I’m glad I was able to play tourist in Ipoh before the MCO. However, a weekend spent was not enough. From food hunting, history, culture, recreational areas to nature visits, Ipoh has countless places to explore. At the end of the trip, I was only able to cover 12 attractions in Ipoh over the weekend. Hence, here are the “Cliche” attractions in Ipoh to kill your weekend boredom.
- Tasik Cermin
Located within 12 minutes drive from the city centre, Tasik Cermin or the Mirror Lake has become the local and international tourists must-visit place in Ipoh. Thanks to social media, Mirror Lake is now on google map/ Waze, making it easier for everyone to visit. From the open space car park, walk your way to the ‘almost abandon’ house and follow the crowd before you can see the pitch-black tunnel. At the end of the tunnel, you will capture the cinematic view of Mirror Lake surrounded by limestone mountains and greenery.
- Sojourn Guest House
My stay at the Sojourn Guest House was unforgettable. They offer recreational facilities such as a spa, massage, sauna and all the relaxing escape available. Take the time to rejuvenate yourself during your stay as all of the facilities are in-house. Not to forget about the roof garden where you can spend your time reading through the evening.
Despite offering affordable books to purchase, BookXcess has been exploded through Social Media as it brings a fresh concept into Malaysia for its stores. Readers read, but hey, Instagramers takes the best-free-promoting pictures through social media. I have to admit, my photo library has been fully packed with BookXcess photos of almost a hundred. No doubt the store has been getting jammed packed with people.
- Restaurant New Hollywood
The Chinese food restaurant has become the talk of the town, tourists and media for its best kept tastes for probably a decade long. It’s easy for me to say that this restaurant would have the magnet for you to come back again in the future and repeat. Be sure to order the Hong Kong Chee Cheong Fun, Dim Sum, Kueh Teow and ‘Cakoi’. A minimum spending of RM50 is definite as you will be wanting to try everything from the small stalls.
- Kellie’s Castle
My visit to Kellie’s Castle was in the afternoon and regretted my decision ever since. Knowing the hot weather in Ipoh, I tend to stay in the building for the one hour visit. A minimum entrance fee of RM5 for Malaysians and RM10 for foreigners is applicable. The castle has been known for its history and mystery of the unfinished mansion in the 1900 era until today.
- Concubine Lane
Build by the mining tycoon, the streets of Concubine Lane offered local shops and stalls for gadgets, arts, local dishes and more. Most people were coming here to capture the mural art around the area and try the famous ice balls. However, souvenirs here are slightly pricey as it is one of the tourists’ hotspots. Stop at Plan B Ipoh along the way to capture a few moments at the location as it was once the historic pre-war building.
- Platform 9 1/2 Cafe
Any big Harry Potter fans here? I know I do! As you are strolling around Concubine Lane, drop by at the Platform Cafe. Besides the witches playground, I must say the ambience of the cafe was pretty nice. No heavy meal serve, but I did quite enjoy my cup of coffee there. Queueing for the photo op, on the other hand, was tiring as it was packed with people. Social distancing is difficult in a place like this, so put your mask on and follow the SOPs.
- Karat Cafe Ipoh
Karat Cafe Ipoh is located within walking distance from the Sojourn Guesthouse. A mixture of the modern and old village Cafe with great space and ambience. They serve mostly Malay food focusing on quality and taste rather than lavish plating and decor. Karat Cafe is only open during the night making it suitable for hang-outs and birthday celebrations.
- Thumbs Cafe
Besides Karat Cafe, Thumbs Cafe has more of a ‘mamak’ open concept and is not for those who would like to come for dinner. With a limited menu available, this cafe is suitable for youngsters who would like to just hang out for hours and enjoy their night with the live band around. Except, the pandemic has restricted bands to play during our visit.
- Hokkaido Ice Cream Puff
As the seatings are super limited, Hokkaido Ice Cream Puff in Taman Jubilee has one of the longest queues around. Although there are few choices of flavours available, people’s favourites are Yam, cookies & cream and mint. With an affordable price of less than RM5.00 per puff, most visitors would enjoy buying three or more flavours to taste out a bit of everything.
- Birch Memorial Tower
The J.W.W Birch that was at least in my previous history book has its history at the Birch Memorial Tower. Built-in 1900 era by his son, the tower represents loyal, justice, fortitude and patience through its corners as a memorial to him.
- Ipoh Railway Station
The British Colonial architecture of Ipoh Railway Station has captured my eyes as I drove back to my hotel. The heritage building is now handling the freight trains and the ETS train that would only take 2 hours from KL in reaching Ipoh.