Ipoh Things to Do
Adrenalin pumping rafting through rapids, recharging massages at spas and absolutely everything in between is somehow available in Ipoh. Cultural junkies, adventure junkies, families and backpackers are all well suited to a holiday in Ipoh.
Adventurous folk, here we go. White-water rafting in Sungai Kampar, a place just half an hour south of Ipoh, is where you should start. Amidst a lush rainforest and the creatures that inhabit it, things can be rather placid when you are not rushing through grade 2 and grade 3 rapids! There are many companies that offer a good service. We went through Nomad Adventures and they provided a thrilling and well-worth the money four hour trip. Most companies offer two slots, from 9am to 1pm, and from 2pm to 5pm.
Lata Kekabu is the standout waterfall of the area, no doubt. In Kuala Kansar, the forest is a short way from Ipoh. An impressive 18 meters high with water crashing down the rocks, the surrounds make for a revitalising experience. There are also several hiking trails in this area, and a camping area for those looking to make a night of it. If you're looking for even more scenic and somewhat more serious hikes, head on over to the Cameron Highlands, it is but a few short hours on the bus!
Outdoor must do's
Gua Tenopurung Cave is only the largest limestone cave formation on the entire Malaysian Peninsular. The cave is vastly impressive and is surprisingly well lit. What a chance for anything from a fine stroll through the caves to full on spelunking! There are various routes for people of various fitness levels. The more challenging of the routes takes you to an underground river, which is incredible, of course.
There are many places that have for activities for the whole family. For a couple of days of fun for everyone, head to Lost World Tambul theme park. The park is packed with rides and activities that will keep younger ones entertained for as long as time allows. Take it easy in the hot spring and Healthcare Spa. Tickets per day are RM81 for adults and RM75 for children over 12 years old. The park is open from 11am - 6pm weekdays, and from 10am -6pm on weekends. However, it is closed on Tuesday. Tuesday seems a good a day as any not to work.
Gunung Lung recreational park is a great way to spend a few hours, basking in the sunlight and calming surrounds with a picnic at your feet. It is another fantastic family option. The park's beautiful lake, limestone casts, open spaces and an unimposing man-made waterfall all make for a tranquil atmosphere. The park is open every day from 8:30am to 6pm. It is located just of Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman Road. There are many other national parks that surround Ipoh that are worth exploring. However, they must come second to your visit here!
Ipoh Heritage Walking Tour
If you're looking to immerse yourself in the culture of Ipoh, the first thing that you should do is get a good dinner, doze off early and get ready for a good day of walking in the Ipoh Heritage Walking Tour. The tour leaves from the main entrance of the Ipoh Railway Station every Saturday morning at 8am. Tickets through the Kinta Heritage Group cost only RM 20. However, there has been some talk on forums about the tours being undersubscribed with the tours happening too often. Some would say, us included, that the less people you have on a tour, the better!
Regardless, the tour really is such a fantastic thing for anyone to do. You are visually enthralled by such rich displays of cultural structures. Sights include the Ipoh Railway Station itself, the old post office, the town hall and the especially colonial Birch memorial. The tour often includes a stop at Old Town White Coffee for brunch and for some famous Ipoh White Coffee.
You can choose to team up with your friends and do the tour with somebody who really knows the streets. Personal guides that work through Viator provide their services at around RM 100 per hour. A full day tour of around six hours will set each person in a group of ten back RM 600. A more costly, but much more informative tour.
Opportunities for immense cultural immersion abound in Ipoh. A visit to Han Chin Pet Soo Museum presents an opportunity to step back in time and view the lives of Hakka tin miners. A fascinating and troubling look at the incidence of opium, gambling, and prostitution in their time. There are also so many beautiful temples where you can take in the Chinese architecture, mythology and Buddha statues.
Massage and spas
After all the activities of the day, or just for the sake of indulgence at eleven in the morning, massage parlours are there for you. The cost of a massage ranges between RM 60 for an hour at a place like Mind and Body Spa, to around RM 280 in a place like The Banjaran Spa. However, you can be sure that the sublime views and experience of the surrounding limestone cave adds a little something.