Taiping’s Old House Museum

Text and photographs: Law Siak Hong

The Old House Museum in Taiping is intriguing, to say the least.

It has not been that long since the former owner passed away and the building sold. But in that short time, antiques and curios dealer, Mr Tan Kok Siew, the curator of Old House Museum, has managed to turn it into an Aladdin’s cave. The large townhouse is filled with his impressive collection, comprising furniture, kitchen utensils and wares, period paraphernalia, household items, and some rare historical prints and artifacts.

Shining silver trophies from a sporting life; a vintage lantern with decorative etched glass.

There are plenty for everyone to like and admire. In the rooms, the displays go by theme. The passages are not spared; interesting framed and flat items are judiciously grouped and arranged. It reminds me of The Time Tunnel in Kea Farm, Cameron Highlands – this is another must-see.

Portraits from the family album; old, decorated glass oil lamps with hood illuminated by a spotlight.
Colourful tiffin carriers in the kitchen; back windows of the house looking out to the stable below.
This passage way is a gallery of pop icons and movie stars as well as photographs of 1950s and 1960s.

It is commendable that Tan has left the house as found but had it cleaned from corner to corner. Pulling him aside, I suggested that he should investigate the heritage of the house and tell the story of the generations who lived there. It would be quite a riveting story, a part of the tapestry of Taiping’s social history.

Lim “Ji You” built the house, probably the first three-storey townhouse in Taiping; historical items hang in the passage way.
Out of bounds to visitors, the jaw-dropping wooden spiral staircase can only be admired.
Freshly-painted brick column and the original terracotta floor.
Wouldn’t it be better if the hall is fitted out as original as possible to tell the story of the Lim family?
A welcome speech during the briefing session.
Go admire the beautifully preserved screen behind Sharon Chan and Tan Kok Siew.

Organised by Sharon Chan for the Taiping Heritage Society, the group visit attracted over 30 members and their family, who were taking photographs with great enthusiasm, posing with the myriad of artifacts on display and sharing memories evoked by the place and its display. When all’s done, we were treated to an afternoon snack of delectable nyonya kueh, provided by the Taiping Heritage Society.

By the dining table is an ornate ancestral altar which faces the main road, Jalan Kota.

Ever the hospitable smiling host, Tan must be congratulated for a job well done.

Located at 2A, Market Square, the Old House Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Entrance fee is RM5 per person. For further information, phone 019-5513058 or email tpgkapitan@yahoo.com.

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2 Responses to “Taiping’s Old House Museum”


  1. 1 Ruth Rollitt May 8, 2014 at 2:45 am

    Another good article, clever friend! Will you show it to me on my next visit? Ruth

    Sent from my iPad

    >

  2. 2 Atiyah May 8, 2014 at 5:38 am

    Wow…..can’t wait to visit..


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