Ipoh Photography: 38 Photos to Inspire You to Visit My Favourite City in Malaysia

Leave Penang to the organised tours—Ipoh is the authentic Malaysia. A street photographer's dream just 3 hours' north of Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh is my favourite city in the country. This Ipoh photography collection will inspire you to visit Ipoh and the beguiling Perak region. | © Copyright Emily Lush 2018

Leave Penang to the organised tours—Ipoh is the authentic Malaysia. A street photographer’s dream just 3 hours’ north of Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh makes a strong case for Malaysia’s hawker food, street art and Peranakan shophouse capital. This Ipoh photography collection will inspire you to visit Ipoh and the beguiling Perak region.

 

Ipoh is my kind of town. Of all the travel plans we had slated for the first half of 2018, Ipoh was the place I was most looking forward to visiting. And it didn’t disappoint. The capital of Malaysia’s Perak region, Ipoh is located roughly halfway between Kuala Lumpur and Penang. You can reach Ipoh in just over three hours when travelling by train from KL.

 

A different dimension

It feels as if Ipoh operates on a different dimension to Malaysia’s thronging capital city. In Ipoh, the day unfolds at a different pace—it’s as simple as that. Nostalgia and melancholy hang over the city. Motorbikes rule the roads. Pedestrians take shelter from the midday sun and spontaneous bursts of monsoon rain under the arches of five-foot ways. Cups of chai and Milo are served with crackers on the side, just like mum used to make. Restaurants are tended by middle-aged waitstaff who approach customer service with earnest dedication. Hipster cafes and bare-bones milkbars alike serve Ipoh’s legendary white coffee and Macau-style egg tarts. People are outgoing and friendly—I lost count of how many times we got invited to sit down for a drink. Every Sunday morning, a massive flea market unfurls in the centre of Ipoh, where locals gather to sell antique tiffin boxes and melamine plates.

Heritage colonial buildings, including Ipoh railway station, have been beautifully restored. In the new town, turn-of-the-century theatres and brutalist apartment buildings crack and crumble. Packs of taxi drivers sit in their cars reading newspapers, occasionally tossing handfuls of crumbs to the flocks of pigeons that sweep over the city. It’s grungy. Ipoh Old Town is dedicated almost entirely to rows of Peranakan shophouses—their terrazzo floors and hand-painted signs and awnings the most gorgeous I’ve ever seen.

 

Ipoh street art

And then there’s the street art. Atmospheric alleyways with names like ‘Concubine Lane’ conceal larger-than-life murals by Lithuanian Ernest Zacharevic, the same artist behind Penang’s best-loved pieces. Only in Ipoh, you won’t have to queue for a photo. Mural Lane in Ipoh’s new town is plastered with an impossible number of contemporary artworks.

I love Malaysia for its mix of cultures and religions. I find it so fascinating to see Malay, Arabic, English and Chinese text all printed on the same shop sign. Ipoh is probably even more multicultural than Penang, best reflected in its hawker food scene.

In short, Ipoh is an art, design and food lover’s paradise. Here is a selection of my favourite Ipoh photography to inspire you to visit the capital of Perak.

 

Leave Penang to the organised tours—Ipoh is the authentic Malaysia. A street photographer's dream just 3 hours' north of Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh is my favourite city in the country. This Ipoh photography collection will inspire you to visit Ipoh and the beguiling Perak region. | © Copyright Emily Lush 2018

Leave Penang to the organised tours—Ipoh is the authentic Malaysia. A street photographer's dream just 3 hours' north of Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh is my favourite city in the country. This Ipoh photography collection will inspire you to visit Ipoh and the beguiling Perak region. | © Copyright Emily Lush 2018
Leave Penang to the organised tours—Ipoh is the authentic Malaysia. A street photographer's dream just 3 hours' north of Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh is my favourite city in the country. This Ipoh photography collection will inspire you to visit Ipoh and the beguiling Perak region. | © Copyright Emily Lush 2018
Leave Penang to the organised tours—Ipoh is the authentic Malaysia. A street photographer's dream just 3 hours' north of Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh is my favourite city in the country. This Ipoh photography collection will inspire you to visit Ipoh and the beguiling Perak region. | © Copyright Emily Lush 2018

Leave Penang to the organised tours—Ipoh is the authentic Malaysia. A street photographer's dream just 3 hours' north of Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh is my favourite city in the country. This Ipoh photography collection will inspire you to visit Ipoh and the beguiling Perak region. | © Copyright Emily Lush 2018
Leave Penang to the organised tours—Ipoh is the authentic Malaysia. A street photographer's dream just 3 hours' north of Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh is my favourite city in the country. This Ipoh photography collection will inspire you to visit Ipoh and the beguiling Perak region. | © Copyright Emily Lush 2018
Leave Penang to the organised tours—Ipoh is the authentic Malaysia. A street photographer's dream just 3 hours' north of Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh is my favourite city in the country. This Ipoh photography collection will inspire you to visit Ipoh and the beguiling Perak region. | © Copyright Emily Lush 2018
Leave Penang to the organised tours—Ipoh is the authentic Malaysia. A street photographer's dream just 3 hours' north of Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh is my favourite city in the country. This Ipoh photography collection will inspire you to visit Ipoh and the beguiling Perak region. | © Copyright Emily Lush 2018

