The beautiful city of Ipoh is located around 200 km north of Kuala Lumpur. The driving distance from Kuala Lumpur to Ipoh is around 2.5 hours using the freeway AH2 which connects Kuala Lumpur to some of the major cities in mainland Malaysia. I have undertaken several road trips from Kuala Lumpur to Ipoh and Cameron Highland in the last 3 years. The best way to enjoy these interesting destinations is to organize a minimum of two nights' stay that will give you enough time to explore all areas of interest in these towns.
Road trip from Kuala Lumpur to Ipoh Perak - Lost World Park
Driving intercity on the Malaysian Road network is a great experience. I have driven extensively from Georgetown to Johor Bharu and highly recommend renting a car from Kuala Lumpur and exploring Ipoh at your own pace. There are plenty of stopovers along the way offering clean cafes, restaurants, service stations and praying areas for Muslims. I normally stop over for a cup of hot steaming tea Tarek and some local deep-fried snacks.
Most stopovers, however, have fast-food chains like Macdonalds and KFC. Therefore, for more adventurous I suggest renting a from KL City or International Terminal at KLIA or KLIA2 .
Catching a bus from Kuala Lumpur to Ipoh
If driving is not your style you can hop on one of many intercity bus services operating from BTS or KL Sentral in Kuala Lumpur. Travelling by bus is probably the cheapest way to travel within Malaysia and the first choice by budget-conscious travellers. Most bookings can be made online, which can save time and $$.
How much is the driving distance from Kuala Lumpur to Lost World Park?
The driving distance between Kuala Lumpur and Lost World Park is around 200 km and takes between 2 to 2.5 hours to reach the destination. It is recommended to start early around 7.30 am to reach Ipoh on time.
If you are driving from Penang, the driving distance is 158 km and takes approximately 2 hours to get to the Lost World of Tambun Park.
Driving from Kuala Lumpur to Ipoh
One benefit of driving on the freeways in Malaysia is the number of amazing service areas located almost every 20-30 km on the freeway.
Stopovers while driving from KL to Ipoh
My last visit to Ipoh was a day trip to Lost World of Tambun Water Park, a Sunway Theme Park with plenty to do for the entire family. I booked the tickets online through Klook as the gate prices for International travellers are 40% more expensive.
I suggest booking your tickets online, which can save substantial time on a busy weekend or a public holiday where queues at the entrance can be very long. The lost world waterpark is popular with families on hot summer days and the splash area is generally packed with floats and people enjoy the cool water.
You can avoid queuing for tickets on the weekends when this park attracts large crowds. Be sure to carry your swim gear, extra clothing, towels and sunscreen.
Entrance to Lost World of Tambun Waterpark and Hot Spas
Interesting things to do in Ipoh Perak
1. Explore Ipoh Heritage Walk in Ipoh
A great way to explore the rich historic past of Ipoh is to take a walk down the "Old Heritage Walk" near the Ipoh train station. The easy stroll takes you down back alleys with a number of historic buildings over 130 years old.
Ipoh enjoyed an economic boom in the early 20th century with the booming tin mining industry. The rich architecture of some of these building marks the affluence and wealth of that era.
Starting from the Central Station the walk takes you down to Padang Mosque and the clock tower. The walls of the old town are restored and covered with murals depicting the cultural history of Ipoh. Finish your walk in the concubine lane exploring some antique shops and lovely architecture of the bygone era.
2. Visit Bukit Kledang or (Gunung Kledang)
This mountain peak is located in the western part of Ipoh rising to 808m above sea level. This height makes Bukit Kledang the highest point in mainland Malaysia. The best is to drive up to the top of the hill in the morning to enjoy the amazing views of Ipoh city. The hill is popular with joggers, hikers and outdoor lovers. This activity is for adventure lovers and the walk to the top of the hill can take around 4 hours.
3. Explore Little India in Ipoh Perak
Ipoh is home to many communities including Indians who migrated to this part of Malaysia in the early twentieth century. Little India is home to many Indian fashion outlets, cafes and restaurants. Most of these Indian families migrated from south India and have grown into thriving communities.
