How to spend 24 hours in Ipoh, Malaysia


8am: Wake up
You'll want to make an early start in order to make the most of your time in the city. After waking up at Ban Loong Hotel, make sure you're ready to be out of the door for 9am. Nice and central, Ban Loong is spotlessly clean with incredibly helpful and friendly staff. The rooms come with air conditioning and free WIFI. It's a great option if you're on a budget as a private double room with a private bathroom was priced at around £35 per room.



9am: Breakfast at Plan B
We always opted for a western breakfast throughout our Malaysia trip. Luckily the cities we visited had cute cafes that wouldn't look out of place in Shoreditch. Drinks and food isn't cheap at Plan B but if you're eating street food in the evenings then you can afford to splash out. The bar/cafe has a great wine list, something we found was unusual in Malaysia. The menu is a hybrid of American-inspired dishes such as hotdogs, loaded fries and burgers. You'll also find Asian themed dishes if this is what tickles your fancy. The cafe is located inside a market which have some lovely stalls dotted around.



10.30am: Take a stroll around the street art
Just like Georgetown in Penang, Ipoh is full of street art by Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic. Download a map on your phone whilst you have WIFI and it's fun to spend an hour wandering and soaking up the city. They're all pretty close to each other and watch up for the crowds. Everyone loves street art!



11.30: Take a stroll down Concubine Lane
Concubine Lane is said to be where rich men hid their mistresses from their wives. Now it's a bustling street of pop-up stalls, food vendors and little boutiques. It is a bit hectic but that's part of its charm. I highly recommend it for some cheap sunglasses if you lose yours! Grab some street food from the stalls if you're feeling peckish. The street food is out of this world in Malaysia.



12:30pm: Look at the colonial architecture
Malaysia was colonised by the British and as a result the country is full off typical colonial architecture. Ipoh is no different. One of the most famous buildings in the city is the train station. Designed by British architect Arthur Hubbard, the main behind Kuala Lumpur train station, it's a stunning building. We sat for a while on the bench outside and people watched. Other buildings to keep an eye out for include the town hall and clock tower. Also look out for the state mosque which is a incredible example of Islamic architecture. The call to prayer will give you goosebumps.




2pm: Sam Poh Tong temple
Sam Poh Tong is located about a 10-12 minute drive outside the city. We had a car but you can easily get a taxi, they're pretty cheap in Ipoh. Make sure you download Grab which is their version of Uber. This Chinese temple is built within limestone caves and is quite a site to behold. If you can hack a steep climb of 246 steps to the cave opening, you'll be rewarded with a view of Ipoh and the surrounding areas. The peaceful gardens were my favourite part. We got an ice cream and sat on the benches soaking up the surroundings and the atmosphere.




2.45pm: Buddhist temple
About a five minute walk from Sam Poh Tong is a Bhutanese Buddhist temple. I have no idea what it was called as I can't seem to find it on Google. We just stumbled across it and it was great! We were kindly given a tour by a women who was looking after the temple. She armed up with leaflets and despite the language barrier tried to teach us all about it. She was a very enthusiastic photo taker!

3.30pm: Head back to the city for some coffee
Ipoh is famous for its coffee. I'm not a fan but my boyfriend fell in love with it and bought some home with him as a souvenir. Ipoh coffee is very sweet so perfect for those who aren't too keen on the bitter taste. The city is full of hipster coffee shops so just pick one that tickles your fancy. You can't go wrong!

4.30pm: Head back to the hotel to have a shower and get ready for the evening.
The weather in February was ridiculously hot as we constantly felt sticky. A shower before you head out for the evening was always welcomed! So was a nap if we could fit in it... The heat makes you so tired!



6pm: Try local delicacies for dinner at Tong Sui Kai
Special thanks to Michelle for giving me the heads up on these hawker stalls. Order a grab and give them the street name of Jin Sultan Ekram. It can be quite overwhelming when you see the sheer amount of stalls on offer but always go to the one with a decent sized queue. It means that it will be tasty! I couldn't tell you what stalls I visited only that it was some of the best food we ate in Malaysia. I'm still dreaming about those noodles!

