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The official opening of Gopeng’s community-based ‘history and culture centre’ on World Heritage Day 2009, 18 April is another milestone in Perak Heritage.
Gopeng is a pioneer tin-mining town of the Kinta Valley , 15km south of Ipoh , the capital of Perak state. Inhabited by communities of Orang Asli, Malays, Chinese, Indians and Sikhs, this old town has many stories to tell.
The ‘Gopeng history centre‘, yet to be officially named in English, is located at No.28, Jalan Eu Kong, in a row of double-storey brick shophouses built in 1887 by Eu Kong. Eu Kong is the founder of the pharmaceutical empire, Eu Yan Sang, which has its beginning in Gopeng.
Last year, local-born-and-bred Bernard Yaw commenced restoration of the shophouse, their ancestral home. Now, its upper floors provide a living space and rooms for his family for when they ‘come home’. The ground floor becomes the Gopeng history centre, which is devoted to the promotion and appreciation of local history, and its hometown heritage.
The centre is the initiative of local residents led by Bernard Yaw. It is home to a non-governmental organization to be named Pertubuhan Pengurusan Muzium Gopeng, registration pending, with a small select committee of locals chaired by Yaw. A local historian, Mr Phang Sai Hong has created a permanent exhibition of historical images and a wide range of historical objects. A former teacher, Phang wants to focus on the history of this ‘town of tin and rubber’, passing onto the young the knowledge of his hometown.
A lack of town planning has caused the corrosion of the town’s heritage. Knowledge of its history can help to reverse its decline and revive the town. Already, eco-tourism in the jungle nearby, ancestral home of the Orang Asli, has made Gopeng a popular destination. A history centre will provide a focal interest in Gopeng town, where local communities can share their hometown with visitors. Increasing economic activities will benefit local traders and service providers.
The people of Gopeng take pride in their hometown. They identify with the place with cherished memories. Gopeng is primed for hometown heritage.
The Perak Heritage Society (PHS) supports hometown heritage and the efforts of the Gopeng history centre in creating a space for the appreciation of the town’s history, for both locals and visitors. We hope that other shophouse owners in Gopeng will get inspired to renew their buildings and put it to economic uses, to create employment opportunities to the young and stop the drain of human resources.
On this day, various heritage sites in town will share the joy of the occasion and welcome visitors. The PHS will offer a self-guide map to Gopeng with walking trails (at minimal cost), as well as guided walk on request for a donation yet to be set.
The official opening ceremony begins at 10 am. It will be followed by light refreshments for invited guests, then a guided walk. Poster : gopeng-cameron-highlands-trek-april-09
Law Siak Hong
President of the Perak Heritage Society
Where to stay : Gopeng Rainforest Resort
Want to see a Rafflesia after : SEMAI of Ulu Geroh
David owner of the Gopeng Rainforest Resort organizes a Trans Cameron trek this coming April 11th – 12th .
It is a unique opportunity to discover the Cameron forest with the orang asli. If you are interested please contact David Foon.
Hope to share this adventure with some of you guys.
Not available for this treck, nobody to take care of your children during this week-end, too lazy… take an other chance and spend a week-end at the Gopeng Rainforest Resort and go for a Rafflesia trail with the Semai of Ulu geroh.
Details about the treck follow
A memorable trail in the jungle with a Semai guide: a unique opportunity to see rare and endangered Rafflesia and Raja Brookes butterflies in the Malaysian Peninsula.
Who are they and what do they do
SEMAI or the Friends of Eco-tourism and the Conservation of Nature is a non-governmental indigenous community organization formally launched in April 2005. The aim of SEMAI is to protect the rare and endangered Rafflesia and Rajah Brookes Bird-wing butterfly’s habitats in the Bukit Kinta Forest Reserve that surrounds the village. SEMAI is the acronym for Sahabat Ekopelancongan Memuliraan Alam Indah as well as the name of the indigenous people or orang asal (orang asli) of the Kinta forest. Ulu Geroh is the name of the village made up of three Semai settlements. Read the rest of this entry »
A nature escape just 2 hours from KL
Who are they and what they do
Janice Heng and David Foon live and work in Ipoh. Nature lovers and parents of three boys, they enjoy spending their spare time in natural sites and traveling around Malaysia and South East Asia at an unhurried pace.
A few years ago, they bought a piece of land, a durian orchard, at the foot of the Cabang mountain (Gunung Cabang) and the Cameron Highlands, 6.5km from GOPENG so that they could spend their weekends exploring the jungle, trekking or just enjoying their area. Read the rest of this entry »