Edited From www.penang-traveltips.com and other sources.
227 things to see and do on Penang Island
1. 120 Armenian Street : House where Dr Sun Yat Sen had his base in Penang. 120 Armenian Street is a shophouse built in the 1870's that has witnessed surprising events that shaped world history. While it may appear stark compared to the ornate architecture of the clan temples down the street, it is a house that is worth documenting. While it looks like a typical George Town shophouse, the things that happened in it is anything but typical.
The last dynasty in China came to an end from decisions made here. Amazing but true, that the activities that took place in this nondescript shophouse has a greater impact on world events than most people would realise.
Dr. Sun Yat Sen, also known as Sun Chong San, is revered in both China and Taiwan as the architect of the new, republican China. Disgruntled by an imperial China ruled by the Manchu court that he considered inefficient and corrupt, Dr Sun founded the Tung Meng Hooi (also written as T'ung Meng Hooi). The Tung Meng Hooi is a political party founded in 1905 in Tokyo with an agenda to turn China into a republic. Dr Sun travelled to various Chinese communities scattered around the world to drum up support for his movement to create this China sans Emperor. In 1909, the Southeast Asia headquarters of the Tung Meng Hooi was moved from Singapore to Penang, where it remained till 1911.
2. 1886 Building: Oldest commercial buildings on Beach Street in its original appearance. The 1886 building - so named for the year of its construction - is probably the oldest commercial building on Beach Street that has retained its original appearance. It used to house Goon Yen & Friends, an up market emporium - one of the first in George Town to be owned by non-whites. Up market shops and offices, including Howarth Erskine Engineers occupied the rest of the building.
On the upper floors are lovely French windows that open out to cast iron balconies - they were fortunate to have survived till this day, as metal were taken away by the occupying Japanese forces during the war. Topping the building is a ventilated cornice and a parapet wall.
3. 1st Avenue Penang: a shopping mall under construction in the heart of George Town. 1st Avenue Penang is an eleven-storey up market shopping mall under construction in next to Traders hotel – close to KOMTAR. It is bordered by Magazine Road, Lebuh Lintang, Tek Soon Street and Carnarvon Street. The mall, which is Phase 3 of KOMTAR, occupies a 10,126 square meter plot and will have a total built-up area of over 40,000 square meters. Formerly known as Mutiara Parade (or Lion Mutiara Parade), the mall was renamed in November 2008.
4. No’s 8, 10 & 12 Popus Lane: A row of pre-war houses that have been restored for present-day lifestyle. The houses have been beautifully restored by Pat and Alan, an Australian couple from Melbourne who decided to make Penang their home.
Many of the houses were in a poor condition when they purchase them. The couple had to completely re-do the interior, while keeping the exterior faithful to its original design.
5. ABN Amro Bank: The ABN-Amro Bank is a heritage building along Beach Street in Georgetown. It was designed in the Neo-Classical style building by the architectural firm of Wilson & Neubronner and completed in 1905. This Dutch bank was established as the Nederlandsche Handel Maatschappij or Netherlands Trading Society. It was opened a branch in Penang in 1888.
The Penang ABN-Amro Bank Building used to have a domed turret which was later altered to the present squarish shape. The façade features a series of arches rendered with imitation rustification and key stoning. When it was built, the ABN-Amro Bank Building used to face the now no longer existing Crown Road, opposite the old East India Company offices. These have since made way for the present HSBC Building, and Crown Road narrowed to become a nameless alley as it is today.
At present the ABN-Amro Bank Building houses the RBS Bank, the Royal Bank of Scotland.
6. Acheen Street Mosque: A Mosque of the Malay community in inner Georgetown. The Acheen Street Mosque is an old mosque located in the heart of Georgetown. The mosque was founded in 1801, making it one of the oldest mosques in Penang. The founder was Tengku Sheriff Syed Hussain Al-Aidid, an Acehnese clan leader who moved to Penang at the invitation of Captain Francis Light, and settled at what became Acheen Street.
In the 18th century, with Malacca in decline, trades along the Straits of Malacca moved northwards to Acheh. When Francis Light established the trading post in Penang, he wanted to create a British trading post that rivals Acheh. To do this, he attracted merchants and traders from all over to settle in Georgetown. As a result, Penang had substantial communities of immigrants from Phuket, China, South India, Acheh, Arabia, and Jews from as far away as Armenia. One of these who settled here was Tengku Syed, a wealthy Achehnese merchant of Arab descent.
The Acheen Street Mosque has a Arab-style minaret with an Achehnese roof. The difference between this mosque and the other one, the Kapitan Kling nearby, is that the Acheen Street Mosque was built by an Achehnese, hence a Malay, whereas the Kapitan Kling Mosque was built by the Indian Muslims.
7. Aeon Seberang Prai City: Huge shopping centre at Bandar Perda, Bukit Mertajam, Penang. AEON Seberang Prai City Shopping Centre is on the mainland. It opened on Friday, 22 August, 2008. The mall has six levels of which 3 are taken up by retail space while another 3 by parking space. Aeon Seberang Prai City will operate from 10:00am to 10:00pm daily.
8. Air Itam Village: also written as Ayer Itam and more recently, as Air Hitam, covers a broad area that includes Farlim, Thean Teik Estate, Rifle Range, Kampung Bahru, Kampung Melayu, Hill Railway Road, Hye Keat Estate, extending as far east as the junction with York Road. Air Itam Village, or Pekan Air Itam, however, is only a small area within the vicinity of the Air Itam Market. Air Itam is traditionally regarded as the most central district of Penang Island. Located mostly on hilly land, the area served as a vegetable producing region for the city. The hills above Air Itam Village still have a number of vegetable plots. The produce is carried down to the market in the village below, or taken by bus to other markets in the city.
9. Anson Road Market: A moderate-size market between Seang Tek Road and Malacca Street. Anson Road Market is one of the wet markets in George Town. It is located along Anson Road, between Seang Tek Road and Malacca Street. The main market building is a pre-war building around which are more stalls that spill onto Seang Tek Road. On the whole, it is a small-size market that serves the community living around the area.
10. Arulmigu Karumariamman Temple: Hindu temple with the biggest gopuram in Malaysia. The Arulmigu Karumariamman Temple of Seberang Jaya is a South Indian Hindu temple noted for having the largest rajagopuram, or main sculpture tower, in Malaysia. It stands at a height of 72 ft. The entrance of the rajagopuram, at 21 ft tall and 11 ft wide, is also the biggest in Malaysia.
The Arulmigu Karumariamman Temple, as with many Hindu temples in Malaysia, had its humble origin over a hundred years ago as an estate temple catering to the needs of the estate workers living in the Paduma Estate in Perai. The area where the estate was located was turned into the new township of Seberang Jaya in the 1970's, resulting in the removal of two temples located in the area. Nevertheless, in response to the urging of the residents, the Penang State Government granted a piece of land for the building of a new Hindu temple which was completed at a cost of RM2.3 million and is dedicated to the Hindu deity Arulmigu Karumariamman, a mother deity among the rural South Indians
11. Arulmigu Naga Naathar Temple: Small Hindu shrine dedicated to the king cobra. The Arulmigu Naga Naathar Temple, also known as the Naga Naathar Temple, is dedicated to the king cobra, or naga naathar. It is located at Jalan Kebun Bunga, behind the Gandhiji Ashram.
The Arulmigu Naga Naathar Temple had been consecrated three times. The first was on 4 December 1978, the second on 13 December 1990, and the most recent consecration on 13 July 2006.
12. Arulmigu Sree Ganeshar Temple: Hindu temple dedicated to the Hindu deity with the elephant head. Ganesha is one of the best known deities in the Hindu Pantheon. He is the first son of the deity Shiva. His mother is the deity Parvati. Ganesha is revered as the "lord of beginnings", "lord of obstacles", "remover of obstacles", patron of arts and sciences, and god of intellect and wisdom. Arulmigu Sree Ganeshar was constructed in 1951 by the Hindu Mahajana Sangam, the association founded by Indian waterfront workers. It was originally known as Pillaiyar Kovil and was managed by the association, or sangam. Since then, the Arulmigu Sree Ganeshar Temple has been rebuilt twice. Its second consecration was carried out on 29 April, 1979.
13. Ayer Itam Dam: First dam to be built on Penang Island. It is located 700 feet above sea level in the water catchment area surrounded by Penang Hill and Paya Terubong. The Ayer Itam Dam was the first major engineering project to be undertaken by the City Council of George Town after the independence of Malaya. It cost M$15 million, and construction took place between 1958 and 1962. 50,000 cubic yards of concrete was used in the construction of the dam. The then Governor of Penang, Raja Tun Uda Al-Haj bin Raja Muhamad officially opened the dam on 8 December 1962.
Ayer Itam Dam is a favorite place for jogging. From the 800-feet crest of the dam, visitors can get a panoramic view of George Town spread out across the horizon below. A spillway allows excess water to be drained out. An indicator at the parking lot provides indication on the water level of the three dams in Penang, the Ayer Itam Dam, Teluk Bahang Dam and the Mengkuang Dam.
14. Ayer Itam Maha Mariamman Temple: Maha Mariamman Temple established by the Hindu community in Air Itam. Ayer Itam Maha Mariamman Temple is one of the oldest Hindu temples in Penang. It was started as merely a small attap shrine in 1886, by the Hindu community of Ayer Itam, to worship the female deity Mariamman. The full name of this temple is Arulmigu Sri Ruthra Veeramuthu Maha Mariamman Devasthanam. In 1898, the first annual fire walking ceremony in Penang was held at the Maha Mariamman Temple. The shrine was improved to a temple in 1920, and the first Maha Kumbha Abishegam ceremony was performed in 1926.
Since 1939, the Ayer Itam Maha Mariamman Temple hosts an annual chariot procession that passes through Air Itam, Kampung Baru, Rifle Range, Kampong Pisang and the Thean Teik estate now known as Farlim.
In 2002, the Ayer Itam Maha Mariamman Temple began a project to completely renovate the temple. New entranceway and gopuram (temple towers) were erected; new sculptures were created by artisans. The project is estimated to cost RM700,000.
15. Ayer Itam Market: is a major market in the village of Ayer Itam - it is one of the most popular markets in Penang. Also written Air Itam Market, it has been around for many decades, from the time that Ayer Itam was just a rural country village. In those early days, farmers bring their fresh vegetables from their farms on the hill slopes to be sold fresh to consumers in the valley below. Since then, the population of Air Itam has multiplied many times.
Today the Ayer Itam Market is a congested but fun place to do your shopping. It has lots of variety of things on sale, even reptiles such as python (look for it near the junction to Ayer Itam Methodist Church). The market building is located at the junction of Jalan Air Itam and Jalan Pasar.
As with most markets, Ayer Itam Market has plenty of hawker stalls selling food. The most famous is the Ayer Itam Laksa, located in front of the market building. There are several more laksa stalls at the foot of the hill going up to Kek Lok Si, and they are just as good.
16. Balathandayuthapani Temple: Hill-top Hindu temple associated with annual Thaipusam festival. The Balathandayuthapani Temple, better known as the Waterfall Hill Temple, is one of the oldest Hindu temples in Penang. It was originally located within the grounds of the Penang Botanical Gardens. According to popular belief, a sadhu (holy man) chose a spot close to the waterfalls for a shrine dedicated to Murugan. The place was called thanner malai, meaning water hill. The Balathandayuthapani temple became the focus of the annual Thaipusam celebrations since the 1850's.
When the British authorities decided to turn the water catchment area around the waterfall into a reservoir around the turn of the 20th century, then original shrine moved to its present site on 11 acres of hillside. The Balathandayuthapani temple has undergone several major renovations. At the foot of the staircase leading to the Balathandayuthapani temple is a shrine dedicated to the deity Ganesha. The Sree Ganeshar Temple has since developed into a separate temple in its own right, and with its own devotees.
17. Balik Pulau Market: Biggest market on the southwest part of Penang Island. Until 2008, it was located in Balik Pulau town, at the junction between Jalan Balik Pulau and Jalan Tun Sardon. That year, the market was relocated to a new market complex close by.
18. Bangunan Tuanku Syed Putra : Government building located on Downing Street best known for housing the General Post Office.
Bangunan Tuanku Syed Putra was named after Tuanku Syed Putra, the Raja of Perlis, who was the third Yang di-Pertuan Agong of the country reigning from 21 September 1960 to 20 September 1965. During that period, the country changed its name from Malaya to Malaysia.
Bangunan Tuanku Syed Putra is the first major government building in Penang to be built after the country gain independence. The foundation stone was laid by the first prime minister of Malaya, Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra al-Haj in 1961. Built in the International architectural style, it was completed and opened in 1962 by Raja Tun Uda, the first Governor of Penang.
19. Ban Hin Lee Bank Building: One of the few banks established in Penang. The building was designed by Ung Ban Hoe, the first Chinese architect in Penang, working for the architectural firm of Stark & McNeill. It was completed in 1978 in the Art Deco style. The grand classical front and thick walls were to give the appearance of solidness.
Ban Hin Lee Bank was founded in 1935 by Yeap Chor Ee, who made his fortune during the rubber slump of the 1930s, and acquired Homestead, one of the most impressive mansions in Penang.
20. Baobab Tree: The Baobab Tree of Penang is believed to be the oldest planted tree in Malaysia, and one of the most unusual-looking in Penang. There are plenty of heritage trees in Penang, but the Baobab is a grand dame in a class of its own. It stands on the traffic island between Jalan Residensi and Jalan Macalister, in its own picket-fence compound. Although it appears very elderly and frail, and even requires supports for its branches, every effort is taken to keep it healthy.
There is a Penang belief that the baobab tree brings luck to the island, and must be kept standing by all means, or else calamity will fall on Penang. A more colourful twist to the belief states that Penang is actually floating in the sea and the Baobab tree, with its upside-down looking trunk, actually acts as a stopper. If it is somehow uprooted, water will gush out of the hole and the whole island will sink.
A native of the semi-arid part of sub-Saharan Africa and Madagascar, the baobab tree (Adansonia digitata) was planted in 1871 (making it older than the Rubber Tree of Kuala Kangsar) by Tristram Charles Sawyer Speedy (better known simply as Captain Speedy), the English explorer who was hired by Perak Mentri Ngah Ibrahim to quell the restive situation in Larut.
The baobab produces green buds in spring. The buds looking like hanging tennis balls. These buds open into fragrant white flower. The oblong fruits are not pretty. They are dark brown and wizened, looking somewhat like dead rats.
21. Bao Sheng Durian Farm: Good Quality durian farm at Kampung Sungai Pinang.
22. Bat Cave Temple is in a cave filled with bats. The Bat Cave Temple is a unique temple at the foot of Penang Hill, a short distance from the Jade Emperor's Pavilion and below the old Penang Hill quarry. Get to Penang Hill Railway station bus stop (use bus U204). From the bus stop, walk down the road till you reach a lane to your left with a big arch. The arch is for the Jade Emperor's Pavilion. Take that lane. A short distance up that lane, there is a right branch. It has a sign pointing the way to the Bat Cave Temple.
23. Batu Lanchang Market: A major wet market for the population of Batu Lanchang and the surrounding areas. Batu Lanchang Market is housed within a two-storey market complex in Batu Lanchang. As with most markets in Malaysia, the ground floor houses the wet market while the upper floor has a multi-purpose hall. There is a good variety of fresh vegetables and meat in this market, and after you have done your marketing, you can retire to the hawker food court for breakfast. Among the popular hawker food you can have at this food court include the Koay Kak, Pasembur, toasted bread, Chee Cheong Fun and Char Koay Teow
24. Batu Maubg Bottle Temple: Temple decorated with wine and beer bottles. The official name of the temple is the Cheng Choo Tze Temple. It is dedicated to the Taoist deity Kew Loong Sern Tze. The temple is located on the hill road that leads to Teluk Tempoyak. The Batu Maung Bottle Temple is best visited by car. From Batu Maung, take the road towards Permatang Damar Laut. Turn towards Teluk Tempoyak. As the road goes uphill, look for the temple sign on the right. Park up and walk down to visit the temple. By bus use 305 to Teluk Tempoyak – it goes past the temple. Ask the driver to let you off.
25. Batu Maung Market: along Batu Maung New Road, next to Wen Khai Primary School . Rapid Bus 302 & 307. Near by are the Foot Temple and War Museum.
26. Bayan Baru Market: Main market for the Bayan Baru township - the biggest market in the area. Officially known as the Bayan Baru Market Complex and Community Hall (Kompleks Pasar dan Balai Rakyat Bayan Baru ). It houses a wet market in the front portion while the dry market is located closer to the Bayan Baru Hawker Centre. Various sections cater to the poultry section, butcher section and a non-halal section. Rapid Penang Bus Nos. 302, 304, 305, 307, 308, 401 and 502
27. Bayan Lepas Market: Market for the town of Bayan Lepas, located along Jalan Dato Ismail Hashim, a short distance from the junction of the Bayan Lepas main road. It has been around since the 1930's. Parking is a bit of a problem here, so you may have to park a distance and walk to the market. Rapid Penang Bus 302, 305, 308 and 401.
28. Bellevue Penang Hill Hotel: The highest hotel in Penang. It is a place to enjoy the old world charm of colonial Penang, enjoying scones, buttered toast, jam, half-boiled eggs, and sipping Darjeeling tea. It does feel slightly run down, but the views are great. Look for the snake that lives in the vines that form the balcony canopy.
29. Benggali Mosque: Mosque for the Benggali community of George Town located on Leith Street.
30. Beow Hiang Lim Temple: Buddhist temple and columbarium on the way to the Penang Hill railway station. Beow Hiang Lim Temple was built by two brothers, Lim Bing Zhao and Lim Bing Kun, so that a revered Buddhist monk from China, Master Hui Quan, has a place to stay and preach. This took place between 1940, when Master Hui Quan arrived in Penang, and 1943, when he passed away. Beow Hiang Lim Temple is located on the left side of Jalan Bukit Bendera as you go up the road towards the hill railway station. From the Weld Quay Bus Terminal, you can take Rapid Penang Bus U204 which goes up to the railway station.
31. Boon San Tong Khoo Kongsi: in Victoria Street is the smaller of the two Khoo Kongsi clan temples in Penang. Unlike its "bigger sister", the Boon San Tong Khoo Kongsi does not receive throngs of photo-snapping tourists. Boon San Tong was built by a branch of the Leong San Tong Khoo Kongsi. It is the ancestral temple of the Khoo subclan known as the Hai Kee Kak, or "Sea Edge Pillar".
32. Botanical Gardens Waterfall are located within the Botanical Gardens. Impressive waterfalls but not many people get to see it as you need permission from the Penang Water Authority (Perbadanan Bekalan Air Pulau Pinang).
33. Brown Memorial: Monument to David Brown, largest land owner in Penang. David Brown was a noted philanthropist who donated tremendously to the development of Penang. The 12-acre Padang Brown, on which his memorial now stands, was donated by him to the municipality.
34. Bukit Dumbar: Public park built over a man-made hill containing an underground reservoir located in Jelutong, or rather, at the border of Jelutong and Gelugor. Since the 1960's, Bukit Dumbar also doubles as a recreational park. It is one of the few patches of green space in Jelutong, and is popular with the locals as a place for jogging and exercise, Bukit Dumbar can be reached from Jalan Jelutong. The nearest bus stop is along Jalan Jelutong at the foot of Bukit Dumbar. Rapid Penang Bus Nos. 11, 301, 302, 303, 401, U502 and U704 pass through Jalan Jelutong.
35. Bukit Gambier Waterfalls: A small waterfall cascading down the hill behind the Mutiara Indah apartments in Bukit Gambier, Gelugor. The waterfall is about 25 meters in height and increases in strength during the rainy season. Bukit Gambier Waterfall is located at Changkat Bukit Gambier. The only Rapid Penang bus that comes close to it is No. U302. Still, if taking the bus, you'd need to walk in from Jalan Yeap Chor Ee to Changkat Bukit Gambier 1 to reach the waterfall.
36. Burmah Road Gospel Hall: The oldest premises of the Brethren Assemblies in Southeast Asia tracing their history back to 1855 or earlier, through mission work conducted at 35 Farquhar Street next to it is the Mission House, constructed some time between 1876 and 1878. Together, the premises was known as the Farquhar Street Mission House and Chapel. The Brethren assembly moved from Mission House into Burmah Road Hall, later renamed Burmah Road Gospel Hall, on 25 May, 1938. Burmah Road Gospel Hall is located along Jalan Burma. Rapid Penang buses 101, 103 and U104 pass in front of the church.
