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Sunday, 3 February 2013

Visiting Ngah Ibrahim's house, Matang, Perak

Having my quiet time at the famous Taiping lake - really beautiful
On my way back from Penang, I made a stop at the city of Taiping. Afzan's wife is from Taiping and I took his invitation to have a short visit and they promised to bring me for a sight seeing around the city. Honestly, I've never been to Taiping as I don't have any business venture into the area or known anyone, but the prospect of intimate visit of the place always played in the back of my mind. Accepting Afzan's invitation, with his guide, I made a couple of visit to a certain historical site around Taiping. Yes, I'm pretty historical about knowing a place and I am also a historical freak when learning about the uniqueness of one place and it's glory days. Yeah, we stopped by the famous Taiping lake. It was really a beautiful day and as usual with the awesome weather the place is gorgeous. After visiting a couple of unique site somewhere near the Maxwell hill's (Bukit Larut), Afzan brought me to the Ngah Ibrahim's house located a bit further down south near the Matang district area.

Former Ngah Ibrahim house
Ngah Ibrahim was the first local pioneer who get to be involved in the tin mining industry in Perak. This was before Chinese were brought in to works in the British mining center around Larut and also before the East India Company saw the potential of the Larut area for it's tin resources. I don't wish to tell the whole history of mining here, but merely sharing about the uniqueness of this house. The house was once used as a tin storage facility during Ngah Ibrahim time and of course his office and house. With the passing of time and turbulence period of colonization, it has also saw the Opium war (Larut war) between the warring clans of Ghee Hin and Hai San and also was used as an administration center by the British colonial government. 

Teddy in front of the house

The house also consist of lock up facility
During the Japanese colonization period, the house was also used as the Japanese administration center due to it's strategic location. There's a funny fact at the outset of the war, there's one Japanese pilot that choose to ram his Zero fighter aircraft at the front gate of Ngah Ibrahim's house. The current state of damage at the front wall due to the crash still visibly clear. I can imagine that the Matang district and Port Weld (Kuala Sepetang) was once the main gateway for natural resources and tin to be exported to Penang and also the whole world. One can only imagine how Ngah Ibrahim legacy was continued by the ones after him and his house remains vital in overseeing the passing of time even after his demise.

View of the house from the rear
Front gate of the house where the location of the Zero fighter aircraft crash site
Personally, I love classic architecture. Some of the site I visited such as the Suffolk house or many of the old colonial residence be it in Penang, Kuala Lumpur, Kulim or anywhere else is pure class. This house also seems to have that kind of it's own unique attraction. I wish one day I'm entitled and privileged to built such a beautiful house myself.

The house was once used as a British administration office

View from the back balcony

The house was also used as courthouse during the colonial era - the J.W.W. Birch murderer were tried here 
Left view of the Mausoleum
View from the back balcony - Ngah Ibrahim bath house

View from the front balcony

Former Ngah Ibrahim bath house

Remnants of once a  broad river transporting tin to the port Weld - adjacent to the Ngah Ibrahim house

What's left of the once wide river

Stairs which lead to the back fort and the riverside

Fort wall

World War 2 - Japanese obelisk brought back from Kroh

World War 2 - Japanese obelisk memorial

View from the rear

Fort wall with peeping holes - for protection and firing window

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Faces of Tun Teddy

Faces of Tun Teddy