Ipoh ranks first in Asia, the most underrated attraction

By Rosli Mansor

Ipoh has been ranked first as the most underrated place to visit in Asia by CNN Travel, said Mayor Datuk Rumaizi Baharin.

He said that the assessment was very meaningful and translated as recognition, in addition to attracting more visitors to Ipoh in conjunction with Visit Ipoh Year 2023.

“Among the 18 locations in Asia that have been evaluated, they are:

  1. Ipoh, Malaysia
  2. Isaan, Thailand
  3. Leshan, China
  4. Skardu, Pakistan
  5. Nikko, Japan
  6. Dalat, Vietnam
  7. Davao, Philippines
  8. Meghalaya, India
  9. Palau Ubin, Singapore
  10. Samosir Island, Indonesia
  11. Pakse, Laos
  12. Bangladesh
  13. Tengchong, China
  14. Gogunsan Islands, South Korea
  15. Lan Ha Bay, Vietnam
  16. Kenting, Taiwan
  17. Banteay Chhmar, Cambodia
  18. Jaffna, Sri Lanka

Rumaizi said this while presiding over the December Full Council Meeting at the MBI Meeting Hall on Thursday.

In the meantime, he said Ipoh and Petaling Jaya were listed as the two areas in the country with the highest number of searches by Malaysians looking for residential properties for sale on the website, between January and November.

He said again, the source of the data was obtained from PropertyGuru Malaysia.

“Search data by leading real estate portals reflects changes in residential property search patterns.

“As of this year, more home buyers and potential investors are now considering selected areas outside the Klang Valley.

“The location tends to offer affordable land houses in a family-friendly environment,” he said.

In 2022, more investors and buyers are considering residential properties in areas outside the Klang Valley. In 2022, three locations that have never been on’s annual list, appeared.

Rumaizi said that 2023 is an interesting year in predicting whether residential properties outside the main cities or popular areas will continue to gain traction among home buyers and investors.

He said, Ipoh unexpectedly emerged as the most popular area this year, thus becoming the second city outside the Klang Valley to have ranked highest in the property search list after Johor Bahru in 2022.

“The capital of Perak is known as a hub for local food, heritage preservation, historic buildings and landmarks, in addition to being directly connected to the North-South Highway.

“Ipoh recorded 1,916 transactions across all types of residential properties last year,” he said.

He added that other areas listed among the top 10 popular search locations in Malaysia are Cheras, Johor Bahru City, Puchong, Kuching, Port Dickson, Mont Kiara, Shah Alam City and Seremban City.

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  1. Mr. mayor, stop the rape of the natural beauty in the whole area.

  2. “Ipoh ranks first in Asia, the most underrated attraction”
    For goodness’ sake, please do not keep on promoting Ipoh as an underrated attraction, cheap good food, this and that….blah..blah.
    Many years back when people like you who didn’t care much on Ipoh, things were cheap and food were also good, cheap and sustainable by all. Then all of a sudden there were reporters keep promoting Ipoh as a place for cheap good food. Subsequent to this, all prices especially for food items jumping up leaps and bounds in Ipoh due to the influx of many outsiders coming here to eat upon reading up all such kind of reports from you all. ….the reporters. My recent trip back to my hometown here already felt it too. Inflation aside…. which also contributed a double whammy to this.
    When I had a chat with my neighbours, they were all complaining that the food prices here are becoming ridiculous and irrational, catching up to KL standard soon. In fact some shops already had their prices on par with KL which I think is ridiculous and irrational given that the salaryman’s paid here were low and stagnant for many years if compared to KL standard. How can they survive with that kind of pricing traders were asking for? In the end, many had to relocate to bigger city like KL or Singapore to cari makan to commensurate with high cost living…..leaving Ipoh as an old man city or worst a ghost town. All this old retirees were not having an easy time too….. hitting hard with the soaring prices. As such Ipoh maybe cannibalize soon. I even discovered at some popular shops they were even selling stuff especially food which were on par with Singapore standard based on my last trip home. This is really disgusting and getting out of hand. Small town living standard but big cosmopolitan city pricing. A deep mismatch!!
    After reading my short but straight hitting article above I hope you can relay the message to the Ipoh Mayor and your fellow reporters not to promote Ipoh unnecessarily without having think back and evaluate the consequences of it. Just keep it status quo and a low key profile of Ipoh are what most Ipoh residents are asking for without much bang and fanfare from influx of outsiders. Thanks!

  3. Hi Kirin, thanks for your comment. As a fellow resident of Ipoh, and as my personal opinion and not the view of IE, I don’t think the increases are due to Ipoh being promoted as a tourist destination. But it’s a consequence of the economy, especially over the last 5+ years. It should also be noted that IE’s simply reporting that it was CNN that rated Ipoh as the #1 underrated attraction. That said, as a matter of pride, I’m glad that for once, we’re not overlooked for Penang.

    That’s not to say that I disagree with your opinion entirely. I’ve personally stopped going to the famous Hainanese chicken area the moment it overtly became a tourist spot years ago, as well as places I used to regularly go and have sentimental attachment to. I’ve also almost entirely stopped eating noodles for several years and just stick to economy rice, which remains the best bang for buck meal you can get.

    Rather than feeling tourists will further inflate food prices, I personally hope that their presence will improve the economy and eventually contribute to salary increments. Although it would mean no longer being able to reasonably afford being a patron at certain popular places anymore.

    Just my own two sen. I’m glad to see you’re passionate about our fair city.

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