If you wish to witness some traditional Malay living and culture in the middle of the city then, Rumah Penghulu will definitely attract and amaze you a lot. The house originally belonged to the village head of Kedah which was bought and relocated in the city to provide visitors with a glimpse of traditional Malay vernacular architecture that are quite rare nowadays.
The structure means little to the tourist if there is no guided tour demonstrating the different scenes and settings. So be sure to join the tour and discover the many elements that depict the daily lifestyle and important rites of passage in the Malay culture inside the house.
The tour is conducted on 11am and 3pm from Mondays to Saturdays and closed on Sundays and Public Holidays. A donation of RM10 per person is required.
Pre-registration is not required. Simply arrive at the site on time and register at the office, then wait for the guide to begin the tour that lasts for about 1 hour.
First, you’ll have a walk-through at the basement of the house. After that, you’ll be brought into the house and visit the village head office, mother house (living room, 2 bedrooms) and the kitchen.
The basement of the stilt house is usually served as the store area and a place to keep the livestock. You’ll never find the pillars that are rounded as to avoid snakes from intruding into the house. Here, you’ll also find a phoenix boat that were previously owned by a high-status family.
Since no photography is allowed inside house, this is how the exterior of the village head office looks like. It is interesting to know that this is not just as a working are for the village head, it is sometimes served as a captive place for the suspects.
Stepping up a few stairs at the highest point of the house, this is where you’ll find the living room and 2 bedrooms. The living room can even be served as a place to conduct the wedding ceremony.
The small kitchen is ladies’ territory and can normally accommodate up to 2 persons. If there is a function, the cooking place would be moved to outside the house.
The wood carving has shapes that has the influence from the Malay and Chinese culture.
After the guided tour, you can choose to watch the video about the preservation work of how the old building was dismantled into pieces and restored in the current site.
Take the monorail and exit and Raja Chulan. Walk along Jalan Sultan Ismail and turn left to Jalan Raja Chulan for about 350m. Then exit to Jalan Conlay and walk for another 400m. Rumah Penghulu is located on the left hand side of the road.