Ipoh is the capital city of the Malaysian state of Perak. Located by the Kinta River, it is nearly 180 km (110 mi) north of Kuala Lumpur and 123 km (76 mi) southeast of George Town in neighbouring Penang. As of 2010, Ipoh contained a population of 657,892, making it the third largest city in Malaysia by population.
Originally a village, Ipoh began to grow rapidly in the 1880s after huge deposits of tin were discovered within its vicinity. By 1895, it was the second largest town within the Federated Malay States, which also consisted of Selangor, Negeri Sembilan and Pahang. Ipoh was declared a city in 1988. However, following the depletion of its tin deposits and the collapse of tin prices in the 1970s, the city suffered decades of decline and neglect.
In recent years, Ipoh's popularity as a tourist destination has been significantly boosted by efforts to conserve its British colonial-era architecture. The city is also well-known for its cuisine and natural attractions, such as its limestone hills and caves within which Buddhist temples were built. In addition, Ipoh has managed to maintain its reputation as one of the cleanest cities in Malaysia.
Ipoh's location between Kuala Lumpur and George Town has made it a major land transportation hub within West Malaysia, with both the Malayan Railway's West Coast Line and the North-South Expressway cutting through the city. Aside from the land transportation links, Ipoh is also served by the Sultan Azlan Shah Airport.