Guide: Road Tripping Ipoh

What’s a girl to do in Ipoh you ask?

Surprisingly, this road trip was not planned out thoroughly and so we decided to explore as much as we could in 48 hours or less. It was a two hours drive up north with flat sceneries of the very green oil palm estates which ended as soon as we hit Ipoh town. We chose to stay in Sekeping Kong Heng because it was in town and a few minutes away from the supermarket, restaurants and local attractions. The first thing we did as soon we hit town? We searched for food, places to see and things to do in Ipoh!

Burps n Giggles

My colleague had suggested that I have breakfast at this ‘hipster’ place which is located just behind Sekeping Kong Heng. Hipster to me means independent, artsy and non-conforming which is exactly what this restaurant exudes. We entered through the back door as it was connected to the hotel and saw the yellow walls with drawings of round hipped women. Pushing the wooden door gently, we stepped into a private seating area and walked across it to the main area of the restaurant. The colourful counter and bar to our left and another lounge area to the right with a bar table facing the main road of Ipoh. The staff were very friendly and teased our surprised face when our burgers were served, stabbed to perfection. What a mighty knife that was! With chips the size of my chubby fingers, we ate our burgers quietly only because we were very hungry and also because we were enjoying peeking at the street in front of us. If you love a fat, juicy burger topped with creamy coffee goodness, this would definitely be the spot for you!

Location: 95, Jalan Sultan Yussuf, Perak, Ipoh Town, 30000 | Phone: 05-242 6188. | Facebook :

Our burgers were stabbed to perfection.

Our burgers were stabbed to perfection.

An artsy cafe for the artsy soul.

An artsy cafe for the artsy soul.

Kellie’s Castle

It was 7 o’clock in the evening when we arrived at Kellie’s Castle only to find out that we had passed the closing time. Nevertheless we managed to walk in to the entrance compound area which faced the castle across the Kinta River.  The castle which contains dark dungeons, secret tunnels, wine cellars, narrow stairways, a lift shaft, bar room and an open rooftop for games and parties. However the sudden death of Sir William Kellie Smith, who had gone to Europe to purchase a lift for the castle, was the reason for the incomplete castle of which the Kellie family would have lived in until today. Smith had come to Malaya when he was 20 years old and was hired by estate owner Alma Baker to build roads in South Perak. This gave him the money to buy a land in Kinta District and turned it into a rubber plantation area. After the birth of his son, he decided to build this grand new home, his castle. Some say that his ghost still lingers in the corridors but I wouldn’t want to be there when that happens. Eeek!

Location: KM 5.5, Jalan Gopeng Batu Gajah Perak | Tel: +605 365 1336 | Opening Hours: 9am – 6pm | Entrance Fee: Malaysians (RM4), Non-Malaysians (RM5)

The hauntingly beautiful Kellie's Castle.

The hauntingly beautiful Kellie’s Castle.

Pasar Karat Memory Lane

We chanced on this market after googling it off the internet because of its’ unique stalls selling antiques and quirky items. Only opened on Sunday morning until afternoon, we quickly drove over to the market to see what we could find. Actually if you’re staying in the Ipoh old town, it’s just a few minutes walk away from the hotel but because we had checked out in the morning, we decided to drive over there before heading back to Kuala Lumpur. I later found out that this was the biggest flea market in Ipoh and exciting as it was, we did find quite a lot of unique items spanning from the early 60s antiques, records up to the present items such as clothes, shoes and such. I found a stall selling the VW van and wanted to get one except the price was quite expensive for the little fella (RM80). In the end I decided to forego it and bought a drumming cat toy for my colleague (which was only RM10). You’ll need to spend quite some time here if you’re looking for authentic goods. Also don’t forget to bargain as it’s quite normal to do so.

Iron maiden discovery.

Iron maiden discovery.

Hidden treasures & antiques in 'Pasar Karat'.

Hidden treasures & antiques in ‘Pasar Karat’.


Ipoh, The End.

There are more places to see and do in Ipoh if we had more time. For example, the popular ‘nasi ganja’ which was closed on Sunday and other food places as well as heritage buidings in town. If we had more time, we would definitely be able to cover more sites and perhaps this is why road trips are normally an endless journey. See you again Ipoh!

About Yafieda Jamil

A Malaysian girl currently working abroad in Phnom Penh city. I love a good road trip, hot cappuccinos, spicy food and staring at old buildings. My mission is to inspire people to see the world differently before we all get any older. Oh and giraffes are the most beautiful creatures on earth.

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