Entrance to the Lost World of Tambun
4. Visit Lost World of Tambun Sunway Park in Ipoh Perak
The Lost World of Tumbun Theme Park is ideally located close to the main freeway entrance into Ipoh City. The city centre area is located 10km from Theme Park. The Sunway Hotel is located adjacent to the theme park. Normally, hotel booking comes with free access to the theme park. This is a great option if you are travelling with elderly people or kids. The easy access to the hotel on a hot summer day can be a luxury.
There are a couple of shopping malls located very close to the park and you can find Starbucks and fast-food outlets. Driving from the Lost World of Tumbun to the City Center you will observe a large number of buildings made during the colonial era. Ipoh enjoyed an economic boom in the early last century due to the discovery of tin in the region.
Zoo at Lost World of Tambun
Enjoy Hot Spas at Lost World of Tambun
Some resorts in Ipoh are also popular for natural hot spas and offer 5-Star luxury breaks over the weekend.
Joyrides at Lost World of Tambun
Lost World of Tambun is a Sunway Theme Park offering a good range of outdoor activities for the entire family. The Park is popular for its hot spas and a massive wave generator in the water splash area in the Park.
You should plan to spend a whole day at the park to enjoy all the activities available on-premises. Long-term stay options are available for people who want to enjoy rock climbing and other adventure group activities in the park.
Wave Generator at Lost World of Tambun
As you walk along the park you will explore some amazing wildlife in the Tiger Kingdom and the Hippo Kingdom. For elderly people and kids, a free train service operates connecting various parts of the park.
Tin Mining history at Lost World of Tambun
The weekend can be quite busy therefore, I suggest visiting this park at midday to enjoy most of the rides and avoid long queues on the rides. The water park has a large wave generator. You will be required to rent a float for RM 25 which should be returned by 5 pm to claim the deposit. If you only want to enjoy the water park and hot spas, you will have plenty of time to splash around in various pools including hot spas.
Hot Spas at Lost World of Tambun
An interesting experience at Lost World of Tambun is to enjoy local tea at a cafe carved out of karst formation rocks typical of the Ipoh Region. The cafe is located between Tiger World and the Hippo Kingdom. There are some models of tin mining in the region that used to be a popular commercial activity at the beginning of the century.
An interesting Cafe at Lost World of Tambun
I visited the hots spas at night and stayed in the steamed caves till midnight. This was a very enjoyable experience. The best way to explore all these facilities is in the Lost World of Tambun, I highly recommend booking the Sunway Hotel adjacent to the Park. All the guests at the hotel have free access to the park. Therefore, buying a weekend package will be the best option. Here are some useful tips
- Book in Advance (online) to avoid queues during holiday seasons
- Online deals are cheaper
- Inside the Theme Park book a shaded city area
- Book an inflatable tube for RM 30 if you plan to enter the water. Return on time to get a refund
- Plan for going to the hot thermal baths as they are open till midnight
On one of my road trips, while returning from Lumut and Pangkor Island in Perak, I stayed at Kinta Riverfront Hotel and Suites in Ipoh . This is a nice 4-Star hotel with great service and comfort close to the major places of interest in the city including the Greentown Area.
Check Best Rates Kinta Riverfront
This area is popular with bars, restaurants and food hawkers who operate till the late hours of the night. The midweek room rates were under US$ 50 per night including breakfast. This hotel has a rooftop swimming pool commanding great views of Ipoh City.
Find Best Hotels in Ipoh
Luxury Resorts in Ipoh Perak
One of the exclusive resorts in Ipoh is Banjaran Hotspring Retreat . The resorts have a natural hot spring and offer a unique experience for the guests. The Wellbeing resort is very popular with the local crowd as well as luxury travellers from across the world.
Banjaran geothermal Springs
The geothermal hot spring pools with a background of limestone peaks provide a unique staying experience for visitors. The visitors can enjoy a number of restaurants and bars on-premises as well.
