Our second stop of our Malaysia journey was Ipoh.
It’s so easy to get around Malaysia by train which took us to Ipoh from Kaula Lumpur in around 2 hours – in fully air-conditioned (jumpers are needed) comfort.
Ipoh was just a stop off for us on the way to Penang but has enough to fill a couple of days full of activities.
We ended up staying in a hostel here. Two rooms cost us £19 per night and the place was cool; modern, quiet, with rooftop garden and immaculately clean.
Immediately outside though was a different story, with my son and I jumping broken drains and spending much of our walk to the convenience store in the busy street.
Fortunately our agenda was short for Ipoh; the best of which was the Lost World of Tambun.
This is an amazing theme/water park, surrounded by breathtaking mountains and including natural fresh water springs.
We spent the entire day here, firing down water slides, splashing in the water park, riding roller coasters, exploring the luminescents Forrest and feeding animals in the petting zoo.
The park also highlights the history of the tin mines here with informative models and demonstrations.
Then at night the whole place changes, the rides are switched off and you can relax in the 35° pools and saunas.
Locals start to saunter in at this point; obviously using the hot springs as a socialising activity – collecting in groups as they use the fountains as a massage treatment.
The Natural sauna cave was something I had never experienced before – imagine water just hotter than your bath, in a steam filled underground cave.
The evening ended with awe inspiring (and slightly scary) fire show, with juggling, breathing and dancing beside thumping music.
As a family who have been to some of the best theme parks in the world – this was on par with a day at Disney and the whole day (Inc tickets, food, drink etc) cost under £100)
Our second day was spent milling around old town Ipoh, taking in the street art and food.
There is a huge open Green space where we ran around freely (through the sprinklers) and later joined in some football, and an open market with a bohemian vibe – plus awesome cake.
We also visited Funtasy Land which is a variety of augmented reality murals. (common throughout Malaysia) this was a fun way to spend an hour.
The owner followed us at first to get his own photos (to be sold to us at the end) after a little while of awkward directing from him I made it clear that we would rather explore on our own, he left us alone after that.
With Chinese New Year on the horizon the streets of Ipoh were full of decoration, the combination of this and the warn, traditional buildings, and murals made the old town exciting to stroll around.
There is a buzzing, colourful, central pedestrianised street called Panglima lane, full of countless sellers of gifts, drinks, sweets, etc to amble along, the kids purchased some fire crackers here.
At the end of which we found a simple Chinese restaurant which made choosing a simple process – the options were rice with beef, chicken, or lamb (they were out of the lamb)
Our aim was to get to the Cameron Highlands from here but decided to do it on our return – now on to Penang!