Originally a village, Ipoh began to grow rapidly in the 1880s after huge deposits of tin were discovered within its vicinity. By 1895, it was the second largest town within the Federated Malay States, which also consisted of Selangor, Negeri Sembilan and Pahang. Ipoh was declared a city in 1988. However, following the depletion of its tin deposits and the collapse of tin prices in the 1970s, the city suffered decades of decline and neglect.
In recent years, Ipoh's popularity as a tourist destination has been significantly boosted by efforts to conserve its British colonial-era architecture. The city is also well-known for its cuisine and natural attractions, such as its limestone hills and caves within which Buddhist temples were built. In addition, Ipoh has managed to maintain its reputation as one of the cleanest cities in Malaysia.
Ipoh's location between Kuala Lumpur and George Town has made it a major land transportation hub within West Malaysia, with both the Malayan Railway's West Coast Line and the North-South Expressway cutting through the city. Aside from the land transportation links, Ipoh is also served by the Sultan Azlan Shah Airport.
Ipoh grew out from the Malay village of Palau along the banks of the Kinta River in the 1880s. Its geographic location in the rich tin-bearing valley of the Kinta River made it a natural centre of growth.
The Great Fire of Ipoh in 1892 destroyed over half the town, but also presented an opportunity to rebuild the town in a more orderly grid pattern. Ipoh was subsequently rebuilt in time for the second tin rush and grew rapidly as a result of the booming tin mining industry, particularly in the 1920s and 1930s.
A local Hakka miner, millionaire Yau Tet Shin, started developing a large tract of the town in the early 1930s, today known as the 'New Town', from the eastern bank of the Kinta River to Greentown. In 1937, Ipoh was made the capital of Perak, replacing Taiping.
Ipoh was invaded by the Japanese on 15 December 1941. In March 1942, the Japanese Civil Administration or Perak Shu Seicho was set up at the St. Michael's Institution. After the liberation of Malaya by British forces, Ipoh remained the capital of Perak to this day.
The decline of the tin mining industry during the latter half of the 20th century caused the growth of Ipoh to stagnate. With the closure of the tin mines, its urban population was forced to seek employment in other cities within Malaysia. In spite of this, Ipoh remains one of the largest cities in Malaysia in terms of population, with tourism now a main driver of the city's economy.
Ipoh gained Municipal status in 1962, and in 1988, was declared a city by the then Sultan of Perak, Sultan Azlan Shah.
Ipoh is in the state of Perak, which is in the northern part of Peninsular Malaysia. The city is in the middle of the Kinta Valley, on the bank of the Kinta River and the confluence of smaller rivers, Sungai Pinji and Sungai Pari. The city is surrounded by limestone hills, which can be found around suburban areas to the northeast, east and southeast.
The Kledang mountain range stretches from the north to the west of the city. This range runs parallel to the Bintang mountain range with the Perak River flowing on its left bank and the Kinta River to its right. This range is interrupted to the north of Ipoh by a tributary of the Perak River called the Pelus River, which is sourced from the Titiwangsa mountain range, which runs to the east of Ipoh.
Ipoh features a tropical rainforest climate. Temperatures are about the same throughout the year, showing little variation. The city's average temperature is 28 °C (82 °F). Ipoh sees high precipitation throughout the year with an average of 200 mm (7.9 in) of rain each month and averaging 2,427.9 mm (95.59 in) of rain per year. The wettest month is October where on average 297.2 mm (11.70 in) of rain is seen. Ipoh's driest month is January which has 132.3 mm (5.21 in) of rain fall on average.
Kek Lok Tong (Chinese: 極樂洞; Cavern of Utmost Happiness) is a cave temple that lies on the other side of the same hill as Sam Poh Tong. It is accessible through the Gunung Rapat housing area. It has a clean, quiet and cool environment. Other cave temples in Ipoh include Ling Sen Tong, Nan Tian Tong, Kwan Yin Tong and Perak Tong.
Limestone hills extend 20 km (12 mi) north of Ipoh and 20 km (12 mi) to the south. There are many caves in these hills; cave temples are built in some. Gua Tempurung, near Gopeng south of Ipoh, is a show cave open to the public. It is popular among spelunkers. More than 3 km (1.9 mi) long, it is one of the longest caves in Peninsula Malaysia. Part of it has been developed as a show cave with electric lighting and walkways, and there are tours of different lengths and difficulty. A fine river cave, the river passage runs about 1.6 km (0.99 mi) through the hill. There are five very large chambers and some stalactites and stalagmites.
