The Guide: Ipoh, Malaysia
Enlarge Image Credit: David Hagerman
Where to Stay
Impiana Hotel Ipoh 18 Jalan Raja Dr Nazrin Shah (60/5/255-5555). Rates: $70 Double. All 200 rooms at the Impiana Ipoh have views of the surrounding limestone hills, and the hotel's central location makes it a good home base for exploring downtown.
Where to Eat
Foh San 51 Jalan Leong Sin Nam (60/5/254-0308). Known for generations as a temple of dim sum in Ipoh, Foh San also does a brisk business in baked goods, including durian- or pandan-flavored lotus paste mooncakes. Must-order items include har gao (shrimp dumplings) and yong tau foo (vegetables stuffed with pounded mackerel).
Sin Yoon Loong 15A, Jalan Bandar Timah. It's said that rich, thick Malaysian white coffee originated here, in the heart of Old Town Ipoh. Also delicious are the custard tarts, crullers, and an array of other foods served by multiple vendors under one roof.
Taman Pakatan Pasar Malam (Night Market) Corner of Hala Berchan Timur and Lorong Bercham. At sundown, snackers descend on this night market to sample foods like lok lok (a Malaysian-Chinese dish of skewered fish and meat served with peanut sauce) and popiah (spring rolls stuffed with squid or shrimp, tofu, peanuts, and jicama).
Min Jiet 92, Jalan Lahat (60/17/534-2386). This coffee shop offers a comforting breakfast of thin hor hee noodles with clear broth and chicken. Customers show up throughout the day to drink rich white coffee thick with sweetened condensed milk or hot milky tea, and to snack on foods sold by a rotating cast of vendors.
Sun Yuan Foong 17 Jalan Bandar Timah. Arrive at this coffee shop at breakfast time for toasted sandwiches of butter and kaya (coconut jam). Come back for lunch, and enjoy one of Ipoh's most iconic dishes, chee cheong fun, in which broad rice noodles are served rolled and topped with chili sauce, pickled peppers, and sesame oil.