Padang Esplanade is located east of the City Center, next to Fort Cornwallis. During British colonial period, Francis Light developed this part of Penang into an important colonial administration district. Originally, this Padang had other buildings like we found in Singapore Padang, including the Clubhouse building, The Penang Cricket Club , and The Penang Recreation Club. Unfortunately they were destroyed during the World War II.
Today, Padang Esplanade retains its charm of having several main colonial buildings like the Town Hall and the City Hall. It is also surrounded by other beautiful old shop houses and colonial buildings on Lebuh Light (Light Lane). On Tun Syed Sheh Barakbah, it is a river-walk with a great views of Gurney Drive and the harbor.
I love this part of Penang! Beautiful!
If you like walking, then you should enjoy the walking tour around northern part of Georgetown. You will start from Queen Victoria Clock Tower, Fort Cornwallis, Fort Cornwallis Lighthouse, Cenotaph, City Hall, Municipal Fountain, Logan Memorial, Supreme Court, Convent Light School, St george Church, Francis Light Memorial, Penang Museum,, Cathedral of Assumption, Argus Lane , St Xavier School, Protestant Cemetery and ending at E&O Hotel for a lunch.
Please refer to http://www.penang-traveltips.com/esplanade-self-guided-tour.htm
for the more details and a tour map. Should be interesting, take your own sweet time to walk and visit some of the oldest buildings in Penang.
I took my youngest sister and Brother in law for a tour around Penang when they were here last year and here more pictures around the esplanade and Padang Kota.
Located near Fort Cornwallis along the Esplanade is this war memorial also known as a cenotaph which commemorates those who dies during World War 1. In reality, Penang saw very little action related to World War I, with the possible exception of the sinking of the Russian ship Zemschug by the German cruise ship Emden. A boay in the sea marks the spot of the attack.
This is a major tourist stop. At the Esplanade is Fort Cornwallis with the famous cannons where Sir Francis Light, the founder of modern Penang, erected the first wooden stockade.
There is lighthouse, two well preserved City Halls, a clocktower commemorating Queen Victoria. The large Esplanade is the venue of major festivals where you can watch the fireworks too at night.
It is a popular place to fish day or night. At night, there is a foodcourt, one for Halal and the others non-Halal (non Muslim food served).
You can the harbor, Butterworth on the mainland and Gunung Jerai across in Kedah.
The Esplanade today looks very different from the one I knew when I was a child. Both the Esplanade and Gurney Drive were places where family outings took place to enjoy some sea breeze.
One thing remained unchanged which is Fort Cornwallis. It was one of the first European structures in Penang. After Captain Francis Light officially took possession of the island on August 11th 1786, development of Penang began from this point. He built a fort as a defense against the French, Kedah, and pirates.
Completed sometime in the first decade of the 19th century, it was never accorded a very high priority.
The Esplande was a romantic place in the olden days, many couples would go there during their courting days.
In the bygone days, on the 15th night of Chinese New Year (called Chap Goh Meh in Hokkien dialect), when the moon is full, the the Straits Chinese would gather at the esplanae. It's the only time of the year where the Chinese maidens, usually stayed at home, get to parade.
This is therefore the only opportunity for young men to view the girls, and make enquries that might lead to marriage. The girls would throw mandarins into the sea (to wish for a good husband) and the men would be waiting on boats in the sea to catch the mandarins.
a popular waterfront promenade which stretches from the hawker stalls at one end to the clock tower at the other. Central in the Esplanade is the Padang, a huge square of town green. Standing proudly beside is the City Hall, a stately colonial building which is a fine example of British palladian architecture featuring magnificent Corinthian columns and huge windows.
Quite near to the Jetty at Weld Quay, and next to Fort Cornwallis, is the Esplanade. This place is very popular in the evenings, where youngsters gather for some sea breeze and hawker food.