About 10 years ago, Tuan Ahmad Tuan Abdullah, 56, began buying houses which were more than 150 years old and restored them into the Warisan Pahlawan Resort in Kuala Berang, here.
“I became interested after looking at traditional houses with their beautiful carvings which had been abandoned and left to rot, so together with my wife, decided to build a resort based on these houses which I bought for between RM5,000 to RM10,000 each.
“Some of these houses were already on the brink of collapsing, so we combined them with other houses into new houses (chalets) for the resort,” Tuan Ahmad told reporters, here.
Together with his wife, Zaimah Osman, 56, Tuan Ahmad named the houses after Malay religious figures and warriors such as Mat Kilau, Tok Gajah, Tok Ku Paloh, Tok Ku Pulau Manis and Tok Kenali.
Tuan Ahmad said the famed Malay warrior Mat Kilau had actually stayed in the house named after him and he (Tuan Ahmad) bought it from a resident of Kampung Pasir Nering, here.
The one-hectare resort in Kampung Pauh is located about five kilometres or about five minutes’ drive from Kuala Berang town which itself is a tourist spot close to Tasik Kenyir, the largest man-made lake in Southeast Asia.
Tuan Ahmad said the resort, with its eight traditional houses and 50 rooms decorated along traditional Malay themes, not only attracted domestic tourists to stay but also foreigners such as from the Netherlands, Singapore, Japan and the United States.
“The room rates are at RM40 to RM100 while a house stay is from RM250 to RM300 per night,” Tuan Ahmad said, adding that the houses had four to six rooms each and the resort also had a seminar hall.
Other attractions at the resort include Terengganu traditional food, kitchen utensils as well as an old well.
“Now that more people know about this resort, there are even tourists who request I build them a house. The response has been good and this is now my new venture,” Tuan Ahmad said.
He uses the services of four professional builders to build the houses in three months, and sells each for about RM150,000 to RM300,000, using cengal wood.
“I really hope that with the resort and these houses, Malay traditional crafts will be preserved for future generations to appreciate,” he said.