37. Campbell Street Market: A wet market serving the community between the Indian, Muslim and Chinatown sections of Georgetown.
38. Cecil Street Market: Main market for the Chinese community in the Seven Street Precinct of George Town.
39. Cenotaph : Monument to whose who died in World War I located on the Esplanade.
40. Cheah Kongsi: One of the oldest Chinese clan temples in Penang is located in Armenian Street.
41. Che Em Lane: One of the narrowest lanes in George Town – it is located off Lebuh Pantai connecting it with Lebuh Penang.
42. Cheng Kon Sze Temple - Temple of a Thousand and Two Steps. It occupies a natural basin a short distance below the Ayer Itam Dam, and is usually so remote that people think twice before deciding to pay it a visit. Worth the effort: Getting there - Cheng Kon Sze can be approached by climbing the steps from the United Hokkien Cemetery in Paya Terubong, or by car using the road from Kek Lok Si Temple. The distance is 1.4km (4580 ft). Climbing the steps will take you about one hour, probably more if you stop often. You can reach the temple by car in approximately 15 minutes, going through the bumpy hill road. Take the road that leads to Ayer Itam Dam. Turn in at the archway to the Kek Lok Si Goddess of Mercy Statue. Drive through Kek Lok Si, the Goddess of Mercy Statue (at time of writing, a pavilion is under construction to shelter it), past the Kek Lok Si Columbarium, and watch out for the sign pointing to Cheng Kon Sze. Follow the small, yellow sign through the hill road, and it will lead you to the temple. The one-way distance is 3.7 km (2.3 miles).
43. Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion: A Heritage mansion which won a Unesco award for restoration. It is a grand Chinese-style mansion located on Leith Street (Lebuh Leith) It was built by Cheong Fatt Tze (1840-1916), also known locally as Teow Thiaw Siat, a Chinese of Hakka descent, who was one of the richest men in Southeast Asia. Well worth a visit – nut the guides can be a bit laborious.
44 Chew Jetty Largest of the clan jetties on the Georgetown waterfront. Each of the clan jetties has a small shrine to pay homage to the sea deities. Chew Jetty is the only clan jetty left that continues to observe the annual worship of its Temple Deity and the Jade Emperor (Thnee Kong, or "god of the skies").
45. Chinese Anti-War Memorial: Monument at the junction (roundabout) of Air Itam Road and Hill Railway Road. It is a memorial to the Chinese people of Penang who died under the Japanese Occupation in World War II. The whitewashed obelisk especially commemorates the over 700 who were buried nearby. They consist of martyrs who joined the anti-Japanese resistance movement in China in the 1930s and 40s, mainly Chinese machinery workers from Penang, as well as victims of Japanese atrocities during the occupation.
46. Chinese Chamber of Commerce: Heritage building along Lebuh Light. The building is wrapped around the corner from Penang Street to Light Street with a colonnaded five-foot way on the outside. It was designed by a local architect, Chew Eng Eam in 1926. On the rooftop is an open air verandah with splendid views of the greens of Esplanade or Padang Kota. The building carries ornamentations in the form of urns, corbels, terrace balustrades and mock Tudor gable.
47. Chin Si Thoong Soo: Chin clan association is located on King Street. It is an ornate two-storey building that houses the clan association of those surnamed Chin.
48. Ching Pao Kong Temple Small temple off Van Praagh Road. It is located between Desa Green and Taman Seri Hijau. In front of the Ching Pao Kong Temple is an altar to the Nine Emperor Gods.
49. Choo Chay Keong Temple Temple dedicated to the Yap patron deities. is the clan temple of the Lum Yeong Tong Yap Kongsi, located next door to it. It is to be found at the corner of Lebuh Armenian and Medan Cannon. The diminutive temple - small compared to other buildings surrounding it - was erected for the worship of the Yap clan's patron deities.
50. Chor Soo Kong Temple: Chinese temple dedicated to the same deity as the Snake Temple. The Chor Soo Kong Temple in Batu Maung is one of the two temples in Bayan Lepas dedicated to this deified monk from 11th Century. The other is the world famous Temple of Azure Clouds, better known as the Snake Temple. The Chor Soo Kong temple of Batu Maung is sited on a hillside overlooking the sea, with steps leading up towards it. From its vantage point, one can get a good view of the Batu Maung village below.
51. Chowrasta Market - Major community market on Penang Road. The name comes from Urdu, meaning "four cross roads". As is customary, the market place is the usual watering hole for the community, and it is usually positioned where major roads meet. In the case of Chowrasta Market, it is bordered by Penang Road, Jalan Chowrasta, Jalan Kuala Kangsar and Lebuh Tamil.
The area around Chowrasta Market has been a settlement for Tamils from Kadayanallur in southern India, since the mid 19th century. For that reason, it was known as "Kelinga Ban San" in Hokkien, meaning "South Indian Market." Demographics of Penang has evolved since the 19th century, that now the majority of the sellers and patrons are not South Indians, but rather Chinese
51. Chowrasta Market Second Hand Bookshops: Biggest concentration of second hand bookshops in Penang located on the upper floor of the main market.
52. Chooi Bee Keong Temple: Literally "Temple of Beautiful Waters," is a small temple beside Tanjong Tokong Road, right next to Marine Bay condominiums (top end of Gurney Drive). It was built in 1882 for the worship of Chu, Ti and Lee Wangye, at a time when the curving bay between George Town and Tanjung Tokong was really "beautiful waters". Incidentally, the Bagan Jermal river which flows close to the temple could also be another possible reason for the name, although today the river has been reduced to nothing more than a drain.
There is a beautiful plaque here presented by Khaw Soo Cheng (1786-1882), patriarch of the Khaw Family which includes Khaw Sim Bee and Khaw Sim Khim, founder of the Khaw Kongsi.
53. Chung Keng Kwee Temple Private ancestral temple of Kapitan China Chung Keng Kwee. The temple, in Church Street, is a family temple built by Kapitan China Chung Keng Kwee for the worship of his ancestors. The temple is located adjacent to his residence and office, Hai Kee Chan. Inside the temple is a life-size statue of Chung Keng Kwee. On the walls are paintings of the Kapitan and his parents.
54. Clan Jetties: Jetties along the George Town waterfront associated with the different Chinese clans. See above – Chew Jetty etc. They are the traditional settlements created by Chinese immigrants who share common historical, geographical and lineage origin. Today there are still six clan jetties along the waterfront, and they are as follows, from north to south:
Seh Lim Keo (Lim Jetty)
Seh Chew Keo (Chew Jetty)
Seh Tan Keo (Tan Jetty)
Seh Lee Keo (Lee Jetty)
Chap Seh Keo (Mixed Clan Jetty)
Seh Yeoh Keo (Yeoh Jetty)
55. Convalescent Bungalow: One of the oldest bungalows on Penang Hill. It is an unused government bungalow located on a hillock called Hygiea Hill. The earliest structure was erected for the use of senior officers of the East India Company and members of the European community after Penang was elevated to the status of presidency in 1805.
56. Convent Light Street : Is the oldest convent school in Malaysia. The Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus, universally known as Convent Light Street, is the oldest girls' school in Penang as well as in Malaysia. Often called Town Convent (to differentiate it from the one in Green Lane, Pulau Tikus, Balik Pulau and Butterworth), Convent Light Street was founded by three French nuns of the Holy Infant Jesus Mission, Sister Gaetau, Sister Appolinaire and Sister Gregoire, who arrived in Penang in 1852. It was a perilous sea journey in which their Mother Superior did not survive. In Penang they were joined by Reverend Mother Mathilde Raclot, who is credited as founder of the over 80 convent schools in Malaya, including CHIJMES of Singapore.
It must be noted that missionaries were then the torchbearers in bringing education to the population. It was hard life for these hardy nuns - to make ends meet, they supported themselves by sewing at night. In addition to running a school by day and dealing with the climate, learning the local language, the Sisters also had to put up with cockroaches, rodents and mosquitoes.
57. Dato Kramat Market: Art Deco style market building opposite the junction with York Road – it is one of the older markets in George Town. It marks the end of Jalan Air Itam and the beginning of Jalan Dato Kramat. This section of town is known in Hokkien as See Kham Tiam, meaning "Row of Four shophouses".
58. Dewan Undangan Negeri Building: State Assembly Building, formerly the Police Court is a public building built in the Anglo-Indian classical style along Light Street. It used to be the Recorder's Courts and Magistrate's Courts, and formed part of the Central Police Station. At that time, all criminal court cases were heard at the Police Court, which was housed there. The Penang State Assembly Building was built in the early 19th Century, and renovated in 1874. An administrative block, now the Immigration Building, was added in 1890.
59. Dhammikarama Burmese Temple: Largest Burmese Temple in Penang. Located at Burmah Lane, Pulau Tikus it was the first Buddhist temple to be built in Penang. Originally known as the Nandy Molah Burmese Temple, the Dhammikarama Temple was built in 1803, on land donated by Nyonya Betong, one of its many woman patrons. The oldest part of the temple is the stupa which was consecrated in 1805. It is enshrined within an outer stupa which was constructed in 1838, together with the ceremonial hall guarded by a pair of stone elephants.
Mythical figures and religious icons dot the spacious compound, much of which were later additions. Among them are bell-bearing acolytes, myriad buddhas, chimeras and flying beings. Two huge and imposing-looking chinthes (mythical beings that are a cross between a dragon, a dog and a lion) flank the entrance to the main prayer hall. At a disused 200 year-old well is a huge pond filled with carps. Buddha statues in different meditative poses nestle in grottos marked with the names of individual donors as well as signs of the zodiac. A pair of winged chimeras called Panca Rupa look resplendent in the roles as "Guardian Protectors of the World."
A huge mural depicts the Great Renunciation of Prince Siddharta. The future Buddha is shown riding his steed Kanthaka in mid-air with his faithful servant Channa seemingly hanging on. Evil beings try to discourage him from his noble quest while good ones welcome him with open arms.
At the main prayer hall, voices are reduced to a whisper and the silence is broken only by the occasional ringing of temple bells.
60. Dhoby Ghaut Temple: Hindu temple beside Sungai Air Terjun associated with laundrymen. known by its full name, Naduthurai Sri Devi Karumariamman Temple, is one of three Hindu temples within the Vannan Thora Tedal laundry district, between Jalan Ayer Itam and York Road. The Dhoby Ghaut Temple is located on the south bank of Sungai Air Terjun (Waterfall River), a short distance from the confluence with Sungai Air Itam (Ayer Itam River). It should not be confused with the bigger Sri Rama Temple located on the opposite side of Sungai Air Terjun.
The Dhoby Ghaut Temple is one of the Hindu temples erected by the dhobies, Indians involved in the laundry business. This particular temple is located right next to the river, and even today, the Indians are still conducting the laundry business. A visit to the temple takes one pass laundered bed sheets being dried in the lawn. The name "ghaut" refers to the stone steps leading down towards Sungai Air Terjun.
The main entrance of Dhoby Ghaut Temple faces Jalan Air Itam, through an entranceway flanked by houses of the Indian community. It can also be entered through an approach from York Road, near Masjid Jalan York.
61. Eastern & Oriental Hotel: Grandest hotel in Penang. Often called the E & O, it was the first of a chain of hotels founded by the four Armenian brothers, Martin, Tigran, Aviet and Arshak Sarkies, collectively known as the Sarkies brothers. Some of the best known hotels in the Far East were started by them, including the Raffles Hotel in Singapore and the Strand, in Rangoon, Myanmar. By 1892, the brothers were spread across Southeast Asia. The youngest, Arshak Sarkies, took up the management of the E & O while Tigran Sarkies manages the Raffles Hotel and Aviet was stationed in Rangoon. The eldest, Martin Sarkies, has by then retired.
The idea to set up the hotel business came about in 1885 when the Sarkies brothers met the Khaw family in Bangkok, and was encouraged by them to set up a hotel in Penang. The Khaws built two separate hotels which the Sarkies managed. These were the Eastern Hotel, completed in 1884, and the Oriental Hotel, in 1885. It became immediately apparent that these two hotels should be combined, and hence the Eastern & Oriental Hotel was formed. In addition, the Sarkies also managed the Crag Hotel on Penang Hill.
The merger of these two hotels created one of the finest hotel establishments in the region. It boasted of having the world's longest sea-front lawn, which is 842 feet in length. Famous personalities who arrived at the E&O (many of whom also turned up at the Raffles Hotel) included Noel Coward, Douglas Fairbanks, Hermann Hesse, Rudyard Kipling and Somerset Maugham.
62. Farquhar Street Mission House and Chapel: Dilapidated building that was one of the oldest premises of the nonconformist Protestant movement called Brethren. Located at 35 Lebuh Farquhar, is one of the earliest premises of the brethren assemblies in this region. Today, what remains is Mission House, a dilapidated house located on the opposite side of Farquhar Street from The Promenade annex of the Eastern & Oriental Hotel. The brethren assemblies initiated at Farquhar Street Mission House and Chapel survives today as Burmah Road Gospel Hall and its sister assemblies in Penang, as well as in other brethren assemblies in Malaysia and Singapore.
Mission House was built by William Macdonald, a missionary of the Brethren assembly, between 1876 and 1878. It stands on a piece of land that an earlier missionary, Johann Georg Bausum had purchased for the extension of the school that was founded by his first wife, Maria Dyer Bausum. The building was used until 1938, when the church moved to its new premises at Jalan Burma, where it was called Burmah Road Hall, and today, Burmah Road Gospel Hall.
63. Foo Tye Sin Mansion: Huge mansion along Lebuh Light, now converted and reused. Foo Tye Sin was one of three Chinese tycoons who were given the honour of sitting on the Commission of Inquiry into the 1867 Penang Riots. Foo Tye Sin, whose name today graces Tye Sin Street, is one of those newly rich, British-educated Chinese. Foo Tye Sin was born in Penang and educated at the Penang Free School. His business partner was Koh Seang Tat, who built the Koh Seang Tat Fountain beside the Penang Town Hall. Together, they were two of the three Chinese Justices of the Peace in 1874. A charming feature of the Foo Tye Sin Mansion is the fourth storey lookout tower at the back, today unused. The mansion itself has since been converted to house a branch of the Hong Leong bank.
64. Fort Cornwallis Fortress: Fort Cornwallis at Padang Kota Lama, George Town, is the largest intact fortress still standing in Malaysia. When Captain Francis Light landed in Penang in 1786, on the cape which was then called Tanjung Penaga in Malay, and today known as George Town, he built a simple stockade out of nibong palms. Over the century, the very tip of Penang Island where Fort Cornwallis is located became known as Fort Point. Fort Cornwallis was named after the Governor-General of Bengal, Charles Marquis Cornwallis. The design of the fort is similar to other British forts in India, albeit built on a smaller scale.
In 1789, three years after building the simple stockade, Francis Light rebuilt Fort Cornwallis in bricks in the star-shaped size and layout using convict labour imported from India. The total cost of the reconstruction, completed in 1793, was 67,000 Spanish Dollars. Cannons were mounted along the perimeter. The most famous cannon at Fort Cornwallis is the Seri Rambai. This particular cannon has a fascinating history. It was first presented by the Dutch to the Sultan of Johor in 1606. In 1613, the Portuguese took possession of Seri Rambai. Then it was taken to Java, where it stayed until 1795, when it was given to Acheh, and was brought to Kuala Selangor. Later, in 1871, the British seized the cannon and brought it over to Penang. It was installed in Fort Cornwallis, where it is still located, on the northwest bastion. Locals believe that Seri Rambai possesses magical powers, and that women who place flowers on the barrel will improve their fertility.
Francis Light passed away in 1794. In 1797, visiting Colonel Wellesley - who would later be made the Duke of Wellington - submitted a negative assessment of the fort. He reported that the location of Fort Cornwallis at the very tip of the cape makes it useless to defend the island. When Penang was elevated to the status of Presidency in 1805, the British carried out a study on how to improve the defense of the island, given the threat of the French. There was a suggestion that a new fort be constructed on Pulau Jerejak, and that George Town be abandoned in favour of founding another new settlement, to be known as Jamestown, in the area where Bayan Baru is located today. However the idea was shot down, chiefly due to opposition from the residents of George Town who find it too costly to pack up and move. Instead, Fort Cornwallis was substantially rebuilt. This was done in 1810 under the term of Norman Macalister - whose name lives on in Penang at Macalister Road. The shape and appearance of Fort Cornwallis as we know today dates back to Macalister's term. Since the late 19th century, a lighthouse stands on the northeast side of Fort Cornwallis, and is today known as the Fort Cornwallis Lighthouse. Next to the lighthouse is the flagstaff that is used to send message to the other flagstaff on Penang Hill, signaling the arrival of mail ships. Around the time that the Fort Cornwallis Lighthouse was added to the fort, two coastal roads were also built. They were known as Fort Road and The Esplanade, and were located on the east and north sides of the fort. These two roads are today known as Jalan Tun Syed Sheh Barakbah, renamed in honor of a past Governor of Penang.
Fort Cornwallis was originally encircled by a 27-feet wide, 6-feet deep moat. This too is gone today, having been filled up in the 1920s to prevent malaria - following an epidemic which hit Penang then.
Fort Cornwallis was the first military and administrative base of the British East India Company. The East India Company was started in the early 17th century. On 31 December 1600, a group of British merchants were given monopoly privileges on all British trades with the East Indies, and the East India Company was started. Over the years, their business activities boomed.
The East India Company traded in spices such as cloves, nutmeg and peppercorns. In the later half of the 18th century, the East India Company managed to obtain a monopoly on the trade in silk, with Canton (Guangzhou), China. However, there was no refueling station between China and the British base in India. Hence there was a need to find a suitable port for the British vessels to stop over.
The East India Company first took steps to find a base in Southeast Asia in 1763, but the missions were unsuccessful. The Director of the East India Company sent a message to the Madras Council to try once again to secure a settlement in or near the Straits of Malacca. While the message was still in passage, something else happened to help the British secure the settlement they were seeking.
Captain Francis Light, a seaman who has established a trading station in Kedah for the Madras firm of Jourdain, Sullivan and De Souza put together a plan that practically solved the problem. Light suggested that the island of Penang would be a suitable station for the East India Company. At the same time, Light reported to his superiors at the Madras firm that the King of Kedah had granted him Kuala Kedah as well as the entire coast including Penang Island, in return for protection against Selangor. However, after a few letters to his superiors and having been ignored in these negotiations, a bitter Francis Light withdrew to Phuket. He continued his trading activities and maintained his relationship with the ruler of Kedah. On 15 February 1786, he wrote to the acting Governor-General of India, on the success of his mission in getting Penang, and on 11 August 1786, Francis Light took formal possession of Penang Island
65. Fort Cornwallis Lighthouse: erected to guide ships into Penang harbour. It was erected by the British in 1882. At that time, it was known as the Fort Point Lighthouse. The lighthouse underwent renovations in 1914 and 1928. As part of the renovation, the name was also changed to Penang Harbour Lighthouse.
Today, considering it stands within Fort Cornwallis, the lighthouse is called the Fort Cornwallis Lighthouse. Unlike other lighthouses in Malaysia, for example the one in Muka Head, the Fort Cornwallis Lighthouse is made of a 21-meter white steel framework. Visual distance of the lighthouse is 16 nautical miles.
66. Francis Light Memorial: Monument erected to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the founding of Penang. It is located on the grounds of the St George's Anglican Church at Farquhar Street, George Town, was build in 1886 to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the founding of Penang by Captain Francis Light. It stands in the compound of the St George's Church. The Francis Light Memorial is built in similar Georgian-Palladium style as the church. It has a dome ornamented with vases. Underneath the dome is a marble plaque honouring Light.
67. Francis Light Statue: Monument erected in 1978 to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the founding of Penang
68. Francis Light's Tomb: Tomb of the founder of the British Settlement in Penang. It is located at the Protestant Cemetery in Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah. The founder of the British Settlement of Prince of Wales Island, as Penang was then named – he landed in Penang on 11 August 1786 and became the first Superintendent of the island. Francis Light succumbed to malaria on 21 October, 1794, just eight years after the founding of Penang
69. Francis Light's Well: Well dug for the private use of Francis Light. Upon establishing the settlement, Captain Francis Light built a road which ran from a newly-built pier to his home in Penang. The road was named Light Street while his home, now gone, was located within the compound of present-day Convent Light Street, a girls' school started by Catholic nuns of the Holy Infant Jesus order.
