About the pre-war shop house – Ren Ai Yang (仁爱堂)
It’s not a surprise that most part of Georgetown of Penang Island or Pulau Pinang has been listed as a Unesco World Heritage site.
The reason is that there are a lot of historic buildings and structures located within Georgetown.
Some of these historic buildings consist of pre-war shop houses. A lot of these pre-war shop houses have already been fully restored.
One such unique shop lot that has been restored and turned into a heritage inn is the Yin Oi Tong Chinese Medical Hall. The medical hall used to occupy three shop houses for over 124 years.
Source: The Star
Now the medical hall has not only been converted into a hotel but also a museum as well as a bistro and bar where travelers would have the chance to get a glimpse of the past of the building.
Read on to find out more about this special heritage building.
Attractions of an old-world building
The newly restored Ren i Tang [仁爱堂], located in 82-A, Penang Street, used to be the Yin Oi Tong Chinese Medical Hall which occupied three shoplots for 124 years.
The shoplots, which are pre-war houses belonging to the Cheah Kongsi, are now managed by Green Buildings Sdn Bhd.
Origin of the Chinese medical hall
As explained on its website, the name ‘Ren i Tang’ [仁爱堂] is the phonetic spelling of Yin Oi Tong in Mandarin, which is ‘The Hall of Benevolence’ when translated.
Breezy feel: a window which opens into the air well.
Opened for business in April this year after a two-year restoration, the inn is strategically located in the Unesco World Heritage site and just a walking distance to popular tourist spots and other heritage buildings in inner George Town.
The inn’s proprietor Eu Yeok Siew said the restoration cost more than RM2mil.
What to see in the heritage hotel
She said the objective was not only to restore the building but also to encourage people to see how they can recycle the things that they have.
“This is a recycling and conservation project. Eighty percent of the wood in the building is made of recycled timber.
“The wooden furniture in the hotel is made from the wood that was left in the building or those found in scrapyards.
“We also reused the old items left behind such as old bottles and newspapers and turned them into quirky decorations,” she said yesterday at the building.
Eu, who is also Green Buildings director, added that the ground floor was retained as a ‘trading area’ with Bistro Tang serving breakfast for guests and is open to the public for lunch and dinner.
“The second and third floors have been converted into 17 guest rooms,” she said.
Treasured item: The mortar on display in the museum.
What a stay is like at the hotel
She added that with its air well, the premises are filled with natural lighting and good ventilation.
She said a museum showing items and herbs left behind by Yin Oi Tong was in progress, and is expected to be open in August.
“We have invited Yin Oi Tong Medical Hall to take up a unit on the ground floor.
“They are now operating in Paya Terubong but they would like to come back here as they have a lot of loyal customers,” she said.
It was previously reported that Yin Oi Tong was forced to move out of the three shoplots as it could not sustain the business.
The medical hall, which was set up by Chinese immigrants who came to Malaya, was initially based in Pitt Street before it moved to Penang Street.
In 2009, several non-governmental organizations such as the Cultural Heritage Advisory Team and Penang Heritage Trust, as well as heritage researcher Tan Yeow Wooi, had joined hands to try to preserve the building’s traditional usage as a medical hall.
You can find out more about the hotel such as room rates, availability, fees, business hour, contact through the following webpage:
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