Leave Penang to the organised tours—Ipoh is the authentic Malaysia. A street photographer's dream just 3 hours' north of Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh is my favourite city in the country. This Ipoh photography collection will inspire you to visit Ipoh and the beguiling Perak region. | © Copyright Emily Lush 2018
Leave Penang to the organised tours—Ipoh is the authentic Malaysia. A street photographer's dream just 3 hours' north of Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh is my favourite city in the country. This Ipoh photography collection will inspire you to visit Ipoh and the beguiling Perak region. | © Copyright Emily Lush 2018

Leave Penang to the organised tours—Ipoh is the authentic Malaysia. A street photographer's dream just 3 hours' north of Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh is my favourite city in the country. This Ipoh photography collection will inspire you to visit Ipoh and the beguiling Perak region. | © Copyright Emily Lush 2018

Leave Penang to the organised tours—Ipoh is the authentic Malaysia. A street photographer's dream just 3 hours' north of Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh is my favourite city in the country. This Ipoh photography collection will inspire you to visit Ipoh and the beguiling Perak region. | © Copyright Emily Lush 2018
Leave Penang to the organised tours—Ipoh is the authentic Malaysia. A street photographer's dream just 3 hours' north of Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh is my favourite city in the country. This Ipoh photography collection will inspire you to visit Ipoh and the beguiling Perak region. | © Copyright Emily Lush 2018

Leave Penang to the organised tours—Ipoh is the authentic Malaysia. A street photographer's dream just 3 hours' north of Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh is my favourite city in the country. This Ipoh photography collection will inspire you to visit Ipoh and the beguiling Perak region. | © Copyright Emily Lush 2018
Leave Penang to the organised tours—Ipoh is the authentic Malaysia. A street photographer's dream just 3 hours' north of Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh is my favourite city in the country. This Ipoh photography collection will inspire you to visit Ipoh and the beguiling Perak region. | © Copyright Emily Lush 2018
Leave Penang to the organised tours—Ipoh is the authentic Malaysia. A street photographer's dream just 3 hours' north of Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh is my favourite city in the country. This Ipoh photography collection will inspire you to visit Ipoh and the beguiling Perak region. | © Copyright Emily Lush 2018

Leave Penang to the organised tours—Ipoh is the authentic Malaysia. A street photographer's dream just 3 hours' north of Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh is my favourite city in the country. This Ipoh photography collection will inspire you to visit Ipoh and the beguiling Perak region. | © Copyright Emily Lush 2018

Leave Penang to the organised tours—Ipoh is the authentic Malaysia. A street photographer's dream just 3 hours' north of Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh is my favourite city in the country. This Ipoh photography collection will inspire you to visit Ipoh and the beguiling Perak region. | © Copyright Emily Lush 2018
Leave Penang to the organised tours—Ipoh is the authentic Malaysia. A street photographer's dream just 3 hours' north of Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh is my favourite city in the country. This Ipoh photography collection will inspire you to visit Ipoh and the beguiling Perak region. | © Copyright Emily Lush 2018
Leave Penang to the organised tours—Ipoh is the authentic Malaysia. A street photographer's dream just 3 hours' north of Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh is my favourite city in the country. This Ipoh photography collection will inspire you to visit Ipoh and the beguiling Perak region. | © Copyright Emily Lush 2018

 


Like it? Pin this post for later –

12 Comments

  1. DebbZie Leksono

    Gorgeous collection of photos! I love how well you captured the vintage atmosphere of this city. I had a brief visit to Ipoh last year on the way to Cameroon Highlands so didn’t really have time to explore it. But I already plan to re-visit Ipoh since I found an eatery that serve one of the most delicious chicken rice I’ve ever tasted. It is indeed a city with nostalgia and melancholy feel all over the place 🙂

    • Thanks so much for the kind words, Debbie! So interesting that you felt it too! I think the vibe sets Ipoh apart—although I haven’t travelled to as many Malaysian cities as I’d like to (yet). Was the chicken served with sprouts? It’s a local specialty—delicious!

  2. Paulina Klimkiewicz

    I love all the colors popping out in your images! You captured the place quite well! I’ve never heard of Ipoh before so now im intrigued.

  3. Amy @ Family Globetrotters

    I am so embarrassed to say that despite being born and bred in KL, I have never been to Ipoh. I know, I know! And I know there is also so much to EAT!!!! Love the peranakan photos and how I feel like it was KL 20 years ago. I might just make an eating trip when I am back in Malaysia.

  4. Deeptha

    What a wonderful selection of photos! I love the street art ones. Street art is often overlooked by many visitors but I feel it is an important part of a city’s culture. I also liked your capture of the windows. So beautiful! You have managed to capture Ipoh nicely.

  5. Cath @possesstheworld.com

    A gorgeous collection of photos, I have not visited Malaysia but feel that we really should make time for a quick trip. I especially like the street art in your collection, the kids are so cute in that particular photo. Thanks for sharing

    • Thanks, Cath! You should definitely find time to go to Malaysia—it’s such an interesting and diverse country. And the street art is wonderful!

  6. I just stumbled upon your blog and absolutely love your photos and articles! I was able to visit Malaysia last summer and couldn’t get enough of the street art. Looking forward to reading more of your posts.

    • Thanks for the kind words! Malaysia is such an underrated country! The street art there is definitely a favourite of mine, too.

      Thanks Oriana!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *