Explore Malaysia: 12 Fun Things to Do in Ipoh on Your First Trip

12 Fun Things to Do in Ipoh, Malaysia on Your First Trip

From hopping on rides at the Lost World of Tambun to discovering caves and street art, here are the many attractions you can find in Ipoh.

Located between the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur and the island of Penang is a precious gem that many tourists intent on travelling throughout Malaysia tend to overlook. If you fall into this category, take a cue from the numerous locals living inside and outside of Ipoh who will tell you exactly what you’ve been missing out on. Interesting activities, sights to explore and food to try make this a very special spot which you should take a second look at. 

Here are just a few of the many things to do in the city of Ipoh. The following list of suggestions won’t necessarily require a very big budget. Nevertheless, exciting and interesting adventures are to be had in Ipoh with just a little bit of foresight.

1. Explore the Lost World of Tambun

things to do in ipoh

Image credit: Colin Goh

It wasn’t too long ago that this water resort first opened its gates to the public. The Lost World of Tambun has live shows, a petting zoo and most recently, the resort has expanded to include an extensive collage of fun activities including amusement park rides, waterslides, a lazy river, a huge pool and much more. Families with younger kids and even young adults or teens can enjoy a fun-filled day here and the Lost World of Tambun also features an educational section including an outdoor exhibition detailing Ipoh’s history of tin mining.

2. Find Ipoh’s street art

things to do in ipoh

Image credit: thriol

Ipoh is a grand fusion of old colonial-style architecture with modern additions which can be found throughout the city. Various interesting street art projects have also taken the city by storm over the years, with a series of creative and colourful pieces scattered across the city’s numerous walls. Those who have been to Penang or have seen images of Georgetown may have seen the work of artist Ernest Zacharevic. However, few travellers know that Zacharevic was involved in large-scale works in Ipoh as well.

3. Enter Gua Tempurung Cave

things to do in ipoh

Image credit: Azwan Wan

One of the first things you’ll notice about Ipoh’s otherworldly landscapes is the sheer amount of colossal rock formations and mountains that can be found across the vast lands surrounding the highways on the outskirts. Lurking underneath some of these limestone formations are an intricate series of caves. The Gua Tempurung Cave is one of the more popular ones. With a list of several caving tour options to choose from, they can range from 30 minutes to over three hours, some being short and simple while others entail crawling and squeezing through the wet, muddy lower levels of the cave. If you’re claustrophobic, you’d probably be better off choosing the easy tour.

4. Visit Orangutan Island

By far, one of the more interesting primates to be found in our big blue world is quite possibly the Orangutan. Now, you get a chance to get up close and personal with these fascinating creatures at the Bukit Merah Orangutan Island which isn’t too far from Ipoh. It can be a viable alternative to heading to Borneo or Northern Sumatra. This island acts as a rehabilitation centre and breeding sanctuary. It isn’t a zoo, it’s more like a home and we’re the guests.

5. Kek Lok Tong Cave Temple

The Kek Lok Tong Cave Temple is a temple, a cave, a park and a tourist attraction combined into one aesthetic package. Those who are interested in cave and rock formations, stalactites and stalagmites, Buddhist temples, statues and traditional exploration can stop by and wander around this Cave Temple.

6. Gunung Lang Recreational Park

This small yet fun, family-friendly park is situated on a small island that’s a short boat ride away from the mainland. The Gunung Lang Recreational Park is a great place to take your family and kids for a little bit of rest and relaxation. The area features bicycles for rent, interesting greenery and wooden structures throughout the park as well as a mini zoo where various local animals can be found.

7. Bike along River Walk @ Kinta Riverfront Hotel

This is another charming and relaxing area to visit with your loved ones during your stay in Ipoh. You can rent a bicycle and cycle around the area on cool, late afternoons. There are also displays related to Ipoh’s past as a tin mining spot. Couples can be seen frequenting this area for engagement or wedding shoots.

8. Kellie’s Castle

things to do in ipoh

Image credit: musimpanas

Kellie’s Castle, which is located beside Sungai Raya in Perak, is a huge unfinished mansion built by a Scottish rubber plantation owner named William Kellie-Smith. Architecture enthusiasts might find Kellie’s Castle interesting and since the mansion is believed to be haunted, ghost hunters and thrill seekers may also be interested to check it out for a chance to scare themselves silly.

9. Dataran Kong Heng

Dataran Kong Heng is very ‘industrialist chic’ with an ‘abandoned building vibe’. It’s a great place to take selfies or scenic shots for your Instagram accounts. On the weekends, a mini flea market opens and sells various trinkets as well as food items. If you have the munchies, buy an egg tart or two from the next-door shop.

10. Concubine Lane

Admire the unique colonial architecture mixed with modern traits at Ipoh’s very own Concubine Lane. Take a walk along the clear pathways and don’t forget to look out for the murals and small shops selling knick-knacks.

11. Yasmin Ahmad Museum

The late Yasmin Ahmad was a critically acclaimed film director, scriptwriter and creative legend from Malaysia who spoke to her audiences through her captivating works. This museum is dedicated to her life and her talent. The entry fee is a mere RM3 donation. It’s an inspiring place, in tribute to a beautiful soul. Her iconic advertisements can be found here playing on loop. Please bring tissues, because you might just cry while watching the touching stories that she has been known to craft.

12. Tambun Area

The Tambun area is known among locals and tourists alike for being a beautiful and captivating attraction with scenic mountain ranges and gorgeous, prehistoric walls. Tiny crevices house families of birds and many varieties of insects as well as amazing plants that somehow grow on what is essentially a big rock. Drive around, take a moment to enjoy the sights and sounds of nature or buy Ipoh’s famous pomelo for about RM10, a delicious and refreshing experience.

Facebook image credit (L-R): kazhiya; cheechew | Canva Pro

About Author


Trying to get Rauf’s attention? Just say one word…roadtrip! Coming from an international background, he’s always felt at home in the midst of different people and cultures. Whether discovering historical gems or indulging in awesome food, he feels out of place if he’s not ‘out of place’ at least once a month. With a broad array of interest, Rauf likes to bask in knowledge, read, write, box, cook, look at art and have deep deep discussions on mind-altering topics.


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