Attractions Nearby Ipoh, Day Trips and Excursions

(Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia)

Ipoh is a good base for touring the attractions of Peninsular Malaysia, including Penang Island and the beaches on the coast to the west. Roads in the area are in satisfactory condition and the North-South highway makes travelling by hire car a comfortable experience.

Even Kuala Lumpur is within reach, although to make the most of a visit to this vast cosmopolitan city you would need to stay for several days. Nearer to Ipoh, the limestone crags, shaded valleys and natural beauty of the surrounding areas make for great eco-tourism day trips. Malaysia's colonial history comes to life in the hill stations and attractions of the Cameron Highlands, and its cultural and religious history is evident in every town you pass.

Cameron Highlands

No visit to Ipoh is complete without following in the footsteps of the British Colonial rulers to the famous Cameron Highlands hill stations, which are situated some 120 km / 75 miles to the east. Deliciously cool weather, fruit farms, tea plantations, forest trails, rolling hills and eight townships make for a fascinating excursion, particularly when you follow the Banana Pancake Trail. As well as the numerous bee farms, butterfly farms and strawberry farms, the Sam Poh Temple and the Sri Tehndayuthapany Swamy Temple add further appeal to the Cameron Highlands area.


Taiping is a popular town located in northern Perak, roughly an hour's drive to the north-west. There is plenty to see in Taiping, with the Lake Gardens being a must-see. Established in 1880 during the colonial period as the country's first public gardens, the Taiping Lake Gardens are home to ten man-made ponds and lakes, set on an old mining site and magnificently landscaped to include planted areas and natural jungle around the 1,000 metre / 3,280-foot Maxwell Hill. Close by is a zoo and night safari.

Penang Island (Pulau Pinang)

Just two hours' drive from Ipoh (via the lengthy Penang Bridge) is the beautiful island of Penang, with its unspoilt scenery and numerous beaches. Georgetown, the island's capital city, is home to many spectacular colonial buildings and its Old City is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. There are plenty of sunny beaches around the coastline of Penang, while visitors to Georgetown will find that the main highlights include the Cathedral of the Assumption, the Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion, Fort Cornwallis, the Kapitan Keling Mosque (Masjid Kapitan Keling), the Komtar Tower, the Sri Mariamman Temple, St. George's Church, the Tua Pek Kong Temple, and the very lively districts of Chinatown and Little India.

Gua Tempurung

Address: Gopeng, Perak, Malaysia, MY
This massive limestone cave is at least 8,000 years old and is the largest in this region of Malaysia, boasting giant stalagmites and stalactites. A short distance from Ipoh, the Gua Tempurung can be visited on a part-tour or fully explored along its lengthy underground river. An area of the cave has been developed with tourists in mind and now features electrical lighting, walkways and entertaining guided tours.
Open hours: daily
Admission: charge

Ulu Geroh / Rafflesia Flower

Address: Near Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia, MY
An Orang Asli village set on the edge of the jungle, this is the stepping off point for a trek to see the world's largest flower, the 'Rafflesia'. This rare and gigantic parasitic blossom can grow to more than a metre in diameter and is particularly fragrant, smelling rather like rotting flesh and often being known locally as the 'corpse flower'. Also here to admire are rare butterflies, forest bugs and creepy-crawlies, together with some small but lovely waterfalls.
Open hours: daily
Admission: charge for guide

Kuala Kangsar

At just 41 km / 26 miles to the south-east of Ipoh, the royal town of Kuala Kangsar can be comfortably reached in under 45 minutes. Various attractions reside in Kuala Kangsar, with the Ubudiah Mosque (Masjid Ubudiah) being one of the first that you will likely encounter. The riverside royal palace of the sultan of Perak, known as the Istana Iskandariah, is another notable sight, as is the Palace of Memories (Istana Kenangan), which is home to the Royal Museum (Muzium Di Raja). Nearby is another royal palace, the Istana Kota, where the Galeri Sultan Azlan Shah museum awaits.

Royal Belum State Park

Address: Royal Belum State Park, Perak, Malaysia, MY
The Royal Belum State Park lies on the northern side of Perak, where it also goes by the name of the Belum Forest Reserve. Many of Malaysia's most precious animals live here, some of which are endangered and becoming extremely rare. Two-day excursions into this jungle can be arranged at the Belum Rainforest Resort and are quite pricey, although there is the chance of seeing Sun bears, panthers, tigers, tapirs and possibly even some Sumatran rhinos. Fishing trips around the Pulau Banding island on Lake Temenggor are popular.
Open hours: daily
Admission: free

Maxwell Hill (Bukit Larut)

Malaysia's oldest hill station of Bukit Larut is to be found some 61 km / 38 miles to the north-west, and whilst this area hardly compares to the allure of the Cameron Highlands, it certainly offers a taster of history. Founded in the middle of the 1880s, Bukit Larut is perfect for a day trip and comes with peaceful lanes, old bungalows and pleasant gardens, all of which appear unchanged by time. If you are planning to walk to the top of the hill, allow between three and five hours for this trek.

Kuala Sepetang

Address: Kuala Sepetang, Perak, Malaysia, MY
Tel: +60 05 858 1762
Kuala Sepetang is located approximately 72 km / 45 miles to the north-west of Ipoh and just 15 km / 9 miles to the west of Taiping. The principal attraction of Kuala Sepetang is the Matang Mangrove Forest Reserve, which stretches all the way to the coastline of Perak and is a nature reserve of great importance, with much mangrove cover and lots of macaques. The entrance to the reserve is just a short distance from Kuala Sepetang, via a raised walkway signposted 'Pejabat Hutan Kecil Paya Laut'.
Open hours: daily - 08:00 to 19:00
Admission: free

Pangkor Island (Pulau Pangkor)

The island of Pangkor is around two hours away, by car and ferry, and boasts tranquility in north-western Peninsular Malaysia. Offering a tempting taste of paradise, Pangkor is just 8 square kilometres / 3 square miles in size and really is a beauty spot, with white-sandy beaches and a jungle interior. Historically something of a refuge for both merchants and pirates, the Pangkor of today has become rather touristy, particularly around Coral Bay, the Pasir Bogak Beach and the Teluk Nipak resort.