We overnighted in Ipoh last Tuesday in order to break the 6 hour drive to Royal Belum National Park. We have been to Ipoh many times for food and to see the temples but this time, by staying in the Old Town area, we had a completed different experience – one of a contemporary cafe culture emerging from amongst beautiful English Heritage buildings.
At the centre of this overall contemporary makeover was our hotel, the Sekeping Kong Heng. All effort has been made to preserve as much of the character of the existing 3 storey building as possible. As such the rooms are built such that they interfere as little as possible with the building. This means a bizarre, but much adored by us, construction of the rooms and facilities.
You stay at the Sekeping Kong Heng to be immersed into Ipoh, it’s sounds, it’s smells and its culture. The experience is best described when you are woken up at 5:30am by the famous coffee shop on the ground floor as it sets up to prepare for its breakfast onslaught. For the next few hours you drift in and out of sleep picking up the smells of great coffee and local dishes being cooked and the sounds and voices of locals coming in for their morning breakfast.
Unfortunately most of the new contemporary cafes did not open until 10am and we had to get going before then. So we also called back into Ipoh on the way home Friday and had a coffee and crepe in one of the cafes off the back of our hotel.
Although the must do’s in Ipoh are it’s traditional foods this new emerging cafe scene is also a new must do, not just for the juxtaposition with the traditional but also for great coffee and cake.