Is Ipoh boring or is it all in the mind?


By Mariam Mokhtar

Would you live anywhere but in Ipoh? Would you swap Ipoh for the skyscrapers and shopping malls of Kuala Lumpur? Would you mind that journeys take ten times as long in Kuala Lumpur?

Many of our young people have decided to seek their fortune in bigger cities like Penang, Kuala Lumpur and Malacca. Others who left to study did not return and are now in Singapore or beyond.

Ask anyone why they left and the reasons are the same. There is nothing in Ipoh. No jobs. No opportunities. Nothing to do after work. There is nowhere to go to at the weekends. It is boring.

Work and Leisure Balance in Ipoh

But are they right? As far as most of us can see, we have most things that we need here in Ipoh. Many of us have chosen to live here because Ipoh does give us the work-life balance that most of the bigger cities may not provide.

Ipoh is cheaper and who says there is nothing to do here?

We may not have the beach at our doorstep as in Penang, but Lumut and Pangkor Island are both a short drive from Ipoh.

We have our rivers for adventures; our hill resorts and our jungles for more active recreation.

Cultural Delights Aplenty

Those who think we lack more cultural pursuits have not searched hard enough.

The Perak Performing Arts Festival has a variety of activities lined up for Ipohites.

First, we were entertained by the German Youth Choir in June and the Kinta Valley Wind Orchestra has a programme in July, called Around the World in 80 Minutes. There is the Perak Dance Festival which has activities lined up on two days in July. Lovers can be serenaded with a variety of romantic songs in an ‘International Ensemble’, in August. Later, in September, Perak’s top marching bands will display their skills.

Reading Pleasures

For those who like books and reading, we also have ‘Northern Writers’ where writers from various disciplines; playwrights, scriptwriters and poets read to an audience and later, have an exchange of ideas with the assembled crowd.

The avid reader can follow his interest and develop his hobby or craft, in any way he pleases – be it for pleasure or for more serious pursuits. The venue is in Garden Villa in Jalan Gopeng. No experience is necessary, only an interest in books and reading.

Learn Public Speaking

People who feel that they would like to improve their public-speaking have ample opportunity at one of two venues; the YMCA Ipoh Toastmasters Club in Jalan Anderson and the Ipoh Toastmasters Club in Jalan Chung Thye Phin.

Friends who have been to the Toastmasters Club say that they have renewed confidence and are better able to engage with others when in group discussions at school or at work. A few said they managed to overcome their shyness after going to a few of these sessions. And some say that they have managed to improve their career prospects whilst one lucky man, said that after going to Toastmasters International, he met his wife, after he plucked up the courage to speak to her. Perhaps Toastmasters did not envisage matchmaking to be one of its aims.

Look Again

Ipoh may not have the gleaming skyscrapers of glass and concrete, or endless miles of clogged-up roads.

It is true that our kids are so used to the electronic nanny that they do not know how to interact with humans. Many would prefer to be entertained by computer games. Others would prefer to watch a film rather than read the book with the same title. And the handphone has made conversation a dying art. Text messaging means children cannot spell properly and isn’t it sad when two people in a queue talk into the handphone instead of to each other?

So to the person who says that Ipoh is boring, we say, look again. If you search properly and are not afraid to ask around, you will find almost everything you want.

If you can’t find what you want, why not gather a few of your friends together and start a club to pursue your interest.

Ipoh boring? Never.

10 thoughts on “Is Ipoh boring or is it all in the mind?

  1. I had a short stint in Ipoh in the 70’s and 80’s but most of my working days were in KL. Almost 25 years there. Upon retirement I quickly make dash to Ipoh. The limestone hills welcomed me. I am closer to my kampung, moving from point to another is a breeze, life seems to be simpler. You can be just as bored staying in KL. Its a choice.

  2. For one who has lived in KL before….I must agree with Celine Lee. Ipoh is a great place to live. If it gets a little boring..we can always hop onto the ETS to KL or make a trip up to Cameron, Penang or anywhere else.

  3. Welcome to Ipoh.Patrick. You come on the right time in August,our nation independence day
    in the end of the month and the Muslim is celebrating their New Year too!
    But today in KL, their are some groups and opposition parties trying to give our nation a bad image.
    Luckily our police did a good job and was calm down in the evening. Anyway, Malaysia is the best
    country to visit,especially Ipoh.

  4. When I first visited KL in the early 1980’s there had been plenty green, now its removed for high rises and shopping malls in contrast to Ipoh it still maintains its greenery and makes it a far more pleasant place to spend the time. Looking forward to my stay in Ipoh during August. Ipoh – INternational Place Of Hospitality.

  5. With a population of just over 700,000 and protected by surrounding limestone hills, Ipoh is an ideal city.It has many thriving commercial areas, excellent medical facilities,at least two public parks of good standing,and most importantly, it offers an affordable living.In short, Ipoh is a prime candidate for the title as the most livable city in Malaysia.Let us make this happen and uplift Ipoh as a world class city.Towards this end,Ipoh requires a transformation in public transport.An MRT system for Ipoh is a must just as an upgrade in other transport services.I could already imagine a tram running in the middle of Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah.A good public transport means less cars on the road thereby making it safer for the public.Let us light up our streets at night so that our children are safe.All major landmark and iconic buildings like the Railway Station,Town Hall etc should be lighted up just as in many world class cities.Ipoh can indeed be a boon to night photography.Let us clean our streets.Do not accept lame excuses that Ipoh cannot be any cleaner than it was before.Let create a niche for the city.Ipoh can be known as a center for performing arts or for pottery and bonsai, and many others.Since our MB Zambri is a man of swift action,let us hope he can deliver Ipoh as it should be in good time.

  6. You have to seek what you are really interested that you will find in IPOH. I found a plenty! Limestone hills, bean sprouts, sar hor fun, pomelos, groundnuts, chicken rice, sight seeing, numerous temples, heritage buildings, fun clubs, beer joins, what are U seeking? Ipoh is never bored, I am Ipoh born, left Ipoh for nearly 35years. I know I can never live anywhere except Ipoh, now I am back for good. Seek and U shall find!

  7. Ipoh is unique and has its own culture compares to other cities in Malaysia. It’s never boring but just moving on with life in a slow and calmly manner. And that’s exactly what we need!

  8. As an Ipohan, I totally agree. Ipoh is never boring. It is well balanced and that’s quality life.

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