The first weekend of May was District Conference for the Penang Branch. Conference was held in Ipoh (pronounced EE - poe), which is a town on the mainland about 2 hours drive south of Penang. You can find Ipoh on a map by clicking here. The terrain in Ipoh is very beautiful, with tall limstone mountains surrounding the little town.
So, I'll cut right to the chase. Ipoh has famous bean sprout chicken. Everyone has told us about it - my co-workers, our trainer, branch members - so we had to try it. It was sooo yummeee! The bean sprouts in Ipoh are grown using natural spring water from limestone caves. This makes them thicker and crunchier. Add to that some rice cooked with ginger and ckicken stock, some steamed chicken, and garlic/ginger/spicy yummy goodness sauce (I don't know the real name) and some soya sauce, and you have perfection on a plastic plate! Here is Jennifer at the famous Onn Kee restaurant in Ipoh.
Wow, my mouth is watering just looking at it! It's one of my favorite things to eat in Malaysia. Craig, on the other hand, vastly prefers "fish balls". They aren't famous in Ipoh, but Craig still likes them!
The other famous bean sprout chicken restaurant is next door to Onn Kee, called Lou Wong's. We ate there too, on a different day, of course!
Ipoh isn't just about the food. They also have a waterpark, the Lost World of Tambun, that we spent Saturday at. Here is Craig with the Hinton family in the lazy river.
Craig had a great time at the water park.
This particular water park has a dress code.
The limestone hills are perfect locations for caves to form. There are many caves around Ipoh, so we visited two of the most noteworthy ones. The first was Perak Tong. Perak Tong is a Buddhist temple that was built inside a cave. It was constructed in the early 1900's, and the large Buddha statue is the biggest of its kind in Malaysia.
The cave was loaded with other Buddha statues and offerings. These lotus flower-shaped candles are bought by patrons and lit in front of this sitting Buddha to bring good fortune.
Here is a statue of Shiva with many hands. Shiva is a Hindu god. Since Buddha was born as a Hindu prince, various Hindu deities and stories show up in Buddhist temples.
The cave was also decorated with dramatic paintings on the walls.
We followed a staircase which led outside, and wound around to the top of the hill. Here is a shot of Ipoh from the top of the hill that the cave is located in. If you look closely you can see a graveyard in the distance.
The other cave was Tambun Tong. This wasn't really a cave, more like a long hike up to a cliff with an overhang above it. Here is Craig and Jennifer at the top - after something like 200+ stairs up the side of a hill. You can see a stalagtite dripping from the overhang which forms the "cave".
In hindsight we were lucky there wasn't a dark cave at the top, because we didn't have flashlights, so we would have missed the neolithic cave paintings, which are the real attraction.
We had a great time in Ipoh. We enjoyed visiting another city in Malaysia and exploring a new town and new sights.