Plan of going somewhere fun yet hate to walk under the sun? This time I would like to share a place in KL that worth to pay a visit yet you definitely will have an eye opening experience under comfortable, air-conditioned building with complimentary guided tour.
The place I talk about is Royal Selangor Visitor Centre located at Setapak Jaya, that not far away from Batu Caves, one of the famous tourist spot in Malaysia. There is no entrance fee charged upon entry to Royal Selangor Visitor Centre.
With a built-up area of 40,000 square feet, the Royal Selangor Visitor Centre has won the Malaysian Tourism Best Tourist Attraction Award 2004 in the category of attraction with national identity or heritage, as well as the ASEAN Tourism Association Awards 2005 for Excellence as Best ASEAN New Tourist Attraction. Today it receives hundreds of domestic and international visitors daily.
Yong Koon began his pewter smithing business in Kuala Lumpur in 1885. Five years before that, the British Administrators made Kuala Lumpur the state capital of Malaya. (Malaya is former name of Malaysia before independence)
|Yong Koon's abacus and product catalogue|
The first part of the Royal Selangor Visitor Centre features the history of the establishment of the centre and it looks like a mini museum with its displays.
The Museum exhibits old tin currency, pewter artifacts and Yong Koon’s original pewter smiting tools and personal effects.
In 17th- 18th century (before the bank note evolution ), we used the tin pewter as shown in picture as money. The tin pewters currency are made in different shapes and forms, the noticeably few include crocodile animal money, elephant animal money, tortoise animal money and tree money. In old days, our ancestors would break the pewter money (e.g leg from the animal body) in exchange for an item less than the value of the whole pewter money.
Animal currency in 19th century looks smaller and lighter, above all much easier to carry.
Tin dredge replica in display. The real dredge is located in Kinta Vally, Tanjung Tualang, Perak and well kept by the local community as a remembrance of the tin mining history.I think I will pay a visit to the real dredge in near future too :D
Petronas Twin Towers constructed completely out of 7,062 tankards. Both towers stand over two storeys high at an impressive height of 9.1 meters. The actual towers is 50 times taller and measures 452 metres.
This wall of handprints of Royal Selangor employees, is a tribute to the craftspeople of Royal Selangor who have worked with the company for at least 5 years and above.
As Royal Selangor maintains its tradition of craftsmanship, every piece made is still hand finished to an astonishing degree. See the intricate handwork involved in the making of more than a thousand different designs.
The Factory Tour shows visitors the elaborate processes of pewter-making. Detailed handcrafting that goes into each piece include casting, filing, polishing, soldering and hammering.
The first step is casting, a process where tin, antimony and copper are melted at 250 degrees celsius to make molten pewter. Skilled artisans pour the molten pewter into moulds. After it solidifies, the mould is dismantled and the casting is removed.
Designs in different shapes and sizes and with motifs are polished in a different manner. Rough edges are removed using small hacksaw blades and filing tools. Fine sandpaper is also used to remove the yellow patina.
The hammering process is a traditional method of pewter decoration made by a steel hammer. A steady hand, precision and consistent strength is needed to create a neat and even line of dimpled patterns.
This pewter bust was presented to Mr Yong Peng Kai on his retirement as chairman of Selangor Pewter Sdn Bhd on his 65th birthday 15 Dec 1980.
"It was largely his effort in the 1930's & 40's that laid the foundation for the conversion of a cottage craft into a modernized basis..." Mr Yong Poh Kon, managing director.
To end our tour, we paid a visit to the retail shop located at the ground floor where houses thousand of beautiful pewter designs.
The cute little pots and mugs cost only RM30 each, which is affordable for everyone. It can be bought as a souvenir for family or friends or even as a decoration at the living room.
The 1.987m height of the giant mug at the Royal Selangor Visitor Centre is recognized officially by The Guinness Book of Records as The World's Largest Tankard weighed 1557 kg. Remember take a picture here as it is a great photo spot of the place!
Address:Royal Selangor Visitor Centre
4, Jalan Usahawan 6, Setapak Jaya, 53300 Kuala Lumpur.
GPS Coordinate: 3.196, 101.724
+603 4145 6122
+603 4022 3000