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Muzium Gopeng

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Gopeng, PerakGopeng, Perak (12 August, 2017)


 Timothy Tye

Muzium Gopeng (GPS: 4.47393, 101.16661) is a private museum that recounts the history of Gopeng, Perak. It is located along Jalan Eu Kong, and was founded by Bernard Yaw Ban Yew, Wong Kuan Cheong, Phang See Kong and Tan Yoke Chun. Muzium Gopeng was opened to the public on 18 April, 2009, which happened to be World Heritage Day. The museum is not open every day though, but only from Fridays to Tuesdays, and is closed on Wednesdays and Thursdays. The opening hours are from 9:00am to 5:00pm.

The very building housing Muzium Gopeng was built by illustrious Eu Kong, namesake of Jalan Eu Kong, best known for having established the Chinese Medical Hall Eu Yan Sang.fo

Also nearby is an annex called the Gopeng Heritage House, which I shall describe on a separate page.

Muzium Gopeng provides information on the history of Gopeng. This is via interpretive boards that follows the establishment of the town from 1850 onwards. This is done in chronological order.

According to Muzium Gopeng, the town pre-dates Ipoh and Kampar. Early settlers were the Semai Orang Asli people, along with Rawa and Mandailing people who hailed from Sumatra, as well as the Chinese and Tamils. It was however the British Residents that develop the town, including building some 268 shophouses. The British also laid out eight town streets namely Eu Kong Street (Jalan Eu Kong), Market Street (Jalan Market), High Street (Jalan High), Wayang Lane, Kampong Rawa Road, Jalan Sungai Raya, and Jalan Imam Prang.

From 1884, the British added civic buildings at the Changkat (heights) neighbourhood of Gopeng. These included the Gopeng Court House, Gopeng Hospital, Gopeng Police Station, Gopeng Post Office, Gopeng Government Resthouse and Gopeng Sanitary Board. Within the town itself, which has developed into a scabrous mining town, the locals established a theatre, gambling dens, brothels and opium dens. The role of tin permeated every walks of life, leading to the term "no tin no Gopeng" being oft spoken there.

At Gopeng, tin was estracted throughy the dulang washing and later dredging methods. There was so much tin coming out of Gopeng, that it was considered the World Tin Ore Depot. However, the first half of the 20th century was a period of upheavals for the town. The townsfolks suffered under the Japanese Occupation. After the Second World War, the Emergency Period saw drastic social changes when villages were forced to relocate and consolidated into "White Areas" to separate them from contact with the Communist guerillas.

The fall of tin prices in the 1980s, coupled with the mines having exhausted themselves of their tin brought an end to Gopeng's glory days. Today the town is a slumbering version of its former self, with many of the younger generation seeking employment in bigger cities such as Ipoh and Kuala Lumpur.

Address

Muzium Gopeng
47, Jalan Eu Kong,
31600 Gopeng, Perak.
Phone: +60-5-359 7828

Women tin miners in GopengWomen tin miners in Gopeng (12 August, 2017)


Muzium Gopeng founders and committeesMuzium Gopeng founders and committees (12 August, 2017)


Tin and rubber were the mainstays of Gopeng's economyTin and rubber were the mainstays of Gopeng's economy (12 August, 2017)


Rubber seeds and rubber tapping toolsRubber seeds and rubber tapping tools (12 August, 2017)

Muzium Gopeng on Google Maps Street View

Muzium Gopeng (Dec 2013)

Muzium Gopeng is on the map of Gopeng



Heritage House


The Gopeng Heritage House is an annex to Muzium Gopeng. Opened in 2011, it displays an electic collection of keepsakes and curios.

Details

Return to Gopeng Travel Tips

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