The well was for Francis Light's private use. Another well was then dug for the benefit of the inhabitants of the new settlement. Today, Francis Light's well can still be seen within the compound of Convent Light Street.
70. Garage, The: Heritage building housing specialty shops and boutiques. The Garage is a restored building at Upper Penang Road that has been given readaptive reuse. It began as a garage and motorcar showroom for British Leyland vehicles including the Morris, Austin and the Jaguar. For many years, it functioned as a car service centre. Then, in the 1980's, it was occupied by Kaliniaga, a furniture company. After the furniture company had vacated the premises, it was empty for a while a new management restored it to be The Garage.
In its present incarnation, The Garage houses period-style deco hailing back to Penang's yesteryears. Within The Garage are boutiques, bistros and specialty shops.
71. Gertak Sanggul Fishing village:- on the southwest tip of Penang Island. With coconut palms swaying overhead, Gertak Sanggul offers the perfect picture of a Malaysian fishing village, complete with a white sandy beach and fishing boats bobbling in the waves. The people of Penang knows Gertak Sanggul as the place where the Yellow Bus turns around. It being the final stop at the southwestern tip of Penang Island, the commuter buses reach their final stop before heading back to town.
Despite the romantic surroundings, the waters off Gertak Sanggul is not suitable for swimming, as it is contaminated by the many pig farms in the area which discharge waste directly into the sea. From Gertak Sanggul, you can see the "half submerged" shape of Pulau Kendi, the most distant island in Penang state. A day trip to Pulau Kendi can be arranged whenever there is sufficient participants (or eight persons or more), or if anybody is willing to pay to hire the whole boat.
72. Ghee Hiang: One of the oldest traditional biscuit and sesame oil manufacturers in Penang. Ghee Hiang is a famous manufacturer of Tau Sar Pneah (green bean pastry) and sesame seed oil. They have been making traditional biscuits for the past 150 years using recipes that originated in Fujian Province, China. For generations, the sesame seed oil from Ghee Hiang is the choice of mothers in confinement, as it is believed that the "warmth" or "chi" of the oil helps mothers regain their energy.
Among the pastries produced by Ghee Hiang, in addition to the Tau Sar Pneah, include the Hneoh Pneah, Beh Teh Saw and Phong Pneah. The Tau Sar Pneah are pastries with greenbean filling and fluffy skin. There are two types of Tau Sar Pneah: the small ones with golden skin, topped with a sprinkling of sesame seeds and sold in boxes, and the large ones often wrapped four to a strip. Hneoh Pneah is wheat pastries with brown sugar filling. Its size is about similar to the small Tau Sar Pneah. Beh Teh Saw as pastries with gooey melted molasses called bah leh ko and flaky skin made by kneading the dough in many layers. The Beh Teh Saw is about the size of a large Tau Sar Pneah but slightly flatter. Finally, there's the Phong Pneah. Largest of the lot, the Phong Pneah are off-white pastries with melted white sugar filling.
Getting to Ghee Hiang: Ghee Hiang has several offices in Penang, and the oldest branch is located along Beach Street (Beach Street) near the junction with Lebuh Chulia (Chulia Street). From the Weld Quay Bus Terminal, cross the pedestrian bridge and turn left, walk along Pengkalan Weld until the junction with Lebuh Chulia. Turn right. Walk along Lebuh Chulia, pass the junction with Lebuh Victoria. The next junction is that with Lebuh Pantai. Turn right. Ghee Hiang is a short distance from the junction, to the right.
73. Government House: One of the oldest colonial buildings in Penang. It is also the oldest building of the British era in Malaysia. Nowadays located within the compound of the Convent Light Street girls' school, it was built around 1804-1805, when Robert Townsend Farquhar was Governor of the British Settlement at Prince of Wales Island. The building is older than many of the towns and cities in the Malay peninsula including Singapore, Taiping, Ipoh and Kuala Lumpur. The building was indebted to existing architectural style in British India. The British military drew on the Anglo-Indian architectural style, which is more relevant to the climate than those back in England. At that time, a Straits architectural style has not yet emerged, and for want of functionality rather than aesthetics, Government House was built to be practical but plain.
74. Guillemard Reservoir: is in Vale of Temple shaped like a pair of spectacles – built at 246 feet above sea level. Now officially known as Kolam Air Guillemard, it was named after Sir Laurence Guillemard, who was the Governor of the Crown Colony of the Straits Settlements from 1920 to 1927. The reservoir comprises two equal size ponds with two cupolas. Due to its shape like a pair of spectacles, the Guillemard Reservoir became known in Hokkien as "Bak Knia Tee", meaning Spectacle Pond. They were designed in the Art Deco style, and constructed in 1929.
75. Gurdwara Sahib Khalsa Dhamak Jatha: Sikh temple along Brick Kiln Road (Jalan Gurdwara). A gurdwara, which means "doorway to the guru", is the place of worship of those embracing the Sikh faith, and can be translated as a Sikh temple. Within a gurdwara one can find the Sikh holy book, called the Guru Granth Sahib, and a triangular orange flag, called the Nishan Sahib.
The Wadda Gurdwara in Penang was also called the Diamond Jubilee Sikh Temple, because the land on which it stands was given over to the Sikh community in 1897, the year of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee. When it was completed in 1899, the gurdwara was the largest in Southeast Asia. Funding for the project came from Sikh members of the Malay States Guides who each donated a month's salary.
Visitors can visit the gurdward to see how prayers, called nitnam, are performed. One has to be up early though, as the prayers are conducted at 4am in the morning.
76. Gurney Plaza: Upmarket shopping mall along Gurney Drive.
77. Hai Kee Chan Mansion: belonged to Kapitan China Chung Keng Kwee. Peranakan Mansion is located within the restored Hai Kee Chan. It is open to the public. Located at 29 Church Street it is open: Mondays - Saturdays from 9 am to 5 pm
Daily conducted tour at 11.30 am and 3.30 pm sharp.
78. Hainan Temple: Hainanese temple to the deity Ma Chor Po. Located on Lebuh Muntri it is also known as Thean Hock Keong or Temple of the Heavenly Queen is a Hainanese temple dedicated to the patron deity of seafarers, Ma Chor Po also known as Mazu, similar (in name with only a slight variation in spelling) to Thian Hock Keng Temple in Singapore. The temple was founded in 1866. The building that we see today was completed in 1895. The Hainan Temple is built in the Hainanese style, and is ornately embellished with exquisite stone carvings executed in the Sung dynasty style. The stonework that we see today is the work of craftsmen from China who were employed to remodel the temple in 1995, in conjunction with the centenary of its completion.
Arriving from the island of Hainan in southern China, the Hainanese pay homage to their patron deity Ma Chor Po with this temple. The majority of them became cooks and are famous Hainanese chicken rice. Some of the famous Chinese restaurants of the early 20th century were opened by the Hainanese, including the Loke Thye Kee and Wing Loke.
The Hainanese also formed a clan association, the Kheng Chew Hoay Kuan, which they named after their mother village. The association started the Aik Hua School, today known as SRJK (C) Aik Hua. The present school building was constructed in 1955 and is located to the right of the Hainan Temple. In addition, the association also helped to establish a hospital and set up a scholarship for the Hainanese community.
The Kheng Chew Hoay Kuan was renamed Hainan Clan Association in 1991. This led to the setting up of a restoration committee that oversaw the restoration work on the Hainan Temple completed in 1995.
79. Hock Teik Cheng Sin Temple: Chinese temple in the Armenian Street Heritage Enclave. Also known as Poh Hock Seah, is a place associated with Penang's warring clans of the 19th century. It is a clan temple of the Hokkien people who trace their origin to Southern Fujian Province in China. Although registered with the Chinese Protectorate of Penang on 11 October 1892, the Hock Teik Cheng Sin can trace its roots back to 1844, with the founding of the Kean Teik Tong Hokkien association. The Kean Teik Tong was one of the two parties that was involved in the Penang Riots of 1867, together with the Ghee Hin Secret Society, an open warfare along the streets of Penang that resulted in the banning of secret societies. During the riots, the Kean Teik Tong was allied with the Hai Sans, led by Kapitan China Chung Keng Kwee.
The Hock Teik Cheng Sin moved to its present site in 1850. It occupies a lot granted to its leader, Khoo Teeau Pang. The temple and its surrounding buildings are believed to have been constructed between 1850 and 1867. It is most popularly known as the Hokkien Tua Pek Kong Temple, after its patron deity, the Taoist god of prosperity.
Due to its past as the base of the Khian Teik Tong secret society, the Hock Teik Cheng Sin Temple is registered under the names of the many other societies in place of the Khian Teik Tong. These include the Poh Hock Seah, the Hokkien Kongsi, Cheng Hoe Seah and Tong Kheng Seah. Each occupies a different section of the Hock Teik Cheng Sin Temple.
The Poh Hock Seah takes up the whole ground floor of the Hock Teik Cheng Sin. It is a society formed in 1890, the year that the Kean Teik Tong was banned by the authorities and dissolved. Its aim is to look after the interest of the Hokkien people in Penang, filling the void left by the Kean Teik Tong. As its principal deity is the Tua Pek Kong, the Hock Teik Cheng Sin is often regarded as the Hokkien Tua Pek Kong Temple. The Tua Pek Kong is the Hokkien deity of blessings, prosperity and morality. As Tua Pek Kong is also the patron deity of merchants, the Poh Hock Seah derives much influence and prestige by being the site of its worship.
Chingay processions have their origin with the worship of the Tua Pek Kong. During Chingay processions, gaily decorated floats and giant flags are paraded along the streets of Penang originating from the Poh Hock Seah.
The Hokkien Kongsi occupies the upper left wing of the Hock Teik Cheng Sin Temple. It is formed by the board of trustees of the Big Five Hokkien Clan Associations of Penang, namely the Seh Tek Tong Cheah Kongsi, the Leong San Tong Khoo Kongsi, the Kew Leong Tong Lim Kongsi, the Eng Chuan Tong Tan Kongsi and the Sit Teik Tong Yeoh Kongsi. The Hokkien Kongsi manages five Hokkien temples in Penang, namely the Hock Hin Keong (Snake Temple) in Sungai Kluang, the Seng Ong Beow at Bridge Street (Jalan CY Choy), Cheng Leong Keong (Tai Tay Yeah Temple) in Jelutong, Chooi Bee Keong Temple in Bagan Jermal and the Siew Thean Keong Temple in Dato Kramat.
Cheng Hoe Seah is a Hokkien society occupying the upper right wing of the Hock Teik Cheng Sin Temple. Its patron deity is the Cheng Chooi Chor Soo. The Cheng Hoe Seah was founded as early as the 1840's. Its founding leader was Tan Cheng, believed to be one of the directors of the Batu Lanchang Hokkien Cemetery management committee back in 1841. The Cheng Hoe Seah moved into the Hock Teik Cheng Sin in 1849.
The Tong Kheng Seah is a Hokkien society that worships Sin Long Siang Tay, the patron saint of farmers and peasants. The feast day of Sin Long Siang Tay falls on the 14th day of the 2nd lunar month.
These legitimately registered societies were created when the British authorities outlawed the Khian Teik secret society in 1890. It simply transferred its assets to these societies. The Poh Hock Seah inherits the religious functions of the Khian Teik in running the Hokkien Tua Pek Kong temples in Armenian Street as well as at the Tanjong Tokong Tua Pek Kong Temple, where the annual flame watching ritual called Chneah Hoay is conducted.
When restoration work was carried out at the Hock Teik Cheng Sin, triangular fighting flags were uncovered. These were probably in use during the 1867 Penang Riot, when the Hokkien Tua Pek Kong and the Red Flag Society fought against the Cantonese Ghee Hin and the White Flag Society. Warring factions were the state of affairs among the various Chinese clans in Penang during the late 19th Century. To provide for an easy escape, there is a secret passage at the side yard of the Hokkien Tua Pek Kong temple that leads to the grounds of its ally, the Leong San Tong Khoo Kongsi.
80. Homestead: Huge mansion by the sea at Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah. Homestead is one of the biggest and most elegant mansions to be built by a Chinese towkay in Penang. It was designed by architect James Stark of the firm Stark & McNeill for Lim Mah Chye, a tycoon of the early 20th century. It is said that Lim Mah Chye deliberately built his mansion to block the view enjoyed by his rival, Quah Beng Kee, who owned a mansion called Columbia Lodge right across the road (and is today the Maple Gold restaurant). The plan of the house is in the form of the letter "E".
In the 1920's, Quan Beng Kee suffered financial ruins when his ship crashed into the port in Deli, Medan, and he had to pay for the damages. His shipping company was taken over by Lim Chin Guan, the son of Lim Mah Chye. But before long, Lim Chin Guan's fortune also took a nose-dive, hit by the great depression, which destroyed many millionaires but created new ones. Lim Chin Guan had to sell Homestead to one of the newly rich, Yeap Chor Ee, the founder of Ban Hin Lee Bank.
Today the Homestead has been turned into the campus of the Wawasan Open University.
81. Hong Sun Seah Temple: An old Chinese temple in Green Lane behind Gembira Parade. The British settlement of George Town was still very young when the temple was established in 1805, by a group of Hokkien settlers that came from Nan'an, Yongchun and Anxi districts of Quanzhou, in southeastern Fujian Province, in southern China. Hong Sun Seah Temple was established for the Hokkien community staying in the coconut grove and plantations there, dedicated to the patron deity. On the wall of the temple is an inscription of 1864, documenting the names of the founders of the temple, namely Meng Chengjin from Yongchun district, Liang Guangting from Nan'an district and Yap Hup Keat from Anxi district.
Over the centuries, the place underwent development. In the early years, Green Lane, the main road that runs through the plantation, was nothing more than a country road. Over the years, as housing development sprout around it, Green Lane was widened a few times to take on its present incarnation, renamed Jalan Masjid Negeri. Hong Sun Seah Temple itself underwent several renovations to arrive at its present form
82. House of Yeap Chor Ee: Museum showcasing the furniture and memorabilia of late Penang tycoon Yeap Chor Ee - housed in a late 19th century shophouse at 4 Penang Street. It was opened on 16 October, 2008, by Dato Sri Steven Yeap to commemorate the 140th anniversary of his grandfather Yeap Chor Ee's birthday in 1867. The House of Yeap Chor Ee is one of a row of nine houses along Penang Street, between Light Street and Bishop Street that was once called Kau Keng Choo, meaning Nine Houses in Hokkien. They are nine opulent townhouses belonging to wealthy Straits Chinese, the cream of the Chinese society who managed to acquire properties closest to the European neighborhood. Houses Nos. 4-16 extend across Penang Street into King Street. They were built in the 1880's. In reflection of the aspiration of its Chinese owners, the houses combine Chinese and European elements, into what can be described as High Straits Eclectic style.
The original shophouse at 4 Penang Street was two storey’s high. During the restoration, it was converted into four storey’s. The facade has been retained, with its three full-length windows topped by Georgian fanlights. On the King Street side, the building has three rectangular windows instead of the arched ones at Penang Street. Moldings in the form of triangular pediments top each of these windows.
The house had belonged to Yeap Chor Ee (1868-1952), the patriarch of the Ban Hin Lee Bank empire, before the family moved to live at Homestead (Now Wawasan Open University). Yeap Chor Ee had arrived in Penang around 1883, at the age of 17, a penniless lad from Hai Aun district in Fujian province. He started off as a barber, a trade which earned him the nickname Thee Thau Ee, literally Barber Ee. Like the other barbers in those early days of the 19th century, he most likely worked along the Prangin canal (at that time, it was more likely the Prangin River), near Sungai Ujong Road. Cut hair was simply swept into the river.
From being a barber, Yeap Chor Ee starting a trading business called Ban Hin Lee, which means "ten thousand prosperities". As early as 1895, his firm was trading in sugar, rubber, tapioca, ride, and other farm produce. By the time he was thirty, Yeap Chor Ee had become a millionaire.
Yeap Chor Ee contributed much to education. This includes a huge sum to the University of Malaya in 1949. His fortune continued to grow even during the Great Depression, which brought down many Penang millionaires. This also enabled the Yeap family to buy up Homestead, which was built for Lim Mah Chye. His prudent investment in tin in the early 1930's reaped huge rewards, enabling him to found the one and only Penang-based bank, Ban Hin Lee Bank. His charities including donating 10,056 sq ft piece of land for the construction of Yap Temple, the clan temple to which he belonged.
83. Jade Emperor Pavilion: Taoist temple at the foot of Penang Hill in Air Itam, Penang. It is located to the right of the Penang Hill Railway Station.
As the name suggests, the Jade Emperor's Pavilion is dedicated to the worship of the Jade Emperor, or Thni Kong. The term Thni Kong means Heavenly Grandfather, and is the common title for the Huang Shangdi, or Pure August Emperor of Jade. This is the most important deity in the Chinese Taoist pantheon, and is regarded as the ruler of heaven. The worship of the Jade Emperor is traced to as early as the 9th century AD, when he was the patron deity of the imperial family.
As with most Taoist deities, the origin of the Jade Emperor is shrouded in mythology. He is said to have been born a crown price of one "kingdom of pure felicity". Upon the death of his father, he ascended the throne. He underwent 1750 trials, each taking 120,976 years, after which he attained Golden Immortality. After another one hundred million years, he finally became the Jade Emperor.
According to Taoist myth, it was the Jade Emperor who created men. He fashion men out of clay, and left them to harden in the sun. However, it rained, causing the men to deform, and thus introducing the origin of sickness and physical abnormalities. This is just one of the many stories featuring the Jade Emperor that are popular in China, and with Chinese practicing Taoism.
A number of beliefs that are commonplace among the Chinese can be traced to the Jade Emperor. One of them was the Chinese zodiac. In this story, the busy Jade Emperor summoned all the animals on earth to pay him a visit, because he has never visited earth personally, and has not seen how animals look like. The cat asked the rat to wake him on the day of the visit. However, the rat was worried that he would compare unfavorably to the cat, so on the day of the visit, he did not wake the cat. As a result, the cat missed the chance to meet the Jade Emperor, and his place was taken over by the pig. The Jade Emperor was delighted to meet all the animals, and hence he named the years with each of them. The cat was furious when he learned that he missed out, and from that day, the cat and the rat were enemies.
84. Japanese Cemetery: Late 19th century cemetery for the small Japanese community in Penang was set up in 1893. This is around the same time as the Japanese Cemetery in Sandakan, Sabah. Just like the immigrants from southern China, the Japanese faced hardship and poverty during the 19th century. A small community immigrated to Penang to seek a better life, arriving as early as 1880. A census of 1910 placed the number of Japanese in Penang as 207.
Many of those who came to Penang were women who ended up being Karayuki-san in places such as Cintra Street. Literally "Ms Gone Overseas", karayuki-san are Japanese girls who were forced to become prostitutes outside Japan, usually coming from impoverished farming and fishermen families. In addition to the karayuki-san, the Japanese also operated grocery shops, pharmacies and other businesses in George Town. They brought camera to Penang and were the first to opened photo studios here. Medical practitioners, from doctors to dentists and pharmacists also came, to provide health care to the Karayuki-san as well as to the locals. The area between Cintra Street and Kampung Malabar became known as Little Japan due to the sizeable Japanese community that lived there.
There were a total of 56 tombstones in the Japanese cemetery, all before the Second World War. The majority belonged to the Karayuki-san and dates to the Meiji Period (1868-1911). Later graves belonged to Japanese navy officers from the Taisho Period (1912-1925).
The number of Japanese in Penang began to decline in 1920 through repatriation. This hastened in the 1930's as Japanese aggression in China, particularly Manchuria, generated ill feeling among the local Chinese community towards the Japanese, compelling them to pack up for home. By the Second World War, the Japanese community that once lived in Penang had all but gone.
Getting there: The Japanese Cemetery is located at Lintang P. Ramlee, a short distance from P. Ramlee's birth house. The best way to reach it is by taking a taxi. Be sure to ask the taxi driver to wait, as it may be difficult to get a taxi again.
85. Jewish Cemetery: Oldest burial place for Jews in Malaysia and the region. With 70 graves, the Jewish Cemetery is one of the biggest concentration of Jewish graves in one area. The first grave in the cemetery is dated 1805 while the most recent is dated 1976.
