Thursday, April 12, 2007

Gopeng Town , Chinese herbal remedies and Chop 'Yan Sang' ( caring for mankind).

Gopeng,now thats a name that brings back fond memories. Osborne & Chappel , Gopeng Con those are now names in the the past. Now as you enter town you will notice this lovely building though looking rather worn. Then as you pass thru town the big water pipe is still there. This water pipe used to carry water to the open cast mines for their operations. But that is another story by itself.
But now the tin industry has faded into the sunset and gradually too has the image of the town.
But one street in town that captured my imagination was Eu Kong Street because of these lovely murals on these shophouses. It is a greeting to the person or customer entering the shop. I was told that these shops were built by Eu Tong Sen. That name rang a bell.
A check on the net on Eu Kong & Eu Tong Sen popped up a string of information. Eu Kong came to Gopeng from Fohsan, Guangdong, South China . He noticed that the tin miners those days took opium to relieve their pain of hard work and thus introduced chinese herbal remedies to improve their overall health and well being.The first herbal shop Chop Yan Sang was opened in Gopeng in 1879. This shop is now known as Eu Yan Sang and is a household name throughout Asia. When Eu Kong passed away his eldest son Eu Tong Sen inherited the family business.
Eu Tong Sen quickly expanded the business through Malaya, Singapore , Hong Kong and China.
He also had alot of properties wherever his his businesses were located. His mansion in Ipoh , the Forest Lodge' is now called the Bulan Bintang Building. Its located at Chateau Garden.The Medical shop in Leech Street is still running.

Of this row of shops in Gopeng only 4 units had their murals intact.

Besides the paintings there were chinese wordings which i was told were well wishes for the house residents. These murals with calligraphic writings were what caught my attention because of their details including some with stone carvings. Unfortunately some of the stone carvings were damaged.
The years have faded alot of the murals. I have pasted a few where the details can still be viewed.

This murals on this particular house were in pretty good condition.It blended with the windows too.

A friend translated this writing below. Sounded like ' after winter brings the rain and dew of spring"
Building murals so old and still so beautiful. A herbal remedy to relieve hard working miners after a hard days work now relieveing workers thoughout Asia. All started here in the Kinta Valley in Gopeng.


Stephen said...

the info is most enlightening! i actually stayed at no. 28, Eu Kong Street; born bred from Gopeng; we have bought the house from Eu Yan Sang;

do you have the earliest frieze/mural picturesof this particalar shop? Pls contact me @ 019-576 2563.

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