By Ili Aqilah
A quick vacation or even just an outing with your family is important. Not only can it strengthen the bond between members but it also will allow you to learn a thing or two about the places you visit. However, with the rising cost of living and the current economy we are facing now, it can be hard to plan for a family holiday. We at Ipoh Echo understand the situation, hence we have prepared a list of affordable family entertainment around Ipoh to help you plan for enjoyable trips with your family!
From caves to parks to street art, there is something for everyone
1. Lang Mountain or Gunung Lang
Located at one of the busiest roads in Ipoh, it is a surprise to experience how quiet and peaceful Lang Mountain is. Also known as Gunung Lang, this mountain may sound as if you need a hike but it is actually one of Ipoh’s best places for a quick picnic with your friends and family. The park is divided into two sections and is located off Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman (formerly known as Kuala Kangsar Road).
Once you enter the main entrance to the mountain, a breathtaking vista greets you with luscious green trees and playgrounds. As you walk further, a boat will be waiting to take you to the main part of Gunung Lang. As it may get busy during weekends, you might need to queue to get in but fret not. To kill time waiting, you can feed the fish at the jetty. You can buy pellets at the counter for only RM1 per pack.
The 10-minute boat ride is also one of the main attractions of Gunung Lang. Filled with captivating views, it is an amazing ride, not to be missed.
The other side of Gunung Lang offers its visitors a park with colourful flowers and a mini zoo. The entire park is surrounded with big shady trees that is perfect for picnics or small gatherings. You can take a walking stroll around the area that is free from the city’s hustle and bustle.
Opening hours: Monday to Thursday: 8am till noon; 1.30pm-7pm Friday: 8am till noon; 2.45pm-4pm Saturday, Sunday and public holiday: 8am till 6.30pm Boat ride fees (return ticket): Adults – RM3; Kids (3-12 years) and Senior Citizens (above 55 years) – RM1.50 Address: Taman Rekreasi Gunung Lang, Off Jalan Kuala Kangsar, 30010 Ipoh. Contact: +605 506 3088 (tel.); +605 253 7396 (fax)
2. Tempurung Cave
Named as of one of the must-visit places in Perak, Tempurung Cave doesn’t need much introduction. Located only 45 minutes away from Ipoh, Tempurung Cave is one of the largest limestone caves in Peninsular Malaysia.
Why go caving? Simply for the experience to see the beauty of untouched nature and enjoy pristine views. Carved through time by water, visitors will get a glimpse of glistening marble along the tour in the cave. Not only will you be fascinated with the unique rock formations, stalagmites and stalactites, be ready to be amused with the patterns and interesting shapes of the rocks.
There are currently four different tours available at Gua Tempurung. The first, called the Golden Flowstone is a 40-minute guided tour and another tour available is the Top of The World Tour, which is slightly more strenuous and may take about 1 hour and 45 minutes. These two are the easiest and suitable for those who want to take caving lightly. The third tour, Top Of The World & Short River Adventure is an exciting tour of 1.2km journey. Starting from the main entrance to the Golden Flowstone, to the Top Of The World and finally down through the underground river that will lead you back to the main entrance. Last but not least is the fourth tour called The Grand Tour, a trip comprising all three tours. The challenging and exciting tour will take you through a complete 1.9km journey all the way from the entrance to Golden Flowstone, to Top of The World with full length underground river until the end of the cave.
This is definitely one of our favourite spots to bring tourists as the experience of caving is truly exciting. Families with small kids or even older parents are all welcome to try.
Tour 1: Golden Flowstone
Duration: 40 minutes
l Adult: RM8
l Children (6-12 years old): RM4
l Senior Citizen: RM4
*Tour starts every half an hour from 9am to 4pm
Tour 2: Top of The World
Duration: 1 hour 45 minutes
l Adult: RM12
l Children (6-12 years old): RM6
l Senior Citizen: RM6
*Tour starts every half an hour from 9am to 3pm
Tour 3: Top of The World & Short River Adventure (minimum 8 adults)
Duration: 2 Hours 30 Minutes
l Adult: RM15
l Children (6-12 years old): RM7.50
l Senior Citizen: RM7.50
*Tour starts every half an hour from 9am to 12 noon
Tour 4: Grand Tour (Minimum 8 Adults)
Duration: 3 Hours 30 Minutes
l Adult: RM30
l Children (6-12 years old): RM15
l Senior Citizen: RM15
*Tour starts every half an hour from 9am to 11am
3. Han Chin Pet Soo, Ho Yan Hor and Mural Hunting
If you are looking for a quick and fun entertainment for the family, may we suggest a trip to the Hakka Tin Miners Club? Now known as Han Chin Pet Soo, the museum has no entrance fee but appointments must be made before entering and donations are welcomed to keep this place running.
Why? Aside from the fact that it is a guided tour, the house was built in 1893! Founded by Towkay Leong Fee, the house used to be a mystery to the public because only club members and their VIP guests were allowed in. The building was rebuilt in 1929 and is across the street from Concubine Lane another favourite tourist haunt. Han Chin Pet Soo museum contains artifacts, collectibles, actual life sized figures dressed in costumes and photographs from the 19th and 20th century.
Located next to Han Chin Pet Soo is the Ho Yan Hor museum, where visitors will get a chance to know more about the first and longest-standing product from Hovid Berhad. The museum was the place where the tea, touted to be a panacea for all ills, was invented and was the original home of the founder, Dr Ho Kai Cheong and his family.
Similar to Han Chin Pet Soo, the building stored many historical artifacts and went under restoration before opening early last year in 2016, and has been receiving flocks of visitors ever since. Guests will get the chance to see some of Dr Ho’s personal items such as his calligraphy set, his paintings and even the original advertisements.
You can also bring your family around Ipoh’s old town and new town for a mural hunt. There are approximately more than 50 murals scattered around Ipoh, painted by locals and also international artist Ernest Zacharevic. Famous mural locations in Ipoh are between Jalan Masjid (Hume Street) and Jalan Sultan Iskandar Shah (Hugh Low Street) where more than twenty murals were painted by the locals and artist, Eric Lai. Another hot spot location for mural hunting is located off Jalan Sultan Pasir Pinji Ipoh where murals are painted by Eric Lai and three of his students.
Artist Ernest Zacharevic’s murals, the Art of Oldtown, are placed at Jalan Bandar Timah, Jalan Bijeh Timah, Concubine Lane, Jalan Tun Sambanthan, Jalan Panglima and Jalan Bandar. All these roads are within walking distance, so it won’t be any trouble finding them all!
The Most Important Time is Family Time
Although it may be tough to take your family out for cheap entertainment these days, we believe that the effort is really what counts. There are many other cheaper options such as visiting the Dream Big World museum located at No.7, Level One, Lorong Panglima (Concubine Lane), 30000 Ipoh (Malaysia’s first model car museum featured in issue 251), a trip to DR Seenivasagam Recreational Park, Lubuk Timah Hot Spring and Waterfall, Lata Kinjang Waterfal, Ulu Chepor, Bandar Seri Botani Eco Park Batu Berangkai Waterfall, (Urban Escape: Ipoh’s Green Lungs, issue 223) and more. Spend as much time as you can with your family as they are the ones that matter the most. Let’s explore!