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Ipoh, Malaysia

Ipoh: The "City of Millionaires"

Ipoh (pronounced “ee-poe”) is located on the banks of the Kinta River at the confluence of the smaller Sungai Pinji and Sungai Pari rivers. The Kinta River Valley is surrounded on three sides by picturesque limestone cliffs and hills, granite mountains, and dense, tropical jungle. The Kledang Mountains stretch from north of the city toward the east as the land gradually rises to the lofty altitudes of the central highlands. There are caves, natural lakes, and wild rivers within an hour’s drive of Ipoh, making this one of Malaysia’s best locales for trekking, spelunking, and white-water rafting.

With one of the most convenient locations in all Malaysia, Ipoh is just a two-hour drive along the controlled-access North-South Expressway to the UNESCO World Heritage city of George Town or south to Malaysia’s capital, Kuala Lumpur. A 90-minute drive takes you west to Lumut, the gateway to the beach resorts of Pangkor Island, or east to Malaysia’s central mountains, the town of Tanah Rata and the Cameron Highlands.

Ipoh is a popular retirement haven for Malaysians, who claim that its fresh air, clean water, and relaxing lifestyle not only improves their quality of life but also promotes longevity and health. Known as “The City Built on Tin,” “The City of Millionaires,” and “The City of Bougainvillea,” Ipoh also offers many incentives to westerners interested in relocation.

In Ipoh you can expect to find First World health care, modern infrastructure, ample opportunity to mingle with friendly, English-speaking locals, and an attractive and flexible visa program. Enjoy the history of Britain’s colonial heyday, wander the maze of narrow streets and alleyways in the city’s Chinatown, or head to one of several modern malls to enjoy a first-run Hollywood movie and shop at the wide variety of local and multinational stores.

Cost Of Living In Ipoh, Malaysia

Perhaps the best part of living in pretty Ipoh is that you can enjoy everything Malaysia’s fourth-largest city has to offer even on a very modest budget. A retired couple could live comfortably here on less than US$1,000 per month.

In fact Ipoh boasts one of the lowest costs of living to be found in a Malaysian city. Whether you prefer relaxing days at a country club, testing your limits with rugged outdoor adventure, or socializing with friends over a leisurely dim sumbreakfast, you can live a five-star lifestyle on a three-star budget in affordable, Ipoh. Its expansive suburbs offer quiet and comfort for all budgets and lifestyles.

One important reason the cost of living is as affordable as it is in Ipoh is the cost of renting here. You can rent a comfortable two-bedroom place for as little as US$200 or US$250 per month.

Further, a property agent’s fees are paid by the property owner when a buyer or renter is secured, so using one comes at no cost to you. It also means that most agents are motivated to find properties that satisfy your requirements. It is to their advantage to find you a place that you like.

Monthly Budget For A Couple Living In Ipoh, Malaysia

ExpenseMonthly CostNotes
RentRM 600
GasRM 15Used for cooking.
ElectricityRM 300Air conditioning used most days and at night.
WaterN/AIncluded with electricity.
TelephoneRM 75Basic landline service.
InternetRM 69Broadband dial-up starts at about RM 30 per month.
Cable TVRM 120
GroceriesRM 750
EntertainmentRM 600
TotalRM 2,529

Click here for currency conversion at today’s exchange rate.

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