Road Trip: Sleepy Town of Gopeng

 

Unassuming yet charming.  

This little town of Gopeng was one of our stop as we drove back from the bustling Ipoh town. We had a few hours to kill and felt curious about this town which was known for its tin mining activities during the old days. Imagine this place being busy with tin miners and locals under the collapse of the tin mine empire during the 1980s. It was also our first time here and we didn’t mind seeing Gopeng town up close.

The first impression that I got as we drove into town is how quiet the whole area is. There was very little traffic in this small town and it was quiet easy to drive ourselves from one part to the other. A roundabout in the middle gave us directions to street arts, a cafe, a museum and a tea valley. It is also quite hot here in Gopeng which reminded me of Melaka on a sunny weekend. Most of the residents are Chinese and the businesses are rarely opened on a weekend (as we’ve experienced). We didn’t let this sleepy town give us a negative impression though, to us it felt as though the residents were spending the weekend away from their work or businesses and more with their families at home. Here are some of the places we managed to explore and take notice of when in Gopeng.

1. Gopeng Heritage House. 

The Gopeng Heritage House displays a way of life of the locals during the tin mining days. The double story shop-lot is owned by one of the locals who decided to open it up as a museum to the public. On the ground floors were antique collections, old furniture, a barber shop and a feng shui area with bonsai trees. Towards the back of the house is a kopitiam area where you can order hot tea for RM1.50. We headed upstairs to view the bedrooms as well as an attic area with beds and wooden closets. A door near the stairs led us to an outdoor balcony with a lounge area overlooking the town.

Address: Jalan Sungai Itik, 6100 Gopeng, Perak. | Tel: +6012-598 7857 | Opening Hours: 9am-3pm (Saturday & Sunday only) | Admission Fee: Free. 

The view of the Heritage House from the stairs.

The view of the Heritage House from the stairs.

The rooms, antique furniture and kitchen items in the Heritage House.

The rooms, antique furniture and kitchen items in the Heritage House.

An old school barber chair in one part of the Heritage House.

An old school barber chair in one part of the Heritage House.

The charming kopitiam area at the back of the Heritage House.

The charming kopitiam area at the back of the Heritage House.

 

2. Gopeng Museum. 

A short walk away from the Heritage House lies the Gopeng Museum which houses the history of the town during the tin mining era from 1850-1900s. Admission here is free so we were able to walk in and take some photos of the antique items that were used during those time. There were paintings, bicycles, traditional games, weaved baskets that were also displayed in the museum.

Address: No 28, Eu Kong Street, 6100 Gopeng, Perak. | Tel: +605-359 782 | Opening Hours: 9am-5pm (Friday-Tuesday) | Admission Fee: Free.

Just a short walk away from Heritage House is Gopeng Museum.

Just a short walk away from Heritage House is Gopeng Museum.

The inside of Gopeng Muzeum has more information of the tin mine history days.

The inside of Gopeng Muzeum has more information of the tin mine history days.

A few antique items can be found along the corridor of the museum.

A few antique items can be found along the corridor of the museum.

Old bicycles and weaved baskets in the Gopeng Museum.

Old bicycles and weaved baskets in the Gopeng Museum.

 

3. Qianz Ice Cream. 

The hot weather got to us so we decided to cool down and get an ice cream in one of the local cafes. Qianz was one of the shops we found on FourSquare that had good reviews. The cafe was hidden behind one of the alley but we managed to locate it. There were no one inside the cafe except for us and we decided to sit in and order a banana split. The interior was cosy with different art murals on each wall. There was a table with board games arranged on it for patrons. Sadly though at the point of this entry, I discovered that the cafe is now permanently closed.

Address: 25, Jalan Tasik, 31600 Gopeng, Perak | Tel: +6016-599 0292 | Opening Hours: At this time, the shop is permanently closed. 

We finally found an ice cream place in Gopeng.

We finally found an ice cream place in Gopeng.

Nice interior with artsy wall.

Nice interior with artsy wall.

Different walls, different murals in Qianz Ice Cream.

Different walls, different murals in Qianz Ice Cream.

 

4. Gopeng Street Art.

Interestingly in Gopeng town there are walls which are painted with street art depicting their way of life. We drove around the streets to look for them as indicated by FourSquare. Along these walls, we saw a lion dancer usually performed during Chinese New Year, together with a barrel as part of the mural. There was also a food cart with a lady selling chakoi. While this was drawn, the roof of her food cart, the Chinese lantern and the wheel was not. We drove along another street and saw two children sitting on chairs, eating a bowl of noodle. No one joined them for their meal on that day, perhaps when more visitors drop by, they would accompany the children. The final mural was a colorful one, with dried coconut leaves as the roof top of the traditional kampung home. I’m not sure if more murals can be seen in Gopeng but I hope there’s more of it as it makes for an interesting visit to this town.

Eating with the family.

Eating with the family.

A Chinese New Year celebration mural.

A Chinese New Year celebration mural.

A lady selling noodles from her food cart.

A lady selling cakoi from her food cart.

A traditional kampung house in Gopeng.

A traditional kampung house in Gopeng.

 

5. Gaharu Tea Valley. 

We came upon this tea valley by accident as we were driving out from Gopeng town. Out of nowhere stood an entrance door of what looked like a castle made of stones. It was the Gaharu Tea Valley which had just opened that time. There wasn’t any particular person guarding the door so we drove in and found ourselves in a field of a tea plantation. This was strange because the weather down here is much warmer than Cameron Highlands where the tea plantation grew in abundance. This particular Gaharu tea is known for its beneficial and healing properties, mostly used for Middle Eastern, Chinese and Ayurvedic purposes.

Enter this castle door to the tea valley.

Enter this castle door to the tea valley.

Address: Lot 9840, Jalan Kampung Sg Itek, Perumahan Awam 1, Jln Sg Itik, 6100, Gopeng, Perak | Tel: +605-351 1998 | Opening Hours: 9am-6pm. 

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About Yafieda Jamil

A Malaysian girl currently working abroad in Phnom Penh city. I love a good road trip, hot cappuccinos, spicy food and staring at old buildings. My mission is to inspire people to see the world differently before we all get any older. Oh and giraffes are the most beautiful creatures on earth.

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