If you conduct a street survey to ask 100 or 1,000 local folks in Kuala Lumpur, and post the question: “Have you been to Rumah Penghulu Abu Seman?” or “Could you show me how to get to the famous traditional Malay house in KL?”. I bet less than 5% of the local knew the existance of this beautiful house.
This house belonged to the head of village in northern Malaysia (Kampung Sungai Kechil, Kedah). It has been taken apart and moved the building into the middle of Kuala Lumpur city centre. If you are interested to view traditional Malay house, then it is worthwhile to visit this ‘hidden gem’ next to the craft complex.
This wooden house has intrigate carving and traditional deco. If one likes to view really nice traditional houses, one has to travel hundreds to kilometer to Melaka, Perak, North Peninsular and East coast. So it was good that the house is relocated to the city for the sake of tourism.
The sad news is that “No Photograph” inside. Actually the house was not opened when I reached the venue (only my car, zero tourist) by 11am. So I did not enter and just take few pictures in the garden. How can Malaysia promote tourism if even a traditional house on display prohibit tourists to take pictures and share with their friends? It seems that someone really don’t appreciate the power of social media and picture sharing on the Internet. By the way, Facebook has far more pictures in its collection than any sites or libraries we know.
So I could share with you how inside decorations look like, but I could show you the ‘basement’.
Traditional Malay houses are often built along the river bank, so the raised floor using pillars would be practical for the frequent flood, and also serving as storage area or place to keep livestocks.
If you have a chance to visit rural villages, you can consider overnight at the local homestay. You can feel the cool ventilation effect with the clever and practical design of the traditional Malay house.