The Ipoh railway station at night
IPOH: Ipoh's old world charm and booming hipster cafes has impressed the largest travel guide book publisher in the world, Lonely Planet, after the city was listed as one of the best Asian destinations to visit in 2016.
In their pick of where to go in the next 12 months, Lonely Planet listed Hokkaido, Japan at first place, followed by Shanghai, China and Jeonju, South Korea.
Ipoh is the only city in Malaysia to be listed, at sixth place.
According to the website, the lesser-known food capital has new flair thanks to a crop of boutique cafes that have sprung up in its historic quarter.
"At the heart of Ipoh’s renaissance is other worldly concept hotel Sekeping Kong Heng, replete with glass attic rooms and wall-free rooftop quarters.
"Art-cafes like Roquette, Burps & Giggles and Everyday Lifeshop have appeared nearby, among creaky kedai kopi (coffee shops) and elegant colonial buildings.
"But food pilgrims still clamour for Ipoh’s old favourites: Lou Wong’s chicken with crisp beansprouts, and tau fu fah (tofu pudding) at Funny Mountain," said the website's description.
It also mentioned wild escapes, like birdwatching by bicycle through Kinta Nature Park or whitewater rafting near Gopeng are a must visit for tourists.
"Also, clifftop temples and fragrant Gaharu Tea Valley nearby, Ipoh’s revival seems sure to tempt new crowds," concluded Lonely Planet.
The other tourist spots listed by Lonely Planet are Con Dao Islands in Vietnam; Hong Kong, Pemuteran in Indonesia; Trang islands inThailand; Meghalaya in India and Taitung in Taiwan.