8pm: The city is yours! We went bar hopping then headed back to the hotel to grab some beauty sleep before leaving the next day.
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What to wear in between seasons



Outfit:
Cotton red and white striped shirt dress: Zara (similar)
Light wash denim jacket: Primark (similar)
Silver three strap sliders: Birkenstocks
Grey cross over bag: Marc Jacobs (similar)

What is this weather eh? I always find it so tricky to dress for this type of weather. I'm also so over wearing jeans by the time the summer months roll around as I've been wearing them all throughout the winter. But thanks to the rain, its always a little bit chilly! My solution? A midi dress with sleeves and a pair of Birkenstocks. My feet always get pretty hot on the tube - TMI maybe? So my Birks always keep my feet cool. I keep a denim jacket on me in then morning as it's always pretty chilly at the time I start my commute. It's folds up - who am I kidding, scrunches up - pretty small so is easy to keep in my rucksack. A cotton dress keeps you cool and yet also dries out pretty quickly if you get caught in the summer rain. Which happens almost daily in England!

As soon as the weather becomes above freezing I seem to live in my Birkenstock sandals. They're so comfy, the perfect shoe when you're on your feet all day. Due to this obsession they sadly rarely make it past one season. In fact I had to chuck my very well worn black ones last summer in Mallorca because they literally fell apart on my feet. RIP. But Birks can be pretty expensive so I always try to hunt around for a bargain. TK Maxx always have a great selection online and in store. Alternatively check out Love The Sales as their Birkenstock sale* is pretty decent too.






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#52 recipes: number 11-15


I feel like I'm on a roll now with my recipe challenge and really am enjoying it. I'm still not pushing myself too far out of my comfort zone but I am trying lots of different cuisines. I really want to try my hand at making different types of bread. I just need a weekend free - it's been pretty hectic of late!


Spiced cherry tomato pasta from Simple
If done well, you can't go wrong with a simple tomato pasta sauce. This was slow cooked which really helped to add to the flavours. It was really easy to do and was pure comfort food. It's one that is best to wait until British tomatoes are in season as they can sometimes taste a bit watery if not.  I'm not quite sure if this tomato sauce is 'the one' though. I'm still looking for my perfect recipe!


Mange tout and baby sweetcorn Laksa from Veggie Lean in 15
We ate a lot of laksa in Malaysia and this recipe really didn't do much for us at all. It was a really simplified recipe and I think perhaps Laksa is one that should be done right and authentically in order for it to taste amazing. There can be no shortcuts! It didn't really have much flavour and tasted quite bland. In fact I wasn't too impressed with this cookbook again and think it might be one for the charity shop.


Gorganzola, sage and walnut tagliatelle by Rachel Roddy
I'm a frequent reader of Rachel's column in the Guardian and this pasta dish is the first thing I've attempted from it. It definitely won't be the last. I used it with some spring onion tagliatelle that had been sitting in the larder from a spontaneous trip to the Aldi middle aisle. I adored the salty richness the gorgonzola added to the dish and the crunch of the walnuts. It's not a combination I would ever have thought up myself but it all worked so well together. I'd definitely try it again! But next time I'd add a bit more cheese.


Lemon and buttermilk pound cake by Diana Henry
This is the best lemon cake I've ever made. It was so moist and the lemon flavour was out of this world. Exactly how a lemon cake should be! It was really simple to make and just confirmed to me how much I love anything Diana Henry does. I think I'd happily just cook her recipes for the rest of my life.


Spiced apple cake from Simple
This smelt and tasted exactly like Christmas thanks to the cinnamon. I think this is the best Ottolenghi bake I've done so far and it' s such a crowd pleaser. Make sure you use a big cake tin as it rises a far bit. The first time it spilled all over the oven, This is a cake I can see myself making time and time again.
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A Essex based lifestyle blogger who lives a champagne life on a lemonade purse!

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