Ipoh is justly known for its surrounding limestone hills, giving the city a unique character in Malaysia, almost akin to China’s Guilin. There are also quite a few Buddhist temples built into these limestone caves, which made for great exploring as most are within a few minutes’ drive from the city centre:
Yet, there are limestone hills and caves which have been turned into resorts, e.g. Banjaran Hot Springs Retreat, which is about 25 minutes’ drive from the city centre. We didn’t want to stay there as our main objective for this trip was to explore Ipoh’s local eateries (our hotel was right in the middle of the city). But we did venture out to Banjaran to check out its bar.
The Sky Bar at Banjaran Hot Springs Retreat is perched on a 260 million-year-old limestone hill, and afforded expansive views of the geothermal hot springs below.
The bar and a cool, breezy patio were strategically located for the best views of the sunset:
Sundowners - rather enjoyed the Pomelocello, based upon one of Ipoh’s signature agricultural export: the pomelo, a bowling ball-sized citrus fruit with a grapefruit-like flavor.
Cheese board and Chicken 65
We were tempted to have dinner at the fine dining restaurant ensconced deep inside one of the limestone caves below, but it only served Western/Continental food, and we did not want to use up one of our evenings here having that instead of one of Ipoh’s famous local culinary offerings. So, we just contented ourselves with the drinks and finger foods, before adjourning back into town for our dinner.
The Sky Bar at Banjaran Hot Springs Retreat
1, Persiaran Lagoon, Sunway 3
31150 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Tel: +605-210 7777 (call ahead to make reservations, in order to get past security at entrance)
Operating hours: 5.30pm to 12 midnight, daily.