6:02 PM

What To Do In Ipoh For Under RM120

What comes to your mind when you hear "Ipoh"? For me, the first thing that comes to mind is beansprout chicken, also known as nga choy kai in Cantonese. Don't judge, but that was the only thing I knew about Ipoh at that time, that they were famous for beansprout chicken and Ipoh White Coffee. Boy, I couldn't have been more wrong. Ipoh has so much more to offer! So, here I am with a step by step broken down guide of how to travel Ipoh on a budget!

Day 1
Arrived at Ipoh Railway Station at 1.30pm
We took a train from KL Sentral which cost us RM53 each for a return trip, but a lot of people opt to drive as well. If you drive, one full tank of petrol should be sufficient for a round trip. If you know me, I've developed this love for architecture and even though some people call the railway station "old" and "worn out", I still think the British Colonial architecture still looks amazing. Besides, you can't expect a heritage building to look like the Burj right?

First stop:
Ong Kee Beansprout Chicken
48,51 & 53, Jalan Yau Tet Shin,
30300, Ipoh, Perak

I dare say there is only one chicken rice place I've tried out that can rival Ipoh's, and that's all the way in the villages of Sungai Buloh. Ipoh is the pioneer of chicken rice with crunchy beansprouts. There's actually another famous chicken rice shop right opposite Ong Kee and it's Wong Lou but unfortunately it was closed. Some of us had Ipoh Kai Si Hor Fun whereas some of us opted for chicken rice instead.

Amount per person: RM15 each (consisted of a drink, rice/hor fun, beansprouts and half a chicken)

Second Stop: 
Funny Mountain Tau Foo Fah
49, Jalan Theatre,
Taman Jubilee,
30300, Ipoh, Perak

Alas, it was closed when we arrived! We were pretty bummed out because where else can you get great tau foo fah for only RM1? Well, we went to Ipoh during the Hari Raya holidays so maybe some shop owners decided to take advantage of the holiday for a well needed rest.

Third Stop:
Nam Heong Kopitiam
2, Jalan Bijih Timah,
30000, Ipoh, Perak

Most famous coffee shop, origin of Ipoh White Coffee. I read somewhere that white coffee beans are roasted in margarine. Coffee here only costs RM1.60! Soooo much cheaper than in KL where "Nescafe Ais" would set you back almost RM3. We ordered some egg tarts and of course, you can't have coffee without kaya toast! Can't remember how much the egg tarts and kaya toast was but altogether it was definitely less than RM8!

Amount Spent Here: <RM8
Amount Spent So Far: RM23

Fourth Stop:
Kong Heng Square
Jalan Panglima,

30000 Ipoh, Perak

It's where all the hipster cafes are like Burps And Giggles, The Happy 8 and even Ipoh's very own Plan B! If you want the famous ice ball thingy it's available here as well. We spent quite a lot of time here just exploring the place and taking pictures at the murals. I dare say this place is sooooo hipster in an old rustic way. Just a stone's throw away is the Concubine Lane as well. Do stop by a shop in the middle, forgot the name but there's a table of cacti outside. It's filled with vintage decoration and little trinkets. You can explore upstairs for only RM1

Amount Spent Here: RM1
Amount Spent So Far: RM24

Fifth Stop:
Pasar Malam
Location varies

According to my friend Crystal, the pasar malam changes location every time and on that day it was outside the hotel the guys stayed in. Pretty much the same size as SS2 Chow Yang pasar malam, if you've been there before although the prices are relatively cheaper compared to KL's. We got fried ice cream for RM1.90 and assam laksa for RM5! So cheap I can't even....

Amount Spent Here: RM6.90
Amount Spent So Far: RM30.90

Sixth Stop:
Ipoh Lost World of Tambun Hot Springs

1, Persiaran Lagun Sunway 1,
Sunway City Ipoh,
31150 Ipoh, Perak

Naming this place Hot Springs overestimates it. The water here was pretty warm and not hot at all, I even shower with this temperature at home. Lost World of Tambun is developed by Sunway Group and Crystal got us discounts with a card. This place resembles Sunway Lagoon a little, they have a man made beach with a wave pool and stage as well.

