Sunday, April 25, 2010


Kuala Pilah is a town and district in Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia. Commonly called Pilah by the mainly Malay Minangkabau inhabitants, it is also the name of a district. It is an old valley town with many of the pre-war Chinese shophouses still fronting the main streets surrounded by traditional style Malay village houses built on stilts nestled amongst extensive rice fields. Among the local specialities are Minangkabau food.

Kuala Pilah town itself is a main stopover for transport routes. It has a sizeable Chinese community that has existed since the mining days during the early British rule.

On the main road is a Chinese-styled arch dedicated to Martin Lister who was the first British Resident of Negeri Sembilan, commemorating his effort in ending the intermittent violent conflict between Chinese secret societies then rampant amongst the migrant Chinese populace. Lister was killed by his enemies in the nearby hills at Ulu Bedul. The old Kuala Pilah Resthouse was a government built resthouse during the British occupation. In the early years, resthouses were the only available hotels and where everyone from businessmen to travellers stayed.