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Saturday, February 11, 2012

Serendah Old Town Prewar Shophouses ~ Mahaguru58's Photoshoot

I guess that most of you who follow my blog know of my favorite pastime of traveling and taking photographs of places that I travel to in my wanderings all over the Malaysian peninsular and other countries that I'm fortunate enough to visit?

Well, I went on a day trip to Frasers Hill recently with my beloved. We first encountered a few prewar Chinese shophouses at Serendah in Hulu Selangor where I stopped for a few minutes and took the following photos.
Lucky for me it was a bright sunny day but there were ominous looking dark clouds slowly starting to form and threatened to spoil my photo shoot!
On the right hand side of the photo above, you can see the Balai Polis Serendah. As much as I wanted to explore further this old part of Serendah, I didn't want to spend my entire day there as my targeted destination was Frasers Hill! So, it was more of a snap and go thingy there at Serendah!
I noticed several shophouses that were already decaying out of neglect and figured that they'd make good subjects for my photography that day.
I don't know why but I have this thing for old buildings. They harbor a thousand and one stories about the past that not that many people here in Malaysia bother to preserve or write about as a legacy for those of us who do give a damn about our nation's heritage and legacies.
There's something about the wooden structures that draws me to them! Beckoning me to come learn about their history. Who built them? When were they built? Etcetera....

Who lived and traded here before? What happened to them? Why did they abandon this shop house?

These Chinese folks were curious as to why this old man was photographing old and decaying shophouses? Told them I thought that it was a shame to let those old buildings to just rot away!
Walking past history. Those buildings will just crumble away to oblivion due to an uncaring and couldn't be bothered country. No one cares...

I then shifted my focus to this interesting deserted structure..
It was a sprawling historical structure with unique woodwork being left to rot!
It just stood out and sort of beckoned to me to find out more?
The building's colors told me that this could have been the Serendah Post Office and I was proven to be correct! 
There was a faded sign stating SERENDAH still hanging at the entrance.
There were lattice work at the corner beams holding up the roof. Pity that the ones in authority over these structures are oblivious to such artwork!
If I am not wrong, developed countries like in Europe preserve their old buildings and keep such treasures in working order as a living legacy for generations to come?
Here in Malaysia, they are left to rot and disintegrate! 

I couldn't help noticing something strange in the neighborhood. What is it?
What grabbed my curiosity was the following signboard advertising a Chinese Ghostbuster service?

This signboard is located at the entrance to Jalan Hospital, Serendah, just across the road from the Serendah Police Station. Charges start at RM388 per session. Hehehehe. Ghostbusting can be very profitable nowadays, huh?

Leaving that spooky signboard, I moved on to check out an abandoned shophouse which looked like a suitable location for any of the current horror flicks that seem to be the chosen genre for the local film producers!

I was half expecting to have a Chinese ghost jump out and spook me! :P

That's as Chinese a window design as it can get! 
Can you see the unique security door? I saw the same type of door at one of the prewar Chinese shophouses when I was photo shooting at Tanjong Malim old town before.
This type of collapsing gate is synonymous with the prewar Chinese shophouses architectural designs that we can find all over the Straits Settlements cities and towns all over Peninsular Malaysia.

The sight of this Serendah Chinese local villager cycling away with the dark clouds looming in the skies above ends this write up.

Hope you enjoyed the tour.



Siva Prasanna Krishnan said...

Dear Writer

I have been following your blog intermittently for a while. You have such good photographs. I am writing about growing up as the child of immigrant parents from India in the fifties, sixties and on. I was born in Jalan Dhoby, opposite Sallehudin's bakery. I seek your permission to use a few of your pictures and i will acknowledge you as the owner of the pictures. I write under Prasanna Krishnan Speaks. Hope to hear from you.



MAHAGURU58 said...

Dear Siva Prasanna Krishnan,

It's my privilege to have you as one of my readers.

It is really a momentous occasion for me to have someone as articulate as you to drop by and make this acquaintance.

You have my permission to use any of my photographs to accentuate your writings.

I admit to loving digital photography and have a passion to capture heritage and historical sights and scenes before they disappear from our country here.

I have come to enjoy reading your writings as well and look forward to learning more about you.

Have a memorable festive occasion with your loved ones.

May you be well. Ameen.

Haji Zainol Abideen @ Mahaguru58. :)

Siva Prasanna Krishnan said...

Tn Hj Zainol

Thank you for your permission. Sometimes we just cannot accesss pics of our own. In those days most of the photographs taken were of family members and rarely of roads, houses, shops and the environment capturing a period of time.

Are you from JB?
As you may know, I am from JB but currently live away from Johore and my visits are not as frequent as i wish.



MAHAGURU58 said...

No Madam.

I am from Penang originally but am now living in KL.

I have visited JB before and was pleased to come across the old quarters of your home town.

I like to travel throughout the Malaysian Peninsular especially to the old towns and villages.

They have lots of interesting sights and scenes which we need to capture and preserve as part of our country's heritage.

Right now I am quite busy managing the apartments where I have lived in for the past 10 years.

Wish to go photoshoot the old towns again when and if I get to escape from crazy KL!!!

Please keep me updated and do write more for you are such a gifted writer.

Best regards,

Haji Zainol.