History of Gopeng, Perak  
 
 

Gopeng


Gopeng is a town located in Mukim Teja, Kampar District, Perak, Malaysia. It is situated approximately 20 km south of Ipoh, the state capital. The town is located on the west side of the North-South Expressway stretch of Tapah-Simpang Pulai. The limestone hills and the Titiwangsa Mountains are clearly visible; the expressway penetrates between them and the view of the Tapah-Gopeng stretch is one of the most picturesque areas on the west side of Peninsular Malaysia.

Once this town was bustling with tin miners and locals who busied themselves with the great tin mining industry of Malaysia until the collapse of the tin empire in 1980s. The name for Gopeng was named by a Chinese called Mo Peng, but the British changed its name to Go Peng as the name is hard to pronouce. According to locals, there were once French, British and local tin mining companies developing tin mine industry there. Among them was called the Osbourne & Chappel which opened its franchise here in one of Gopeng's rich tin mine. Both locals and immigrants worked there. People started to flee the town and seek better opportunities in neighboring towns and cities soon after the collapse of the 1980s.

However, the love towards the town has never been faded and now Gopeng already flourished with heritage, cuisine and eco-tourism attractions developed by the locals themselves. Gopeng is also well known for limestone caves such as Gua Tempurung, located approximately 5 km from the town centre.

Structural Landmark

Gopeng often affiliated with the old mine giant water pipes stretching above the trunk road, Jalan Gopeng, between the Shell Gas Station and Masjid Baru Gopeng. The rusty pipes channeled the water all the way from the hill slopes into the tin mines in the low lands which is now, Gopeng. Locals called it, Paip Besar (Malay), literally, Huge Pipes in English. Although there are no more mining activities, the giant pipes remained intact on the original stilts and became a very significant landmark of recognizing Gopeng. However, in July 2010 most of the pipes were removed for scrap metal, leaving just a small section at the side of the main road - the ones that crossed over the road were removed.

Cultural Landmark

Gopeng and its surrounding population is also known for an extremely high concentration of Rao people, with its famous Rao Dialect (Chakok Rao), the Adet Bojojak (Adat Berjejak in standard Bahasa Melayu), the Kelamei (a type of Rao distinctive cuisine) and the all-time favourite, Gulei Nangko (Gulai Nangka or Nangka Masak Lemak in standard Malay). The Rao closely related to the Minang and Mandailing instead of the Malays in which both the Rao and the Malays are exclusively distinguished culturally particularly language and cuisines.

Town layout

n the central area of Gopeng, there is an old bus station. There are mosques, Buddhist temples, Hindu temples and a Sikh temple located near each other. The Gopeng Police Station is located near the Gopeng Post Office and a field named as Padang Bandaran Gopeng. This area is considered the central area of Gopeng since the field is essential for the locals for various occasions, especially for local soccer matches and other special events. Central Gopeng is filled with old pre-war shophouses which are extremely valuable for conservation and perhaps tourist attractions.
Among the most recognized places in the town centre, particularly nearby the Gopeng Bus Station is the Alif Cafe Restaurant, the local post office, the police station, Giat Mara Gopeng, Padang Bandaran Gopeng, Pasaraya Ku, the Goodyear Tyre Workshop and newly opened Indian restaurant Hega's Spice. The Podal Video Rental Service is located along the same row of shophouse of the Pasaraya Ku. There are local tailors and a brand new bundle shop located nearby the area. A newly opened stationery shop is located opposite the driving school office at the High Street.

   
 
Source : wikipedia.org