The victorian clocktower.
George Town has a very nice old victorian clocktower that dates back to 1897 where local millionare Chea Chen Eok had it build to commemorate 60 year jubilee of queen Victoria.
Because of the 60 years reign the tower is 60 feet tall.
Queen Victoria never got to see it by the way as she died before it was finished, but today it stands in old George Town as a reminder of the old days where Britain had a strong influence in the region.
- Historical Travel
The city hall.
The old city hall in George Town is one of the best excamples of british architecture on the island and it´s a bight white building with corinthian columns.
It´s located down by the seafront, right next to the fortress and you should pop by there to enjoy this beautiful building.
- Historical Travel
The komtar tower.
The Komtar tower is 231 meters tall and has 65 floors and it´s the tallest building in Penang and the 8th tallest building in Malaysia.
It was constructed between 1974 and 1986 and hosts a variety of shops, offices, cafes etc.
When you look at how impressive and shiny the highrise buildings in Kuala Lumpur are then the Komtar tower is honestly speaking not very pretty, but it´s a good navigation point as it can be seen from long distances and you do have a good choice of especially clothes stores there and down below the tower you have the "Komtar walk" which is full of nice cafes.
- Business Travel
Fort Cornwallis was originally build in 1786 when When captain Francis Light landed on Penang, but it was a wooden structure at first so it got rebuild in 1808 by convict labour in to a stronger fortress.
A lot of the fortress still remains intact and it´s open to the public for an RM2 entrance fee.
It has been partly turned in to a park and it also hosts various cultural events, but there are some nice displays in there too telling about the history of Penang.
- Castles and Palaces
- Historical Travel
The fort Cornwallis lighthouse.
The fort Cornwallis lighthouse dates back from 1882 and is a steel construction where you can climb the ladder on the outside of the lighthouse and enjoy the view from the top.
That is if you like the climb though.
I gotta admit that i turned around half way up as i am a bit scared of hights.
It´s standing right next to fort Cornwallis and the entrance to the lighthouse is free.
- Historical Travel
George Town - Beach Street
Lebuh Beach was the "Wall Street" of George Town.
George Town was once a thriving tax free port, this street parallel to Weld Quay was an important financial street. While ships called to port and get unloaded into warehouses on Weld Quay, money was counted along the banks on Beach Street.
Today, most banks have moved their main offices to bigger buildings in other parts of Penang but still maintain this historic bank branches along Beach Street. You will see the old colonial buildings that have ATMs.
The Immigration Office for passports is housed in a beautiful colonial building at the roundabout where Beach Street starts.
Along Beach Street, you will also find a junction to Downing Street. Sounds familiar.
George Town - Dato' Kramat Road
Jalan Dato' Kramat starts from Penang and joins up to Jalan Air Itam. Hence it is a busy two way street and plied by the red bus Transit Link.
At the Penang Road end, there is a popular GAMA supermarket for price and availablity of local shopping. Then an Hindu temple and a new housing project called "Times Square" which was formerly the site of Penang Tin Smelting when Malaysia was the world largest exporter of tin ingot.
Dato' Kramat then passes by the "Padang" which is field for soccer and night market "pasar malam" at the junction with Perak Road. This junction gives the local Chinese name of Dato Kramat Road which "Si Kam Tiam" (literally 4 shops).
Then continues pass the City Stadium, Penang Jail with the Penang General Hospital a block behind. Then it passes by several secondary schools including the former Han Jiang School and the Methodist Boys School .
The former canteen of Methodist Boys School was the historic "Suffolk House" the former residence of Colonial Governors which is under heritage restoration. TV advertisements are asking for public donations towards this restoration. Check Penang Heritage Trust fund website if you are interested.
George Town - Masjid Kapitan Keling Street
"Lebuh Masjid Kapitan Keling" is a two way street - dominated by the Kapitan Keling Mosque.
This street was cobbled recently and was formerly called "Pitt Street". Used to be beautifullly tree lined but unfortunately the original trees were cut down for road expansion.
There are many money changers and jewelry shops owned by related families of Indian Muslims on this street.
This is also the famous street where there is a Muslim Mosque, Chinese Temple, Hindu Temple and Anglican Church to showcase the diversity and tolerance of religion in Penang since her founding. See the different pictures.
walking around the many narrow and winding quaint streets of old George Town will bring you back to a by-gone era; splattered with everyday life street scenes (street vendors selling local delicacies, rickshaw riders fetching school kids, the womenfolk carrying basketloads of fish & vegetables from the wet markets) to ornate windows, door carvings, coloured tiles, stuccos, gilded door panels, etc. on old Anglo-Indo-Malay-Chinese architecture link houses of the Straits Chinese (Nyonas & Babas) and their clan temples.
