Ipoh is one of my new favourite places, because it’s only 50 minutes away by flight from Singapore’s Changi Airport, and a good starting place to travel to other destinations such as Cameron Highlands, Pangkor Island, Gua Tempurung, Taiping and more.
You can get to Ipoh by bus (note that apparently tour buses only stop at Amanjaya, which is at the outskirts of Ipoh, and do not travel to Ipoh centre itself), airplane (Tiger or Firefly) or drive.
This time round, we took Tiger airways which delayed our flight for 2.5 hours without a phone call or email. We only found out when we arrived at the airport and were even directed by staff to their competitor’s Firefly counter when we requested to speak to their customer service about the delayed flight.
I still can’t believe we entertained my first one, who has mild autism, for 4 hours at the airport.
By the way, the plane left half an hour later even after the delayed timing, so we only reached Ipoh at a ripe old time of 230pm. The pilot mumbled some reason for the delay which we couldn’t decipher.
Anyway, if you have been following my blog, you may have read our couple trip to Ipoh last year here.
This time round, we decided to take J1 with us, so the whole itinerary is planned to be as kids-friendly as possible because J1 isn’t the most patient of kids and goes a bit haywire when he’s too tired.
After we finally landed in Ipoh, we collected our rental car from this car company, which we previously rented from before. They will send a driver to drive your rented car down to pick you up at many places in Ipoh, with reasonable rates and good service. You can book your car on their website, and whatsapp them in advance before you arrive.
We quickly went to have really late lunch at Giant Bowl, which serves noodles in giant bowls. It’s located close to Pirate Buffet.
We ordered 2 bowls for a total of RM14. And 2 really sour lime juices for RM5. Really sour.
J1 preferred the B2 meetaimak above, with pork meat, intestines, maw and some balls (I have no idea what the balls are made out of).
A2 is a fish noodle dish, which isn’t very child-friendly as fried fish cross-sections are added as-is to the noodles, so there are a lot of bones.
We set off on a one hour drive to Taiping by expressway
After checking into the hotel, we decided to leave the car there and walk around the city area towards the Taiping lake, famous for its beauty.
Along the way, we walked past a really old pasar (Taiping wet market), 24h KFC, Pizza Hut, and the Tourist Information Centre housed in the Taiping Clock Tower.
Along the way, we walked past a fire station in front of Taiping Mall, which was pretty empty, but has a department store, supermarket and cinema.
There’s a hawker centre in front of Taiping Mall called Pusat Penjaja Taiping, with ample parking lots across the road.
Taiping is even more laid back then Ipoh. It’s generally easy to find parking, and if you park in a numbered lot with clear markings, you have to place parking coupons on the dashboard. You can buy from 7–11. Taiping and Ipoh have separate parking coupons.
Near Pusat Penjaja Taiping, there are quite a few traditional restaurants across the road like Dragon Ohoebix, Mr BBQ etc.
And a dog pooping in the middle of a field.
Finally, we reached Taiping Lake!
Ok I must highlight, Taiping streets are very pram-unfriendly.
There are no proper pedestrian paths to walk on, and if there are, they’re made of bricks and uneven. 5 foot-walkways in front of shophouses are riddled with steps up and down, some high and some low.
Crossing the road may take a while as there aren’t that many traffic lights and pedestrian crossings. Cars don’t seem to give way.
The lake, with mountains as a backdrop, is stunning.
If you don’t have a whole day to explore the lake, go to the Ride and Cruise, Taiping Boat Ride Centre. It’s where all the boats dock.
Here is the price list for various rides.
The boat centre has quite a few tables and chairs. If you aren’t keen on taking your kids on a boat ride, you can entertain them with kiddy rides there, or purchase fish food for RM1.10 to feed fish around the centre (there are koi in the centre).
It’s a good place to chill, with free wi-fi (I didn’t test it though).
We had dinner at Taman Tasik food centre and dessert with a bit of shopping at Taiping Mall before heading back to relax.
There are many children in Taiping (kiddy rides are often seen), but terrible pavements for these kids to walk on.
Nevertheless, it’s nice to stroll around the Taiping city centre as long as you watch your step.