Ipoh Travel Guide, Malaysia
IPOH, MALAYSIA -OVERVIEW
The capital of the state of Perak in Malaysia is the city of Ipoh. The flourishing tin industry around the city gave it the name 'The Town Built on Tin'. The booming fortune of its inhabitants during the days of tin mining gave it also the name 'City of Millionaires'.
The local tree 'pohon epu' has given the city its name. The city is located in the valley of Kinta river, abundant in tin. Ipoh is largely segmented into Old Town and New Town on either side of the Kinta River, as well as Green Town beyond New Town. Greentown is the commercial and administrative center of Ipoh.
The city came into existence in the early 18th century, but it became well known in the early 20th century, when a number of British tin mining companies opened their offices here. It became popular as a mining town and started expanding. During World War II, the city came under Japanese control for some days and was declared the capital of Perak. It has remained the capital city of Perak since then.
Ipoh enjoyed the maximum of exposure in the 1950s with a large number of cinema halls, bars and cabarets and an unrivaled nightlife. But the city's image gradually dwindled off around the 1970s when the tin mining businesses started closing down gradually.
Today, Ipoh is regarded as a good place for retirement. Ipoh is known for its clean and clear water supply, the best in Malaysia. The Old Town is the area to visit for viewing pre-World War II buildings and heritage sites. The New Town area is comparatively modern with offices, shopping complexes and residential high rises.
Due to the geological distinctiveness of the region, there are a number of limestone caves around Ipoh. Some of these caves have Chinese temples built inside. This geological feature has also led to Ipoh's food being one of the tastiest in the peninsula. Critics say, the high alkaline water makes the food tastier. Authentic Malay food, Chinese and North Indian food are available here.
Ipoh is known for its 'white coffee', which essentially means roasting the coffee with margarine. This gives the coffee a lighter color compared to the Malaysian 'black coffee', which is produced by using sugar, along with margarine while roasting. Ipoh white coffee is gradually gaining popularity in other parts of Malaysia and abroad too.
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