The Jewish Cemetery of Jalan Zainal Abidin is a reminder of the small but significant Jewish community that once dwelled peacefully in Penang. They are said to be aligned closely to the Armenians, and arrived in Penang by way of India. The number of Jews in Malaysia decimated after the Independence, as they migrated to other country. As of today, it is not known how many Jews are there still in Penang.
Among those buried at the cemetery was a British officers of Jewish descent who was killed during the Second World War. Despite the tropical weather, most of the graves are in excellent condition. Many are tombs with vaulted lid, made to resemble ossuaries from in Israel. The inscriptions are in Hebrew, or bilingual, in Hebrew and English.
The Jewish cemetery is surrounded by an eight-feet tall wall. Entry is via an iron gate with the words "Jewish Cemetery" on it. The oldest graves are the ones immediately in front of the gate. Surrounding the Jewish cemetery are modern high rise apartment blocks and office skyscrapers, including Menara UMNO.
Getting there: Take the Rapid Penang from Weld Quay Bus Terminal to Jalan Burma. Disembark the bus at the bus stop in front of the former Rex cinema (now Mekio furniture shop). Walk along Jalan Burma to Jalan Zainal Abidin. Turn left into Jalan Zainal Abidin. Walk for another 150 meters. The Jewish cemetery is on your left.
86. Judge's Residence: Dilapidated building that was once the official residence of the chief justice – the two-storey bungalow is on Sepoy Lines Road, facing Polo Ground. It used to be the official residence of the chief justice of the supreme court in Penang, but is presently in a state of neglect. On the front gate is the words "Rumah Kediaman Hakim" but obviously no judge is in residence.
Getting there: Take Rapid Penang Bus 304 to Jalan Residensi, and from there, walk to Jalan Sepoy Lines.
87. Kampung Baru Market: Market in the Kampung Baru neighborhood of Ayer Itam. The market has been around since the 1960's. There is a small parking lot in front of the market that allows a few cars to park, although when the market is in session, the whole road is congested. The location is not the most ideal for a market, being in the middle of a major road. This is compounded by the proximity of Chung Ling High School, one of the biggest schools in the area. Lack of space means this market has no room to expand. Other markets, such as the one in Farlim and Riffle Range have been created to take the load off this market.
Getting there: Its strategic location means that Kampung Baru Market is served by many bus routes including Rapid Penang 201, 202, 203, 204 and 206. Driving there may be a problem if you are going during the busy marketing time, as finding parking space will be difficult.
88. Kapitan Keling Mosque: A Mosque of the Indian Muslim community in George Town. Located on Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling (formerly Pitt Street), is one of the best known mosque in Penang. Before the construction of the Penang State Mosque, the Kapitan Keling Mosque was used as the state mosque of Penang, since it is the largest historic mosque in George Town. The Kapitan Keling Mosque was named after Caudeer Mohudeen, the head of the Indian Muslim community credited to have built it around 1800.
The name "kapitan keling" is used to denote the headman or leader of the South Indian Muslim community. The term "keling" is derived from the ancient Hindu kingdom on the Coromandel coast of South India, and the local Hokkien community corrupts the word to derive "keling-na" for Indians in general, particularly those from South India (The North Indians are pooled together with another term, "banggali", though they are not necessarily from Bengal). The title "Kapitan" is a corruption of the English word "Captain", and is used to denote the leader of the community. Similarly, the leader of the Chinese community during that period is called a Kapitan China.
The Kapitan Keling was the first Superintendent of the mosque. He brought in the builders and stones from India for the project. The original mosque structure was a single-storey rectangular building with a sloping roof on all sides and surrounded by a stone bench. It was surrounded by shophouses, with access through a narrow gateway.
89. Kar Yin Association: Cantonese district association building built in the Art Deco style. also written Kar Yin Fee Kuan, Kar Yin Fooi Koon, Persatuan Kar Yin and Kar Yin Kongsi, is a Hakka district association of clansmen from the Kar Yin District of Guangdong Province in southern China. The association was founded in 1801, when the association obtained a deed from the East India Company for the premises at 22 King Street (Lebuh King). One of its founders was Low Amee, an early Hakka merchant in Penang. The adjoining lot, No. 24, was added to it later.
The present building of the Kar Yin Association dates to 1939. It was constructed in the Art Deco style which was popular around that time, and finished with a rusticated Shanghai plaster facade.
According to a Hakka who wrote to me, the Kar Yin Association building is in fact called the Hakka Ka Ying or Jiaying Association building. The Hakka Ka Yin or Jiaying Kejia came from Meixian district (or in Hakka, Moiyan), now written Meizhou, located in Guangdong province in southern China. Meizhou is acknowledged as the capital of the Hakka’s in the world.
What to See: Kar Yin Association, though keeping a lower profile than the other more ostentations clan association temples, is a fine example of Shanghai Art Deco style.
90. Kek Lok Si Temple: Largest Chinese temple in Southeast Asia. It straddles a hillside overlooking the town of Ayer Itam and George Town beyond that. It is a temple that harmoniously blend Mahayana Buddhism with Taoist beliefs and other Chinese rituals, creating an amalgam that is uniquely its own. Since the olden days, the hills of Ayer Itam are regarded as important geometrically. Known as He San, or Crane Hill, they are recommended as a retreat for Taoist practitioners striving for immortality.
The Kek Lok Si project was mooted by the chief monk of the Kuan Yin Teng, Goddess of Mercy Temple of Pitt Street. With the support of the consular representative of China in Penang, the project received the sanction of the Manchu Emperor Guangxu (also called Jingdi, 1875-1908, of the Qing Dynasty) who bestowed a tablet and gift of 70,000 volumes of the Imperial Edition of the Buddhist Sutras. Funds to get the project realised came from wealthy benefactors of that time, including Cheong Fatt Tze (of Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion), Zhang Yunan, Cheah Choon Seng, Chung Keng Kwee (the Kapitan Cina who owned Hai Kee Chan) and Tye Kee Yoon. In recognition of their contribution, they were all made the Five Principal Directors of Kek Lok Si.
The initial temple structure was built on the summit of He Shan. It cost $180,000 Straits Dollars. The 10-acre site was purchased in 1893, and the temple was completed in 1904. An official opening ceremony was conducted on 13 January, 1905.
For the first thirty-five years of its existence, the temple was without its iconic pagoda. Nevertheless it was already assuming a position as one of the most prestigious and renowned Mahayana Buddhist religious institution in Southeast Asia. It was only in 1927 that the iconic pagoda, today one of the most recognizable landmarks of Penang, came into being. Construction began in 1915 under the second abbot of Kek Lok Si, Ben Zhong, who was also instrumented in founding the Kuan Yin See. Its official name is the Pagoda of Rama VI, so named after the Thai monarch who laid the foundation stone. Generally, however, it is better known as the Pagoda of 10,000 Buddhas or Ban Po That. This unusual pagoda combines a Chinese octagonal base with a middle tier of Thai design, and a Burmese crown, effectively fusing Mahayana and Theravada Buddhism symbols into one structure.
The two star attractions of Kek Lok Si Temple are the Pagoda of 10,000 Buddhas and the giant bronze statue of Kuan Yin.
The 30.2m bronze statue of the Avalokitesvara - Goddess of Mercy or Kuan Yin, standing on the hillside above the pagoda, was completed and open to the public at the end of 2002. The prime mover in getting the statue built was the late abbot of the temple, the Most Venerable Bai Sheng, who had wanted to build a 120-meter tall statue, but scaled it down on the height limit imposed by the state government under Koh Tsu Koon. On 6 December, 2009, a new 20-storey pavilion sheltering the statue was consecrated in a ceremony attended by Dr Koh and his successor the Rt Hon. Lim Guan Eng.
Depending on your location, you can take Rapid Penang Bus 201, 203, 204, 206, 306 and U502. Check the Rapid Penang Bus Route for details, map and time table. The most convenient bus stop is located along Jalan Pasar, at the foothills of the temple. Jalan Pasar is a one-way street. Walk following the traffic flow until you reach a T-junction. You can see Kek Lok Si towering to the left side. Turn left and walk in its direction.
What to see and do
There are several entrances into the massive complex of Kek Lok Si. To cover it completely, let's start from the bottom and work our way up. A small river, Sungai Air Itam, with a bridge across it, marks the entrance into Kek Lok Si. On the other side of the river is an ascending pathway towards the temple. On both sides are stalls selling tourist items, souvenirs and trinkets. If any item catches your interest, be sure to bargain vigorously.
The souvenir passageway leads to the tortoise pond. One of the highlights of Kek Lok Si Temple, the pond holds hundreds of tortoise, many over fifty years old. Vendors sell kangkung (water convolvulus) which you can buy to feed the tortoise. The pond appears murky and unkempt. The pathway continues up, leading to a landing area with a parking lot to the right. Those who drive up to Kek Lok Si usually park here. Over here is a big air-conditioned souvenir shop belonging to the temple.
Above the souvenir shop, the temple proper begins. There is a round pond with a seven-tier ornamental pagoda. It is located in a square above the main Pagoda of 10,000 Buddhas. A sheltered passageway leads up a flight of steps to the Chamber of Seated Buddhas. This two-storey pavilion is cloistered by rows of standing Buddha images. The seated Buddhas are surrounded by lit candles in the form of open lotus.
Even today, with funds rolling in from wealthy benefactors, Kek Lok Si Temple continues to embark on expansion programs. Among these is the construction of a shelter for the giant Kuan Yin statue. The best season to visit Kek Lok Si is during the Chinese New Year celebrations, when the temple complex is lit up with thousands of lanterns. It is particularly impressive during dusk, as the lanterns are lit up over a darkening sky. This is when you will see throngs of photography buffs jostling with devotees and worshippers to get the best angle and view.
The latest attraction at the Kek Lok Si Temple complex is the Goddess of Mercy Pavilion, consecrated on 6 December, 2009, in the presence of the Chief Minister of Penang, Rt. Hon. Lim Guan Eng, and former Chief Minister of Penang, Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon.
Rapid Penang Bus No. 203 goes to Air Itam Village at the foot of Kek Lok Si.
91. Khaw Kongsi: Temple for Chinese clansmen surnamed Khaw. Saw Khaw Lean (Heah) Kongsi, is the clan association of Chinese Teochew clansmen belonging to the surname Saw, Khaw and Lean. Among those surnamed Khaw includes those whose surname is written as Koh and Khor. Prominent members of the Khaw clan association, or Khaw Seh Koe Yang Tong, includes Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon, the former chief minister of Penang, and Khaw Sim Bee, the governor of Ranong and Phuket, in the late 19th century. Khaw Sim Khim, the brother to Khaw Sim Bee, was one of the co-founders of the Khaw Kongsi. The clan temple of the Khaw Kongsi is named Koe Yang Tang, and was founded so that Khaw clansmen has a place to worship their patron deity, Xu Zhen Jun.
Getting there: Saw Khaw Lean (Heah) Kongsi is within walking distance from the Komtar Bus Terminal. Walk along Lebuh Tek Soon towards Jalan Penang. Cross Jalan Penang and then turn right. Walk along Jalan Penang until you reach the pedestrian bridge. Use the bridge to cross Jalan Burma. Walk along Jalan Burma until you arrive at Saw Khaw Lean Kongsi on your right.
92. Kongsoon House: Heritage office building at the corner of Lebuh Pantai and Lebuh Gereja. commercial building at the corner of Church Street and Beach Street. It was constructed in 1914, and was originally the premises of Goh Taik Chee & Co, a wholesale store and ship chandlers. It supplies mining, engineering and industrial machinery, catering to the booming tin industry of mainland Perak. In the 1970's, Kongsoon House used to be the premises of Kee Huat Radio, which sells electrical appliances.
The façade facing Church street has a centralised front with pediment and projecting balconies on the first and second floor. On the ground floor are glass pane windows with cast iron stalks. The building is wrapped with cornices and parapet.
93. Kuan Yin See: Temple of the Goddess of Mercy of Burmah Road, temple associated with the Nine Emperor Gods Festival. The Kuan Yin See was founded in 1922 by Ben Zhong, the second abbot of Kek Lok Si Temple who was also the one who built the Pagoda of 10,000 Buddhas. At the entrance to the temple is a name plaque and on either sides are pillar couplets, with calligraphy written by Chen Baochen, an official in the former Qing imperial court.
The Temple of the Goddess of Mercy has become associated with the Nine Emperor Gods Festival, so much so that many people thought this is the Nine Emperor Gods Temple of Penang, which is a different temple located in Lebuh Macallum. Nonetheless, the Kuan Yin See is the busiest during this festival, with stalls erected at the front selling vegetarian meals and confectioneries.
The Kuan Yin is was once the home of Fa Kong, a flamboyant monk whose legacy included founding a zoo in Air Itam, in what is now Jalan Zoo. An inscription attributed to him, of Zen verses, can be seen on the rock in the garden of Kek Lok Si Temple.
94. Kuan Yin Teng (Kong Hock Keong) Temple of the Goddess of Mercy of Pitt Street, one of the oldest Chinese temples in Penang. Dedicated to Ma Chor Po, the patron saint of seafarers. It is possible that as the local Chinese community evolved from one dependent on the sea to one which is urban, the virtues of the Goddess of Mercy - motherliness, compassionate, dedicated to saving mortals from tribulation - became more congruent to their needs. This transition from Ma Chor Po to Kuan Yin 1824, because two stelae erected by the Board of Directors of the temple indicated that the Goddess of Mercy was the main deity even before 1824.
95. Lee Jetty: (Clan Jetties) - one of the clan jetties of George Town. It is the fourth jetty from the north, located between Tan Jetty and Mixed Clan Jetty. It is also known in Hokkien as Seh Lee Keo.
The Lee Jetty housed the people of the Lee clan. They are the descendents of coolies that migrated to Penang at the turn of the 20th century, around the same time that the eastern shore of George Town was reclaimed to create the new port area and the new waterfront road called Weld Quay. The Lee coolies created a Lee village from Fujian Province in southern China, at the Penang waterfront.
96. Leong San Tong Khoo Kongsi: The most ornate Chinese clan temple outside of China. Founded in 1835, on the 8th day of the 5th moon of the Chinese calendar, when 102 members of the Khoo clan gathered to form an association to look after the welfare of Khoo clansmen in the Nanyang. It was to be similar to another Khoo association in China, the Ee Kok Tong. One of the functions of the association was to keep records of the clan ancestors and descendents. The result of this meticulous exercise is that the Khoos have one of the most complete genealogical charts of all the clans in Penang.
The Khoo Kongsi is in fact a miniature clan village set into the city of George Town. Many of the town houses surrounding the Khoo Kongsi clan temple bear the sign "Sin Kang", as do the gateways leading into Khoo Kongsi. Unfortunately, since the previous renovation of the temple complex, two of the passageways have been sealed off. These are the ones from Beach Street (Lebuh Pantai) and Armenian Street (Lebuh Armenia), leaving only one single entranceway into Khoo Kongsi, and that's the main passageway from Cannon Square (Medan Cannon). Since the last renovation, a clan museum has also been installed on the ground floor of the clan temple, and entrance fees charged to visitors for the general upkeep.
The land to built Khoo Kongsi was acquired in 1851. It measures 97,035 sq feet. There was a bungalow on the site, and this was converted into a clan temple for ancestor worship. This temple was named Leong San Tong, in honour of their progenitor's village of Leong San in China. The name "Leong San" means "Dragon Mountain".
97. Lim Jetty: (Clan Jetties) One of the six existing clan jetties in George Town. Also known as Seh Lim Keo in Hokkien, it is the clan jetty nearest to Pengkalan Raja Tun Uda, the ferry terminal. Today much of Lim Jetty has made way for development, with a large tract of the waterfront being reclaimed to make a parking lot. Immediately to the south of Lim Jetty is Chew Jetty.
98. Lim Kongsi: Clan association of those holding the Lim surname. Hokkien association located at Ah Quee Street, George Town. Its full name is Kew Leong Tong Lim Kongsi. Kew Leong Tong, which means Hall of Nine Dragons, is the principal association of Lim Kongsi. The name Kew Leong Tong is to commemorate the nine sons of a particular Lim clan in China who were elevated to the status of chief magistrates during the Tang Dynasty.
The head office is locked behind an iron grill gate at Ah Quee Street in Penang. It is one of three Lim clan associations in Penang, and is considered the parent of the three. The Kew Leong Tong Lim Kongsi was founded by people of the Lim surname who came from the village of Koe Guan in the sub district of Sam Tor, in the district of Hai Teng, in Cheang Chew prefecture, in Hokkien (Fujian) Province, China. Nevertheless, the association is open to anybody surnamed Lim, regardless their origin and dialect.
99. Limburg: Mansion that once belonged to Penang industrialist Lim Cheng Teik. Limburg, despite its faux-German name, is the home of prominent early 20th century Penang industrialist Lim Cheng Teik (1884-1978). He was the son of tycoon Phuah Hin Leong (who was born Lim Choo Guan to an impoverished family from the Lim clan, and subsequently adopted by a Phuah family). Like his father, Lim Cheng Teik entered the oil and rice milling business. He became successful early in life, and was elected at the age of 26 as the youngest Municipal Commissioner of Penang. At the age of 33, he became the Chairman of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce.
Today Limburg has been readapted for use as a KFC outlet.
100. Linear Park: Urban park along the Ayer Itam River. Located at Halaman York, just below the Sri York Condominiums. The park, which is maintained by the Penang Island Municipal Council (Majlis Perbandaran Pulau Pinang, MPPP) has sports facilities including tennis court, sepaktakraw court, and children's playground.
Across the Ayer Itam River from Linear Park is the recently restored Suffolk House. At time of writing (December 2008), the house is still closed to the public. Taxi or car is the best way to get here.
101. Li Teik Seah Building: House that once belonged to wealthy 19th century pepper trader Khoo Tiang Poh – located on Lebuh Caernarfon. Khoo Tiang Poh was a prominent member of the Khoo Kongsi and with his fellow clansman Khoo Thean Teik, were the forces behind the Khian Teik secret society. The term "secret society" is given by the British to describe the activities of the local groups which appear to be clandestine.
The Khian Teik secret society is closely allied to the Red Flag society, a Muslim group of Malays and Achenese. One of its leaders is Syed Mohamed Alatas. The alliance was further strengthen when Khoo Tiang Poh gave his daughter in marriage to Syed Mohamed Alatas's son, Syed Sheikh Alatas, as the latter's second wife.
The friction between the Red Flag / Khian Teik alliance and the White Flag / Ghee Hin alliance eventually erupted into street fighting in 1867. The troubles were now known as the Penang Riots. Khoo Tiang Poh and Khoo Thean Teik were both found guilty of instigating the riots. However, Khoo Poh escaped deportation when the British discovered that he was holding documents as a naturalized British subject. He only died in 1892.
The house where he lived became Li Teik Seah, a youth club, in 1921.
102. Logan Memorial: Monument to lawyer who fought for the rights of the locals. James Logan was a champion of the rights of the non-Europeans in Penang. He came to Penang with his elder brother Abraham and began a law practise. In an age where the rights of the non-whites were often suppressed, he skillfully fought in a case of an Indian sireh planter against the East India Company.
The Logan brothers studied law in Edinburgh - James was a classmate of Forbes Scott Brown, whose father David Brown, who is remembered with the Brown Memorial. The Logans moved to Singapore to practise law in 1842, but James returned to Penang in 1853. He wrote Language and Ethnology of the Indian Archipelago, a book that created greater appreciation of the peoples and culture of the Malay archipelago.
When the authorities attempted to suppress the activities of the Chinese clans, labeling them secret societies, it was James Logan who helped the Chinese merchants in submitting petitions. This resulted in greater rights and recognition for their organisations and festivals.
The death of James Logan in 1869 was regarded as a huge public calamity. The public of the Straits Settlement pooled a fund to erect a memorial in his honour, the Logan Memorial. The memorial is located across the road from the Supreme Court
103. Loke Thye Kee: Dilapidated building that was once one of the most significant Chinese restaurants in Penang. at the junction of Jalan Burma and Jalan Penang (by the pedestrian foot bridge). In its heyday, Loke Thye Kee was one of the most up market Chinese restaurant in Penang.
Loke Thye Kee was started in 1919 by two Hainanese brothers where worked as cooks for Penang tycoon Khoo Sian Ewe, whose assets include The Great Wall on Penang Hill.
