Perak in a Nutshell + Traveling with Strangers

Thursday, October 20, 2016

A view of Ipoh from a Vista Point stop-over in the highway:

Like in most of my past travel posts, I usually knot both ends of the rope by creating a concluding post. Basically, I will only repeat most of the things I posted before, hehe, but in one full post with links that you can go back to if you want. In a way, my aim sana is to end a travel post ng hindi nabitin lang.

So anyway, did you know that Ipoh, the capital of Perak Malaysia, was a booming state in Malaysia back in the 19th century? They owed this to their tin mining industry, where they even placed SECOND to Kuala Lumpur when it comes to being the center. The decline happened post-independence from the British.

Nowadays, people go to Malaysia more for Kuala Lumpur, Penang, the Genting Highlands, or Johor Bahru because of Legoland. But here's Perak, surrounded by beautiful jungles (in photo below), limestone caves, good food, and art. 

After this blog series, I hope to somehow find this state on your travel bucket list!

Let's Fly!

Perak is a 2.5-hour travel (by land) from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. We departed from Manila to KL at around 9pm via AirAsia, and arrived in KLIA at 1 in the morning. 

Just so you can gauge the travel expenses, average roundtrip airfare (if not on sale) is around Php 10,000. For transparency purposes, this trip is sponsored by AirAsia Philippines.

Let's Sleep!

Since we arrived past midnight in KL, the group stayed at the budget Tune Hotels (also by AirAsia) just for the night (more on that HERE). What is cool is that Tune Hotels is just walking distance from the airport--the perfect lodging for those catching a late flight, or, like us, for travellers arriving during wee hours.

For the rest of the trip, we stayed at the comfortable Superior Room in Hotel Excelsior Ipoh:

With my roomie Erica of AirAsia:

I am not sure if they also have Airbnb or hostels in Perak, but their standard hotels are already affordable. I checked Agoda and their best price for Hotel Excelsior Ipoh is as low as Php 1800 per night. It is a comfortable place to stay, walking distance to malls and minimarts, with free daily breakfast, and at the center of a lot of tour sites.

Let's Eat!

I realized that most of our meals in Perak were in their local eateries, and everything's delicious! Aside from the taste of authentic cuisines, average budget is just 3-30 Ringgit or Php 50-350 / meal.  No need for fine dining here!

Don't forget to have white coffee after every meal (RM2-3 / Php 35)! It's so good, I miss it!

Read more on our Perak Food Trip!

Let's Explore!

Since this is a sponsored trip, we had a guided tour all-throughout our stay. I will highly recommend Paul (or @ap2surf on Instagram) as your guide. He made sure that our trip was not only enjoyable, but also very educational as well. He grew up in Ipoh, so his stories are more personal and interesting. 

When in Perak, get ready to take lots of photos in this ARTSY DESTINATION. Go on a photo walk around their art streets and check out artist Ernest Zacharevic's murals.

Learn about Perak's rich culture and history through their famous structures like the Ipoh Railway Station or the Sultan Azian Shah Gallery:

And do not leave Perak without trying your hands on pottery! Enjoyed our time in @KZKraf's studio:

Lastly, make your Perak itinerary even more exciting with CAVE AND WATER ACTIVITIES! Don't miss out on the Lost World of Tambun and the Gua Tempurung Outdoor Camp! They are my favorites.

Let's Shop!

For pasalubong, I bought mostly food from the nearby grocery and minimart like Maggi Kari, Old Town Coffee, random Malaysian candies and chips, a bottle of Maggi Cili, and packs of Teh Tarik.

They also have a famous chocolate brand named Beryl's where you can buy truffled or almond chocolates for your family.

As for shopping, I wasn't able to buy any piece of clothing or shoes during this trip (MIRACLE!). Maybe we didn't have so much time to look around, or most of the items they have there are almost the same as what we have here. So save the money for your meals!

Let's Meet New People!

A collaboration trip with Tourism Malaysia and AirAsia Philippines, I wasn't expecting to know anyone in the group. There's no denying that traveling with people who knows all your tiniest quirks is the best, but I am now open to traveling the unknown with the unknown once in a while. Here's why:

1) You get to talk about your travel stories, things your new companions haven't heard yet. Meanwhile, it's also refreshing to listen to other people's travel stories and adventures!

With the wonderful ladies of Tourism Malaysia:

Kuya Am of Gua Tempurung Outdoor Camp:

With the kind owner of Teratak Warisan Kampung restaurant:

2) Most of the time, you have the same opinions as your friends. Traveling with a group of strangers will give you newer perspectives and different view points.

3) Adjusting to different people will make you a better person! The challenge is to find the balance between getting what you want but also listening to what others need.

4) You also get to learn new things! I often hangout with fellow bloggers, but with this group, I was with a videographer, a travel Instagram star (haha!), a hip senior tour guide, and an airline employee-slash-traveler! I enjoyed learning about their fortes or just listening to what they do for a living.

Labu Sayong jars from Gua Tempurung Outdoor Camp:

With the kind staff of Gaharu Tea Valley Gopeng:

5) Traveling with new people will also make you appreciate your individuality. When I was with this group, I had to re-explain why I am a vegetarian, what's my type of traveling, how I take my photos, what I do for a living, and all the other things that I am so used to being when I am with my circle.

And lastly...

6) At the end of the trip, you have a new group of friends because of all your shared experiences.
It is indeed a world without strangers, only friends we haven't met yet.

 My travel buddies Erica, Jolo, and Jaypee, on our way out of the mall near the hotel during our last night in Perak:

Paul our dear tour guide doing the dab (hehehe) with Jolo under Malayia's oldest rubber tree:

Hot tour day with Erica:

 Paul and Jaypee walking toward the Petronas Towers:

Groufie with the Petronas:

One last photo outside the airport, before saying our goodbyes:

Read all my Perak Malaysia posts HERE.

Special thanks to Philippine AirAsia, Paul, Lim, Erica, Jaypee, Jolo, and all the wonderful people we met in Malaysia for making this trip memorable and one for the books. I enjoyed sharing our stories about Perak. :)


  1. Genuinely happy for you and all your trips, big sis! <3 I remember we were just talking about this as part of your goals before! Love you! Deserve!

  2. I am from Perak, but I haven't been to Gua Tempurung yet. T__T


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