My mother in law joined us in Ipoh and as she had been there before she told us that the children would most likely love the water park Lost World of Tambun. That turned out to be so true and not only for the children, us adults loved it too. It can get really crowded during holiday season but we had lots of space and there were no lines to anything, not even to order food. That is a very uncommon sight in Malaysia! Anyway, the water park was clean, fun and we stayed until closing. There are plans to expand other areas of the park, there will be a zoo opening and also some more activity parts. We only really spent time in the water part of the park but that is because the whole family love to swim and play in the water. For more information about prices and such check out the website http://www.sunwaylostworldoftambun.com
After a late breakfast we decided to take a look at one of the temples located close to Ipoh. We drove about 20 minutes to Kek Look Tong (or Kek Lok Tong or Kek Lock Tong, as usual in Malaysia you get several spelling options). It is a Buddhist temple located inside a cave and as you walk into it there are several small rooms to visit. There is also a garden sorrounded by the mountain and it is really peaceful and quiet. The school holiday had ended on the day of our visit so it was not crowded at all. We could walk around and take our time which was really nice. The whole family enjoyed it. Near the entrance/exit there are signs telling the visitors not to feed the monkeys. As we exited the cave we saw people feeding the birds and of course the more courageous monkeys where quick to grab the food. They were macaques and that is not the type of monkey you want to feed. They tend to get very cheeky and agressive once they become used to the easy access to food. After our close encounter with aggressive macaques on Langkawi I am not overly fond of that particular breed of monkey. I do wish people would make sure not to feed them as the result more often than not is that the monkeys are shot. As they become so aggressive they are a danger to people so please, no matter how cute they are do not give food to a macaque. It rarely ends happily.
The children were tired in the evening so my mother volunteered as babysitter and my husband and I went for a walk. Ipoh is the fourth (or fifth depending on which source you’re using) largest city in Malaysia but it is not that busy in the evening. The areas we walked through were nice and quiet and lots of shops and restaurants were open but closed around 10pm. There is a night market just of Jalan Iskandar called Tingkat Pasar that opens at 8pm and closes around 2am every day of the week. Not much food on sale but lots of mobile phone acessories and other trinkets you might not know you need.
We ended up buying some popiah and ice coffee at a hawker place and slowly walking back to the hotel.
Driving in Malaysia is not for the faint hearted or the driver that insists on following every rule in the book. I have mentioned it before and I most likely will again but Malaysian drivers are not that keen on sticking to the rules. Every lane is a fast, slow, turn, double park lane- it all depends on the driver. So the only advise I can give you is to go with the flow, follow the pace on the road and BREATHE. Our trip from Melaka to Ipoh went smoothly and took about 5 hours with lunchbreak and all. No heavy rain and a clear sky meant that we got to see the mountains as we approached Ipoh. It is such a beautiful landscape around that city, no photos can truly capture it.
The Ipoh sign pictured below is in reality huge. On YouTube you can find videos of people climbing it and it is so tall.
We had decided to stay five nights in Ipoh and after some research I booked us at the Sarang Paloh hotel in the Old Town of Ipoh. The hotel was amazing, the staff ever so helpful and the rooms were both beautiful and clean. Every day two guys spent over an hour and a half cleaning our room and to be honest it was cleaner than our apartment back home. The only drawback was the traffic outside our room but we had been informed about that when we booked so it came as no suprise. My husband, two children and I had a family room that was really two rooms and a bathroom (with both a shower and a bathtub!). Loved it. My mother and mother in law shared a room and as it was overlooking the garden it was a lot more quiet than ours.
The corridor leading up to our room. It had a lovely mural on one wall.
Our room wasn’t cheap but I can truly recommend the place. They don’t serve breakfast but there is a great little place right next door where you can get a nice breakfast and lunch as well. As a hotel guest you get a 20% discount so don’t forget to mention where you are staying.
I loved Old Town and it was perfect for us to stay right smack in the middle of it. We parked the car at the free indoor parking space provided by the hotel and then we walked everywhere. Ipoh might be a big city but it sure felt like a small town when we went out at night.