If you want to take a trip from Johor to Perak but find the thought of driving more than 500km and spending almost five hours in the car daunting, there is good news for you. Now, you can fly to Ipoh directly from Johor Baru, thanks to AirAsia. And, it only takes 70 minutes to get there, giving travellers all the more reasons to visit the happening city.

AirAsia recently launched its inaugural flight from Johor Baru to Ipoh, adding the new destination of Perak’s capital city to its extensive network.

Perak Menteri Besar Ahmad Faizal Azumu said at the launch: “We are optimistic that AirAsia’s four times weekly direct flights will boost the number of visitors to Perak, and contribute significantly to the state’s economy.”

He added that the State Government plans to set up the Perak Tourism Action Council (PTAC) and among its first tasks is to come up with a masterplan to drive the state’s tourism sector. This includes the rebranding of the state’s tourism to attract more domestic and foreign visitors.

Ipoh marks AirAsia Malaysia’s 17th domestic destination and the 16th route from the JB hub. In addition to Ipoh, AirAsia also flies from JB to other cities in Malaysia including Kuching, Kota Kinabalu, Alor Setar, Kuala Lumpur and Penang.

The capital city of Perak offers many attractions to tourists.

For foodies and travellers who enjoy trying local hawker food, there are many coffeeshops in Old Town Ipoh where you can enjoy delicacies such as chicken rice, white coffee, kuay teow soup and egg custard.

When you’re in Ipoh, do check out the pomelo stalls. There are many local biscuits and salt-baked chicken that you can buy, too.

As for shopping, there is the Kong Heng Artisan Bazaar where you can find lovely souvenirs. At night, there is the Gerbang Malam Night Market. If you prefer to visit a mall, head for Ipoh Parade or Kinta City.

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Gerbang Malam night market in Ipoh.

For nature lovers, go for a walk at a park such as the Gunung Lang Recreational Park or D.R. Seenivasagam Recreational Park. There are also hills like Bukit Kledang where you can go hiking with some mild climbing. For something a little bit more adventurous, go caving at Gua Tempurong. It is best to go with a guide, which you can easily find via local tour companies.

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A scenic place to check out when you visit Ipoh is Gunung Lang, a recreational park with a lake and limestone hill.

As for historical buildings and places, check out the Birch Memorial Clock Tower, Ipoh War Memorial, Ipoh Town Hall, Ipoh Railway Station, and Kellie’s Castle.

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In the Kinta district of Ipoh is the Birch Memorial Clock Tower. Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Prema Darshini

There are Buddhist temples like Perak Cave Temple and Sam Poh Tong Temple, Hindu temples like Kallumalai Arulmigu Subramaniyar Temple (Kallumalai Murugan), and mosques like Panglima Kinta Mosque and Masjid India Muslim.

To find out more about the culture and history of the city, visit museums like the Hor Yan Hor Museum, Darul Ridzuan Museum, Geological Museum, and Yasmin at Kong Heng Museum.

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If you are a museum enthusiast, check out the Geology Museum.

Other places of interest include Funtasy House Trick Art, Qing Xin Ling Leisure & Cultural Village, and Miniature Wonders Art Gallery.