MELAKA -- Adhering the feelings of a granny's house, The Jiong House along Jalan Kampung Pantai comes complete with its mottled faded wall paint, old cement floor, obsolete TV sets, old-fashioned sofa accompanied by the sound of a lone fan turning inside an empty living hall.
Located in the heart of old Melaka, The Jiong House is identified with its light blue facade and wall, with only one signboard displaying the words "The Jiong House". Compared with nearby guest houses, The Jiong House is like an exceptionally gracious jasmine flower exuding an irresistible fragrance.
The word "Jiong" in Chinese implies radiance and brightness and it has become a commonly used jargon in Chinese Internet chat rooms since 2008.
The person-in-charge Lee Zhen Cheng hopes backpackers and tourists around the world would treasure the time they have spent at The Jiong House.
The three-storey building is almost a century old now. It used to be a residential house until Lee bought it and transformed it into a guest house after the previous owners moved out. The original structure of the whole building has been preserved with the exception of the second floor which has been redesigned into 12 guest rooms.
The guest rooms are divided into several categories, such as air-conditioned double rooms with scenic river view, air-conditioned double rooms with city view, and double and single rooms with fans.
Besides, there is also a dormitory with six Japanese style tatami mats for guests to share.
Guests staying in river view rooms can catch a glimpse of the historic Melaka River and enjoy the tranquil atmosphere.
Eye-opener for foreigners
Although the old-fashioned set-up is a norm to many local residents, it is a rare and unique experience for foreign tourists, especially when they walk up the narrow wooden ladder. The creaking sound from the wooden stairs makes them feel the entire atmosphere is so surreal and incredible.
It is easy to fall in love with The Jiong House despite the antiquated furnishings, wall and tiles reminiscent of past memories of the seventies. As such, most of the guests are foreign tourists who are excited about the experience of putting up in an old styled guest house.