Traveling to Ipoh is considered regular to me since I have relatives residing in the capital city of Perak. However, trying to find an interesting travel story about Ipoh is very hard especially since there have been many stories written about the famous city.
Perak is the second largest state in west Malaysia, the home of the virgin Belum Rainforest. Heading to Ipoh can easily be done via intercity train, bus or self-driving. The average driving and bus trip from Kuala Lumpur to Ipoh is about two and half-hours, that if you are taking the North-South Expressway. The old intercity train service will be a bit slower, making the journey about three hours or so. In the recent years, however, the Express Train Service (ETS) serving Kuala Lumpur-Ipoh route made traveling from both cities relatively quick, approximately 1 hour and 55 minutes.
The main Ipoh train station building is one of the many historical buildings in the country. As you walk out from the station, you would immediately notice the unique and beautiful architecture of the early buildings in the country. Further to the train service, the building is also partly hotel, one of the early hotels in Ipoh city.
My two days and one night trip’s highlight was not Ipoh city exploration, but the National Stud Farm in Tanjung Rambutan town. I am an avid horse riding lover, so when I was in Ipoh, I hopped on a taxi and get myself to the horse farm. Duration by taxi from Ipoh main city center to Tanjung Rambutan is about 25 minutes. Unless you have an appointment with the place, the general public is not allowed to visit the farm. Based on the information received from the farm manager, the farm will usually be opened to the public during the National Premier Sale season that usually happened in November. I was very lucky to be given access to walk around the farm although it was not the season.
As I was walking to the vast farm area, I was briefly educated about the breeding process, type of facilities and training available on the farm as well as the sales/auction process. Most of the horses I saw were mares and foals. Stallions were kept separately and are only out on the field during exercise and mating sessions. It was late morning when I arrived at the farm; so many of the horses were already back in their respective stables. Nonetheless, I managed to see few horses roaming freely on one of the fields there. Many of these horses were untrained. Thus, I had to avoid from getting near to them – although I wanted so badly to pet them (typical horse loving instinct). As a consolation, when I was walking inside one of the stables, I had the chance to actually interact with few beautiful foals, age ranged between 6 to 9 months old.
The entire farm area is so vast, it took me more than 2 hours to complete the walking tour. Surprisingly I had the luxury of walking and admiring the whole area without any company since my visit was rather unscheduled. Nonetheless, at each stables and stations the farm crews were very friendly entertaining my curiosity and questions.
At the end of tour I was informed that if one day I would like to own horses, I should come and visit this place again. Few horses usually are not taken up during the National Premier Sale and they are usually being offered at a cheaper price for horse riding lover. Personally, I would certainly take a look at the horses offered here since it usually are from great quality breed and the horses were mainly trained by the professionals – a good deal considering I would only be using the horse for leisure riding.
Everything about that short trip was somehow related to horses. Since Perak Turf Club still runs races, I was lucky to have the opportunity to see the morning regime of racehorses exercised from the upper deck of the hotel restaurant while I had my breakfast on the check out day.