Penang has industrial areas and for past few years, booming tourism due to the Unesco Heritage Award. Klang Valley is where everything is happening, latest, newest, tallest, biggest and more. There’s a city in between these two hubs, Ipoh. Penang airport is the 3rd most busiest, after KL and KK. Ipoh has an airport which has very few flights and very few connections.
There are a lot of plans for Ipoh. Medical tourism, education hub, manufacturing and even the property prices are rising. Do not be surprised, without RM500,000 or more, you are unlikely to buy any semi-detached property in a popular area. Nevertheless, whatever grand plans we may have, without one tiny little infrastructure, nothing will happen. Do you know that Ipoh has many universities? Do you know there are also many private hospitals? Do you know there’s a Sunway theme park in Ipoh? Do you know Ipoh’s food variety and deliciousness does not lose to Penang?
Well, not many people from outside Ipoh knows. Most of the time, Ipoh is just a ‘ngar choy kai’ and ‘dim sum’ city. I will write more on Ipoh food next. Back to this article. What is lacking in Ipoh? We seriously need a new airport. Not the current one which is not expandable. We need a new and bigger airport which can cater to regional flights. China, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand and more.
It is impossible to attract medical tourists who must fly into KL / Penang and then take a train / coach to Ipoh. It is also plain foolish for students to enrol in universities in Ipoh but have to fly to Penang / KL and then take a train / coach to Ipoh. It is just not possible to tell as many people as possible that Ipoh has it all.
We need an airport. Not train stops. (Unless it’s bullet train). Once that happens, no one would dare argue with me again that Ipoh is just for old folks. Or that Ipoh’s food variety is just ‘ngar choy kai’ and ‘dim sum’. Or that there’s nothing to do in Ipoh when actually they feel holidays is all about flying…. not driving. After I brought one whole group of Penangites to eat the ba kut teh in Ipoh, they finished the soup twice and dared not say that ba kut teh is best in Penang. The first few words uttered by two Penangite friends after tasting the dry curry mee was, ‘can we order another one’. My GM went to Ipoh, tasted the white coffee, ordered a second glass and before we left Ipoh, got another packet and finished it before I get to SImpang Pulai toll. I rest my case.