Lakes in Ipoh include the one at Gunung Lang.
Ipoh has a vibrant food scene with a vast proliferation of hawker centres and restaurants. It is well known for dishes such as "Sar Hor Fun" (Chinese: 沙河粉) a complete one-dish rice noodle meal with prawn, meat, fish, vegetables and a savoury sauce. Other dishes from Ipoh include "Hor Hee", flat white rice noodles served with fish cakes and/or fish balls, "Nga Choi Kai" (Chinese: 芽菜鸡), chicken with soy sauce and beansprouts topped with pepper,"Kai Shi Hor Fun" (Chinese: 鸡丝河粉) rice noodles with Chicken, "Hakka Mee" (Chinese: 客家麵), yellow rice noodles served with mince meat (pork) sauce, and Ipoh's famous pastry "Heong Peng" (Chinese: 香餅), literally translated to "fragrant biscuit". The city is well known in Malaysia for its "Ipoh white coffee" where the coffee beans are roasted with palm-oil margarine and the resulting coffee is served with condensed milk. Ipoh is also famous for its fresh fruits such as Pomelo, Durian and Seedless Guava.
In recent years Ipoh has seen an increase in international restaurants, bars and gastropubs have become popular with locals and tourists.
Ipoh was once, one of the richest cities in Malaysia as well as South East Asia back in the days when tin was king. During the 1980s when tin prices collapsed, the economy of Ipoh was hit particularly hard. However, recently the city gain some momentum. By 2017, the city will open the first Movie Animation Theme Park (MAPS), which is the first ever in South East Asia. Tourism is booming in the city, and many shops in old town Ipoh is being transform into chic café. The city of Ipoh also host some big multi national corporations. Kuala Lumpur Kepong (KLK) Berhad, a palm oil company, which is also among the top 15 biggest companies in Malaysia (By revenue) has its headquarters in Ipoh. Batu Kawan Berhad (Which is the biggest shareholder of KLK), an investment company also has its headquarters in Malaysia. Hovid Berhad, a pharmaceutical company, which is also the first Malaysian companies to introduce generic drugs overseas also has its headquarters in Ipoh. Ipoh also is well known for its white coffee. Old Town Berhad, which is a food & beverage public listed company, specializing in white coffee has its headquarters in Ipoh. There are a few other public listed companies in Ipoh such as Perak Transit Berhad, Tasek Cement Berhad, DKLS Industries Berhad, Wellcall Holding Berhad, Rubberex Berhad, Perak Corp, etc. Ipoh also host some foreign multi national companies Malaysian headquarters. Some of the foreign MNC's in Ipoh is, Finisar, Voith, ITL Asia pacific, Sagami Manufacturers, etc.
The Old Town is west of the Kinta River. There is a vibrant commercial district with many historical 'shop-houses' centred around Leech Street (Chinese: 烈治街; now Jalan Bandar Timah). Other notable features include:Ipoh railway station in neo-classical/Edwardian Baroque style nicknamed the "Taj Mahal of Ipoh".
Ipoh Town Hall, an Edwardian Baroque municipal building located across the road from the Railway Station.
Padang Ipoh or Ipoh Field is on Jalan S.P. Seenivasagam. The field is surrounded by historic buildings that feature classic colonial architecture, including the mock-Tudor style Ipoh Club, FMS Bar, HSBC Building and the St Michael's Institution secondary school.
The Anglo-Chinese School, Ipoh, officially named SMK Methodist (ACS), is located along Lahat Road.
Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Anderson is the most well-known secondary school with more than 100 years of history, located beside the General Hospital of Ipoh. This school has been producing numerous of figures in the country.
St. Michael's Institution, Ipoh, is a public secondary school in Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia. It is situated on Jalan S. P. Seenivasagam, formerly Clayton Road.
Han Chin Pet Soo, the Hakka Tin Miner's Club, located on Jalan Bijeh Timah (formerly Treacher Street) has been restored and turned into Malaysia's First Hakka Tin Mining Museum.
Muzium Darul Ridzuan is a historical museum of Perak, in a pretty former tin-mining tycoon's mansion on Jalan Kuala Kangsar.
Concubine Lane or better known locally as Yi Lai Hong in Cantonese is a narrow and small lane located off Jalan Bandar Timah (Leech Street) in Old Town, Ipoh. It now has different restaurants, souvenir and gift shops and an entirely respectable hotel. To some locals, Concubine Lane is already becoming too busy.