Amount Spent Here: RM21
Amount Spent So Far: RM51.90

Total Amount Spent for Day 1: RM51.90

Day 2 
We got such little sleep because we stayed up at night chatting and using our phones, I really wonder how we survived on so little sleep -- I dare say we got less than 4 hours only! We had to get up early in the morning because we were gonna go on a road trip!! Our original plan was to go to Pulau Pangkor which is about 2 hours drive and a ferry ride away, but in the end we just stopped by Teluk Batik which is really near the Pangkor Jetty.

Note: If you're planning to go to Pulau Pangkor, you would have to drive to the jetty in Lumut, park your car there for a minimal fee (definitely less than RM10 a day) and then purchase tickets for a ferry to Pangkor!

First Stop:
Teluk Batik
32200, Lumut, Perak

Teluk Batik was much better than what we expected it to be. We thought it would be a densely populated tourist area and somewhat like Port Dickson but it was a pretty nice beach actually! Definitely not the likes of Krabi and Perhentian but it was quite alright. The beach had really horrible facilities though, the area around the beach was run down and there were litter everywhere. :/ We went on a boat for RM5 each that brought us on a 10 minute trip on the sea, that's about as close to island hopping as we could get. Perfect photo ops though! Got some coconut drink here for RM2 only!

Amount Spent Here: RM27 (inclusive of petrol, boat ride + drink)
Amount Spent So Far: RM78.90

Second Stop:
1981 Wheel Noodle,
Jalan Market,
30000, Ipoh, Perak

Stopped by here for a late lunch, Ipoh is a small town and we visited during the Raya holidays so a lot of shops were closed. This is similar to the famous Boat Noodles that are all the rage here in KL, but the flavors are very different. Unlike the spicy Ayutthaya and Pathumthani flavors they have in Boat Noodle, the flavors in Wheel Noodle are more localized. namely Wheel Noodle (Beef), Dong Dong Noodle (Fish), Laksa and Mickey Mouse Noodle. I just promoted all the flavors of Wheel Noodle and I didn't even have any, LOL. I had Nasi Lemak instead haha!

Can't remember how much spent here but it was definitely below RM10!

Amount Spent Here: RM10
Amount Spent So Far: RM88.90

Photo Credits: Ken Wooi, Jotaro

Third Stop:
Tong Sui Kai
Jalan Sultan Ekram
30000, Ipoh, Perak

If you've been to Wai Sek Kai in SS2, Jalan Alor in KL and other open food courts in Malaysia, Tong Sui Kai isn't too far off. Honestly it looks just like any other normal food court but the specialty of it lies in the Tong Sui, aka "Sugar Water", or simply, desserts. Didn't manage to get any photos here but here are some references from Google! When you're here, definitely try the 杂果冰, it's basically a fruit based ice dessert. I had a fried kuey teow noodle topped with raw egg here, called Yuet Kwong Hor

Amount Spent Here: RM10
Amount Spent So Far: RM99.90

Day 3
Last day here in Ipoh, I grew up my whole life thinking Ipoh was just a quiet sleepy small town with nothing to offer. Small town it is but it's pretty damn interesting and has the most amazing food ever!! Good news is it's only a 2 hour train ride here so whenever I feel like stuffing my face with amazing food, I can just drop by here.

First Stop:
Foh San Dim Sum

51, Jalan Leong Sin Nam,
30300 Ipoh, Perak

Foh San is the epitome of "from zero to hero", their new premises was super gigantic and grand, looking like an expensive Chinese hotel in all its grandeur. Foh San and I go way back. Jk, my dad had a dim sum shop back in the 00's when I was younger and we sourced a lot of our products from Foh San. The main competitor of Foh San is the humble, smaller coffee shop right opposite it called Ming Court, but it was closed when we went there. A must try here in Foh San is definitely the custard pao. Good. As. Hell.

Amount Spent Here: RM15
Amount Spent So Far: RM114.90

There you have it! A concise, broken down list of all my expenses here in Ipoh. RM120 to stuff your tummy with good food. Hope this budget was able to help some of you who are looking for a short nearby getaway! Definitely check out the Ipoh Heritage Trail as well if you have the time to spare! Definitely hope to be able to do some other budget travel posts as well.

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  1. The chicken rice shop, I think it's Lou Wong not Wong Lou! Haha.

    1. Oh yeah thank you so much for correcting me! :)


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