With Ernest Zacharevic’s Evolution wall mural on the side wall of this building, it has certainly attracted a lot of visitors over the past year and a half.
However, many were not aware that behind the closed doors of this building, massive restoration works were carried out almost around the clock for the last ten months.
This Saturday, Jan 16, it is finally ready to receive its first public visitors.
This two-storey shophouse, which belongs to the Ho family of Hovid Berhad, is steeped in history for the Ho Yan Hor brand of herbal tea. It was last year that the family decided to utilise the shop that has been left vacant for several years.
And this was how ipohWorld, led by its director Commander (R) Ian Anderson, came into the picture, following the successful restoration of their earlier project; the building next door, Han Chin Pet Soo.
This building, painted blue, believed to be its original colour, has been restored to the best of their knowledge based on old photos and research, as well as through the memory of Dr. Ho Kai Cheong’s descendants, particularly his eldest son, David Ho.
On the ground floor, which will have a modern tea bar where Ho Yan Hor tea will be sold, is where visitors can learn all about the inception of the Ho Yan Hor company and its subsequent success.
At the back portion of the building is a kitchen and replica of the stove where the herbal tea leaves were dried in a large wok.
As the Ho family lived in this shophouse too, many household items, as well as a laundry room, have been added in to depict the presence of a family.
On the first floor, exhibits are mainly about the man himself (Dr. Ho Kai Cheong) and the new tea factory along Kuala Kangsar Road. With a new premises, the family relocated and this shophouse was left to become a storage facility-cum-retail store, until the 1960s.
While many items within the building have been reconstructed or replaced entirely, such as the façade and roof, all the artefacts of Dr. Ho Kai Cheong are from the personal collection of the Ho family.
Even as the gallery is ready this Saturday, it continues to be a work in progress. A vintage commercial van has been purchased in the United Kingdom and will be shipped to Ipoh later this year. It will be painted with Ho Yan Hor Herbal Tea motifs like the old days.
As you can see, this “museum” is actually a monument to honour Dr. Ho, as the founder of Ho Yan Hor, which subsequently grew to its current status as a leading pharmaceutical manufacturer in Malaysia.
Ho Yan Hor Museum
Add: No. 1, Jalan Bijeh Timah (Treacher Street), Ipoh, Perak.
GPS Coordinates: N 04° 35.779′ E101° 04.742′
Opening hours: 10am – 4pm daily, except Mondays
Admission: free of charge
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