Ipoh Town Hall
|Nickname(s): 'City of Millionaires' or 'Bougainvillea City'|
|- Mayor||Datuk Haji Roshidi Hashim|
|- Total||643 km2 (248.268 sq mi)|
|Elevation||21.95 m (72 ft)|
|- Total||710,798 (6th)|
|- Density||1,002.80/km2 (2,597.20/sq mi)|
|Time zone||MST (UTC+8)|
|- Summer (DST)||Not observed (UTC)|
Ipoh developed into one of Malaysia's main cities due to the booming tin mining industry around the turn of the 19th century. During the British colonial era, Ipoh was Malaysia's second city for administration purposes. There are several notable buildings from the British Colonial era such as the railway station and the town hall. 70% of Ipoh's population is of Chinese origin.
These days Ipoh is perhaps best known for its excellent restaurants, wonderful caves, beautiful temples and famous local dishes.
The name Ipoh is derived from a local tree, pohon epu or now more commonly known as pokok ipoh. The sap of this plant is poisonous and was used by Orang Asli (indigenous people) to coat the tips of the darts of their blowpipes.
The Cantonese name for Ipoh derives the word Yee Poh meaning found treasure. This is because the Hoi San which are Cantonese were the first to move to the area for mining. They then build a small town for trading of food and hardware for the miner. They were happy with the new found tin mining town and name it "yee poh" (found treasure).
Ipoh is sometimes called "Paloh" (Chinese: 壩羅) among local Chinese, referring to the gigantic mining pump used for early tin ore extraction. This is because the extension of the old town to the new town which was first refer as Paloh Chuin or Poloh Village. It was also called "the Town built on Tin" (Chinese: 锡城) and "City of Millionaires", referring to the vast fortunes made during the boom of the tin mining industries.
Ipoh city came into existence in the 1820s as a village on the banks of the Kinta River. It was less prominent at that time compared to the early mining town of Gopeng, 20 km south of Ipoh. In 1890 Frank Swettenham put forth the founding of Ipoh Sanitary Board which led to systematic planning of Ipoh, which can still be seen today.
However, from the turn of the 20th century when more British tin-mining companies were set up in the city, Ipoh gained greater prominence. Influential institutions such as The Chartered Bank of India, Australia and China Limited opened a significant office in Ipoh in 1902. It provided credit to the Straits Trading Company and later the Eastern Smelting Company. More Colonial-era firms started to set up offices in the booming town such as the stockbroker Botly and Co., A.H Whittaker & Co., Chartered Accounts, Evatt & Co., and Estate Visiting Agents Milne & Stevens.
Its geographic location in the rich tin-bearing valley of the Kinta River made it a natural centre of growth. It grew rapidly as a mining town, especially in the 1920s and 1930s. A local Hakka miner, millionaire Yau Tet-Shin started developing a large tract of the city in the early 1930s, today known as the New Town section of the city—the area which roughly delineated from the eastern bank of the Kinta River to Greentown.
Ipoh was invaded by the Japanese on 15 December 1941. During the Japanese Occupation of Malaya, Ipoh was made the capital of Perak, in place of Taiping. In March 1942, the Japanese civil administration or Perak Shu Seicho was set up at the St. Michael's Institution. After the liberation of Malaya by British forces, Ipoh remained the capital of Perak, to this day.
In the 1950s, Ipoh was characterised by the proliferation of large numbers of cinema halls, amusement parks, cabarets and night life which was unrivalled on the peninsula. Two of the largest entertainment groups then, the Cathay Organisation and Shaw Brothers Company had set up chains of cinemas here. Ipoh was also one of the four original towns served by Malayan Airways (now Malaysia Airlines), the other three being Penang, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.
With the collapse of tin prices and the closure of the tin mines in the late 1970s, Ipoh's growth stagnated and resulted in migration to other parts of Malaysia (particularly metropolitan areas such as Kuala Lumpur) and Singapore.
Ipoh has since been known colloquially as a "dead" city and earned a reputation as a good location for retirement. Various efforts have been made to redevelop Ipoh into a modern town (refer below for more information). The city is expanding all the time as there are new developments in the suburbs.
Ipoh has one of the cleanest and clearest water supplies in Malaysia, as the source is from the waterfalls in nearby Tanjung Rambutan.