Light Street Convent & School was used by the Japanese occupying forces during WW2 as a temporary prisoner-of-war camp. Some American marines held there left their marks on the walls of some the classrooms, which are preserved until today. Be sure to seek permission to enter first as you might disrupt classes being held there. The chapel contains some beautiful stained glass windows. It can be rented for weddings!
In the old 200-year old Christian cemetary lie many distinguished colonial personalities including Captain Francis Light and David Leonowens, the husband of Anna Leonowens of the King And I fame. Anna retird to Canada after serving the royal court of King Rama IV (King Mongkut) of Siam for a short while.
Your walk around town will take you through tiled pathways and gilded and decorative doors of pre-war shophouses, street hawkers (we're obsessed with food-"live to eat") and many Chinese clan temples.
You should follow the trails of the heritage walks which will bring you to the highlights of Penang's architectural jewels (you can get maps of the walking trails from the tourist offices (in the 60-storey KOMTAR tower on Level 3 concourse).
- Historical Travel
- Budget Travel
Cenotaph at the Esplanade
HONOURING FALLEN HEROES
Buglers played the "Last Post" during the Remembrance Day, wreath laying ceremony at the cenotaph at the Esplanade to honour those who lost their lives during the wars after year 1914.
Our Glorious Dead
World War I : 1914- 1918
World War II : 1939 - 1945
Siam-Burma Death Railway : 1942-1945
Malaysian Emergency : 1948-1960
Indonesian Confrontation : 1963-1966
Re-Insurgency Period : 1968-1990
- Historical Travel
- Road Trip
George Town - Penang Road
Penang Road or Jalan Penang used to the be main shopping street of George Town. During the 60's when there was even a trolley bus on Penang Road to this free tax island, shoppers from mainland Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia will flock to Penang Road.
But the free tax status was revoked and shopping at Penang Road faded.
Today, there is still the Chowrasta Market at the middle of Penang Road opposite the Police Station where you can buy Penang local products as well the daily groceries from the wet market.
At one of Penang Road is Komtar and the other end is Upper Penang Road Pedestrian Street.
At the busy intersection with Burmah Road is an elaborate pedestrian roundabout bridge. Use it for your own safety while crossing the road.
Along Penang Road, you will find the famous laksa and cendul and ice kacang stalls.
Walking along Penang Road is a must if you want to be truly have visited Penang. At least drive through it in your hired taxi or bus tour.
George Town - Air Itam Road
Jalan Air Itam is one of the most important road in Penang, connecting Air Itam to the rest of George Town.
It passes the river, Sungair Air Itam at the State Mosque. It will pass by the Hindu Templees built near rock outcrops then meet a roundabout to continue to Air Itam or go to Penang Hill Station. There is a World War II memorial near the roundabout.
When approaching Air Itam, you will have a panaromic view of the famous Kek Lok Si Temple.
The red bus line "Transit Link" plyies between Komtar and Air Itam town along Jalan Air Itam.
George Town - Chulia Street
Lebuh Chulia is one of the oldest street and important that start from Weld Quay near the ferry to Penang Road, the heart of George Town.
Most of the houses on both sides of the road are prewar terraced double storey buildings with shops on the ground floor and residence on the top floor.
Many are turned into budget accommodation for tourists and Chulia Street is now the "Khao San Road of Bangkok" for George Town. You will meet many foreign backpackers here at the cafes, convenient stores and food stalls and coffee shops along Chulia Street.
The bus from the Ferry Terminal goes by Chulia Street to Penang Road and Komtar. So there are bus stops on Chulia Street to get to Komtar and then to all parts of Penang Island.
It is a two way street and I have personally seen some irresponsible bus drivers intentionally nicking unwary tourists who were walking to close into the way of the traffic. Better to walk along the shaded five foot way of the building which acts as pedestrian pavement rather than on the road itself.
George Town - King Street
Lebuh King is a one way street parallel and between China Street and Bishop Street.
It connects Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling and Beach Street (Lebuh Pantai).
There are many prewar buildings with five foot walkways. It has been a site of several movie filming to capture the atmosphere of that era.
Nice to walk along this street and step into an early period of George Town.
George Town - Carnavon Street
Lebuh Carnavon used to have beautiful plants in the middle of this two way street.
It was well known for the many book stores and many still survived. Also there used to be many coffin shops as well for fish aquariums. The three in a row shops dedicated to selling Chinese Taoist deities and paraphenalia is still there.
It is a short walk along from Komtar to Little India using Lebuh Carnavon. You will pass by the junction of Kimberly Street which is still a popular night hawker street. There is a nearby police station as well as Penang earliest wet market.
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