Ipoh wall art murals drawn by talented street art artists clearly breathes in new life into Ipoh Old Town city. The murals do relive a sense of nostalgic moments related to Ipoh’s heritage and culture. It is now a popular tourist attraction, adding more crowns to Ipoh apart from being a food paradise.
Birch Memorial Clock Tower is a popular historical landmark which is located near the Ipoh State Mosque or commonly known as Sultan Idris Shah II Mosque. The clock tower was built to commemorate James W. W. Birch, the first British Resident in Perak who was killed on 2 November 1875 at Pasir Salak.
The so-called New Town, to the east of the Kinta River, was developed by Yau Tet Shin around 1908. The New Town houses the Perak Medical University and Ipoh City Hall building, among others. There are numerous shops, shopping malls, and hotels.
D. R. Seenivasagam Park (Coronation Park), located in the heart of Ipoh (New Town), is known for its scenic beauty and recreational facilities. It comprises recreational fields, an artificial lake filled with fish, a nursery for potted plants and a children's traffic playground. The latest addition is the newly landscaped Japanese garden featuring a Japanese carp pond.
For golf, the courses are the Royal Perak Golf Club off Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah (Tiger Lane), the Meru Golf Club in Jelapang, and Clearwater Sanctuary Golf Club en route to Batu Gajah.
Other sports venues include the Kilat Club in Pasir Pinji, Ipoh Field (Padang Ipoh) in the Old Town, the Polo Grounds, and the Iskandar Polo Club, in Ampang Baru.
The Sultan Azlan Shah Cup is an annual international men's field hockey tournament held in Ipoh.
Ipoh has a fully equipped sports complex known as Kompleks Sukan MBI or MBI Sports Complex.
Among the facilities located within the Complex is the Stadium Perak or Perak Stadium. Perak Stadium is the home of Perak The Bos Gaurus who playing in Malaysia Super League.
The Ipoh City Council governs the city. Datuk Zamri Man, appointed in August 2015, is the current mayor of Ipoh.
Ipoh is divided into two parliamentary constituencies: Ipoh Barat (Ipoh West) and Ipoh Timur (Ipoh East). The parliamentary seat for Ipoh Timur is held by DAP Representative, Su Keong Siong, which was formerly held by Lim Kit Siang while the seat for Ipoh Barat is held by fellow DAP leader, M. Kulasegaran.
Ipoh remains one of Malaysia's largest cities. It is the third largest city in Malaysia. As of 2010, the municipal area of Ipoh has a population of 657,892. It ranks as the seventh most populous urban centre in Malaysia (2010).
The following is based on Department of Statistics Malaysia 2010 census.
The name Ipoh is derived from a local tree, Pohon Epu or now more commonly known as Pokok Ipoh. The sap of this plant is poisonous and was used by Orang Asli (indigenous peoples in Malay) to coat the tips of the darts of their blowpipes for hunting.Trunk roads: The old interstate Route connects Ipoh with other major towns and cities in peninsular Malaysia, for example to Alor Setar, Taiping and Penang to the north and Tapah, Kuala Lumpur, Seremban and even Johor Bahru in the south. Motorists from the east coast can use highway (from Gerik) in northern Perak or (from Cameron Highlands).
Highway: The new North–South Expressway is a faster and more efficient alternative to Route 1. However, certain towns like Kampar can only be accessible via Route 1.
Train: Ipoh's railway station is operated by Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) and is in the Old Town (however, it does not have intra-city travel like in Kuala Lumpur). The railway only connects Ipoh with neighbouring towns and cities. The station is a stately building, referred to by locals as the 'Taj Mahal' of Ipoh. KTM Intercity began the Shuttle Train Service between Kuala Lumpur and Ipoh from 1 December 2008 while the modern Electric Train System (ETS) shuttle began from 12 August 2010 with average 145 km/h (90 mph) speed, plying Ipoh-Seremban route, cut the travelling distance between Ipoh and Kuala Lumpur into 120 minutes. There are 10 dedicated shuttle train services between these two cities daily which begins at 5 am from both the stations. Travel time between the cities was expected to be reduced from three hours to two hours and fifteen minutes when the new set of EMU trains arrived in mid-2009.
Bus: The inter-city bus terminal is located at Amanjaya Integrated Bus Terminal in Bandar Meru Raya, just north of the city.
