water rafting can be organized. Online booking via the Ulu Geroh website [9] might be possible.You will need your IC or passport number for the visitor log book. Basic accommodation is available at Ulu Geroh itself or in a rural setting at three nearby eco-resorts:
  • My Gopeng Resort [10]
  • Rumah Rehat Adeline [11]
  • Gopeng Rainforest Resort [12].
  • Golf at the many golf courses around the city. The Perak Royal Golf Club is the oldest of the golf courses located close to the city centre but there are also great golf courses at Clearwater Sanctuary in Batu Gajah and Meru Valley in Jelapang. Both Clearwater Sanctuary and Meru Valley provide accommodation that make a golfing holiday all the more convenient.

Buy


[edit]Cost

Ipoh is inexpensive by Malaysian standards, and even more so for visitors from most industrialized countries: RM50 is a perfectly serviceable daily backpacker budget. Food in particular is a steal, with excellent local hawker fare available for less than RM4 per generous serving. Accommodation is also inexpensive by international standards, with a bed in most hotels below RM100. Top hotels offer rooms at around RM100 to RM300.

[edit]Specialty shopping

  • Ipoh Fragrant Biscuit “香饼”. Famous in Ipoh and Malaysia, these traditional biscuits feature a sweet paste within its flaky skin. Hand made ones are rare and you'll probably find mass produced ones to be widespread. Most popular brand is 'Yee Hup'
  • Pottery. Often missed by most visitors is the fact that Ipoh produces pottery for export. A good place to shop is along Jalan Kuala Kangsar, where stores offer an ample selection.
  • Ipoh White Coffee. If you have to get the sachet-packed type, try the brand 'Old Town' or 'Chek Hup'. If you want to try a cup of original Ipoh White Coffee, you can visit the old town kopitiam located at Ipoh Old Town itself. There, you can also can get the 3in1 sachet Old Town White Coffee. This coffee shop is a corner shop with one side facing a 15-storey flat.
Ipoh provides numerous different shopping experiences, from malls to local markets:
  • Pasar Malam or night markets are where many stalls set up their business selling a variety of food, groceries, toys, clothes and household items. The stalls move to various locations throughout the week:
    • Monday: Taman Menglembu, Taman Ipoh Jaya (near Gunung Rapat)
    • Tuesday: Ipoh Garden East
    • Wednesday: Ipoh Garden (near Perak stadium), Bercham (Taman Pakatan
    • Thursday: Taman SPPK
    • Friday: Taman Pertama; Pekan Razaki (near Taman Ipoh Jaya)
    • Saturday: Taman Rasi
    • Sunday: Taman Cempaka (6pm-10pm only)
  • Memory Lane is a flea market along Jalan Lim Bo Seng that takes places every Sunday morning. It is a good place to find imitation goods, antiques and other interesting local souvenirs. Be ready to bargain for the best price and be conscious of the fact that some stuff sold are probably stolen goods.
  • Shopping Malls. The Kinta City Shopping Centre and Ipoh Parade are the two best malls within the city. Both have a fair range of branded stores, with good bargains during sale periods that could be of interest to keen shoppers.
  • For a stretch of quaint boutiques, visit Ipoh Garden South.

Eat


    Malay/Indian Food
    • Laksa Perak 叻沙. This is a noodle dish which is similar to Penang's famous Asam Laksa but with a different taste. Laksa in Ipoh tastes a bit sour and spicy but not as sweet as Penang's Laksa. The ingredients of the noodle soup include prawn paste. There is one very good Laksa stall in Farlim, Ipoh (opposite the Setapak driving institute, on the way to Mengelembu from Ipoh; open Sunday afternoons only). The other one would be the Laksa stall in Kong Heng Restaurant.
    • Banana Leaf Rice. A common Southern Indian meal that includes a variety of meat curries, vegetables and poppadoms, it is great to have at Samy Restaurant in Chemor and Chuan Fong (泉芳) restaurant. Another great location to have it is at the Perak Stadium in Canning Garden.
    Restaurants often do not display prices. Tourists are advised to ask the price before having meals. Tipping is uncommon in Ipoh and even taxis will usually return your change to the last cent.

    [edit]Pizza

    Ipoh offers one of the country's best pizzeria: MichelangelO'S Pizzeria located No. 40, Jalan Medan Ipoh 1B, Medan Ipoh Bistari. All Pizzas are claimed to be cooked exactly as in Chicago and/or New York City.. All pizzas are hand tossed and made right before your eyes in the open kitchen and then cooked for 60 seconds on a woodfired oven. Nowhere else in Malaysia can you find an authentic American establishment. The Music is rock n roll or pop and played loud, seating is tight and very limited and the staff are fun and entertaining.

    [edit][add listing]Drink

    Ipoh does not have a large night scene; however, there is a large concentration of pubs and bars at Bandar Baru Medan (behind the Kinta City Shopping Center) and at theGreentown Business Centre.Rum Jungle at Sunway Ipoh is another new night spot with live band performances that could be checked out.

    Splurge

    • The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat [23] This five star wellness and spa resort is located on a 56-acre valley fringing a cluster of towering limestone hills, the indigeous landcape is surrounded by one of the oldest jungles in the world, natural caves, waterfalls and geothermal hotsprings, all unblemished by time. The self-contained retreat enriches discerning travellers with authentic and timeless experiences with 25 luxury villas, holistic spa and wellness therapies, unequalled Malaysian hospitality and distinctive Asian grace.
    • Indulgence Living [[24]]on Jalan Raja Dihilir is a boutique hotel with 3 designer suites and 4 themed rooms. Indulgence provides one of the highest classes of hospitality in the city. The hotel is located above the fine dining Indulgence Restaurant.
    • Impiana Hotel, Ipoh [[25]], a four star hotel centrally located in the heart of Ipoh on Jalan Raja Dr. Nazrin Shah. The hotel offers lavish facilities set against breathtaking views of rugged limestone hills, the Ipoh Turf Club and the Royal Perak Golf Club. Our newly refurbished rooms offers exclusive and modern look and are equipped with individually controlled air-conditioning unit, direct dialing, WiFi broadband services, five Astro Channels, coffee and tea making facilities, in-room private safe, and so forth. Our hotel is probably one of the most reliable quality hotel in the city and the closest to the airport.
    • Syuen Hotel Ipoh[26] 88, Jln Sultan Abdul Jalil. +605 253 8889, fax: +605 253 3335. . A four star hotel in Greentown, an up and coming part of the city, it offers a full range of services for both business and holiday travellers.

    Stay safe

    Ipoh is in general a very safe city, certainly by international standards. However, there are some irritants like beggars, especially at bus terminals. It is better not to attract any unwanted attention by giving money to the beggars as most of them are professional beggars operated by syndicates.
    Perhaps not so much a safety thing per se, but at the Central Market in New Town, particularly if you are an orang putih (white person), don't let the traders rip you off (which they are likely to do, if you let them). If the prices are signed clearly, hold them to it! Furthermore, Ipoh is probably not as tourist friendly as publications, such as Lonely Planet, make it out to be.
    The city centre is relatively safe, but again, pickpockets do work in the stations. If you are carrying a bag make sure that it's secured (all zipped up). If you have a wallet in your pocket keep a hand near it while exiting the buses. It is not advisable to leave your handbag dangling on your shoulder while walking next to main roads, as motorcycle snatch thefts do happen.

    www.wikitravel.com

     

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