Here are our tips for visiting the city of Ipoh with kids. Places like Kuala Lumpur and the island of Penang are full of family fun, but there are lots of things to do in Ipoh, as well.
Where is Ipoh?
Located between Penang and the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh is an inland city with its own unique landscape and culture.
There are many fun things to do in Ipoh with kids, but we’ve listed only six here. Of course, like anywhere in Malaysia, one of the best things to do is EAT. There are many amazing Malaysian foods to try.
Families with younger kids can spend an entire day here. The Lost World of Tambun
has live shows, a petting zoo and small amusement park rides like mini-coasters. The most favorite part was the water park, which had a few small waterslides, a lazy river, and a huge wave pool.
There’s an educational part to Lost World of Tambun
, as well. Near the back of the well-landscaped park is an outdoor exhibition detailing Ipoh’s tin mining history. It won’t keep your kids occupied for long, but is a worthwhile stop.
If you’re ever been to Penang or seen images of Georgetown, there’s a good chance that you’ve seen Ernest Zacharevic’s work. However, few travelers know that Zacharevic did large-scale works in Ipoh, as well.
Driving into Ipoh, it’s impossible to miss the large karst limestone formations that jut out of the land.
Lurking underneath some of Ipoh’s limestone formations are an intricate series of caves. At Gua Tempurung Cave, there are several caving tours to choose from. These range from 30 minutes to over three hours. All visitors are accompanied by a guide.
Some tours are short and simple. Other tours are down and dirty, with lots of crawling and squeezing through tight spaces. That sometimes includes getting in (and under)water. These tours are for non-claustrophobic adventurers only, but you can be as young as six to join.
If you prefer your subterranean exploits to be more sacred, then you should visit Ipoh’s cave temples. There are lots of stairs involved, but the exercise is worth it. This is especially true when you see the large golden Buddha in the Perak Tong.
Perak Tong is the most popular (and accessible) of the three cave temples. However, Sam Poh Tong has beautiful grounds and is the largest in the country.
Want to see orangutans in the wild? Then head to Borneo or Northern Sumatra. If that’s not a possibility, then the Bukit Merah Orangutan Island is another option.
The island acts as a rehabilitation center and breeding sanctuary, and you need to take a boat to reach it. This isn’t a zoo, really. In fact, the way the facility is set up, it looks more like the humans or the ones behind bars.
Interested in geology or the history of the Malaysian state of Perak? There are two museums worth visiting: the Kinta Tin Mining Museum and the Ipoh World at Han Chin Pet Soo.
Both breathe life into the area’s tin boom years, and the workers who made it happen. Most of those workers were Hakka, a subset of Chinese immigrants known for hard work and a nomadic history.
Kinta is free, but if you’re only going to visit one of these museums, go to the Ipoh World at Han Chin Pet Soo as it’s more interactive and engaging. That said, some of the exhibits deal with the unsavory exploits of the miners, such as gambling and opium addiction. Nothing graphic, but their existence is mentioned.