Updated: Oct 15, 2020
I rediscovered climbing as my hobby this year. Every week I go to one of the amazing climbing gyms around Kuala Lumpur. Once in a while however, I like to climb outside at the rocks. Near Kuala Lumpur, Batu Caves offers some pretty amazing rock climbing routes that you can challenge yourselves with. If you are willing to go a bit further, consider going to Ipoh.
We live in the middle of the city. Every now and then, we feel the need to get out. Even if it is just for a short weekend.
Are you an outdoorsy person like us?
Outdoor Activities in/ around Ipoh
Rock Climbing @ Gunung Lang
Abseiling @ Lata Penyel Waterfall
Then you should definitely consider going to this small town in Perak, you will find plenty of amazing outdoor activities. Then in the evening, after spending all your energy climbing rocks, trying not to fall out the boat while rafting or getting over your fear of heights while abseiling, enjoy some delicious local food in one of Ipoh’s many restaurants. Ipoh is home to plenty of good spots to eat. Take a couple of friends and off you go!
This is what we did in Ipoh…. We hope it helps you plan your trip.
Day 1: Gunung Lang - Going Up
We left Kuala Lumpur early in the morning to drive to Gunung Lang Recreational Park near Ipoh. It took us about 3h. Once arrived we met up with our guide from Ventrex Outdoor Recreation who explained to us that the local climbing community has established several climbing routes at the lime stone rocks of Gunung Lang. We started with something easy like 5a and then slowly increased the level of difficulty, some of us even attempted a 7a.
We stayed for 6 hours the park. That gave every one of us plenty of time to try the routes, push their boundaries and try some new techniques.
Afterwards, we went back to our Airbnb, showered and went out to hunt for some food. Ipoh is known for its delicious local food, so make sure you sample some when you are there. I am sharing a list of recommended spots below.
Tip: You should bring some food, enough to water - maybe a rain coat and a blanked to sit on in-between your climbs as there is no place to buy food or drinks near by the place where you will climb.
Day 2: Lata Penyel - Abseiling – Going Down, 65m Down!
Lata Penyel Waterfall is located deep within the Orang Asli village of Kampung Pendeq. It takes about 2 additional hours from Ipoh to get there. Worried that we might get lost on the way, we met up with one of the Ventrex guys in Ipoh and drove there together.
After a quick safety briefing, you climb the mountain next to the waterfall. Once we reached the top, excitement was quickly replaced with the thought “Why again are we doing this? Are we nuts?” the idea of a chilled out Sunday on the couch with Netflix studdenly did not sound that boring anymore.
The waterfall was 65m high, the water was very cold and the current was very strong – strong enough to wash your feet away from underneath your body.
Don’t worry. It is safer than it looks.
While you control the speed of your descend, there are 2 people from Ventrex at the top securing you with a second rope. Half way down the waterfall, there is another 2 people including one photographer and at the feet of the waterfall, there is another person. They are all looking out for your safety.
Before driving back to Kuala Lumpur, we stopped in Ipoh for some Pizza at Mike’s Pizza.
Tip 1: Abseiling goes best while wearing thick socks. Hard to believe? I know. We tested it out. Out of 8 only 1 was wearing socks while descending. That was me. At the end, I was the only one without scratches. We learned socks allow you to feel the rock and have a good grip at the same time. Shoes on the other hand easily slip.
Tip 2: Have a nice breakfast before going to the waterfall and bring some snacks and drinks with you. If you go with a large group such as us, you will spend quite some time at the waterfall before driving back. Also you may want to split your group in two with one descending from 35m first before going up to abseil from 65m. That reduces the waiting time for everyone.
Tip 3: Don’t do what we did. Our recommendation is to do the opposite! Do the abseiling on day 1 and rock climbing on day 2. We recommend that because driving back from Lata Penyel all the way to Kuala Lumpur is a long and tiring drive. If you drive back on a Sunday, it is faster to drive back from Ipoh and less tiring.
Where to Stay in Ipoh?
M Boutique Hotels: We stayed there before. It is a nice hotel with cosy little hotel rooms and a very good breakfast in the morning.
Airbnb: Its always a good idea for a larger group. This time around, we chose to go for an Airbnb.
Where to Eat in Ipoh?
The New Hollywood Canning Garden ( Breakfast )
Canning Dimsum ( Breakfast)
Nasi Ganja Yong Suan ( Lunch ) The custard pudding is so good!
STG Tea House ( Hightea )
Chik Pizza Miker Pizza ( Dinner )
Who to Hire for your Outdoor Adventures around Ipoh?
We highly recommend the company Ventrex Outdoor Recreation. They are super helpful, responsive, will help you customise your trip and provide you with the necessary safety equipment.
We hope this article inspires you to go out to Ipoh and enjoy the outdoors.