Ipoh’s rustic charm owes itself to its eclectic infusion of old and new, and slices of colonial heritage interwoven with rich local character. It’s no wonder that memories captured here end up on Instagram feeds and stories; the juxtaposed aesthetics of what was and what is are certainly trendy and perfect for the gram.
Many of Ipoh’s Instagrammable spots are around Old Town and within walking distance of each other, but to enjoy Ipoh in its full Instagrammable glory, a spacious and safe vehicle of your own goes a long way.
Credit: Kathmandu & Beyond
You don’t need to make your way to a museum or gallery to admire amazing art pieces — just look out the window and see an abundance of them adorning the city’s walls, peopling alleys that wrap around the city. Soak in the views and see Ipoh from different angles with the Mitsubishi Outlander’s sunroof, which also brings some lovely natural light into the car. These murals make great Instagram photo backdrops, so you can even make an adventure out of mural-hunting and photo-taking.
Inspired by Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic, an Ipoh-born art teacher who goes by the name Eric Lai breathed life to the city’s backstreets. Mural Art’s Lane features Malaysians of all races, depicting scenes from their family lives, childhood games, and traditional dances.
Have peace of mind while driving on the streets of Ipoh as you admire the murals and architecture. Mitsubishi Outlander is equipped with 7 SRS airbags and has the patented safety body construction system, Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution (RISE), to ensure ultimate protection and safety for all occupants.
Credit: Free Malaysia Today
Transport yourself to the quirky world of old and new at Burps & Giggles cafe, right next to Kong Heng Square. Here, antique and contemporary bits and bobs are repurposed as decor, making this Instagram-worthy cafe a fine backdrop for good conversations and good food with good company. Disguised as a dressmaker’s shophouse called U.S. Peter (its former identity, no less), Burps and Giggles is a blend of colonial-era influences and old-school Malaysian touches. Expect quality coffee and meals here, with dishes like pastries, burgers, and baguettes as bases for pizza, all made for famished foodies and flat-lay fiends.
While driving here in your Mitsubishi Outlander, enjoy maximum comfort with generous legroom for all occupants in this 7-seater SUV, or make full use of the 1,608L cargo space when you fold the second and third rows.
Just less than 100 metres away is Plan B, housed in a pre-war building that used to be a furniture warehouse, now reborn as a local chain restaurant. Infusing upscale contemporary aesthetics and the nostalgic warmth of old Ipoh. With 7,885 square feet of space for feasts and festivities, this place doubles up as an event space that is just the right mix of modern and traditional.
A stone’s throw away from Burps & Giggles and Plan B lies a haven for handcrafted and custom-made items, sold at the Kong Heng Square Artisan Market. Besides culinary delights, Kong Heng Square is home to the all-new and unique Book Xcess, a chain bookstore that has been injected with Ipoh’s magic through neon signage and slightly rustic feel. There are thousands of books across different genres, pop-art, and even the Yasmin at Kong Heng Newseum in the basement. In this little newseum, you’ll find original scripts, television commercials, and films by the late and extraordinary Malaysian icon in the creative industries, Yasmin Ahmad.
If you’re staying over, you might want to check out Sekeping Hong Keng, a boutique hotel by the famous landscape architect, Ng Sek San and partners, and perhaps even pop by Kong Heng Kopitiam for a quintessentially Ipoh-style kopitiam breakfast.
Continue your stroll to Concubine Lane (Lorong Panglima), lined with pop-up stalls, souvenir shops, chic cafes, and quaint dessert spots that were once pre-independence brothels, opium dens, and gambling houses. There is also the Second Concubine Lane, also known as Market Lane, where a coffee shop and fruit store are perched under a sea of Instagrammable hanging overhead umbrellas.
Credit: Goody Foodies
About half an hour away from the town centre is a glittering, glowing wonderland of magical creatures and plants that come alive at night. State-of-the-art lights and installations make for great photo ops that translate wonderfully on your Instagram Stories and feed. An enchanted village of the Malayana tribe, this bioluminescent forest is home to the 400-year-old willow-like tree, Mother Sophea or The Tree of Life, exotic animals and insects, the Bridge of Luminosa, and more. Open from 8.00 pm to 10.00 pm, the Luminous Forest welcomes visitors who want to be immersed in a fantastical world of storytelling, demonstrated through its well-crafted landscape and guided tour.
Visit the Lost World of Tambun and enjoy the other attractions during the daytime, too, including the Lost World Petting Zoo. The Lost World of Tambun is about 11 kilometres from Ipoh Old Town; you can get more mileage with Mitsubishi Outlander’s powerful yet fuel-efficient MIVEC engine, with which you get to save on fuel but don’t have to compromise on performance.
Beyond the gorgeous cityscape, Ipoh also offers off-the-beaten adventures and scenic views. Nestled among the limestone karst hills of Gunung Rapat is a mystical and idyllic lake. The stillness of the lake and the glistening reflection of the rugged limestone walls, shrubs, and sunlight on the water — hence the name — give a sense of calm and serenity. The peaceful scenery is truly as impeccable in photos as it is in real life.
Getting to Tasik Cermin (or Mirror Lake in English) is difficult without a 4-wheel drive vehicle. Thankfully, the Outlander has a multi-select 4WD system, where you can choose from three modes depending on the road conditions and terrains.
To get to the lake, just pass a temple called Tokong Da Seng Ngan, continue down the path, and drive up a slope. Amid a quarry, there is a 250-metre tunnel carved through the rocks. Park your vehicle nearby and walk along this tunnel; on the other side, a hidden oasis awaits.
Capture your outdoor adventures at the Kledang Saiong Forest Reserve, an eco-tourism park where you can go on a trek or a stroll, have a picnic or a BBQ, off-road cycle, and even organise camping activities (for this, however, you will need to request prior permission from the District Forest Office). Around 74 species of pitcher plants can be found in the forest reserve, all of which are being conserved and preserved, and are open to visitors.
With ample parking space just adjacent to the forest, parking is easier than ever. This is especially so with the Xpander’s All-Round Monitor. Whether it’s parking your vehicle or driving to the park, you get a bird’s eye view of your surroundings with additional eyes to assist. Multiple cameras are installed all around the vehicle, including a reverse camera for better and safer parking.
From outdoor excursions to urban adventures, there is an array of Instagram-worthy things to do, see, and capture in this charming and quaint city. With the Mitsubishi Xpander, your journey to, and around, Ipoh will surely be one to remember. Visit our website for more details.