The long weekend is always inviting you to pack your travel bags and head to some place away from home. And talk about impulsive travelling, that was what we did. A ended up booking a hotel room in Ipoh, the capital city of the state of Perak in West Malaysia. And it was quite rainy hence it was decided we take the train from KL (ETS) and come back by bus. The train journey was a good one, about 250km covered in about 2.5 hrs, quite fast. We took the “silver” train which would halt at a few more stops than the “gold” one and cost lesser than the “gold”. You can check out the schedules here.
We took the 11 am train and reached at around 1.30 pm at Ipoh, taxis from the Majestic Railway station are available to ferry you to the city hotels. There is no meter system, you will need to fix a rate before you get into the taxi – but from the railway station it is a fixed fare to the city – RM 15. The hotel was approximately 3 km from the station, a fairly ok hotel, needs a little bit of renovation. After checking-in we headed to the nearby mall for some food, and by the time we finished it was raining heavily. But we managed to get back, not soaking wet, slightly wet hehe. Ipoh is a sleepy town, and since it was the long weekend was a bit deserted. Very neat and clean though, you wouldn’t find any public transport on the roads although there are bus stations in different parts of the city. After a quick nap in the afternoon we headed to the railway station again, just to get a few pictures and also walk around that area to have a glimpse of the buildings/icons of historical significance. Opposite the railway station, you have the Town Hall, the High Court (Mahkamah Tinggi) – these have been very well maintained and we simply love such historic spots.
You could check out the musical fountain near the railway station, the Kinta Riverwalk a short distance away from here (sorry did not click any pics). After a quick dinner at Little India (yes we manage to find one everywhere we go lol) we reached the hotel to sleep early. On the way back, we noticed the night market as well…
For the second day, we decided to head to Cameron Highlands on a day trip, about 90km from Ipoh, situated in the neighbouring state of Pahang. You can board the bus from Medan Kidd at Ipoh, about 500 m from the Majestic Railway Station, they have about 4 trips – 8 am, 11 am and so on, it cost us about RM 20 per pax. Though the distance between the 2 places is less, it took a full 3 hours for us to reach thanks to the winding roads! So even if you are not prone to motion sickness, keep a plastic bag or a paper bag ready. S threw up both during onward and return journey! We reached at around 1.45pm to Cameron Highlands – as the name suggests, it is a hill station and it was the beginning of the monsoon season, so we were welcomed with light showers (which happened to get worse during the rest of the afternoon)
You can finish touring the entire hill station in a day – that was what we did!! There are strawberry farms, vegetable farms, fruit farms, bee farms, tea estates, butterfly and insect farms for us to see. We managed to cover everything thanks to a tour package we opted for at the bus stand – it cost us about RM 25 per person for the 4 hr tour. (CH was totally unplanned, so was the entire trip so we did minimal research on the places). Leaving you with some pics of CH.
The Tea estate is so huge, the guide told us they were manufacturing several million cups of tea a day. The Malaysian tea manufacturer Boh had estates there in CH and was established early 19th century, since there is no winter, there is production all year round. We sipped into a cup of Lemon Ginger tea at the estate tea shop, heavenly…
The next day we had our bus at 1.30 pm so in the morning so we headed to the Post Office and Town Hall in the morning after breakfast at the hotel. The reason why we headed to the Post Office was – the next king of Perak state was going to be crowned on the 6th of May and His Excellency had released some commemorative stamps for the occasion and we wanted to grab them all!!! Unfortunately, the stamps would be available only on the 7th of May, the day after the coronation, so we just picked up some other stamps from the PO. The town hall located opposite the railway station was holding an exhibition of sorts to coincide with the coronation – a video cum pictorial display of His Excellency’s life story, right from birth and it was quite informative.
We also stopped by the Birch Clock Tower for a few moments and with this we wrapped up the trip, headed back to the hotel, picked our bags and checked out.
From there we headed to the Amanjaya Bus Station, about 15 km from the city which has buses to all locations in Malaysia – Penang, KL, Taiping etc and some to Singapore, Thailand as well… So.. dream on!
Yet another place visited in Malaysia!
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