By Chris Teh
We have heard the lament many times over that Ipoh is dead at night but the truth is that Ipoh is buzzing and the night scene is quite active in many areas. In this issue, Ipoh Echo went in search of these places, from fun activities for families and individuals to attractive exteriors that light up the dark and of course, food!
If boredom kicks in from sitting at home or tension arises after work, here are a few places that provide a good way to immerse oneself in entertainment and activities to kick back, chill awhile, put the mind off priorities and enjoy what Ipoh has to offer.
Lost World of Tambun
Head there for their hot springs. What better way to unwind all the work stress or boredom of housework? More to that, there is also the Luminous Forest. Admire their colourful, intricate lighting and the mythical aura that is guaranteed to amaze.
Meru Raya Roundabout
The humongous roundabout? Yes, that’s the one! Opened to the public circa November 2016, the roundabout cum recreational park houses a children’s playground, an
amphitheatre, a skate park and of course, tons of space to walk around. Go to the park for a slow-paced peace stroll. Furthermore, there are kids’ rides, trishaws and electric bikes for rent. The place is perfect for family recreation.
Pick the nearest mall and go on a movie date at MBO, GSC or TGV Cinemas. More parking is available at the malls late at night. Quoting a movie buff, “I prefer watching horror movies at night,” said Jo Lynn Chong. “The scary moments in the film are more intensified.”
Sing the night away and belt out vocals at Enco Karaoke, K Box Karaoke and The Voice Karaoke.
Fancy some exercise during the night? Head to Ipoh Parade Ampang Superbowl or Ipoh Bowl Kinta City. Both are bustling with people after 9pm.
A night in Ipoh entails night markets as well. After 5pm daily, expect to see a huge crowd walking around.
Local foods such as popiah (spring roll), char kueh kak (fried radish/rice cake), muah chee (glutinous rice dough topped with fine peanuts), aiskrim potong (ice cream with local ingredients like red beans, cendol (Malay green rice jelly) and black glutinous rice) and sugar cane juice stalls and many others are common sights in night markets.
Not to mention seafood and vegetable stalls, there are also stalls which offer a wide variety of clothes and accessories.
The Gerbang Malam is worth a mention too. The flea market in town (road facing Lou Wong Bean Sprout Chicken and Yee Hup Enterprise) selling clothes, accessories, digital gadgets, and many more is open for business from 6pm to 12am daily (1am on weekends). Peak hours usually start from 8pm onwards and the crowd is hard to miss.
At the Gerbang Malam stretch where Purple Cane Tea House is situated, explore the gadget street (also known as Jalan Mustapha Al-Bakri). The booming music and bargains from loud hailers can be heard from afar.
Silver Star Theatre
Go to the Silver Star Theatre in Kampung Simee. The theatre turned multipurpose hall has been around for at least 50 years. If one happens to pass by the traffic light crossroad between Jalan Kompleks Sukan and Lebuh Raya 3 (leading to Simee Wet Market), its vividly lit setting at night is hard not to notice due to the dangling lights from the building to the trees. The place is perfect for any kinds of photos, Instagram-worthy ones to say the least.
Late Night Eats
Craving for supper? No worries, we’ve got you covered. Despite the quiet setting in town at night, some of these eateries are open till late hours.
Hangout Restaurant and Café
Started around October 2018, the container-themed open-air Hangout Restaurant and Café also features a brightly lit environment. It is located on the left corner from Gerbang Malam’s main entrance.
Konda Kondi Café
With ‘good food for good friends’ as its motto, the café which has been open since 2014 offers halal Mexican food. The cafe was previously featured in October 1, 2015 (issue 221).
An increasing trend in Ipoh, food trucks have been patronised by the younger generation today. Being part of the Silver State Food Truck (SSFT), a community of Perak’s Entrepreneurs of Food Truck Association (PEFTA) utilising the concept of mobile food stalls as a daily business medium, the food trucks are located at various parts of Ipoh, such as Station 18 (near Tesco) and in town area itself. They were previously featured in November 1, 2015 (issue 223) and May 1, 2016 (issue 234).
