Ipoh’s is strategically located between Kuala Lumpur and George Town (Penang Island) and consequently is a key transportation hub. Besides the North–South Expressway (Northern Route E1) that passes through Ipoh, the city is also well served by trains on the West Coast Line. Ipoh can also be reached by plane, boasting its own Sultan Azlan Shah Airport.
In this article we will take a closer look at Ipoh’s transport links.
Ipoh Transport: Roads
Getting to and from Ipoh by road will undoubtedly mean you will travel on the relatively new North–South Expressway E1 (or PLUS Expressway) and/or the older trunk road, Route 1.
The North-South Expressway is the longest highway in Malaysia. It runs the entire length of Peninsular Malaysia from Johor Bahru in the South (border with Singapore) to Bukit Kayu Hitam in the Northern state of Kedah near the border with Thailand. Ipoh forms part of the Northern section of the Expressway referred to as E1.
While the E1 is the fastest and most efficient way to travel to and from Ipoh by road, there are various towns such as Kampar where it is necessary to still use the old Federal Route 1. This trunk road also connects North and South Peninsular Malaysia but is much slower.
Ipoh Transport: Train
Ipoh does not have an intra-city train network like Kuala Lumpur. To travel within the city, you will need to use a bike, car, bus or taxi. Ipoh does however boast a stunning train station – dubbed the ‘Taj Mahal’ of Ipoh by locals – that serves inter-city travel in Peninsular Malaysia very well.
From here you can travel as far North as Pedang Besar in Perlis, that also connects you to the Thailand’s State Railway (Southern Line). If you are travelling South, the service terminates at Gemas – a town and station in the in Tampin District, Negeri Sembilan. This station also connects the East and West Coast lines. There are plans to extend the line all the way to Woodlands, the bordering train station with Singapore but this is currently on hold due to financial and political complications. There are also plans to extend the ETS Northern line to Hat Yai in Thailand.
There are five routes that pass through Ipoh:
KL Sentral – Ipoh
KL Sentral – Ipoh – Butterworth (the station for Penang Island. From here, you get on the ferry to Penang Jetty)
KL Sentral – Ipoh – Padang Besar
Gemas – Padang Besar via KL Sentral and Ipoh
Gemas – Butterworth via KL Sentral and Ipoh
The service is operated by by Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) and you can advance book train tickets https://www.ktmb.com.my/ online.
Ipoh Transport: Bus
Inter-city Bus Travel
The main inter-city bus terminal in Ipoh is in the north of the city. It is called Amanjaya Integrated Bus Terminal, in Bandar Meru Raya. It is located quite far from the centre of Ipoh, unlike the train station that in on the outskirts of the Old Town. Consequently, unless you have access to a private car / pickup from there, you will need to get another local bus or use a taxi / ride hailing services such as Grab.
Ipoh has a bus service called MyBas, operated by Perak Transit. The main bus station, Medan Kidd Bus Station, is just a short walk from Ipoh’s Railway Station. Fares start from as little as RM1.40 and the fare structure is distance-based. For the latest fares and schedules, see http://peraktransit.com.my/routes-2/
Ipoh Transport: Air
Ipoh has its own small airport that largely serves domestic routes. The Sultan Azlan Shah Airport is near Gunung Rapat, just 6km from the city centre. The airport also has international flight to and from Medan, Indonesia and Singapore.
Having good transport links has been integral to Ipoh’s popularity as a tourist destination over recent years. Being Malaysia’s unofficial ‘food capital’ and featuring British colonial-era architecture, Ipoh is a hot holidaymaker destination nowadays. Alongside natural attractions (such as the limestone hills and caves that house Buddhist temples) it also hosts museums, theme parks and places of significant historical interest. IpohGo navigates you through the Ipoh’s fine attractions.