Air: the Sultan Azlan Shah Airport is the only airport in Ipoh. It is near Gunung Rapat. Domestic flights and international ones are available. Tigerair provides daily flight out of Ipoh to Singapore Changi Airport. Firefly provides two daily flights out of Ipoh to Singapore Changi Airport while Malindo Air provides daily flights to Johor Bahru
This is a list of schools in Ipoh, Perak.Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Seri Puteri
Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan(T)ST.Philomena Convent,Ipoh
Sekolah Kebangsaan Dato Panglima'Kinta,Ipoh
Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan (C) Yuk Choy, Ipoh
SMJK Yuk Choy, Ipoh
Tarcisian Convent School, Ipoh (TCS)
Anderson School, Ipoh
Anglo-Chinese School, Ipoh
Sekolah Tuanku Abdul Rahman (STAR), Ipoh
St. Michael's Institution, Ipoh
SMK Jalan Tasek, Ipoh
Methodist Girls Secondary School (MGS), Ipoh
Perak Girls Secondary School (PGS), Ipoh
SMK Main Convent, Ipoh
Wesley Methodist School, Ipoh
Ipoh International School (Private)
Fairview International School, Ipoh
Perak Yuk Choy High School (Private)
Poi Lam High School (Private) 怡保培南独立中学
Shen Jai High School, Ipoh 怡保深斋中学
Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan (TAMIL) Kerajaan,Sungai Pari,Ipoh
Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan (TAMIL) Gunung Rapat, Ipoh
Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan (TAMIL) Perak Sangeetha Sabah, Ipoh
SMK Rapat Setia, Ipoh
SMK Jalan Pasir Puteh, Ipoh
Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan (C) Poi Lam, Ipoh
SMK Seri Keledang,Ipoh
SMJK Poi Lam, Ipoh
Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan (C) Sam Tet, Ipoh
SMJK Sam Tet, Ipoh
SMK Dato Ahmad Said
Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Ave Maria Convent, Ipoh
SMJK Ave Maria Convent, Ipoh
Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan (C) Wan Hwa (1)
Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan (C) Wan Hwa (2)
Sekolah Kebangsaan (ACS), Ipoh
Sekolah Kebangsaan (P) Methodist, Ipoh
Sekolah Kebangsaan Haji Mahmud Chemor, Ipoh
Sekolah Kebangsaan Kuala Pari, Ipoh
Sekolah Kebangsaan Jalan Pegoh
Sekolah Kebangsaan Jelapang
Sekolah Kebangsaan Raja Ekram, Ipoh
Sekolah Kebangsaan Raja Perempuan, Ipoh
Sekolah Kebangsaan Seri Ampang, Ipoh
Sekolah Kebangsaan St. Michael's Institution (1), Ipoh
Sekolah Kebangsaan St. Michael's Institution (2), Ipoh
Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Jelapang Jaya,Ipoh
Film and Television:Angie Cheong
Sam Chin Neng of Fuying & Sam
Sports: (Badminton):Koo Kien Keat
Choong Tan Fook
Lee Wan Wah
Cheah Soon Kit
Wong Pei Tty
Wong Mew Choo
Sports (Football):Nazirul Naim
Chan Kok Heng
Muhamad Khalid Jamlus
Sports (Others):Tony Underwood (Rugby)
Nur Suryani Mohd Taibi (Sports shooting)
Leong Mun Yee (Diving)
Business:David Ho Sue San of Hovid Berhad & Carotech Berhad,
Lee Loy Seng (founder of Kuala Lumpur Kepong Berhad),
Dr. Wong Jeh Shyan CEO of CommerceNet Singapore Limited,
Politics:Yeoh Ghim Seng
Dr Yeoh Eng Kiong
S. J. V. Chelvanayakam
Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah
D. R. Seenivasagam
Lim Keng Yaik
Lee Lam Thye
Historical:Yusof bin Ishak (president of Singapore)
Leong Sin Nam
Foo Choo Choon
Chung Thye Phin
Eu Tong Sen
Science and technology:Lam Wei Haur (Professor Dr)
Other:Chan Sek Keong (Chief Justice of Singapore)
Huen Su Yin (cake decorating)
Movies filmed in Ipoh include:1992: Indochine
1999: Anna and the King
2004: Tun Tan Cheng Lock
2006: After This Our Exile (Chinese 父子)
2006: Goodbye Boys
2006: Lust, Caution (Chinese: 色，戒)
Ipoh currently has two sister cities: