Ipoh, despite its small size, is still Perak’s spiritual heart. It is home to almost 30 temples skilfully built inside the town’s many magnificent limestone caves, each boasting its own unique architectural features and landscapes.
But unless you have plenty of time to spare, visiting all of them in a trip would be near impossible, let alone taxing. So, I suggest starting with the Perak Tong Cave Temple.
This is arguably the most popular temple, and deservingly so. The soaring 15m-tall Buddha statue is truly a sight to behold, amid the elaborately painted prayer hall set against the dramatic mineral formations within the cave.
My favourite part of the temple is the pocket of green space and double-storey pavilion situated behind the main altar. To reach here, you have to ascend about 450 well-maintained, albeit steep steps that takes around 30 minutes depending on your fitness level. Believe me, the climb is worth it.
At the top, find a quiet spot and bask in the beautiful views of the valley.
Plan your visit in the early morning so the heat and humidity won’t get the best of you. Besides, the townscape looks especially impressive under the glistening morning light.