On 27th May 1988, Ipoh was conferred city status by the Sultan of Perak, His Royal Highness Sultan Azlan Shah.
Politically, Ipoh has traditionally been a stronghold of the opposition party. From the early days when Ipoh was the bastion of PPP (an opposition party then), the predominantly Chinese voters voted for the famous D. R. Seenivasagam and S. P. Seenivasagam brothers. Today the city is the stronghold of DAP (Democratic Action Party, Malay: Parti Tindakan Demokratik). The parliamentary seat for Ipoh Timur is held by DAP Representative, Lim Kit Siang while the seat for Ipoh Barat is held by fellow DAP leader, M. Kulasegaran.
Ipoh Old Town is characterised by its colonial architecture. Features of note include:
Today, "Ipoh" usually refers to the territory under administration of Ipoh City Council or Majlis Bandaraya Ipoh, which includes the smaller towns adjacent to the city such as Silibin, Chemor, Jelapang, Falim, Menglembu and Tanjung Rambutan. Historically, "Ipoh" referred to the Old Town and New Town areas divided by the Kinta River at its heart, from which the city grew. From the late 1980s Greentown, located beside the New Town, was transformed from old government quarters to an administrative and commercial centre of Ipoh, often overshadowing both the Old Town and New Town. See list_of_ipoh_areas
Ipoh still remains one of Malaysia's largest cities. Today, Ipoh is the fourth largest city in Malaysia.
|Ethnic groups in Ipoh, 2004 census|
The Old Town and New Town of Ipoh are two different parts of Ipoh separated by the Kinta River. Most olden-day pre-World War II shophouses, heritage buildings, and some Government buildings are located in the Old Town while the New Town comprises the area originally developed by Yau Tet Shin, stretching all the way from Kinta River to Greentown. It has newer shops, buildings, shopping malls and housing estates. There are also some theme water parks like The Lost World Of Tambun. There are also a lot of great and beautiful temples in Ipoh.
One of the many beautiful temples located in Ipoh
St. Michael's Institution which is located along Clayton Road (now Jalan S.P. Seenivasagam) is a building of architectural merit, standing beautifully near the Ipoh City Field, Ipoh City Library and the Ipoh CIty Hall. The all boys school is one of the the most prestigious English schools in Malaysia. A La Sallian school opened in 1912 by Father J.B. Coppin. During the Japanese occupation in World War II, the school building had become the Japanese administration headquarters in Ipoh.
The Anglo-Chinese School, Ipoh, officially named SMK Methodist (ACS), located along Lahat Road is the oldest and one of the most famous schools in the state of Perak, Malaysia.
Many 'shop-houses' along Leech Street (Chinese: 烈治街; now Jalan Bandar Timah) in the Old Town still maintain their architectural significance, besides being a popular spot for food and drinks (refer Cuisine).
D. R. Seenivasagam Park (Coronation Park), located in the heart of Ipoh (New Town), is known for its scenic beauty and recreational facilities. It comprises several recreational fields, an artificial lake filled with various types of fishes, a nursery for potted plants and a children's traffic playground. The latest addition is the newly landscaped Japanese garden featuring a typical Japanese carp pond.
The New Town houses the Perak Medical University and Ipoh City Hall building, among others.
Ipoh has many limestone caves due to the surrounding karst formations. The Sam Po Tong (Chinese 三宝洞; Cavern of Three Precious) temple, is a Chinese temple built within a limestone cave. A pond outside houses many tortoises. Its sister temple, Perak Tong (Chinese 霹雳洞; Perak Cave), has a steep, tall staircase in the interior of the cave rising up to the top of its hill where one is greeted by a panoramic view of Ipoh and its surroundings. The statue of Buddha in Perak Tong was the tallest and largest of its kind in Malaysia when first commissioned. Both these cavern temples have decent vegetarian food.
Another sight worth seeing is the Kek Lok Tong (Chinese 极乐洞; Cavern of Utmost Happiness), which is a cave temple that lies on the other side of the same range of limestone hills as Sam Poh Tong. It is accessible through the Gunung Rapat housing area. It has a cleaner, quieter and more cooling environment and has the best scenic cave view.