Khoo Sian Ewe (1886-1964), was the longest-serving president of the Penang Chinese Town Hall (1927-1964) and was also the president of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce (1933-1941). A pillar of the early 20th century Penang society, he was a Justice of the Peace, and was on the board of the Leong San Tong Khoo Kongsi and the Chung Hwa Confucian High School, among others. Khoo Sian Ewe owns most of the land between Jalan Burma and Jalan Phee Choon. Indeed he was the biggest property owners in Penang before the Second World War.
Learning of the desire of his two employees, Khoo Sian Ewe graciously released the two Hainanese brothers from his employment, and even helped them found the restaurant that is Loke Thye Kee. The three-storey restaurant was designed by Penang-born architect Chew Eng Eam, who also designed the Chinese Chamber of Commerce building. The structure is supposed to resemble a steamboat as though afloat in a lake. Like scenes carved out of romance novels, the verandahs act as decks for the guests (or "passengers") to look out onto Burmah Road below. As a result, Loke Thye Kee became a favorite place for matchmaking engagements, where two families come together to "examine the prospect", so to speak. In this game of tact and subtlety, a "yes" or "no" is pronounced by the way tea is drunk.
Loke Thye Kee has been in a dilapidated state for decades. It is an unfortunate eye sore right at the heart of the city. On occasion, wedding couples come here for photo shoots, but apart from that, the restaurant stands forlorn.
104. Macallum Street Wholesale Market: Main wholesale market of Penang. You may feel uncomfortable visiting here as it is a destination that does not receive visitors with 'welcoming arms’. Be prepared for a few harsh stares.
105. Mahamariamman Temple: Oldest Hindu temple in Penang. The Arulmigu Mahamariamman Temple is on Queen Street, Georgetown. Also known as Sri Mahamariamman Temple or simply the Mariamman Temple, it is dedicated to the Hindu deity Sri Muthu Mariamman, who has a following among the Indians of South India. The temple has its back facing Pitt Street (Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling). Scholars believe the name Mariamman comes from two words, mari meaning power, and amman meaning mother. Sri Muthu Mariamman is considered a motherly power figure, a goddess of mercy and patron deity of the peasants of southern India.
Like many other Hindu temples in Penang, the Arulmigu Mahamariamman Temple began as a small and simple shrine. According to records, the land on which the Mahamariamman Temple stood was granted in 1801 by the British to one person by the name of Betty Lingam Chetty, who in all likelihood was the Kapitan (headman or community leader) of the Tamils and South Indians. This was done to ensure that the Indian community, which includes the merchants, labourers and sepoys are settled in one particular area, for ease of managing the group. The majority of the people who lived around the temple were waterfront workers who were the backbone of the Penang port. These Indian stevedores were organised in groups called kootam - a member of a kootam is a kootakadai, and heading each kootam is a thandal. Together, the Indian community numbered about 2000 workers and they inhabited the area bounded by Lebuh Queen, Lebuh King, Lebuh Penang, Lebuh Pasar and Lebuh Gereja, an area collectively known as Ellammuchanthi in Tamil, or Simpang Lelong in Malay.
The Sri Mahamariamman shrine was enlarged into a temple in 1833. Incidentally, since this was when it became a proper temple, the year 1833 is taken as the year that it was founded. At the time of its founding, it was known as the Sri Muthu Mariamman Temple. It was only in 1980 that it became known by its present name, Sri Arulmigu Mahamariamman Temple - although the name is often written as Sri Mariamman Temple, Mahamariamman Temple and so on. The Arulmigu Mahamariamman Temple has a 23 feet tall sculptured tower, or gopuram, on which are 38 statues of Hindu deities.
During the nine-day Navarithri festival, Arulmigu Mahamariamman Temple holds a procession where the deity Mariamman is paraded in a decorated wooden chariot. The procession negotiates the tight streets of Little India.
Getting there: You can walk from the Weld Quay Bus Terminal to the Arulmigu Mahamariamman Temple. Cross Pengkalan Weld using the pedestrian bridge then turn left. Walk along Pengkalan Weld until the junction of Gat Lebuh Chulia. Turn right. Walk all the way, passing the junctions of Lebuh Victoria, Lebuh Pantai, Lebuh Penang and Lebuh King. At Lebuh Queen, turn right, and you will arrive at the Arulmigu Mahamariamman Temple, which is on your left. Admission is free, but remember to remove your shoes. Be decently attired. Photography is allowed except for the central sanctum where no photography is allowed.
106. Mahindarama Buddhist Temple: Theravada Buddhist temple at Kamar Road. It is one of the major meditation centers for Buddhist, and attracts Buddhists locally as well as those from other countries including Thailand, Myanmar and Sri Lanka.
Getting there: Rapid Penang Bus 201, 202, 203 and U204 pass along Jalan Air Itam in front of it.
107. Market Lane Tuak Shop: One of the few remaining tuak shops in George Town - Kedai Tuak Lorong Pasar, (Another one still standing is the Cantonment Road Tuak Shop.) Also called toddy or palm wine, tuak is an alcoholic beverage made from the undeveloped flower of the coconut palm as well as the sugar palm. In Penang, the collecting and market for tuak was entirely an Indian affair, with the majority of its drinkers being Indian laborers. The sugary palm sap is collected in bamboo containers and fermented. The fermentation takes place almost as soon as the palm sap is collected. This is due to the natural yeast in the air as well as residual yeast in the bamboo receptacle. The drink is whitish in color, having the appearance and consistency of barley water - but of course the taste is very different.
Getting there: From the Weld Quay Bus Terminal, cross Pengkalan Weld using the pedestrian bridge. Then turn left and walk along Pengkalan Weld until you reach Gat Lebuh Chulia. Turn right into Gat Lebuh Chulia and walk the distance. At the junction of Lebuh Pantai, Gat Lebuh Chulia becomes Lebuh Chulia. Continue along Lebuh Chulia until the junction with Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling. Cross Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling and then turn right. A short distance down Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling, turn left into Lorong Pasar. The tuak shop is a short distance down Lorong Pasar, on the left.
108. Masjid Jamek Batu Uban: Oldest mosque on Penang Island. It was built in 1734, pre-dating the establishment of George Town in 1786 by Captain Francis Light. The mosque began as a surau, or prayer hall, erected by Haji Mohammed Saleh, popularly known as Nakhoda Intan Nam Tunku Patis Batang, a Muslim leader from Buadi Village in Paya Kumbu, Sumatra. Haji Mohammed Saleh and his followers arrived in Penang, which was then still densely covered in jungle, and established a settlement by the coast. It was named Batu Uban, meaning "grey hair rock", after a sea boulder with some dried grass clinging onto it, which seemed to resemble white hair. The boulder is said to be somewhere in the sea between Penang Island and Pulau Jerejak.
Over time, the surau was eventually replaced by a mosque for the Malay settlement, or kampung, that was established in Batu Uban. They lived mostly as fishermen, largely undisturbed by the opening of Penang Island as a British trading port.
109. Masjid Jamek Hashim Yahaya: Mosque along Perak Road adjacent to the biggest cemetery in Penang. Located in Kampung Dodol, off Jalan Perak it was founded by Hashim Yahaya, who also put in trust an 8-acre piece of land that today becomes the neighboring Kampung Dodol, which has 107 village houses. The mosque traces its history to the 1872 although the surrounding land have been settled much earlier, possibly before the establishment of George Town as a British trading post, since Tamil Muslims and Acehnese have already founded villages along the banks of Sungai Pinang by the late 18th century.. The land is also called Dato Keramat, as it is the location of the Perak Road Malay Cemetery, where the Muslim ascetic was buried.
Masjid Jamek Hashim Yahaya was rebuilt in 1979 and was officially opened by the then Finance Minister of Malaysia, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, on 30 January, 1981.
110. Masjid Jamek Jalan Hatin: Mosque along Hutton Lane in George Town - it served the once substantial Malay community that lived around Hutton Lane, including Ariffin Road, Jalan Sekerat and Jalan Dinding.
Considering its proximity to the home of the late 19th century Malay entrepreneur Mohd Ariff Mohamed Tajoodin, there is a high possibility that Mohd Ariff was instrumental in the establishment of Masjid Jamek Jalan Hatin. If not him, then perhaps his son Wanchee Ariffin, who built Masjid Wan Chik Ariffin in Perak Road.
111. Masjid Pintal Tali: Small heritage mosque along Rope Walk. with a rich history. In the 19th century, it was the base of the Malay secret society called the Bendera Putih, or White Flag. The mosque was originally called Mesjid Syed Mohamed Bilfakih. It was founded by the son-in-law of Tengku Syed Hussain, the late 19th century Acehnese clan leader who moved to Penang and set up base at Acheen Street. Ironically, Tengku Syed Hussain founded the Acheen Street Mosque, which was in the Red Flag territory, the enemy of the White Flags, during the Penang Riots.
The White Flag secret society affiliate themselves to the Ghee Hin Secret Society, which had its base at Meng Eng Choo nearby. Masjid Pintal Tali is located along Jalan Pintal Tali (translated Rope Walk by the British). It got its name because a good number of the people living there were rope spinners. The leader of the White Flag society was Tuan Chee, and its members were composed of Malays, Kelings (Indian Muslims), and Peranakan Jawis (Muslims of Indian and Malay parentage).
The White Flag Secret Society is the opponent of the Red Flag Secret Society, which is centered around the Acheen Street Mosque and whose leader is Syed Alatas.
Getting there: Using the Komtar Bus Terminal as point of reference, cross Lebuh Tek Soon to Prangin Mall. At Prangin Mall, walk along Lebuh Lintang to Jalan Dr Lim Chwee Leong. Cross Jalan Dr Lim Chwee Leong and enter Jalan Pintal Tali. Cross the junction of Lebuh Kimberley and continue along Jalan Pintal Tali. Masjid Pintal Tali is on the left side of Jalan Pintal Tali, near the junction of Pesara Claimant.
112. Masjid Titi Papan: Heritage mosque along Jalan Burma at the junction of Jalan Khoo Sian Ewe. This mosque dates back to 1893, and is significant for being the point where the Praingin Canal used to reach. The canal, which is only visible for part of the way near Jalan Dr Lim Chwee Leong, once reached Jalan Transfer, from where there's a plank bridge (titi papan) across it.
Jalan Transfer was created in 1867, and was so named to commemorate the "transfer" of administration of Penang from India to Singapore, under the Straits Settlements. Masjid Titi Papan used to be the community mosque for the Peranakan Jawis (Muslims of Indian and Malay parentage) that lived in a settlement around it in the mid 19th century. This community has long since disappeared, although further down Jalan Transfer, the Tamil Muslim community around Dato Koya Shrine still exists.
Getting there: Masjid Titi Papan is located near the start of Jalan Burma. From the Komtar Bus Terminal, walk along Jalan Tek Soon to Jalan Penang. Cross Jalan Penang and turn right. Walk along Jalan Penang until you arrive at the junction of Jalan Burma. Cross Jalan Burma using the pedestrian bridge. Turn left, walk along Jalan Burma, and you will arrive at Masjid Titi Papan at the junction of Jalan Khoo Sian Ewe.
113. Meng Eng Choo: Also written Meng Eng Soo, or Ghee Hin Memorial Hall of Heroes, is the base of the infamous Ghee Hin Secret Society of the 19th century. They set up their base in Rope Walk after they were ousted from their original base in Church Street by their nemesis, the Hai San leader Kapitan China Chung Keng Kwee, who took over the Church Street premises and turned it into his residence and home, called Hai Kee Chan. The Ghee Hin's new premises at Rope Walk is located next to the base of their Malay associates, the White Flag Society based at Masjid Pintal Tali.
The Meng Eng Choo acts as a clan temple for the Ghee Hins, who are mostly of the Teochew and Cantonese dialect groups. They are a spin-off from the Hung League triad group in China, and in the Malay peninsula, they had their branches in Penang, Taiping, Ipoh and Singapore. As a triad, they cause much trouble to the British authorities for their fondness to attack and burn post offices. They were also the players in the three Larut Wars, although it must also be pointed out that they are not always the ones to start the warfare, but are often retaliating against what they perceive as unfair deals or simply outright bullying from the Hai San Secret Society.
The third Larut War resulted in the Pangkor Engagement (Perjanjian Pangkor), which gave the Ghee Hins the short end of the deal. The most lucrative tin mines in the Larut region, Krian Pauh, went to the Hai San, while they were given the mining area of Krian Baru, which is inferior in tin deposit. These two areas become the towns of Taiping and Kamunting respectively today.
When the British outlawed secret societies, it compelled the Ghee Hin Society towards dissolution. The setting up of the Meng Eng Choo is what I would deem a 19th century version of "money laundering". The society had to sell or transfer all its assets by June 1890. The property previously known as Hong Eng Tong (or in Mandarin Hong Ying Tang) at 48 Jalan Pintal Tali had to be registered to new trustees. The Meng Eng Choo was then set up as a legitimate society with the purpose of offering prayers to noted deceased Ghee Hin members, numbering 165 in all.
Getting there: From Komtar Bus Terminal, cross Lebuh Tek Soon to Prangin Mall. At Prangin Mall, walk along Lebuh Lintang to Jalan Dr Lim Chwee Leong. Cross Jalan Dr Lim Chwee Leong and enter Jalan Pintal Tali. Cross the junction of Lebuh Kimberley and continue along Jalan Pintal Tali. Meng Eng Choo is on the left side of Jalan Pintal Tali, immediately after Masjid Pintal Tali, near the junction of Pesara Claimant.
114. Mixed Jetty: (Clan Jetties) Also called the Mixed Surname Jetty, is the only one of the clan jetties which started off with more than one clan. This is the result of the labourers of the miscellaneous Hokkien clans who are not part of the main clans forming a jetty of their own. Living in stilt homes above the water avoided having to pay property taxes (or assessment) which was imposed by the colonial government in the early 20th century. This also allow these labourers to be close to their workplace, which is usually the harbour.
Today the Mixed Clan Jetty house the descendents of the original port labourers as well as some newcomers that took up housing in the jetties after some of the descendents moved out.
115. Moey She Temple: Clan temple for Chinese people holding the Moey surname. Located at 31 Penang Street (within the Little India), it is one of the lesser known temples in the inner city. It is a Cantonese-style clan temple built in 1905. Much of the facade is of granite. At the front gate is a pair of ceramic lions perched on the gate. The eaves on the roof are decorated with eaves board and supported by tall granite pillars with lantern beams across them.
On both sides of the front door of Moey She Temple are granite panels on which words of praise are inscribed. The roof is decorated with mystical beasts including the celestial fish and pearl. The temple is only one storeys high but the walls are built to a height of a two storey building. Inside the temple are wooden altars and other traditional Chinese furniture.
116. Moon Gate: is a heritage gateway along Jalan Kebun Bunga, on the way to the Penang Botanic Gardens. It is the gateway to the 19th Century country house of Cheah Chen Eok, the famous millionaire best remembered for building the Queen Victoria Memorial Clocktower at the Esplanade to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of the monarch. The remains of his bungalow is just a few yards up the path.
The 19th century mansion now lies in ruins some 15 minutes from the Moon Gate. The mansion or bungalow was one of 11 famous mansions of Penang as mentioned in the Penang Gazeteer by visiting Chinese scholar Li Jun who stayed in Penang for 3 months in 1891. The name of the mansion is "Yu Yi Yuan" (Yu Yi Garden). According to Bin Lang Yu Zhi Lue, it was located to the right of the water source, presumably the Waterfall reservoir. There was a plaque at the Moon Gate which read "Yong Yi". "Yu Yi" and "Yong Yu" are derived from the Analects of Confucius (24th paragraph in the Xian Jin Chapter of the Lun Yu). Yi is the name of a river in Shan Don Province in northeast China. Yu Yi means to take a bath in the Yi river, and Yong Yi probably means singing praises of the river Yi.
The Moon Gate is the remnant of mansions built in the late 19th century, when there emerged a wealthy class within the Chinese community in Penang, when the Chinese towkays and mandarins started building country homes in imitation of those of the Europeans.
117. Municipal Fountain: Koh Seang Tat, a wealthy man whose house is located a short distance from the Town Hall. This was done in 1883 in conjunction with the opening of the Penang Town Hall in 1883. Koh Seang Tat was the first Chinese to be appointed Justice of the Peace. Together with Cheah Chen Eok and Dr. W.C. Brown, Koh Seang Tat was among the first elected members of the Penang Municipal Commission in 1887. Koh Seang Tat donated the fountain which is still functioning today beside the recently restored Town Hall building.
118. Nagore Shrine: Shrine to South Indian Muslim saint. It was built in the early 1800s, at about the same time as the Kapitan Keling Mosque nearby. It is the oldest Indian Muslim shrines in Penang, and is located along Chulia Street. The name Chulia denotes the people from the Coromandel Coast of South India who are Muslim merchants and moneylenders.
The Nagore Durgha Shrine commemorates Syed Shahul Hamid, a 13th century Muslim Saint of Nagore. In Nagore, there's a religious complex dedicated to him. This shrine in Penang is just one of many similar durghas that have been built in the Saint's memory across southern Asia, and is similar to the Nagore Durgha Shrine in Singapore (see picture below). It has stood on the original section of Chulia Street from the time of Francis Light.
The Nagore Durgha Shrine in Penang is well-kept and painted a brilliant white, making it stand out on clear days. On its side wall is a sort of arcade for a shop. There used to be a well attached to the shrine on the King Street side.
Getting there: From Weld Quay Bus Terminal, cross Pengkalan Weld using the pedestrian bridge. Turn left and walk along Pengkalan Weld until the junction of Gat Lebuh Chulia. Turn right into Gat Lebuh Chulia. Walk along Gat Lebuh Chulia. At the junction with Lebuh Pantai, Gat Lebuh Chulia becomes Lebuh Chulia. Continue along Lebuh Chulia until you reach the Nagore Shrine, at the junction of Lebuh King.
119. Nine Emperor Gods Temple is said to be the oldest temple of the Nine Emperor Gods in Penang. The temple dates back to 1840 when it was established as a small shrine.
Also called the Tow Boe Keong Kew Ong Tai Tay Temple, it now occupies two shophouses along Jalan Cheong Fatt Tze off Carnarvon Street. The building dates from the early part of the 20th century although the temple itself traces its history to around 1840, when the belief was established in Penang. The temple is painted yellow, as is the colour associated with the Nine Emperor deities.
120. Noordin Family Tomb: Mausoleum built by a prominent Indian Muslim merchant family. Also called Noordin Mausoleum, it is located facing Chulia Street next door to the original main entrance of the Kapitan Keling Mosque. The mausoleum was built in the mid 19th century by prominent Indian Muslim merchant Mahomed Noordin Merican, who arrived in Penang with his mother and his elder brother, Abdur Cauder Merican, who became the Kapitan Keling. The Noordin Family Tomb originally housed a school called Dunam Pillay. Classes were held there for learning the Al-Quran, Arabic, Malabar, Hindi, Tamil and English were held there. It became a tomb after it was used as a mausoleum to Mahomed Noordin Merican's mother.
Mahomed Noordin Merican came to Malaya from Nagapattinam in Tamil Nadu, India (but he is not a Chola, as I have earlier reported here, but rather a Turlekan, a people originating from a place in Turkey). The word "Merican" is derived from the word "Mericalayar", which means "people from the sea", to denote their seafaring activities and businesses. Mahomed Noordin Merican passed away at the age of 92 in 1870. The Noordin Family Tomb originally served as the mausoleum for Mahomed Noordin Merican's mother. However, Noordin himself was also buried there when he died in 1870. Mahomed Noordin Merican's son, Mahomed Mashurdin Merican Noordin, was also known as MM Noordin. He was born in 1848 and died in 1924, in the house called Clifton, in Northam Road. He was the leader of the Indian Muslim community of George Town. The British authorities made him a Municipal Commissioner and a Justice of the Peace - he was one of the first Muslims to be accorded such an honor. MM Noordin's son Aladin Merican Noordin, also known as A.M. Noordin, was the grandfather of the person who assisted me with the information, Wan Mohd Nasserudin Noordin. Wan Mohd Nasserudin Noordin's father was Isdin Merican Noordin, or I.M. Noordin, but better known as Wan Noordin, was one of the best known jockeys in Malaya, Singapore and Sarawak. After standing in a run-down state for decades, the Noordin Family Tomb was recently restored. Now it houses the Galeri Seni Lukis Persatuan Pelukis Melayu Pulau Pinang (Penang Malay Artist Association Art Gallery).
