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Official seal of Ipoh

Nickname(s): City of Millionaires

Bougainvillea City

Silver Valley
Ipoh is located in Malaysia
Coordinates: 4°36′00″N 101°4′00″E / 4.60000°N 101.06667°E / 4.60000; 101.06667
Country Malaysia
State Perak
Establishment Around 1880
 • Mayor Datuk Harun Rawi
 • City 643 km2 (248 sq mi)
Elevation 21.95 m (72 ft)
Population (2010)
 • City 657,892
 • Density 1,023/km2 (2,650/sq mi)
 • Metro 1,499,000 [1]
Time zone MST (UTC+8)
 • Summer (DST) Not observed (UTC)
Website www.mbi.gov.my

Coordinates: 4°36′N 101°04′E / 04.60°N 101.07°E / 04.60; 101.07

Ipoh /ˈp/ (Chinese: 怡保; pinyin: Yí bǎo) is the capital city of Perak state, Malaysia and also one of the largest cities in the country. It is approximately 200 km (125 miles) north of Kuala Lumpur and 130 km (81 miles) south of Penang on the North-South Expressway.

Ipoh developed into one of Malaysia's main cities around the turn of the 19th century due to the booming tin mining industry. During the British colonial era, Ipoh was Malaysia's second city for administrative purposes. Architecturally, the city centre is characterised by Straits eclectic shop houses. There are several impressive historical buildings from the British Colonial era such as the Railway Station, the Town Hall and the Court House.


Ipoh came into existence in the 1820s as a village at the highest navigable point of the Kinta River.[citation needed] It was less prominent at that time compared to the early mining town of Gopeng, 20 km south of Ipoh. Following the great fire of 1892,[citation needed] the town was rebuilt.

Ipoh Railway Station
Town Hall

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 from the eastern bank of the Kinta River to Greentown.[2] In 1937, Ipoh was made the capital of Perak, replacing Taiping.

Ipoh was invaded by the Japanese on 15 December 1941. In March 1942, the Japanese Civil Administration or Perak Shu Seicho had been set up at the St. Michael's Institution. After the liberation of Malaya by British forces, Ipoh remained the capital of Perak, till this day.[3]

Two of the largest entertainment groups then, the Cathay Organisation and Shaw Brothers Company, set up cinema chains in Ipoh.



Ipoh is in the state of Perak, which is in the northern part of Peninsular Malaysia. The city is in the middle of the Kinta Valley, on the bank of the Kinta River and the confluence of smaller rivers, Sungai Pinji and Sungai Pari. The city is surrounded by limestone hills, which can be found around suburban areas to the northeast, east and southeast.[4]

The Kledang mountain range stretches from the north to the west of the city. This range runs parallel to the Bintang mountain range with the Perak River flowing on its left bank and the Kinta River to its right. This range is interrupted to the north of Ipoh by a tributary of the Perak River called the Pelus River, which is sourced from the Titiwangsa mountain range, which runs to the east of Ipoh.[5]


Ipoh features a tropical rainforest climate. Temperatures show little variation, but they are about the same throughout the year. The city's average temperature is 27 degrees Celsius. Ipoh sees high precipitation throughout the year with more 200mm of rain each month and averaging 2800 mm of rain per year. The wettest month is November where on average 360 mm of rain is seen. Ipoh's driest month is June which has 128 mm of rain fall on average.

Climate data for Ipoh
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 32.9
Average low °C (°F) 22.6
Rainfall mm (inches) 132.3
Avg. rainy days (≥ 1.0 mm) 9 10 12 14 14 10 10 12 15 18 18 15 157
Source: World Meteorological Organisation[6]

Limestone caves, mountains and lakes[edit]

The Gua Tempurung Limestone Caves

Ipoh is surrounded by limestone caves and there are several cave temples. The Sam Poh Tong (Chinese: 三寶洞; Cavern of Three Precious) is a Chinese temple built within a limestone cave. Next to Sam Poh Tong are Nam Thean Tong and Ling Sen Tong. Just to the south is the Kwan Yin temple. North of Ipoh is another cave temple, Perak Tong (Chinese: 霹靂洞; Perak Cave); it has a steep staircase inside leading up to the top of its hill where there is 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.[citation needed]

Sam Poh Tong, one of the many beautiful temples in Ipoh

Kek Lok Tong (Chinese: 極樂洞; Cavern of Utmost Happiness) is a cave temple that lies on the other side of the same hill as Sam Poh Tong. It is accessible through the Gunung Rapat housing area. It has a clean, quiet and cool environment and has the best scenic cave view.

Limestone hills extend 20 km north of Ipoh and 20 km to the south. There are many caves in these hills; cave temples are built in some.[7] Gua Tempurung, near Gopeng south of Ipoh, is a show cave open to the public. It is popular among spelunkers. More than 3 km long, it is one of the longest caves in Peninsula Malaysia. Part of it has been developed as a show cave with electric lighting and walkways, and there are tours of different lengths and difficulty. A fine river cave, the river passage runs about 1.6 km through the hill. There are five very large chambers and some stalactites and stalagmites.