Limestone hills extend 20 km north of Ipoh and also 20 km to the south. There are many caves in these hills; cave temples are built in some of these caves . Gua Tempurung, near Gopeng south of Ipoh, is a show cave open to the public.
Unfortunately many of the limestone hills are being quarried in the ever increasing demand for crushed stone and cement. Some of the hills under threat contain endemic fauna and flora. One cave, Gua Puncak, contains Peninsular Malaysia's second largest cave chamber and is in danger of being quarried. In reaction to this, the Malaysian Karst Society has been set up in an attempt to save these hills.
Other famous dishes from Ipoh include:
Ipoh is well known in Malaysia for its "Ipoh white coffee".
The government-owned and operated Ipoh Hospital is located near the Fair Park and Greentown area. It is just a stone throw's away from SMK Anderson, a school which is famous for its achievement in sport and education.
There are a few sporting venues in Ipoh. A portion of land located in the Kampong Simee area has been selected by the City Council for the Sport Center. The main sports stadium for football (soccer) and other track and field events is the Perak Stadium. There is an indoor sports stadium beside it, the Indera Mulia Stadium, playing host to events such as badminton. Ipoh is also home for the Perak Football Association.
Ipoh is also home to Malaysia's first velodrome, Velodrom Rakyat (The People's Velodrome), costing RM 3.25 million; funds were raised in a country-wide donation drive (led by Tan Sri Darshan Singh Gill). In addition, Ipoh also boasts as one of the first cities in the country that has an Astroturf stadium for hockey, the Azlan Shah Stadium.
For golf, the available courses in Ipoh are the Royal Perak Golf Club off Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah (Tiger Lane), the Meru Golf Club in Jelapang, and Clearwater Sanctuary Golf Club en route to Batu Gajah.
Other sports venues include the Kilat Club in Pasir Pinji, Ipoh Field (Padang Ipoh) in the Old Town, the Polo Grounds, and the Iskandar Polo Club, in Ampang Baru.
Ipoh was regarded by some filmmakers as a good location for shooting due to its beautiful scenery. Movies filmed in Ipoh include:
Ipoh skyline from Casuarina Hotel.
Hills around Ipoh
Jalan Sultan Iskandar Shah, stretches from the New Town into Old Town.
Street view of "Greentown Walk" in New Town, overlooking Syuen Hotel near Greentown.
Street view from Brewster Road, heading into the New Town.
Street view from Chamberlain Road.
View overlooking Convent School from Ipoh Parade shopping mall in New Town.
Street view of Ipoh City
Famous attractions around Ipoh include Kellie's Castle.
A 15-minute drive from Ipoh towards Tanjung Rambutan brings you to the foot of a limestone hill where visitors can rejuvenate at hot baths from the Tambun hot spring, a natural spring.
Ulu Chepor is a famous recreational place to relax for picnics and camping in a remote yet nature-friendly place. Ulu Chepor is another waterfall camping area located 10 km from Ipoh city; other such waterfalls include Lubuk Timah in Simpang Pulai and one in Falim.
Another attraction is the Gunung Lang Recreational Park which is 5 km from the Ipoh city center. It has been operated by the City Hall (DBI) with the collaboration of Ministry of Tourism Malaysia since 1999. This park, costing RM 8.4 million, has 3 man-made lakes which was reclaimed from old tin mines and filled in with tropical fish.
The recently opened "Lost World of Tambun" is expected to gain a certain following as Ipoh's own "Sunway City" (mirroring the actual Sunway City located about 15 km west of Kuala Lumpur). Within the "Lost World of Tambun" is an upgraded and revived natural hot spring, which was very popular in the 1960s and 1970s.
Sister cities of Ipoh include:
Kampung Sungai Rokam http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sungai_rokam
|This article or section does not match our manual of style or needs other editing. Please plunge forward, give it your attention and help it improve!|
Ipoh developed into one of Malaysia's main cities due to the booming tin mining industry around the turn of the 19th century. During the British colonial era, Ipoh was Malaysia's second city for administration purposes. There are several notable buildings from the British Colonial era such as the railway station and the town hall. The population of Ipoh is about 70% of Chinese origin
These days Ipoh is perhaps best known for its excellent restaurants, hawkers, and famous local dishes.