Best Hotels in Ipoh by Klook
Greentown is the centre of nightlife with plenty of classy restaurants and bars. One interesting venue to hang out for late-night dinner is Healy Mac's Irish Pub. Enjoy excellent live music, a good crowd and a lively atmosphere. Healy's Mac serves typical pub dishes including pizzas, fish and chips and great steaks. The drink selection is wide. With great ambience and impressive food, you are sure to spend a couple of hours at this interesting spot.
Other nice restaurants in the neighbourhood include
- Greentown Dim Sum Cafe
- Old Town White Coffee
- Berlin's Beer House
Other popular eat out along Jalan Raja Ekram include:
- Lou Wong Bean Sprout Chicken
- Funny Mountain Soybean
- Pusing Public Seafood Restaurant
There are several streets of nice karaoke bars, clubs, and pubs. The atmosphere is quite lively and the places stay open till late. There is also plenty of street food available if you want to explore local dishes in the area.
Our hotel reception suggested the SOS nightclub in the downtown city. The venue is great and attracts a young population. There is a live dance performance until 4 am. The cover charge is approximately RM100. The experience, however, is world-class. I was surprised to find local Malay and Chinese crowds are heavy drinkers as most reserved tables would require you to buy a large tumbler of beer (2.5 litres) which was an interesting observation for this sleepy town.
Hop on Hop Off Bus in Perak
A great way to enjoy tourist attractions in Penang. The tour bus will take you around Ipoh City and explore some areas in Great Ipoh. A tour guide on the bus provides you with some basic information about locations along the way.
The bus service starts at 8.30 am from Terminal Amanjaya covering 13 major stops along the way. Major stops along the way include Movie Animation Park Studio, Ipoh High Court, Little India, Ipoh Old Town and Kinta Mosque amongst others.
More information can be obtained at: www.tourismperakmalaysia.com
1. Lumut and Pangkor Island
The next day I decided to drive down to LUMUT a coastal town some 70 km (40 minutes drive) from IPOH. Pangkor Island is one of the most popular coastal regions and islands with a high-end five-star resort on Pangkor Laut Island. Pangkor Island is a great location for water sports and fishing. The region is popular with divers who want to enjoy a unique underwater life. I stayed for one night in the Swiss Garden Resort and Spa , located on the outskirts of Lumut.
The 16-acre resort has its own private beach, golf course, outdoor pool and plenty of interesting things to do on-premises.
2. Taiping Perak
Taiping is a beautiful colonial town with well-preserved colonial buildings and remnants of the heyday of tin mining in the region. Taiping Lake has amazing views surrounded by massive Angsana trees with branches touching the ground.
This city is an ideal location for a day trip from Ipoh. Taiping Zoo is a popular attraction in town which is known for breeding rare species of animals in the region.
3. Cameron Highlands
Cameroon Highlands is one hour drive from Ipoh. The region is a hilly area popular for colonial-style resorts, strawberry farms and tea plantations. It is recommended to spend a day or two in Cameroon Highlands to enjoy all the attractions as a return one-day trip from Ipoh or Kuala Lumpur will be too hectic.
Stop at Lata Eskender, halfway between Ipoh and Cameroon Highlands to enjoy waterfalls and taste some local fruit including Durian. Read more about Cameron Highlands .
Other Places of interest in Ipoh
Ipoh also has a large Indian community and Little India has a number of South Indian Restaurants, and clothing and gift stores. The area is a little run down and gets busy on the weekends and public holidays.
The public parks in the centre of the city are very lively with plenty of people playing sports and spending time outside. The administrative buildings and mosques are very well designed.
The Cave Temples in Ipoh
Another great reason to visit Ipoh is to explore the amazing cave temples. Must-visit temples includes Sam Po Long Temple, Kek Lok Tong Cave Temple and Lin Sen Tong Temple. These temples are carved inside the limestone karst formations in the mountains surrounding Ipoh. Many visitors come to Ipoh to visit these ancient temples.
Other Interesting Locations I explored around Ipoh Perak
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