Getting there: From Weld Quay Bus Terminal, cross Pengkalan Weld using the pedestrian bridge. Then turn left and walk along Pengkalan Weld until you reach Gat Lebuh Chulia. Turn right into Gat Lebuh Chulia and walk the distance. At the junction of Lebuh Pantai, Gat Lebuh Chulia becomes Lebuh Chulia. Continue along Lebuh Chulia until the junction with Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling. Cross Lebuh Chulia to the other side, and then cross Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling. Following that, continue a short distance down Lebuh Chulia, and you'll arrive at the Noordin Family Tomb on your left.
121. Nagarathar Sivan Temple. Hindu temple of the Nagarathar Chettiar community. The Chettiar community traces its roots to the ancient port city of Kaveripattinam, in present-day Puhar, in Tamil Nadu, India. The Nagarathars are business people who practise Hinduism, building temples or "koil" dedicated to Shiva. The Nagarathar Sivan Temple is one such temple in Penang. It is considered a "male" temple. The main sanctuary, or garbagraham, has the image of Shiva in it. In a male temple, there is a separate entrance to a female deity, hence the shrine to Shiva's consort Shakti has its own entrance.
The Nagarathar Sivan Temple has an elaborate five-tier gopuram, or tower, with intricate sculptures of deities and beasts. These are brilliantly painted in many colors.
Getting there: Nagarathar Sivan Temple is located near the start of Jalan Macalister. From the Komtar Bus Terminal, walk along Jalan Tek Soon to Jalan Penang. Cross Jalan Penang and turn left. Walk along Jalan Penang until you arrive at the junction of Jalan Macalister, and then cross Jalan Dato Kramat. Turn right and walk along Jalan Dato Kramat until you arrive at Nagarathar Sivan Temple on your left.
122. Nattukkottai Chettiar Temple: Temple associated with the Thaipusam festival for the Chettiar community. Its full name is Nattukkottai Chettiar Thendayuthapani Temple, also called the Arulmigu Thandayuthapani Temple. It is located on Waterfall Road (Jalan Air Terjun) and was founded around 1854, after the Chettiar community in Penang Street bought the piece of land to build the chettiar quarters, or chettinar.
The word nattukkottai is a compound noun of two words, "nattu" and "kottai", meaning "country forts". This refers to the Chettiar's acumen in amassing wealth and keeping it. Being astute businessmen and moneylenders, the chettiar build temples that are hallmarks of quality, and are usually well managed as well as financially secure. Within the chettiar quarters is the temple of Thendayuthapani, an incarnation of the deity Murugan. This temple was consecrated in 1857. It was build in the chokkatan, or chequered design.
During Thaipusam, male chettiar carry a peacock feather yoke accompanying the silver chariot. They retreat to the chettinar for three days before accompanying the chariot back to town.
Immediately opposite the Nattukkottai Chettiar Temple is the Sri Meenakshi Sundraeswar Temple.
123. New Savoy Hotel: Small hotel that was once the residence of wealthy Boria patron Mohd Ariff bin Mohamed Tajoodin. Located on Hutton Lane, it was built in the late 19th century. Mohd Ariff bin Mohamed Tajoodin was a wealthy Malay entrepreneur who’s son Wan Chik Ariffin built the Wan Chik Ariffin Mosque at Perak Road.
124. New World Park: Modern food & shopping centre on the site of a former amusement park just off Jalan Burma. The New World Park food centre was launched in January 2008. It comprises two section. The portion nearest to Jalan Burma is occupied by bistros, cafes and up market eateries, while the portion nearer to Hutton Lane is a food court where street fare is sold in the comfort of a clean environment. This food court is a descendent of the food stalls along Swatow Lane, which moved into New World Park when it was completed.
125. Ng Kongsi: also known as Seh Ng Chia Soo or Ng See Kah Meow, at 40 King Street, is a clan association of the Cantonese people surnamed Ng. It is part of a row of Cantonese-style association buildings that include the Nin Yong Temple next door.
Ng Kongsi was founded in the early 19th century. The present building was renovated around 1910. The original structure dating from 1830 is encased into the new facade. Art Nouveau tiles adorn the exterior walls of Ng Kongsi. The outer facade was re-finished in stucco.
What to see
How to get there - from Weld Quay Bus Terminal, cross Pengkalan Weld using the pedestrian crossing. Turn right and walk along Pengkalan Weld until Gat Lebuh Gereja. Turn left. Walk along Gat Lebuh Gereja until Lebuh King. Turn left. You will see Ng Kongsi on the right side of the road, after the Heong San Hoay Kuan, Cantonese Tua Pek Kong Temple and Nin Yong Temple.
126. Ng Fook Thong: at 407 Lebuh Chulia, is an exquisite clan temple belonging to the United Cantonese District Association. The Ng Fook Thong Temple was built in 1898 on a site provided by Kapitan China Chung Keng Kwee in return for their original site on 29 Lebuh Gereja, which he used to build the Chung Keng Kwee Ancestral Temple. Chung Keng Kwee brought craftsmen from Fook San in China to work on his family temple, and in all likelihood, these same artisans worked on the Ng Fook Thong Temple as well.
Passing through the front gate, you pass through a forecourt. Then you arrive at the entrance of Ng Fook Thong Temple. Entering it, you come to an inner courtyard. Take note of the elaborately carved and gilded fascia board - some of the gold leaf is pealing off and probably need some form of restoration. On both sides of the main altar are ancestral tablets. The pillars and columns are of unadorned granite. Porcelain figurines adorn the roof ridge and gables.
The Ng Fook Thong Temple is definitely worth a visit for those who appreciate the culture and craftsmanship of southern China.
127. Nin Yong Temple: at 36 & 38 King Street, is a clan temple of the Toi San Association, a Cantonese district association of the Sing Ling dialect group from Toi San District, Guangdong Province, in southern China. It was constructed some time in the mid 19th century, and was renovated into its present form around the early 20th century, in 1912-1913. The renovation involved raising the level of the roof to the same height as that of the adjacent Ng Kongsi building, and cutting back on the length of the building by 7 feet 6 inches, so that a back lane can be created.
A component of the Toi San Association is the Wu Ti Meow or War Emperor's Temple, which is incorporated into Nin Yong Temple, at No 38 Lebuh King, next door to the left. The patron deity of this temple is Kwan Kong, literally Lord Kwan. His name in is Guan Yu; he is the war general usually portrayed with a red face and holding a guandao, the huge crescent blade.
As a final touch to the 1912-1913 renovation, the sign over the lentil of Wu Ti Meow was based on a calligraphy by Leong Ting Feng, a central government officer and calligrapher who had to go into exile in the 1890's for criticizing the Prime Minister. He re-entered the imperial court after the Boxer Rebellion, having been hired by the Empress Dowager to tutor Pu Yi, who later ascended the throne as the last emperor of China.
What to see: The Cantonese style clan temple architecture, which is different from most other clan temples in Penang, should be the main attraction of Nin Yong Temple and the adjacent Ng Kongsi. Incorporated into the temple structure in the 1890s are the stepped gables on the roof. On the upper portion of the front facade are ink paintings of Chinese mythology.
How to get there: From Weld Quay Bus Terminal, cross Pengkalan Weld and then turn right. Walk along Pengkalan Weld until you reach Gat Lebuh Gereja. Turn left. Walk along Gat Lebuh Gereja, past the Beach Street junction, onwards through Lebuh Gereja, until you reach Lebuh King. Turn left and you will find Nin Yong Temple on the right side of the road, after the Heong San Hoay Kuan and the Cantonese Tua Pek Kong Temple.
128. Ong Kongsi: is a clan temple along busy Penang Road in George Town. Ong Kongsi is the clan association of the Min Hokkien bearing the Ong surname. The original Min Hokkien Ong ancestral temple was established in 1891 and was built by the sea in Jelutong, with an extension into the Kin Jiu Pah (banana grove, or banana jungle). The present clan temple, the Seh Ong Kongsi, is located on a 30,827 sq ft plot at 436 Penang Road. It was purchased in 1894, and today is located right in the heart of George Town facing Komtar.
The clan temple was built through the donation from three brothers, Han Teng, Han Chong and Han Siew, who spent $41,000 to build it. The building was completed in 1900 and was named the Min Hokkien Ong Kongsi, or Kai Meng Ong Beow. It is dedicated to the pioneer king, who led the Chinese across the sea to settle in the Nanyang, or Southern Seas, during the late Tang Dynasty, thus becoming the first ruler, or ong, of the Hokkien State.
The Ong Kongsi registered itself in 1904 as the Thye Guan Tong Ong Kongsi and the Ong Si Thye Guan Tong. A pair of granite lions for the entrance were donated by Ong Chin Teik in 1905. An extension was built on the left, at a cost of $18,000, in 1916 while in 1918, a wall was built on the right.
The clan association received donations for several properties including 14 acres of land in Kedah from Ong Ah leong in 1917, and 3 houses also in Kedah from Ong Chin Poh in 1921. These were sold off, and the proceeds used to purchase 4 houses, costing $43,500 which are behind the temple. These are rented out in addition to another 4 purchased in 1988 for $430,000 in Goh Teow Lor, otherwise known as Lebuh Macallum.
Restoration and renovation work were carried out on the Ong Kongsi clan temple in 1951, 1964 and 1991, in conjunction with Ong Kongsi's centenary celebrations. The Kongsi retains its benefactorial role with the establishment of a scholarship fund in 1971, followed in 1985 by a loan scheme for Ong clansmen to attend local universities. A Welfare Committee & Youth Section also ensure the relevance of this association in keeping with the times.
129. Pantai Kerachut: is a stretch of beach in the Penang National Park, on the northwest part of Penang Island. Pantai Kerachut is located between Teluk Ketapang to the north and Tanjung Kering to the south.
Pantai Kerachut is most famous for its meromictic lake and turtle hatchery. The meromictic lake of Pantai Kerachut is an unusual lake where the temperature of its water is separated into two layers. The bottom later is sea water that seep in through the sea, while the top layer is fresh water that enters the lake from five small streams. The disparate density of the two layers keep the waters separated. Each is of a different temperature as well.
Pantai Kerachut is also the place where the green turtles come up to lay eggs. To enhance the survival rate of these turtles, a turtle hatchery is set up.
130. Pasir Panjang: is a stretch of sandy beach in Balik Pulau, on the southwestern tip of Penang Island, facing the Straits of Malacca. Once Pasir Panjang was just a quiet fishing hamlet, with a handful of fisherman's huts. Today, the huts were gone, taken over by Kem Bina Negara, an outward bound camp.
A winding hill road leads towards the beach of Pasir Panjang. The place is mostly frequented by picnickers and anglers during the weekend. The beach suffered some damage during the December 2004 tsunami, but has since been cleared of any tsunami debris. It is a good place for locals to relax and enjoy the beach away from the crowds on the north coast.
131. Penang Aquarium: is one of the tourist attractions in the fishing village of Batu Maung. Officially the Fisheries Department Research Institute Aquarium, this medium-size aquarium is located within the Fisheries Research Institute complex in Batu Maung, on the southeast tip of Penang Island.
The aquarium has 25 tanks to showcase various types of marine life, especially those found in the regional waters. Among them are the lion fish, the boxfish’s, moray eels, tangs, surgeon fish, cat sharks, stone fish, angel fish, blue spotted stingray, fox face fish, parrot fish, squirrel fish, damsels, bivalves and more. The largest tank measures 15 ft by 10 ft and houses the big fishes such as the snappers, the tudung periuk and the nyior nyior.
132. Penang Botanic Gardens: also written as Penang Botanical Gardens or Kebun Bunga, is the most important parkland in Penang. It is located on the western edge of George Town and is open daily to the public.
The Penang Botanic Gardens was founded in 1884 as an offshoot of the Singapore Botanic Gardens. Before that, the early British administrators had several false starts in establishing a botanic garden in Penang, beginning with one in 1796, which was sold off to a horticultural society, Penang Gardens. Next came another short-lived attempt managed by George Porter, a headmaster, and opened by Stamford Raffles in 1822. None of these earlier gardens survived long. It was only in 1884 that the Singapore Botanic Gardens, under Nathaniel Cantley, established a Penang Botanic Gardens, which survives in one form or another, till this day. In those early years, the director of the Singapore Botanic Gardens also act as the director of the Penang gardens.
The objective of the founding was to safeguard the economic interest of the British colonial government. It was at an era when new plants were being discovered by colonials all over the world, and research conducted to exploit the potential of these new discoveries. The Penang Botanic Gardens therefore was established so that seedlings from different parts of the world can be planted and tested for commercial viabilities. English botanist Henry Ridley was already working in the Singapore Botanic Gardens and was soon instrumental in introducing rubber into Malaya.
In its early days, the Penang Botanic Gardens were not a place for recreational activities. Serious commercial experiments were conducted here to ascertain the viability of commercial crops and to devise improved planting methods. The spillover effect of all these scientific activities is that the Gardens became a storehouse of rare and exquisite plants, usually kept behind lock and key and away from the general public.
The site chosen was a valley to the west of George Town. A river runs through the valley. It comes down from a big waterfall and cascades down towards George Town in the form of Sungai Air Terjun. Due to this waterfall, the Gardens were often also called the Waterfall Gardens.
In 1910, the Penang Botanic Gardens was threatened by a government initiative to turn the valley into a massive reservoir by damming Sungai Air Terjun. Fortunately for the Gardens, the plans were not carried out. However, its role has started to evolve. By the 1920's and 30's, it also took on the responsibility of beautifying George Town and the planting of roadside trees.
There were Hindu shrines all along the way from George Town to the Botanic Gardens. The main temple within the garden was relocated when the garden was expanded in the early 20th century. This temple, the Balathandayuthapani, is one of the main locations for the annual Thaipusam festival.
The Second World War set in motion changes to the Penang Botanic Gardens that was not to reverse thereafter. During the Japanese occupation, the Gardens suffered greatly; Assistant Curator-in-charge, J.C. Nauen, was sent to Kanchanaburi, Thailand, to work on the Death Railway, and he never came back alive. Meanwhile, the Gardens came under the running of Professor Watanabe, who did an extensive collection of botanic illustrations on the food and medicinal plants of the tropics. The ongoing war took a toll on the Gardens as lack of funds prevented proper management. The Japanese also built tunnels to store ammunition using forced labor. A collapse of these tunnels claimed many lives, leading to beliefs or legend that there may still be a store of Japanese treasure in or around the Lily Pond today.
After the war ended, the Penang Botanic Gardens was formally separated from the Singapore Botanic Gardens in terms of administration. In 1956m Mr Cheang Kok Choy was the first local appointed as Curator of the Penang Botanic Gardens, holding the post until his retirement in 1976.
Today the Penang Botanic Gardens is an arm of the Penang State Government, under the Penang Botanic Gardens Department (Pejabat Kebun Bunga). No longer tasked to be a lab for experimental crops, today its role is one of providing a safe and clean recreational environment for the general public.
Getting there: It is possible to walk to Penang Botanic Gardens from the Weld Quay Bus Terminal. Across cross Pengkalan Weld by the pedestrian bridge, turn left and walk until you reach the junction with Gat Lebuh Chulia. Turn right and walk the distance until you arrive at Penang Botanic Gardens. It is a LONG walk.
Visitor Information: Opening hours: 5:00am-8:00pm. Admission: free
Facilities: Parking lots are available outside the main entrance. This is not always sufficient, given that the Gardens is also a popular park for Penangites. Additional parking space is available beside the jeep track to Penang Hill, and along the road side up to Moon Gate.
Toilet: located near the entrance. Look for posted signboard
Souvenir shop: located near the entrance. It has a good stock of books related to botany. Other items sold include organic products, t-shirts and trinkets.
Exhibition: An international flower fest is held at the Penang Botanic Gardens every year.
What to see or do: The Penang Botanic Gardens is perhaps the best place to escape to a green surrounding. Despite being so close to a major city, the Penang Botanic Gardens offers a place where visitors can relax and at the same time admire the local and important plants. There are many walking paths and tracks in the garden, including forest paths that lead to Penang Hill. It is recommended to go with those who are familiar so as not to get lost in the jungle.
133. Penang Butterfly Farm: opened to the public in 1986. As far as anybody knows, the Penang Butterfly Farm was one of the first, if not the first, tropical butterfly farm in the world. It is located on a 0.8 hectare site near the foot of the Teluk Bahang hills, between the Taman Rimba Teluk Bahang and the Teluk Bahang village. The owner and founder is David Goh, who was inspired to start the farm by another butterfly farm owner, Clive Farrell of Stratford-upon-Avon in England.
The farm was intended to be more than just a tourist attraction. It introduced and created an interest in entomology - the study of insects - to the Malaysian public. For the first time, Malaysians from children to adults could experience the pleasure of watching over a thousand butterflies from 120 different species fluttering in an enclosure. They include the famous Rajah Brooke (Trogonoptera brookiana), the beautiful black butterfly with florescent green patches called birdwing. This butterfly comes from Borneo and West Malaysia, and was named after James, the Rajah of Sarawak, by naturalist Alfred Wallace, the founder of the Sarawak Museum, in 1855. Other butterflies found here include the endangered Yellow Bird wing (Troides helena).
Although to the general public, the butterfly farm is just another of Penang's many tourist attractions, the farm itself has gained an international reputation within the industry as a butterfly breeding centre. Rather than depleting the butterfly population in the wild, the farm has been active in breeding butterflies in captivity. This helps to increase the number of butterflies which are endangered species. It also increases awareness of conservation issues pertaining to the rain forest and butterfly habitats.
Getting there: Penang Butterfly Farm is located about 2.2 km or 15 minutes from the Teluk Bahang roundabout. From George Town, take the northern beach road through Batu Ferringhi until you reach the Teluk Bahang roundabout. Make a 9 o'clock turn to the left. You will reach the Teluk Bahang Forest Park (Taman Rimba Teluk Bahang) after passing the Penang Butterfly Farm on the left side of the road. If you are taking public transport, Rapid Penang Bus 101 goes to Teluk Bahang Village. From there you need to change to Bus U501 that heads towards Balik Pulau. Take note that the bus services is sporadic.
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri: 9:00am-5:30pm (last entry 5:00pm)
Weekend & Public Holidays: 9:00am-6:00pm (last entry 5:30pm)
Closed half day on Chinese New Year Eve
Admission: Adults: RM20, Children: RM10, Half price for MYKAD holders
Video / Digital Video Camera: RM5.00
134. Penang Goldsmith Association: or Penang Ta Kam Hong at Lebuh Muntri, Penang, is the biggest Chinese goldsmith association in Malaysia. Founded in 1832, it is also the oldest. Its members are mostly goldsmiths of Cantonese descent who came from Guangdong Province in southern China from the earth 19th century right to the early 20th century. Within its premises is the guild temple, Voo Cheng Koo Mew, built in 1903 to worship Wu Ching, the patron deity of goldsmiths.
135. Penang Hill Hindu Temple: or Sri Aruloli Thirumurugan is one of the oldest Hindu temples in Penang. It started off in the 1800's as a small shrine to the Hindu deity Murugan - the deity associated with Thaipusam - by the Indian sepoys and sedan chair carriers, and is located at a mount within Penang Hill called Gun Hill. A trident, or Murugan Vel, was installed there by the devotees. Over the years, it was enlarged and rebuilt. The present-day incarnation of the Sri Aruloli Thirumurugan is a very ornate Hindu temple in the Dravidian architectural style of South India.
The Dravidian style of constructing Hindu temples calls for four principal parts. The temple proper, or vimana, is the shrine with a tower, a mandapa, or porch, gopurams, or gate towers, and chawadis, or pillar halls. In addition, there would usually be a tank of water for use in sacred rituals or for cleansing.
136. Penang Hill Railway: is a funicular train that goes from Air Itam to Penang Hill. The train service starts from the foot of the hill at Air Itam.
The idea of a railway line up Penang Hill was put forth as early as 1897, before motor vehicle was even introduced to Penang Island. It was built by the British between 1906 and 1923 at a cost of 1.5 million Straits Dollars, so that the British officers can journey up the hill for convalescence or simply to relax and enjoy the cooler air. The funicular railway was only open to the public on 21 October 1923. The 2007 meter (1 mile 435 yard) journey is the most convenient way up Penang.
