22 May Ipoh Malaysia Family Stay
As part of our road trip our family had a three night stay in Ipoh Malaysia. We walked around the old town area, drove to cave temples and celebrated a birthday with a locally made cake. We found Ipoh with kids to be lots fun and we all really enjoyed our Ipoh Malaysia family stay.
Read our full Singapore & Malaysia itinerary.
Driving from Kuala Lumpur to Ipoh
Ipoh is located just over 200km from Kuala Lumpur. We left from our Regalia Suites Airbnb in Kuala Lumpur and began the drive to Ipoh. Getting out of KL was a little confusing but we didn’t have any trouble. Having already experienced driving from Johor to KL, Tim knew what to expect. We had topped up the Touch n Go card before leaving so just had to tap it when passing through the toll gate.
Almost the entire drive was along the expressway. We were surrounded by spectacular limestone cliffs as we approached Ipoh. (read post about driving in Malaysia here)
Our Ipoh hotel was the best place we stayed in for the entire trip. Bedrock Hotel Ipoh is a small boutique hotel, located in Ipoh’s ‘new town’ area. From the moment we parked our car in front, we were greeted with the excellent hospitality mentioned in many reviews. We were helped inside and our two boys were given lollipops while we checked in.
The hotels interior is unique and inviting. There are various sculptures and artwork displayed throughout.
We booked the family room and were surprised by the generous size. The moveable TV with Disney Channel was a hit with our kids, as was the complimentary popcorn. The room features a showcase with rock sculptures which was an interesting touch.
The hotel serves a complimentary breakfast in their dining room. A full set included a chicken pattie, hash brown, fried egg and baked beans. We had them cook just a hash brown and egg for the kids. There was also a station with bread to toast, cereal, juice, tea and coffee.
The staff at Bedrock Hotel were incredibly friendly, especially to our children. They gave us maps of the area and explained the direction to walk to get to Ipoh’s Old town.
Ipoh’s Old Town
From the hotel, we walked straight and crossed the bridge over the Kinta River. This brought us into Ipoh’s Old Town. We took the stroller (this one) but the streets weren’t easy to navigate with it. Sometimes the path wasn’t wide enough or there were steps up and down.
After crossing the river and entering into Ipoh’s Old Town, the first place that caught our eye was Market Lane. With red lanterns and rainbow umbrellas hanging over it, it was hard to miss. Walking down the lane, we viewed some wonderful street art.
Another famous, or maybe infamous laneway in Ipoh is Lorong Panglima, known as Concubine Lane. This was once a residential area where rich men kept their mistresses, or concubines. It is now a top tourist spot, also decorated with strung lanterns. It was much busier than Market Lane.
Making our way to the end of the laneway, we then walked around the block, passing more street art along the way. After coming across the cafe Plan B, we decided to have dinner there. The kids had healthy meals of ‘dirty fries’, one with popcorn chicken and the other with mac and cheese. Afterwards we strolled back to the hotel.
Ipoh’s heritage trail
Once a small Malaysian town by the river, Ipoh experienced a boom in the 1800’s due to tin mining. It was during this time that many of the cities impressive buildings were constructed. These can be viewed by walking the heritage trail. As we were visiting over a public holiday period, the information centre was closed. I took a screen shot of a map picture online. We drove the car into old town and found a park. We started at the Ipoh Station and walked in a circle back to the car. It was ridiculously hot and the kids weren’t interested so we ended the trail there.
Gunung Lang Recreational Park
On the way to Perak Tong Temple we stopped at Gunung Lang Recreational Park for a look. There is a large carpark and a playground, unfortunately it had a notice and tape on it. There is a building with a small shop and veranda area. From here we watched fish swimming in the lake. The boys had fun spotting all the different sorts, including large catfish. Parked on the lake were boats to take you across to the other side of the park. We didn’t get a boat, I’m not sure if they were running any.
Around the area are limestone cliffs of different shapes and sizes. One of them features a waterfall and the park’s large sign. The kids ran around on the grass while Tim flew his drone, before we continued on our drive.
Ipoh’s cave temples
All around Ipoh are temples located within limestone caves. They all have different features. During our family stay in Ipoh we visited three cave temples.
Perak Tong Temple is located north of Ipoh city. I drove there and was directed into a park by a random guy who then asked for money for doing so. A set of stairs leads up to the entrance of the large red and white temple. Inside the temple are gold statues and colourful paintings on the cave walls. Walking to the back of the temple, we then went up the stairs.
After giving a donation, we continued up and up and up. The stairs kept winding up through the cave and outside. We reached flat land and had no view. Tim continued up stairs that wrapped around the cliff and snapped some photos of the view which wasn’t very impressive.
After seeing other photos I think somewhere we took the wrong path up as the view is different. The view may not have been completely worth it but we did enjoy the challenge of the hike. On the way to the car we spotted some monkeys on sitting on a roof.
Kek Lok Tong
The drive to Kek Lok Tong took us through a residential area before the road became surrounded by forest. Located south of Ipoh city, this was our favourite cave temple. The inside was full of interesting limestone formations but what we really liked about it was the large garden at the back.
A path leads around a large pond and along it are several rock sculptures. The boys loved having freedom to run and were interested to see the different sculptures. It’s a nice landscape garden surrounded by the limestone cliffs. We walked all the way around the pond and saw some geese.
We parked the car in front of Nam Thean Tong Temple and walked along the road to Sam Poh Tong. The main entrance is quite pretty in pale colours but this was our least favourite cave temple.
The inside isn’t as natural looking as others with some areas painted and tiled. There is a beautiful building outside surrounded by greenery but the biggest let down was seeing a heap of turtles kept in a tiny area.
Three nights in Ipoh Malaysia with family
After dropping Cameron Highlands from our plans we spent three nights in Ipoh. It didn’t feel like we spent too much time there. It allowed us to spend the first part of the day out and then let the kids have a rest for the end of the day. We were able to see many different places during our time in Ipoh and bought a great cake for our sons birthday. Having our own car made it easy for us to get around Ipoh with kids.
A quick video of our highlights from Ipoh, Malaysia.