Food Truck Garden
Wanting to appeal to more visitors in a wider area, the Food Truck Garden (FTG) was created in 2016. Relocated to the side of Meru Raya Roundabout in 2017, FTG previously started operating at People of Remarkable Talent (P.O.R.T.) Ipoh.
SSFT which consists of more than 60 food truckers from all over Perak still operates at parts of town to their choice to keep up with the concept of moving around daily.
“FTG is an initiative by the SSFT community to gather food truckers and operate together from time to time,” said Hadi Hafiz, co-owner of The Hut, one of the many food trucks. “This is also to let food truck owners within the community to come and operate at any time they can in order to fill up their free schedule of moving around.”
Rasa Fantasi Enterprise
Satay in an indoor environment? Rasa Fantasi is perhaps the first of few shops in Ipoh to offer a cosy environment to enjoy satay! It is strategically located beside Gerbang Malam at Jalan Theatre (next to Pak Kong Chicken Rice) and has started operation since February this year.
“We would like to appeal to Gerbang Malam customers apart from offering satay in air-conditioned comfort,” said Siew Kit, operator of Rasa Fantasi Enterprise. “Given the location and nature of our food offered, we are halal-certified.”
Grilled to just enough chewiness, their satay is a not-to-be-missed delight. The shop offers chicken, beef, lamb and beef innard satays. All are equally as flavourful.
Apart from satay, they also offer sour and spicy fish hotpot and nasi lemak, among many others. Besides that, their special beverage ‘sampah’ is worth ordering. Don’t be tricked by the name; it is actually iced lemon tea with preserved plum, thus a good beverage to whet the appetite.
Rasa Fantasi’s highlight is perhaps the chance to spin the wheel. Eat up to 40 sticks of satay in a single receipt to earn a chance of spinning for either a 10% discount voucher, a free drink, five free pieces of satay from the four variants or 15% discount on the meal.
With the rainy season in Ipoh recently, hotpot as panacea not only to the hungry stomach but also the cool weather is a must-have.
Red Inn Hotpot located at Old Town is a definite go-to for foodies and for Instagram worthy photos. Their interior and decorations are inspired by memories of Ancient China. Despite the lack of signboards, there are two lanterns hanging on the entrance and a Chinese flag to identify the shop. More details can be found at SeeFoon’s ‘Musings’ column in February 16, 2019 (issue 298).
Dragon House Hotpot is another shop worth trying. Started earlier this year in March, the shop is perfect for those who crave late-night hotpot. Go to their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/dragonhousehotpot for more information.
Trainers, new or returning, look this way! Ipoh is definitely the place to search for Pokémon to catch at night. With the abundant amounts of Pokéstops in town, Pokémon spawns are a bliss too. Top it with incense or equip those Pokéstops with lures to attract more Pokémon onto the scene. With the festive season around the corner, there is an absolute reason to go out there and catch them, whilst exploring the whole town area and what it can offer.
Of the aforementioned places, Lost World of Tambun houses more than 20 Pokéstops and Gyms. It is one of the highest spawning areas of Pokémon in Ipoh and is definitely a Pokémon Go paradise. Clefairy, a Fairy-type Pokémon and Machop, a Fighting-type Pokemon are usual spawns.
Amanjaya Roundabout contains three Pokéstops and a Gym. Pokémon spawns are varied; some parks are ‘nests’, where certain species of Pokémon spawns in higher amounts. Nests change usually every fortnight. Amanjaya Roundabout is currently a nest to Snivy, the Grass-type fifth-generation starter Pokémon.
The whole area of Gerbang Malam contains six Pokéstops. While browsing the flea market, there are definitely Pokémon waiting to be caught.