The most practical means of reaching Ipoh is bus, although train services have sped up and increased considerably since the line from Kuala Lumpur was double-tracked.
There are ten daily services in each direction between the Ipoh Train Station and KL Sentral in Kuala Lumpur. The journey takes between three to four hours one way and costs between RM12 and RM40 depending on seating class. The first train departs KL Sentral at 5:30am and the last train at 10:30pm.
Ipoh is on the Singapore-Kuala Lumpur-Penang-Bangkok route so there are also trains to and from Penang and all the way to Bangkok.
The main Ipoh bus terminal is located at Medan Gopeng. The station provides services to and from just about any location in the country. Most frequent routes are to and from Kuala Lumpur (Puduraya Station) and Penang. Larger bus companies like Transnational, Plusliner, Konsortium provide the most frequent, reliable and safe services.
Bus companies also operate out of other locations including Jalan Bendahara for services to and from Singapore and Jalan Bercham for the YoYo  bus service to and from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
Ipoh is well connected to the North-South Expressway. You can get into Ipoh via Exit 137: Simpang Pulai or Exit 139: Ipoh Selatan
Driving in Ipoh for the unfamiliar can be like going through a maze. The city centre has many one-way streets and road signs are somewhat lacking. On the bright side, city road maps are easily available at bookstore, tourist centres and even online. It is advisable to have a map handy. Ipoh's traffic is not as congested as other cities such as Kuala Lumpur. However, like any major cities, traffic slowdown is inevitable especially during heavy traffic such as the morning drive to work (around 8AM-9AM), (noon-1.30PM) during weekdays due to lunch-hour & school children being in/out of school and late evening return from work (around 5PM-6PM). Parking spaces are adequate although finding one may require some patience.
Public buses do ply certain routes but information about the routes are not published and buses are rarely on time. Consulting locals would be the best way to find out information about getting around on public buses.
Ipoh is a rather pedestrian-unfriendly city, but certainly better than KL. Walking within Ipoh city centre and Ipoh Old Town is feasible but walking long distance generally is not. New town and the outlying suburbs are not good at all for pedestrians.
There are no hard and fast rules for cyclists, but you are expected to observe road rules at all times. Cyclists are forbidden from riding on the sidewalk but often do. Helmets are optional but not common.
Some of the recognised car rental agencies have branches in Ipoh.
Ipoh Old Town has much character and contains many marks of its colonial past including:
Ipoh provides numerous different shopping experiences, from malls to local markets:
Restaurants often do not display prices. Tourists are advised to ask the price before having meals. Tipping is uncommon in Ipoh and even taxis will usually return your change to the last cent.
Ipoh is inexpensive by Malaysian standards, and even more so for visitors from most industrialized countries: RM50 is a perfectly serviceable daily backpacker budget. Food in particular is a steal, with excellent local hawker fare available for less than RM4 per generous serving. Accommodation is also inexpensive by international standards, with a bed in most hotels below RM100. Top hotels offer rooms at around RM100 to RM300.
Ipoh is known, the country over for good food. Signature Ipoh dishes are:
Besides these signature dishes, Ipoh is also known to have some of the best of Malaysian cuisine like:
Ipoh does not have a large night scene, however there are a large concentration of pubs and bars at Bandar Baru Medan (behind the Kinta City Shopping Center) and at the Greentown Business Centre.. Rum Jungle at Sunway Ipoh is another new night spot with live band performances that could be checked out.
Ipoh is in general a very safe city, certainly by international standards. There are however some irritants like beggars, especially at bus terminals. It is better not to attract any unwanted attention by giving money to the beggars as most of them are professional beggars operated by syndicates.
Perhaps not so much a safety thing per se, but at the Central Market in New Town, particularly if you are an orang putih (white person), don't let the traders rip you off (which they are likely to do, if you let them). If the prices are signed clearly, hold them to it! Furthermore, Ipoh is probably not as tourist friendly as publications, such as Lonely Planet, make it out to be.
The city centre is relatively safe, but again, pickpockets do work in the stations. If you are carrying a bag make sure that it's secured (all zipped up). If you have a wallet in your pocket keep a hand near it while exiting the buses. It is however not advisable to leave your handbag dangling on your shoulder while walking next to main roads, as motorcycle snatch thefts do happen.
|This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!|