While there are places to see in Ipoh, although not as many compared to Penang, our main intention of visiting this town was to taste the good Chinese food it's well known for. Ipoh is a smaller town compared to Penang and you need not drive too far to get to any good eating spot. We spent two nights in Ipoh going to a few good Chinese restaurants, coffee shops and Ipoh's dim sum 'landmark', a place named Foh San, which is perpetually crowded on weekdays and weekends. We also did not leave out Ipoh's famous chicken dishes - the beansprout chicken noodles and salt-baked chicken. We also bought some Tambun pomelos and 'heong peng'.
Other than our foodie and cave adventures, we took an unexpected drive to Menglembu, about half hour's drive from Ipoh town. What happened was that our car got hit from the back as we were waiting to exit a junction and after a short discussion with the 'lady in the blue car', we tailed her to her home in the 'groundnut territory' (Menglembu is famous for its groundnuts) to collect compensation for the damage she inadvertently caused as she didn't have enough cash on her when it happened. It's a good thing that no one was hurt and other than exterior damage, our car could still take us around for another day and home safely.
Roast pork knuckle - note the size of the bone!
Pan fried freshwater prawns
Some of the dim sum we had at Foh San
'Chee cheong fun' and fried radish cake
Self service at Foh San, too many, too greedy...
A long row of shops selling pomelos
Groundnut sculpture at roundabout in Menglembu!
Ipoh is located in the part of Peninsular Malaysia that is saturated with limestone hills and a number of the caves in those hills have become Chinese (Taoist/Buddhist) temples. They are also tourist and outdoor adventure seekers' attractions. We first visited Sam Poh Tong and the one next to it (Ling Sen Tong). These two temples are very well decorated with colourful temple adornments, statues and figurines of religious deities, plus a reasonably nice landscaped garden. Then on our way out of Ipoh to KL, we dropped by the Kek Look Tong cave temple which had a much nicer natural cave formation. These visits were C's first ever experience of caves, where she got to see real stalagmites and stalactites. We could have taken her to see Batu Caves, the other famous Hindu cave temple which is closer to home but we've not gotten around to that (the 272 steps to climb is somewhat a deterrent!).
Front view and entrance to Ling Seng Tong
Coils of incense
Inside Kek Look Tong
Altars inside Kek Look Tong
Cave opening to 'backyard' garden
The 'backyard' garden
After Kek Look Tong, we headed back into town as it was lunchtime. We savoured some coffee shop fare and finally with a full stomach, we headed for home. Halfway into our journey, we stopped at the Bukit Gantang rest stop which has many shops selling local fruits like guavas, sweet corn, mangosteens, and our favourite, the King of Fruits! We ate some of course!
Back home in KL, we went to pick up Rusty who had been in boarding for a whole week. The poor 'boy' displayed mixed feelings upon seeing me -- excited to see a familiar face yet moody because we left him out of our holiday. All the way home in the car, he was just lying down sulking....
Places we ate and bought food at in Ipoh:
Soon Fatt Restaurant
Mun Choong Restaurant
Kong Heng coffeeshop
Skyway Cafe hawker centre
Coffeeshop opposite Lou Wong chicken beansprout noodle
Cowan Street Chicken Beansprout Noodle
Row of shoplots selling Tambun pomelo and heong peng
Aun Kheng Lim salt baked chicken
Rusty, on a 'happier' day after a trip to the groomers
(A big 'thank you' to my dear and loving parents for sponsoring this Penang/Ipoh family holiday. We rarely get to holiday together given how our lifestyles are in this day and age!)