From a millionaire’s town during the heyday of the tin mining industry to a sleepy backwater, and now a popular tourist destination, Ipoh seems to be gaining traction among travellers worldwide, especially since the city featured in Lonely Planet’s top 10 destinations to visit in Asia.
And nowadays a day trip from Kuala Lumpur to Ipoh is perfectly feasible with the Electric Train Service that takes just two hours to get there.
Today, the architectural designs of Ipoh’s unique railway station and the old town hall still draw the crowds.
Ipoh railway station
The Ipoh Railway Station is one of the country’s historical railway stations. It is similar in design to the railway stations in Kuala Lumpur, Seremban and Tanjong Pagar in Singapore.
Situated in the old part of the city, the top floor of the station was once a hotel but it is currently closed and due for renovations.
The current building, which was designed by Arthur Benison Hubback, opened in 1917, and is affectionately known as the Taj Mahal of Ipoh.
Hubback, a British architect and soldier, designed several important buildings in Malaya in his own distinctive style.
Ipoh Town Hall
Ipoh Town Hall is situated opposite the railway station in the old town. It is currently used as a community hall and a space for functions such as weddings.
The town hall was also designed by Hubback, with construction beginning in 1914 and completed in 1916 due to material supply problems caused by World War I.
Other buildings in Ipoh
There are many other interesting buildings, including the pre-war shophouses in the old town centre that make Ipoh well worth a visit.
Khai and wife Amira are Malaysian travel bloggers who blog at Kaki Jalans.
Their travels have taken them to almost all the countries in Asean and five countries in Europe. They are still actively travelling and adding to this list.