Getting there: The Penang Hill Railway Station is located at the end of Jalan Bukit Bendera. You can reach it by taking Rapid Penang Bus 204.
137. Penang Museum: at Farquhar Street is housed in a colonial-era building built in two phases, phase one in 1896, and when funds were adequate, phase two in 1906. The building originally housed the Penang Free School, until it moved to its present premises along Jalan Masjid Negeri (Green Lane) (Green Lane) in 1927. After the Penang Free School moved out, Hutchings School occupied the building, and occupied it until World War II, when Allied bombing destroyed the 1896 wing, (the one closest to the St. George's Anglican Church), which was never rebuilt after that.
There was already a museum in Penang in 1940, housed within the original St Xavier's Institution. That museum was also destroyed when the St. Xavier's Institution was bombed by Allied forces. After the war, the effort to revive a museum in Penang got started. Initially, a museum of sorts was housed in a residence at Northam Road (Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah).
The Penang State Government proposed setting up a state museum in 1962. The idea was well accepted by the then prime minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman. He mooted the idea of using the Hutching School building, as it is now occupying the original Penang Free School, where Tunku had been a pupil.
A working committee tasked with setting up the Penang Museum was set up in 1963, and eventually, the Penang Museum was opened to the public on 14 April 1965. Since then, the Penang Museum has undergone several renovation. It houses an outstanding collection of early paintings of Penang executed by Captain Robert Smith.
The Penang Museum provides visitors a glimpse at the various ethnic groups that came to Penang in the late 18th Century, and showcases the cultural heritage of each community.
As part of the expansion of the museum exhibits, the Penang Museum will also be occupying the premises of the former King Edward VII Memorial Hospital Building along Macalister Road.
Getting there: From the Weld Quay Bus Terminal, cross Pengkalan Weld using the pedestrian bridge. Turn right and walk along Pengkalan Weld until you reach the junction of Gat Lebuh Gereja. Turn left and walk the length of Gat Lebuh Gereja. Past the junction of Lebuh Pantai, its name drops the "Gat" changing to Lebuh Gereja. Continue along Lebuh Gereja until the end, at Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling. Cross the road and turn right. Walk along Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling with the St George's Anglican Church to your left. At the junction with Lebuh Farquhar, turn left, walk a short distance, and you will arrive at the Penang State Museum, on the left side of Lebuh Farquhar.
Opening hours : 9.00am to 5.00pm - Saturday to Thursday. Closed: Friday
Admission Fees: RM1.00 (Adult)
138. Penang National Park, also known as Taman Negara Pulau Pinang, is a nature reserve on the northwestern tip of Penang Island. Formerly known as the Pantai Acheh Forest Reserve, it was elevated to national park status by former prime minister, then deputy prime minister, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, in April 2003. The national park covers an area of 2562 hectares. Within this small area is an astounding range of biodiversity that includes 1181 hectates of lowland dipterocarp forest and 1381 hectares of mangrove. Among the features of the national park are mud flats, a meromictic lake and a turtle nesting beach.
There are eight stretches of beaches in the Penang National Park. They are, in counter clockwise direction, Teluk Bahang, Teluk Tukun,Teluk Ailing, Teluk Duyung, Teluk Ketapang, Pantai Kerachut, Teluk Kampi and Pantai Mas. The promontory of Muka Head with its lighthouse is on the northwestern tip of the national park.
The national park is home to 414 species of plants and 143 species of animals. Among the animals living here include otters, monitor lizards, monkey, and numerous variety of birdlife. Visiting animals include the hawksbill turtles and green turtle. The trees in this lowland dipterocarp forest include cengal, meranti, seraya, jelutong, bintangor, among others.
Getting there - Take Rapid Penang Bus No. 101 to the very end at Teluk Bahang, at a spot known as the End of the World. To enter the national park, register at the park headquarters. Admission to the park is free. Thereafter follow the trail. At the fork, the left turn goes west to Pantai Kerachut while the right turn goes north to Teluk Duyung.
139. Penang Times Square: Massive shopping, commercial and residential development occupying the former tin-smelting plant in George Town. Interesting to visit – only a 10 minute walk from KOMTAR along Jln Dato Keramat.
140. Penang War Museum: located on the hills above the fishing village of Nine Emperor Gods Temple of Batu Maung. The war museum is a monument to the mistake made by the British in thinking that the enemy would attack from the sea, and thus they constructed the bunkers and enforcement with cannons aimed to the sea. As it turn out, the Japanese invaded by land, coming down the Peninsula, and rendering the preparation moot. Under Japanese occupation, the Batu Maung Fort was used to protect Japanese shipping from Allied attack. After ww2, it was abandoned. Another 60 years would have passed before the Penang Government decided to restore the complex and turn it into the Penang War Museum. The hill up from the main road is quite steep – best to get a taxi.
141. Perak Road Market is one of the older markets in Penang. It was established by the predominantly Chinese community living in the Chinese settlement around Perak Road. Although the market building is on Jalan Slim, the market itself spills over the side roads into Jalan Pasar and Perak Road itself. Apart from the fresh produce, you can also get cheap clothes as well as cooked food (Hawker Stalls).
142. Perak Road Tua Pek Kong Temple: is a small roadside temple in front of Francis Light School. The temple, which began as a shrine under the huge roadside tree, attracts a continuous stream of devotees. It has been around since the mid 20th century.
Getting there - The nearest bus stop is along Jalan Dato Keramat across from Padang Brown (Not far from the junction with Jln Anson).
143. Pinang Fountain: is a memorial fountain erected at the roundabout at King Edward's Place in George Town. The metal structure, 4.8 meters in height, resembles a stylized Pinang (betel nut) cut in half. A spray of water comes up from inside the structure. The choice of Pinang as the motive for the structure was to reinforce Penang as Pulau Pinang, which translates as the island of betel nuts.
Getting there - From the Weld Quay Bus Terminal, cross Pengkalan Weld using the pedestrian bridge. Turn right and walk along Pengkalan Weld, follow the bend in the road to Pesara King Edward. At the end of Pesara King Edward is the roundabout with the Pinang Fountain.
144. Poe Choo Seah: Association for Straits-born Chinese. It was built in 1902 in the Straits Eclectic style. The land was granted to the association dating back to 1801, and reconstituted in 1893.
Poe Choo Seah is a three-storey townhouse building. On the ground floor are three arched bays which are framed by pilasters that go all the way to the top of the building. The ventilated cornices accentuates the effect of the pilasters. At the top of the building is a small pediment, like a little crown.
Getting there - Take the Free Rapid Penang Shuttle Bus to Bus Stop No. 5 (Bank Negara) and walk a short distance down Light Street to King Street. Walk along King Street, cross Bishop Street, and you will see Poe Choo Seah on your left.
145. P Ramlee House: Where Malaysia's most famous entertainer was born. He was a Malaysian movie legend born in the house of his grandmother in 40a Counter Hall, Penang. So the house located on an off-road to Counter Hall Road (renamed Jalan P. Ramlee after its distinguished resident on 30 August, 1983) is technically P. Ramlee's Birth House, or to be exact, P. Ramlee's grandmother's house. It was however misleadingly called the P. Ramlee House. This humble Malay kampung house that would have passed for any other, if not for the fact that Malaysia's most famous entertainer was born there.
146. Prangin Canal: Heritage canal that marked the outer limit of 19th Century George Town. The canal was originally a river that flowed into the swampy coastline as it emptied into the sea.
After George Town was established, the Prangin River became a vital waterway where sampans and perahus bring goods from the harbour into the hinterland. Indeed, as recently as the 1950's, tongkangs and perahus were still going up the Prangin Canal to bring produce to the Sia Boey Market.
The original river ended at the junction of Jalan Sungai Ujong (the name means "river end") Over time, it was turned into a canal, and extended to the junction of Transfer Road, which was created around 1867.
Today much of Prangin Canal has been filled up. The small section that is still visible is located where the Sia Boey market used to be. The redevelopment of the area around the Prangin Canal area may spell the end of the historic canal.
Getting there - From the Komtar Bus Terminal, walk along Lebuh Tek Soon and then turn left into Lebuh Lintang, which is under Prangin Mall. At the junction of Jalan Dr Lim Chwee Leong, turn right, walk along the road until you reach the disused Sia Boey Market building. The Prangin Canal is located behind the market building.
147. Prangin Mall: Shopping mall in the middle of George Town right next to KOMTAR. Named after Prangin Road, also known as Jalan Dr Lim Chwee Leong, Prangin Mall opened for business in the 2001. It caters to a market ranging from lower to middle class. The mall comprises six levels including a basement floor, two levels of basement parking and a further three levels of parking at the upper floors. This place is well worth a visit – there are many small to large shop’s and a large number of eating places.
148. Protestant Cemetery: Earliest Christian cemetery in Penang - It holds some of the oldest graves on the island.
The Protestant Cemetery was created to bury the early British colonial administrators, traders as well as missionaries that have arrived in Penang since its establishment by Captain Francis Light in 1786. Francis Light's grave, also within the cemetery, is one of the oldest there. Francis Light's business partner James Scott, was also buried at the cemetery, as well as members of his family. Some of the early governors of Penang, were also laid to rest here. It is a bit spooky to visit but fascinating.
Getting there - Take the Rapid Penang Free Shuttle Bus to Station No. 7 (Lebuh Muntri Station), located along Penang Road at the junction of Muntri Street. From there, walk north along Penang Road until junction of Northam Road. Turn left at Northam Road, walk a short distance and you will find the Protestant Cemetery on your left.
149. Pulau Betong: is a small island on the southwest corner of Penang Island. Located on the Penang side is a village called Kampung Pulau Betong, which gets its name from the island. Pulau Betong can be seen from the country road that leads to Pasir Panjang. The island is not accessible except by boat. Pulau Betong is uninhabited, save for some fish-breeding activities conducted there.
Getting there - In order to reach Pulau Betong, one has to hire a boat. Inquire with the fishermen at Kampung Pulau Betong. To reach Kampung Pulau Betong, take the Rapid Penang Bus 401 from Weld Quay to Balik Pulau. At Balik Pulau Bus Terminal, take bus U403 that goes to Kampung Pulau Betong.
What to see or do - Pulau Betong is not a tourist site. It is visited by fishermen and anglers who hire a boat to take them there.
150. Pulau Jerejak: Biggest island off Penang Island. It is most immediately visible to visitors arriving in Penang, whether by air or by road. Motorists approaching Penang island by the Penang Bridge will see Pulau Jerejak on their left (south) side.
Although most people of Penang will be able to point out Pulau Jerejak, few have actually stepped onto the island. This isn't surprising, considering that for much of modern history, the island was out of bounds to all but a lucky few, and quite a number of unlucky few.
It started as a leper's colony from the early part of the 20th century until the Second World War. When the colony was moved to Sungai Buluh, Selangor, the island became a quarantine area for contagious diseases. It is believed, but not confirmed, that Pulau Jerejak was used by the Germans as a submarine base during the Second World War.
After the Second World War, there were widespread cases of tuberculosis in Malaya, and once again, Pulau Jerejak became the convenient choice to set up a contagious disease hospital and sanatorium. And finally, to complete the catalog, Pulau Jerejak was also used as a penal colony. The Pulau Jerejak Rehabilitation Centre began operations on 12 June, 1969, and was in use right up to August 1993.
In January 2004, Pulau Jerejak Resort & Spa opened for business. It covers the area once occupied by the lepers colony. All the old buildings of the colony were destroyed.
151. Pulau Kendi: Is a small island off the southwest of Penang Island with beautiful rock formations. It is the farthest of the few islets around Penang Island. Due to its distance from Penang Island, Pulau Kendi has managed to keep itself relatively pristine. It is one of the few places left where you can still see the rocks on the sea bed. It is also the only place in Penang where you can still swim the sea without fear of jellyfish. And, it is the only place in Penang where you can go snorkeling and view live corals. The Pulau Kendi coral reef is healthy and alive.
Getting there is difficult and you would need to hire a boat from one of the fishing villages on the south coast of Penang Island.
152. Pulau Rimau: Small uninhabited island off the southeast coast of Penang. Pulau Rimau is the site of a lighthouse which helps ship navigate into the South Channel of Penang. The lighthouse was built by the British. It is a steel tower that is 17 meters tall and is sited at an elevation of 39 meters. Apart from the lighthouse itself, Pulau Rimau is uninhabited.
Pulau Rimau has been documented as early as 1591/2, when Captain James Lancaster was sailing the Bonaventure for the English. His ship anchored off the coast of Penang, and he mentioned the island is "Pulo Rimau".
Due to the presence of the lighthouse, Pulau Rimau is likely to be out of bounds to the general public. Pulau Rimau is visible from the coast of Permatang Damar Laut. To view it, take the Permatang Damar Laut road that leads from Bayan Lepas to Batu Maung. After you passed the airport, make a turn to the right, entering any of the country lanes. Go straight until you reach the southern coast of Penang. You will be able to see Pulau Rimau on the horizon to the left, while Pulau Kendi is on the horizon to the right. Alternatively, you can hire a boat to take you around Pulau Rimau without actually landing there.
153. Pulau Tikus Market: Wet market for the affluent neighborhood of Pulau Tikus. The Pulau Tikus Market is often called the rich man's market, as it is the watering hole of the affluent Pulau Tikus neighborhood. The hawkers here have a reputation of giving a rich man's price for everything sold, so you would do well to compare prices. The market building is along Jalan Pasar while the market itself spills onto Jalan Moulmein. Jalan Moulmein has a number of coffee shops offering a good selection of hawker food, among them Kwai Lock, Sin Hup Aun and Swee Kong. Try the mee goreng at Sin Hup Aun.
Take Rapid Penang Bus 101, 104 or 304 to reach Burmah Road, and walk from there to the market.
154. Queensbay Mall: Biggest shopping mall on Penang Island located in Bayan Lepas. It opened to the public on 1 December 2006. Queensbay Mall a shopping area of 1 million sq ft. The 9-storey mall has 5 storeys of shopping space for 500 outlets, and 8 storeys of parking space. Rapid Penang buses U304, 307, 401E and 308 serve Queensbay Mall. The bus stop is right in front of the shopping mall. Buses are quite regular.
155. Queen Victoria Memorial Clocktower Clock: Erected to commemorate the 60th year of the reign of Queen Victoria. The Victoria Memorial Clocktower at King Edward Place, Penang, was built by local Penang millionaire Cheah Chen Eok in 1897 to commemorate the sixtieth year of the Queen's reign. The tower was sixty feet tall, with each foot for each year of the Queen's reign. Unfortunately, she never visited Penang, nor did she ever live long enough to see her clocktower completed. By the time it was completed in 1902, the Queen had died.
The clocktower leans to one side – the legacy of the bombs dropped around it during the Second World War that destroyed the Government Building nearby.
156. Relau Villa: Dilapidated villa built by the late Kapitan China Chung Thye Phin a wealthy tin miner who was the last Kapitan China of Perak and son of Kapitan China Chung Keng Kwee, who built Hai Kee Chan.. For this mansion, he envisioned a pool along the lines of the canals of Venice - he was one of the few Chinese of his time to have had the opportunity to travel extensively. The architect roped in to design his villa was Ung Ban Hoe, who was attached to the architectural firm of Stark & McNeil. Within Relau Villa is the first swimming pool on Penang Island. The villa was completed in the early 1930's. Sadly Chung Thye Phin passed away in 1935. Located off Jln PayaTerubong on Lebuh Relau 2 and Lebuh Relau 2. Hard to get to, but if you like old buildings it is worth the effort.
157. Richmond MPPP Rest House on Penang Hill - the Majlis Perbandaran Pulau Pinang (Municipal Council of Penang Island or MPPP). Richmond can be rented out to the general public when it is not in use by the MPPP. Booking can be done through any division 2 officer or MPPP councilor, although for Southview, booking can only be done through a Division 1 officer. The rest house has three fully furnished, airy rooms, each with two beds and attached bathrooms. It also has a fully equipped kitchen with separate cabinets for halal and non-halal utensils and cutlery. For enquiries, call MPPP at +604 2592041 or visit the MPPP website.
Getting there - 3 choices - the Penang Hill funicular train or by either jeep or hiking. On the jeep track, Richmond is one of the highest bungalows before reaching the top.
185. Runnymede at Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah, formerly Northam Road, is the name for a group of buildings located by the sea front in Georgetown. Also known as Wisma Persekutuan, Runnymede is famous because Sir Stamford Raffles, who later founded Singapore, used to reside there when he was living in Penang. In 1811, Raffles was transferred to Malacca and Runnymede was put up for sale. It transferred ownership through many hands until 1921, when the roof caught fire and the house was totally destroyed. After the fire, the surrounding buildings were bought over and renovated into a hotel. Two Scotsmen, W. Foster and H Parker, ran the hotel, called Runnymede Hotel, providing some competition to the Eastern & Oriental Hotel down the road.
The main three-storey seafront building was built in the 1930's. It houses a huge ballroom on the ground floor, with guestrooms on the first and second floors above. In 1935, the Runnymede Hotel has its own post office, telegraph office, hairdresser, book stall, reading room, billiard room, railway ticketing office, and a fleet of chauffeured motorcars. There were cocktail dances every Monday, Wednesday and Friday with dinner dances every Thursday and Saturday. The British Navy took over the hotel in 1940, but in 1942, with the Japanese occupation, the Japanese military used it as a base. It was again used by the British Government for military occupation in 1951 until 1957, when the British sold it to the government of the newly independent Malaya for a token sum of M$1.00. Since then, Runnymede was known as Wisma Persekutuan, and was used as a government resthouse.
186. Sam Poh Footprint Temple: Shrine venerating the footprint of Admiral Zhenghe - recently built temple close to the water's edge at the small fishing village of Batu Maung, on the southeast tip of Penang Island. The temple, which grew out of a shrine over the water's edge, was built to venerate a "footprint" in the rock. The footprint is believed by devotees to have been that of Sam Poh, the local name for Admiral Zhenghe, the Muslim eunuch that travelled here from the 15th century on behalf of the Chinese emperor.
For many years, the footprint was neglected, save for an altar and a few joss sticks. Recently however, a new temple was built over it. The footprint measures 0.85 meters - a colossal 33 inches. There were indeed historical accounts that Cheng Ho was a giant of a man.
While the local Chinese community believe the footprint belongs to Sam Poh, local Indians believed that it was that of Hanuman, the monkey god, who left it in Batu Maung when he was leaping over the Indian Ocean. Local Malays however believed that the footprint belonged to Gedembai, a giant that was feared by the local people. It was just one of four Gedembai footprints in Penang, the other ones are behind the Kampung Mesjid in Bayan Lepas, another at Pulau Aman, and one more at Pulau Jerejak.
187. San Wooi Wooi Koon: Cantonese District Association on Bishop Street. The San Wooi Wooi Koon was built in the 1870's and refurbished in 1883. It has a stone fence with three pairs of gate post, and with many Cantonese-style association temples, these are all made of granite. The San Wooi Wooi Koon still has its original terracotta floor tiles. A pair of lions stand at the gate.
Getting there - From the Weld Quay Bus Terminal, cross Pengkalan Weld using the pedestrian bridge. Turn right and walk along Pengkalan Weld until you reach the junction with Gat Lebuh Gereja. Turn left into Gat Lebuh Gereja. At junction with Lebuh Pantai, turn right, walk along Beach Street until junction of Lebuh Bishop. Turn left into Lebuh Bishop. San Wooi Wooi Koon is on the right side of Lebuh Bishop.
188. Segara Ninda: Straits Eclectic bungalow in Penang Road. Also known as Ku Din Ku Meh House, is a double story bungalow at , 20 Penang Road, near the junction of Penang Road with Farquhar Street. It was the residence and office of Tengku Baharudin Tengku Meh. Ku Din Ku Meh was born in 1824 in Anak Bukit, Kedah. At that time, the Sultanate of Kedah extends into Setul, Kayang and Phuket, though Kedah itself was a vassal of Thailand from 1811 to 1909. Following the Bangkok Treaty of 1909, Siam had to give up Kedah to the British. It was briefly returned to Siam by the Japanese during the Second World War, and was called Syburi, but after the war, and the defeat of Japan, Kedah became permanently part of Malaya. The Kedah provinces of Setul, however, remained with Siam, and is now known as Satun.