Lakes in Ipoh include the one at Gunung Lang.

Lang Mountains in Ipoh


Ipoh has a vibrant food scene with a vast proliferation of hawker centres and restaurants. It is well known for dishes such as "Sar Hor Fun" (Chinese: 沙河粉) a complete one-dish rice noodle meal with prawn, meat, fish, vegetables and a savoury sauce. Other dishes from Ipoh include "Hor Hee", flat white rice noodles served with fish cakes and/or fish balls, "Nga Choi Kai" (Chinese: 芽菜鸡), chicken with soy sauce and beansprouts topped with pepper, "Hakka Mee" (Chinese: 客家麵), yellow rice noodles served with mince meat (pork) sauce and Ipoh's famous pastry "Heong Peng" (Chinese: 香餅), literally translated to "fragrant biscuit". The city is well known in Malaysia for its "Ipoh white coffee" where the coffee beans are roasted with palm-oil margarine and the resulting coffee is served with condensed milk.

Main article: Ipoh cuisine


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 Pengkalan, Silibin, Chemor, Jelapang, Menglembu and Tanjung Rambutan.

The Old Town[edit]

St Michael's Institution

The Old Town is west of the Kinta River. There is a vibrant commercial district with many historical 'shop-houses' centred around Leech Street (Chinese: 烈治街; now Jalan Bandar Timah). Other notable features include:

  • Ipoh railway station in neo-classical/Edwardian Baroque style nicknamed the "Taj Mahal of Ipoh".
  • Ipoh Town Hall, an Edwardian Baroque municipal building located across the road from the Railway Station.
  • Padang Ipoh or Ipoh Field is on Jalan S.P. Seenivasagam. The field is surrounded by historic buildings that feature classic colonial architecture, including the mock-Tudor style Ipoh Club, FMS Bar, HSBC Building and the St Michael's Institution secondary school.
  • The Anglo-Chinese School, Ipoh, officially named SMK Methodist (ACS), is located along Lahat Road.
Anglo-Chinese School, Ipoh
  • Muzium Darul Ridzuan is a historical museum of Perak, in a pretty former tin-mining tycoon's mansion on Jalan Kuala Kangsar.

The New Town[edit]

D.R. Seenivasagam Park, formerly Coronation Park

The so-called New Town, to the east of the Kinta River, was developed by Yau Tet Shin around 1908.[2] The New Town houses the Perak Medical University and Ipoh City Hall building, among others. There are numerous shops, shopping malls, and hotels.

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 recreational fields, an artificial lake filled with fish, a nursery for potted plants and a children's traffic playground. The latest addition is the newly landscaped Japanese garden featuring a Japanese carp pond.

From the late 1980s Greentown, beside the New Town, was transformed from old government quarters to an administrative and commercial centre of Ipoh, often overshadowing Old Town and New[citation needed]


There are a few sporting venues in Ipoh. A portion of land in the Kampong Simee area has been selected by the City Council as the Sports Centre. 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 has 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 has an Astroturf stadium for hockey, the Azlan Shah Stadium.

For golf, the courses 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.

The Sultan Azlan Shah Cup is an annual international men's field hockey tournament held in Ipoh.


The Ipoh City Council governs the city. Harun Rawi, appointed in 2014, is the mayor of Ipoh.[8]

Ipoh is divided into two parliamentary constituencies: Ipoh Barat (Ipoh West) and Ipoh Timur (Ipoh East). 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.[9]


View of Ipoh

Ipoh remains one of Malaysia's largest cities. It is the fourth largest city in Malaysia. As of 2010, it has a population of 657,892.[10] It ranks as the seventh most populous urban centre in Malaysia (2010).[10]

The following is based on Department of Statistics Malaysia 2010 census.[10]

Ethnic groups in Ipoh, 2010


Ethnicity Population Percentage
Chinese 290,165 44.1%
Bumiputera 253,592 38.5%
Indian 92,587 14.1%
Others 1,559 0.2%
Non-Malaysian 19,989 3.0%


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 peoples in Malay) to coat the tips of the darts of their blowpipes for hunting.


Ipoh Railway Station
  • Trunk roads: The old interstate Route 1 connects Ipoh with neighbouring towns and other states (such as the town of Gopeng, Tanjung Malim and city of Kuala Lumpur down south).
  • Highway: The new North-South Expressway is a faster and more efficient alternative to Route 1. However, certain towns like Kampar can only be accessible via Route 1. Drivers using the North-South highway can exit into Ipoh from any of these exits: Simpang Pulai, South Ipoh (Ipoh(S)) or North Ipoh (Ipoh(U)) and Jelapang.
  • Train: Ipoh's railway station is operated by Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) and is in the Old Town (however, it does not have intra-city travel like in Kuala Lumpur). The railway only connects Ipoh with neighbouring towns and cities. The station is a stately building, referred to by locals as the 'Taj Mahal' of Ipoh. KTM Intercity began the Shuttle Train Service between Kuala Lumpur and Ipoh from 1 December 2008 while the modern Electric Train System (ETS) shuttle began from 12 August 2010 with average 145kmh speed, plying Ipoh-Seremban route, cut the travelling distance between Ipoh and Kuala Lumpur into 120 minutes. There are 10 dedicated shuttle train services between these two cities daily which begins at 5am from both the stations. Travel time between the cities was expected to be reduced from three hours to two hours and fifteen minutes when the new set of EMU trains arrived in mid-2009.[11]
  • Bus: The inter-city bus terminal is located at Amanjaya integrated bus terminal in Bandar Meru Raya, just north of the city.
  • Air: the Sultan Azlan Shah Airport is the only airport in Ipoh. It is near Gunung Rapat. Domestic flights and international ones are available. Firefly provides two daily flights out of Ipoh to Singapore Changi Airport as well as Johor Bahru while Malindo Air provides daily flights to Johor Bahru, Medan and Kuala Lumpur-Subang.

Notable people[edit]

  • Film and Television:

Angie Cheung, Mimi Chu, Iqram Dinzly, Mamat Khalid, Peter Pek, Afdlin Shauki, Patrick Teoh, Dato' Michelle Yeoh,

  • Music:

Michael Wong, Jamal Abdillah, Shila, Ning Baizura, Francissca Peter

Koo Kien Keat, Choong Tan Fook, Lee Wan Wah, Cheah Soon Kit, Wong Pei Tty, Wong Mew Choo, Ping Coombes (2014 MasterChef UK Champion)

Nazirul Naim, Chan Kok Heng, Muhamad Khalid Jamlus

  • Sports (Others):

Tony Underwood (Rugby), Nur Suryani Mohd Taibi (Sports shooting), Leong Mun Yee (Diving)

  • Business:

David Ho Sue San of Hovid Berhad & Carotech Berhad, Tan Sri Dato' Lee Loy Seng (founder of Kuala Lumpur Kepong Berhad), Tan Sri Lee Oi Hian (current CEO of Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd, eldest son of Lee Loy Seng), Lim A. Heng of Yee Lee Edible Oil (Red Eagle Oil), Ngan Yin (Ngan Yin Hand Brand Groundnut), Dr. Wong Jeh Shyan prominent venture capitalist and CEO of CommerceNet Singapore Limited,

  • Politics:

Yeoh Ghim Seng, Yeoh Kian Teik, Dr Yeoh Eng Kiong, S. J. V. Chelvanayakam, Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah, D. R. Seenivasagam, Lim Keng Yaik, Lee Lam Thye, Elizabeth Wong.

  • Historical:

Yusof bin Ishak (president of Singapore), Leong Sin Nam, Wu Lien-teh, Foo Choo Choon, Leong Fee, Chung Thye Phin, Eu Tong Sen

  • Other personalities:

Chan Sek Keong (Chief Justice of Singapore);, Lat (cartoonist)

Film and television[edit]

Movies filmed in Ipoh include:

Sister cities[edit]

Sister cities of Ipoh include:


See also[edit]


  1. ^ http://www.statistics.gov.my/portal/download_Population/files/BPD/ad_2010.pdf
  2. ^ a b Ipohworld’s World » Yau Tet Shin’s New Town Under Construction 1908. Ipohworld.org. Retrieved on 27 September 2013.
  3. ^ Khoo Salma Nasution & Abdur-Razzaq Lubis, Kinta Valley: Pioneering Malaysia's Modern Development, Ipoh: Perak Academy, 2005. pp. 273–292
  4. ^ "Limestone Hills (Bukit Batu Kapur), Ipoh, PERAK - Malaysia Travel Review". Malaysiahotelreview.com. Retrieved 10 December 2013. 
  5. ^ Jacq-Hergoualc'h, Michel; Victoria Hobson (September 2002). The Malay Peninsula: Crossroads of the Maritime Silk Road (100 BC - 1300 AD). BRILL. ISBN 90-04-11973-6. 
  6. ^ "World Weather Information Service — Ipoh". World Meteorological Organisation. Retrieved 7 May 2014. 
  7. ^ "Home". Cavesofmalaysia.com. Retrieved 10 December 2013. 
  8. ^ [1]. Thestar.com.my (4 January 2014). Retrieved on 14 June 2014.
  9. ^ [2][dead link]
  10. ^ a b c "Population Distribution by Local Authority Areas and Mukims, 2010". Department of Statistics Malaysia. 
  11. ^ "Malaysia / Perak / The Ipoh Railway Station". Cockatoo.com. 14 November 2011. Retrieved 10 December 2013. 
  12. ^ "Sister City Exchange". City.fukuoka.jp. Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  13. ^ [3][dead link]

External links[edit]