Time Tunnel: A look at the Cameron Highlands of yesterday

Time Tunnel Cameron Highlands in Brinchang holds a vast horde of memorabilia, artefacts and collectables from days gone by.

Time Tunnel Cameron Highlands is a fascinating museum in Brinchang exhibiting a vast horde of memorabilia, artefacts and collectables from days gone by.

The collection has been curated by See Kok Shan, a Cameron Highlander with a passion for collecting artefacts from the early days of Cameron Highlands itself.

The museum opened in 2007, in a warehouse adjacent to a strawberry farm on the main road on the outskirts of Brinchang.

Time Tunnel describes itself as a journey back in time, and those who are middle aged or above will recognise familiar items from their younger days.

Exhibits are arranged in themed sections including:

• Orang asli. Photographs and information about the orang asli who inhabited the Cameron Highlands area before the arrival of outsiders.

• Cameron Highlands chronology. A historical timeline that charts the origins of the highlands from their “discovery” in 1885 by William Cameron up until their early development as a hill resort in the 1920s and 1930s.

• Emergency period. Documents and posters from the Malayan Emergency, which lasted from 1948 to 1960.

Tanah Rata in Cameron Highlands as it looked in the 1950s and 1960s.

• Old photos. Black-and-white photos from the 1950s and ‘60s provide a nostalgic reminder of what Cameron Highlands used to be like.

• Jim Thompson. A section is dedicated to the mysterious circumstances surrounding the disappearance of Jim Thompson, the American founder of the Thai silk business that still bears his name. He vanished during a walk in the Cameron Highlands in 1967.

Curator See Kok Shan has put together a huge and fascinating collection of advertising memorabilia.

• Advertising materials. See has accumulated many collections over the decades but there is a particular strength in advertising materials such as old posters, advertisements and all sorts of items bearing logos, especially soft drink brands, beers, cigarettes and hot drinks.

A mock-up of a traditional coffee-shop.

• Kopitiam. There is a mock-up of a traditional old-style coffee shop with nostalgic music playing in the background.

• Mobile food stall. A bicycle-mounted noodle stall, complete with utensils and ingredients, is on display.

• Barber shop. There is a mock-up of the interior of a typical traditional barber shop with the old-fashioned chair, mirror and accessories.

A barber’s chair from days gone by.

It is great that See has preserved these everyday items from yesterday for the current and future generations to see. Definitely a highlight of any trip to the Cameron Highlands.

Time Tunnel Cameron Highlands
UT/MR/F-255 Jalan Sungai Burung
39100 Brinchang
Cameron Highlands

Open daily: 9am to 6pm

This article first appeared in Malaysia Traveller.