Imagine the exquisite silver-grey sheen of pewter. Now, you can not only admire this at the Royal Selangor Visitor Centre in Kuala Lumpur, but you can also try your hand at crafting your own masterpiece at this pewter museum, manufacturer and retailer.
The business was founded in 1885 by a young pewtersmith called Yong Koon in a little shop named Ngeok Foh (translated as Jade Peace). He originally made pewter objects such as incense burners, candle holders, and joss stick holders for ceremonial use in Buddhist/Taoist homes and temples.
During the colonial rule, the range of items expanded to include ashtrays, tankards (tall beer mugs), and tea sets. In the 1970s, his company began exporting pewter items to Singapore, Hong Kong, and Australia. And, in the 1980s, the company exported items to Europe and Japan.
Among the interesting sights you wouldn’t want to miss at the visitor centre are the 9.1m-high Petronas Twin Towers statue constructed from 7,092 tankards, and a giant tankard that has made it into the Guinness World Records.
Admission to the visitor centre is free, but you have to pay to take part in pewter crafting workshops. However, you get to take your creations home with you, as well as a certificate.
Why you should go
The Royal Selangor Visitor Centre has been recognised as a top tourist attraction in the Klang Valley, and has won the TripAdvisor’s Traveller’s Choice Awards three years in a row from 2014 to 2016.
With its 3,700 sq m contemporary-design space comprising exhibition galleries, a factory, and retail outlet, the visitor centre is not only the largest of its kind in Malaysia, but the world, too.
Free guided tours are provided in several languages: English, Bahasa Malaysia, Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese), and Japanese.
What to do
Wander through the museum and be delighted by the many pewter exhibits from teapots, photo frames, tankards, jewellery, collectibles and more. Learn about the history of pewter and how Royal Selangor (formerly known as Selangor Pewter) was founded. Go on a factory tour and see how pewter items are made.
You can also buy souvenirs made of pewter and other materials at the retail outlet.
If you’d like to try your hand at pewter craftsmanship, you can enrol in The Foundry or School of Hard Knocks. At The Foundry, there are casts for items such as key chains and pendants. You can choose to unleash your creativity and craft other products too.
At the School of Hard Knocks, you get to make a standard pewter bowl with your name engraved on it. It is simple, easy to do, and even children can do it with adult supervision.
Who will like it
A visit to the Royal Selangor Visitor Centre is a fun activity that both individuals and groups can enjoy. It is educational and a good activity for school trips, as well as for parents to bring their children to. Company sports clubs can also enrol in The Foundry or School of Hard Knocks to learn something new together. Both locals as well as international tourists would enjoy it.
The Royal Selangor Visitor Centre is located about a half an hour’s drive from Kuala Lumpur city. If you’re staying at a hotel, do ask the concierge if there are free shuttle services to the visitor centre.
You can also take the LRT (Kelana Jaya line) and stop at Wangsa Maju. From there, take a taxi or Grab to the location – it is only five minutes away from the station.
If you live on the northern side of the peninsula, you can check out the Royal Selangor Visitor Centre Straits Quay in Penang. Just get on the Penang Hop-On-Hop-Off bus and stop at Straits Quay, or take the Rapid bus #102.
Address: 4, Jalan Usahawan 6, Setapak Jaya, 53300 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-4145 6233
Royal Selangor Visitor Centre (Penang)
Address: 4, 3A-G-1, Straits Quay, Jalan Seri Tanjung Pinang, Tanjung Tokong, 10470 Penang
Tel: 04-891 2018