"The City of Millionaires" Ipoh by Chuckaziz

Ipoh Travel Guide: 268 reviews and 879 photos


Ipoh is the capital of the State of Perak and was once the tin mining capital of Malaysia. The name Ipoh originated from a poisonous sap producing tree (Antiaris Toxicarial) or locally known as pokok ipoh, upas or epu. The tree sap is used by the Orang Asli or the indigenous people to lace the blow darts with poison.

At the heydays of the tin mining era, Ipoh as well as the surrounding Kinta Valley used to be the hinterland for the British Empire in suppling tin ore to the world. Her early days too saw many tin tycoons residing in the city and it was referred to as “City of Millionaires”. Ipoh is located 200km north of Kuala Lumpur and was founded in 1893 by Sir Frank Swettenham, a British colonial resident. Charms of the colonial era is visible in certain part of the city as the streets are dotted with pre-war buildings. Some of these buildings have seen better days but a number have been restored to their past glory. With the ending of the tin mining era it is today a sleepy hollow. But that will not be for too long because a new double track railway system is in place and soon there will be a fast electric train service to Kuala Lumpur on a regular interval. From what was told the service will only take 1 ½ hours to the capital of Malaysia and will one day transform Ipoh into another satellite city of KL.

The Taj Mahal of Ipoh

The Ipoh Railway Station is a colonial-style structure built in 1917 based on the design by AB Hubback who also designed the Kuala Lumpur Railway Station. Also fondly called the Taj Mahal of Ipoh, this best known landmark in the city, also houses the Majestic Hotel (previously known as the Station Hotel Ipoh). The station is said to be the second concrete building constructed in Ipoh after the Town Hall situated across it which was constructed in 1916. In fact the railwaysystem in the early days was built by the British to serve the thriving tin mining industry. As part of the electrified double tracking project undertaken by the Federal Government, the station has been refurbished and is expected to handle higher number of passengers once the fast electric train service to Kuala Lumpur is introduced.

The Inside Job

The ticketing/passenger lounge of the Ipoh Railway Station is seen here spotting ultra shining floor. This new look interior is part of the transformation process of the station to cater for new services that are soon to be introduced, particularly the inter-city services.

  • Intro Updated Oct 5, 2010
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