Old Town area (ranging from Tin Alley to RHB Bank) contains 10 Pokéstops and two gyms. These Pokéstops are mostly located at murals and landmarks, so as to complement the rich historical elements. From the KTM train station park leading to Old Town White Coffee and Ipoh Padang (including Birch Memorial Clock Tower area), there are 15 Pokéstops and three gyms.
It is equally as important to keep personal safety a top priority when in town catching Pokémon at night.
The KTM train station park used to be very active till the late hours of midnight but has seen much lesser people due to declining popularity among Ipohites.
The same goes for Kinta Riverwalk. The trees are no longer lit up with decorative lights and literally, no one goes there today. There are five Pokéstops and a gym at the LIONS International Bridge in the riverwalk.
On another note, most Mamak shops are open 24 hours so they are also supper options.
Pusat Kafe Carnival
Craving for wonton noodles at midnight? Head to Pusat Kafe Carnival along Jalan Chung Thye Phin which is just a little ahead from SMJK Ave Maria Convent Ipoh (next to Salim Fish Head Curry). The shop which has been operating for 16 years offers delectable wonton noodles that is worth going to should one stay up late or work the night shift. Their crunchy fried wontons are also a must-order.
Jalan Medan Ipoh
Previously featured on the cover story in May 16, 2019 (issue 304), the street becomes alive with people from 7pm onwards. Stalls from tenants Pusat Makan Metro Ipoh and Kafe WK Garden East offer a wide variety of street food such as fried chicken wings, satay and ikan bakar (grilled fish) among others.
MIX Snack Shop
Satisfy late-night cravings for snacks at MIX. The snack-shop chain which opened its branch at Ipoh in 2016 offers a wide range of imported snacks from Thailand, China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan. Local brands are also sold.
To conclude, there may be places yet to be discovered. For now, look into these places and enjoy the night.
- Addresses & Operation Hours
- Meru Raya Roundabout: Jln Meru Bestari A14, 31200 Ipoh
- Night Markets (from around 5pm to 10pm)
- Gunung Rapat Night Market: Selasar Rokam 11, Taman Ipoh Jaya, 31350 Ipoh
- Ipoh Garden East Night Market: Jalan Medan Ipoh 6, Taman Ipoh Timur, 31400 Ipoh
- SPPK Night Market: Jalan Pegoh & Persiaran Pegoh 2, Taman Pengkalan Jaya, 31650 Ipoh
- First Garden Night Market: Lorong Taman 11, Taman Pertama, 30100 Ipoh
- Silver Star Theatre: Laluan Simee 3, Kampung Simee, 31400 Ipoh
- Hangout Restaurant and Café: 145 & 147, Jalan Sultan Idris Shah, 30000 Ipoh (Sunday-Thursday: 6pm-12am) (Friday & Saturday: 6pm-1am)
- Konda Kondi Café: 183, Jalan Sultan Idris Shah, 30000 Ipoh (Wednesday-Monday: 5pm-12am) (Closed on Tuesdays)
- Food Truck Garden: Jln Meru Bestari A8, 31200 Ipoh (Wednesday-Monday: 7pm-1am) (Closed on Tuesdays)
- Rasa Fantasi Enterprise: 33, Jalan Theatre, 30300 Ipoh (4pm-2am daily)
- Red Inn Hotpot : 124, Jalan Sultan Yussuf, 30000 Ipoh (Wednesday-Saturday: 12pm-2pm; 6pm-2am, Sunday: 5pm-2am) (Closed on Mondays & Tuesdays)
- Dragon House Hotpot: 22, Jalan Ali Pitchay, 30250 Ipoh (6pm-3am daily including public holidays)
- Pusat Kafe Carnival: 29, Jalan Chung Thye Phin, 30250 Ipoh (10pm-4am; off-day notification a day or two prior via shop front)
- MIX Snack Shop: 15, Jalan Mustapha Al-Bakri, 30300 Ipoh (9am-1am daily)