After Ku Din Ku Meh passed away in 1932, his house was rented out to tenants who in turn sublet it to other occupants. After the Rent Control Act was repealed, the house became vacant for a while. Eventually it was taken over by Tengku Yahaya, the fourth generation descendent of Ku Din Ku Meh, and restored to its original state.
The house has now been given a new lease of life as a guesthouse.
Getting there - Using the Weld Quay Bus Terminal as point of reference, the best buses to take to reach Segera Ninda are Rapid Penang 10 and103 which pass in front of Segara Ninda. You can also take Rapid Penang Bus 11, 101, 104, 201, 202, 203 and 204, but have to walk a bit because they enter Penang Road from Lebuh Chulia.
189. Seng Ong Beow: also written Seng Hong Below, or Temple of the City Protector and Chief Magistrate of Hades, is located on Sandilands Road in the inner city of Georgetown. Seng Ong is the Chief Magistrate of Hades is the judge for the afterlife (or underworld), making him the patron of government officers and the police. Fortunately for the guilty, the officials of Hades are known to accept opium as bribe. For a small donation, the Seng Ong Beow temple attendant will smear opium on the hanging tongues of these guards of the underworld, Tua Pek and Jee Pek (Grand Uncle and Second Uncle), effectively sealing their mouth from disclosing any wrong doing, thus the belief.
For the local community, Seng Ong Beow is also known as the "ghost temple". This is due to its mystical function - the venue to exorcise evil spirits and demons that haunt the mangrove swamp on which the new settlement was carved out. It was also where captured demons were kept. At the time Seng Ong Beow was constructed, the sea came right up to its front. At that time, the temple was not built on solid ground, but on a raised platform that bobble according to the tide. Hence, the Seng Ong Beow was also called the "floating lotus on a pond".
190. Sheikh Omar Basheer Mausoleum: Is a big, whitewashed mausoleum tucked in the deep recess of Jalan Kampung Melayu in Ayer Itam. It is the largest Muslim Mausoleum in Penang. It was built in honour of Sheikh Omar Basheer Al-Khalidy, a famous Naqshabandiah Sufi teacher, imam of the Acheen Street Mosque, and a towering figure within the Muslim community in the late 19th century. Within his name, the word "Basheer" is his clan while "Al-Khalidy" is a honorific after Khalid Al-Naqshabandi, a tareqat teacher of Mecca.
Sheikh Omar Basheer originally stayed at 69 Acheen Street, but moved to the Malay settlement of Kampung Melayu (literally Malay village) at the invitation of his student Syed Hassan Al-Haru, who founded the Air Itam Mosque. He was an influential figure in the Malay community and was involved in stopping the Malays from joining the Penang Riots that broke out in 1867, pitting the two Malay secret societies, the Red Flag and the White Flag, against each other. Due to his status, he was often consulted by the British authorities on matters pertaining to the Malays and Islam.
Sheikh Omar died in 1881 and was buried beside his house in Kampung Melayu.
191. Silver Chariot Garage: is a historic garage on Penang. Its sole purpose is to house the Silver Chariot used to convey the Hindu deity Murugan from Koil Vidhu in Penang Street to the Nattukkottai Chettiar Temple in Jalan Kebun Bunga during Thaipusam.
Getting there - From the Weld Quay Bus Terminal, cross Pengkalan Weld using the pedestrian bridge, and then turn left, walk along Pengkalan Weld until you reach the junction of Gat Lebuh Chulia. Turn right into Gat Lebuh Chulia, walk straight, past the junctions of Lebuh Victoria and Lebuh Pantai. Gat Lebuh Chulia changes into Lebuh Chulia after the junction of Lebuh Pantai. At the junction of Lebuh Penang, turn right. The Silver Chariot Garage is on the right side of Lebuh Penang.
192. Snake Farm: Reptile menagerie within the compound of the Snake Temple in Sungai Keluang, Bayan Lepas. It was started by Mr Chew Poh Hoo and his sister, and contains over 50 species of snakes, including the rare Albino Cobra. It is a fantastic experience and Mr Chew’s knowledge is extensive – as is his experience with the handling of snakes. He even magned to identify the type of Cobra that nearly got me in 1988 whilst trekking in the Cameron Highlands. Then he showed me the same species – gave me the ‘willies’ as I have had a problem with cobra’s since my very (30cm) close encounter.
The Snake Farm opened around 2006. It provides its expertise in looking after the pit vipers of the Snake Temple in return for the opportunity to operate within its compound. In addition to snakes, the farm also rears rabbits, macaques, guinea pigs, iguanas, and other animals. The Snake Farm is open daily from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm.
Getting there – see Snake Temple below.
193. Snake Temple: A Taoist temple in Sungai Keluang, Bayan Lepas officially called Hock Hin Keong, but also known as Ban Kah Lan Chua Beow or Ser Miau, is one of the most peculiar temples and probably the only one of its kind in the world. It was built in 1850 to venerate a deified Buddhist monk named of Chor Soo Kong, the Hokkien name for Cheng Swee Chor Soo. In Cantonese, Chor Soo Kong is called Chou See Yeah. "Chor Soo" is in fact an honorific title for an eminent historic figure who is to be continuously revered by subsequent generations. Chor Soo Kong and Chou See Yeah means the same thing: "The Much Honoured Chor Soo".
There are in fact three temples dedicated to Chor Soo Kong in Penang. Apart from the famous Snake Temple, the other two are the Chor Soo Kong Temple in Batu Maung and another in Balik Pulau. However, only the temple in Sungai Keluang plays host to the snakes.
The actual name of the Snake Temple is Ban Kah Lan, in Hokkien, or Temple of the Azure Clouds. Every year, pilgrims come from far and near on Chor Soo Kong's birthday, which falls on the 6th day of the first lunar month, hence it's a traditional temple to visit during Chinese New Year.
Chor Soo Kong was born in Fujian province during the Song Dynasty (960-1276 AD), during the reign of Emperor Ren-Zong (1023-1063 AD). He is from the "Tan" clan and his personal name was "Eng". He entered monkhood from an early age. Upon his ordination, he received the Buddhist name Pu-Zu. He started his life as a monk by staying at a monastery called Da Yun Yuan. Later on, he decided to lead an ascetic life in Gao-Tai Mountain, to strive for spiritual cultivation. Through the guidance of Zen Master Ming-Song, Chor Soo Kong attained spiritual enlightenment.
In addition to spiritual enlightenment, Chor Soo Kong acquired extensive medical knowledge, enabling him to provide medical services to the needy in the surrounding communities.
On the sixth year of the reign of Emperor Shen-Zhong of the Song Dynasty (corresponding to around the year 1073 AD), the area of Qing-Xi in Fujian suffered a terrible drought. When Chor Soo Kong went there and prayed for rain, and the rain came. In gratitude, the people built a monastery for him on Peng-Lai Mountain. Chor Soo Kong called the monastery Cheng Swee Giam, which means, The Rock of Clear Water. From this name, when Chor Soo Kong was deified,
In 1850, a monk arrived from China, bringing with him the statue of Chor Soo Kong. The monk then built a temple dedicated to Chor Soo Kong in a clearing by the Sungai Keluang river in Bayan Lepas. The area belonged to David Brown, the largest land owner in Penang. Brown donated the land for the temple after he was healed of an ailment. At that time, the surrounding area was jungle, and there were plenty of snakes. After the temple was erected, snakes particularly pit vipers started coming to take shelter there, inhabited various parts of tyhe temple. Rather than harming the snakes, the pious monk provided shelter for them.
Getting there - The Snake Temple is located on a sliproad called Jalan Tokong Ular (it was created when the Bayan Lepas main road was straightened). The bus stop is on the main road in front of Osram Factory (look for the sign). From the Weld Quay Bus Terminal, take Rapid Penang bus 401 that goes to Balik Pulau. Ask a local to help press the bell for you for Snake Temple.
194. Sri Kamatchi Amman Temple: Temple of the Patthar Indian community. The full name of the temple is Arulmigu Sri Kamatchi Amman Devasthanam. It is located at the junction of Jalan Dato Kramat and Jalan Kampung Jawa Baru.
The Patthars are a caste of Indians who are mostly goldsmiths by trade. It is dedicated to their goddess Sri Kamatchi Amman. The temple began as just a shrine in 1914. The intention to set up a proper temple goes back to as early as 1923, and for that purpose, two shophouses along Dato Kramat Road was bought for the temple. Dato Kramat Road was the choice because many Patthars had their businesses within the vicinity.
Getting there - Sri Kamatchi Amman Temple is located near the start of Jalan Macalister. From the Komtar Bus Terminal, walk along Jalan Tek Soon to Jalan Penang. Cross Jalan Penang and turn left. Walk along Jalan Penang until you arrive at the junction of Jalan Macalister, and then cross Jalan Dato Kramat. Turn right and walk along Jalan Dato Kramat until you arrive at Sri Kamatchi Amman Temple on your left.
195. Sri Kunj Bihari Temple: also known as Krishna Temple as well as Thakorwadi, is the first and probably only Northern Indian temple in Penang. It was built in 1835 after receiving an endowment from the Hindus from Bihar in North India in 1833. At that time, the area around the temple was a settlement for the North Indian community comprising the Punjabis, Gujaratis, Sindhis, Bengalis and Uttar Pradeshi Bhaiyas.
The Sri Kunj Bihari continues to serve as the religious centre for Hindus from various ethnic backgrounds. Sri Bahari Road nearby is said to take its name from this temple.
196. Sri Meenakshi Sundraeswar Temple: Located at Jalan Kebun Bunga is the temple of the Ayira Vaisyar Indian community. As the Ayira Vaisyars are often involved in the bottle recycling trade, they are often called the "bottle" chettiars. It is located directly opposite the Nattukkottai Chettiar Temple. The "bottle" chettiars as so known because of their involvement in the collection and sale of used bottles and other recyclable materials. Their actual name is Ayira Vaisyar.
The Ayira Vaisyar hails from Tamil Nadu, where many of them still maintain links with relatives there. They first arrived in Penang in around 1830. Here, they settled in Victoria Street, Armenian Street, Acheen Street and Beach Street. In 1920, they set up a trust fund with which they bought the piece of land on Waterfall Road to build a community- come - prayer hall, called a madam.
The present temple building was completed in 1989, and dedicated to the bottle chettiar's patron deity, Meenachi Amman and Sundraewarar (Siva). The consecration of the temple was carried out on 9 February 1998. What sets this temple as unique among Hindu temples is that all the deities of the Hindu pantheon has a place in it, to accommodate the various personal deities of the elders and donors of the community.
197. Sri Rama Temple: one of the earliest temples to be built it Penang. Although it is not known exactly when the temple was first built, according to available documents, it must have existed before 1872. This is confirmed by the existence of a will dated 12 July, 1872 that mentioned the temple.
According to the will, the land on which Sri Rama Temple stands was donated by an Indian woman by the name of Ranee Dhoby. Ranee Dhoby is of course a title rather than a proper name; it translates as "Dhoby Queen" in respect of her position over the laundrymen. Ranee Dhoby was the matriarch of the dhoby community that settled along the banks of the Ayer Itam River as early as the turn of the 19th century. A land grant dated 2 May, 1802, stated that she was given a piece of land by the order of Sir George Leith (for whom Leith Street was named), the Governor of Prince of Wales Island, by virtue of the authority of the Governor General of Bengal. Somewhere between 1808 and 1811, Ranee Dhoby is said to have sold off a section of the Sungai Pinang riverbank to William Edward Phillips, so that he can have access to the estate of Francis Light which he acquired from James Scott. Phillips then built on the foundation of Light's garden estate the mansion that is now known as Suffolk House.
Before she died, Ranee Dhoby created a trust for the building of a temple, to be known as the Ranee Dhoby Koil.
Sri Rama Temple was renovated in 1982, and deities such as Rama, Sita, Hanuman and Ganesh were installed. There is also a memorial to Ranee on the walls of the present temple. The inner sanctum follows the original octagonal design. Sri Rama Temple is a Vaishnavite temple, that is to say, a Hindu temple where Vishnu and his associated avatars or incarnation are worshipped as the supreme deity. This is one of the two Vaishnavite temples in Penang, the other being the Sri Kunj Bihari Temple.
198. Sri Teratai: Official residence of the Chief Minister of Penang, located along a leafy section of Macalister Road, across from St George's Girls School.
Sri Teratai was previously called Rumah Tetamu, and was renamed following the renovation works conducted during the term of Lim Guan Eng. Sri Teratai was the venue of the Chinese New Year Open House hosted by Mr Lim in 2009.
Getting there - The only practical way to reach Sri Teratai is by car. Go along the one-way Macalister Road from Jalan Utama, and the house is located on the left side of the road after Stamford College. Don’t expect to be invited in for Tiffin or Tea.
199. Standard Chartered Building: On Beach Street is a stout four-storey structure in British Palladian style. The Chartered bank of India, China and Australia arrived on Penang shores in 1875, making it the oldest bank branch in Malaysia. It is one of the two British exchange banks in this region; the other being the Hong Kong & Shanghai Bank directly on the opposite side of the road. The present building was completed in 1930, and is houses the bank today. The building displays a combination of elements drawn from the Palladian, Classical and Art Deco architectural styles.
200. St George's Anglican Church: is the oldest Anglican church in Malaysia, and was the main place of worship for the British colonial administrators in Penang. Located along Farquhar Street, it is one of the loveliest British colonial heritage buildings within Georgetown. The St George's Church was named after the patron saint of England. The saint's name was often called out in battle, a practice that goes back to the 12th century. The church itself was built in 1816 using convict labour, when Colonel John Alexander Bannerman was the Governor of Penang. The cost of building it was 60,000 Spanish dollars. This was a princely sum, considering the British paid only 10,000 Spanish dollars per annum to Kedah for Penang, while they bought Singapore a few years later for also 60,000 Spanish dollars.
Getting there - Take the City Hop On Free Shuttle Bus from Rapid Penang and alight at Station No. 6 (Muzium). The St George's Church is located a short distance to the left of the Penang Museum.
201. Suffolk House: House on the estate owned by Captain Francis Light. Located off Jalan Air Itam, George Town, is a house standing on the estate that was originally owned by Captain Francis Light. Few buildings in Penang garnered as much attention as Suffolk House, and yet, decades would pass before this very significant yet forlorn structure could be put together again. Suffolk House has been part of Penang history for almost as long as Penang history itself. By learning about Suffolk House, you learn also the lives and times of the first 35 years of the British settlement on this island.
When Francis Light passed away in 1794, his business partners James Scott and William Fairlie were the executors of his will. Light had willed his estate to Martina Rozells, the woman he lived with for 22 year but never officially married. The union produced five children, three girls, Sarah, Mary and Ann, and two sons, William and Francis Lanoon. In an age when women have little or no say, Scott and Fairlie swiftly transferred Light's properties to their own names, including his estate Suffolk. Martina went to court seeking justice, but it eluded this unfortunate woman who was one part Portuguese, one part Siamese, and no part British. She was, after all, just someone's common-law wife - a.k.a mistress - and in all likelihood, illiterate. To keep her mouth shut, they gave her a pension. Surely the British East India Company would rather have this very important piece of real estate safe in British hands than to see justice served.
Why didn't Francis Light marry Martina Rozells? Perhaps in the eyes of the British administrators, he didn't. But among the Eurasians and the Thai community, he probably did. There are plenty of hurdles barring Light, an Anglican, from a matrimonial union with a Catholic woman. As there would have been religious prejudice in the late 18th century against those who were Catholic, Light puts his own job on the line if he should reveal that he was married to Martina. As a result, she had to be accepted - in the eyes of the British administrators, at least - as the woman that Light co-habited.
The hose has now been restored to it’s former glory after years of neglect.
Not easy to find, it is located on Jalan Air Itam (not far from the junction with Jln Scotland). Look for an apartment block that is painted a sort of orange/brown colour – it is across the road from a big school (Han Chiang High School). There is a bus stop close by. Entry is rm10.
202. Sun Qiang Temple: Means Temple of Three Rivers, is a newly re-constructed Hokkien-Chinese temple. It was opened on 15 November 2006, and is located next to the Harbour Trade Centre in Macallum Street, Penang. This is the temple of the Hui'an Hokkiens, who hailed from Quanzhou County in Fujian Province, China. The Sun Qiang Temple honours its three patron deities, collectively called the Tai Por Kong, which translates as Deities of Great Salvation. As with most Taoist deities, these are military officials who are deitified. Tai Por Kong are three generals from the late Tang Dynasty, namely General Bao, General Ti and General Qiu. They were instrumental in introducing the culture and arts of the Tang Dynasty to Fujian Province. The Hokkien people of Donghai, in Fujian Province, were the first to worship these generals, when they built the Ninghai Temple and dedicated it to them.
As a new temple, great care was taken to ensure authenticity of the material. Hence the majority of building material for Sun Qiang Temple had to be imported from China. The temple is the only one in Malaysia with sixty different Tai Sui, the deities of time and planets. Outside the temple is a granite statue of a mystical beast that looks like half tortoise half dragon.
A major celebratory day at the Sun Qiang Temple is on the 11th day of the 10th lunar month. That is the "birthday" of the Tai Por Kong deities, and many devotees would converge on the temple to offer their prayers.
Getting There - Sun Qiang Temple can be reached from the new Jelutong Expressway. If you are heading north from the direction of Penang Bridge to George Town, turn right at the second traffic lights exiting the expressway in the direction of the Harbour Trade Centre. From the other direction, leaving Weld Quay, be on the look out for the Harbour Trade Centre sign.
After exiting the expressway, drive in the direction of the sea, until you reach the Harbour Trade Centre on your left. Turn left. (Turning right will take you to the Nine Emperor Gods Temple of Macallum Street Ghaut.) The wholesaler market is on both sides of the road. Go all the way to the end of the road, and you will see the Sun Qiang Temple on your left.
203. Supreme Court: Or Mahkamah Tinggi Pulau Pinang, is an elegant Palladian-style building along Lebuh Light in George. The courthouse was built to replace the original courthouse which was constructed on the same site in 1809. It is located on a plot of land bounded by Pitt Street (Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling), Light Street (Lebuh Light) and Farquhar Street (Lebuh Farquhar). The building was done in the Palladian style and was inaugurated in September, 1903. The Supreme Court building was designed by the engineers of the Public Works Department headed by John Henry McCallum, the Surveyor-General of the Straits Settlements, based in Singapore. The total cost of construction was 206,678 Straits Dollars.
The building has stately columns and a domed chamber. Originally, there were also statues and emblems which have since been removed. Some of the balconies and verandahs were also sealed off during later expansions to create additional space.
Recently the Penang Supreme Court underwent renovation and expansion. A 3-storey wing was added to it. In addition, the State Government provided a piece of land across the street for additional space. Within the grounds of the Penang Supreme Court is the Logan Monument, which was also moved to the new space across the street.
204. Tan Jetty: Is one of the six clan jetties in George Town. Known as Seh Tan Keo in Hokkien, it is the third clan jetty from the north, located between Chew Jetty and Lee Jetty. It houses people of the Tan surface, whose forefathers were Chinese immigrants who came from the Tan village in Fujian Province. They arrived at the turn of the century to work in the expanding Penang Harbour. At that time, the shoreline of George Town has just been extended outward to create a deeper port for steamships, which in turn created jobs for port workers and coolies.
The Tan jetty was created to house the coolies who were unable to afford living quarters on dry land, much of which is already owned by the Europeans or the Chinese towkays. Moreover, the proximity of the jetty to the harbour means that they did not have to travel far to get to their work place. Located on Pengkalan Weld – not far from the main bus terminal.
205. Tanjung Bungah Market: is the biggest wet market on the northern part of Penang Island. It serves the community on the tourist belt, which is becoming more and more developed as condominiums and up market apartment blocks are constructed in the area. It is part of the bus interchange of Tanjung Bungah.
Getting there - The market is located off the main road behind the Geok San Soo Temple. However you don't have to walk in, if you are taking the bus, as the Tanjung Bungah bus terminal is at the same location as the market.
206. Tan Kongsi: Eng Chuan Tong is the clan temple of the Tan Kongsi, a clan association located at Seh Tan Court, a compound linked to Beach Street in the inner city of George Town. It is the ancestral temple of the Tan clan. The Tans are one of the most common surnames among the Chinese in Penang. Although the ancestral temple was built in 1878, the exact date of the clan's establishment has been lost. Two of the oldest documents in the temple - a copper altar and a wooden plaque - date from 1852 and 1857 respectively.
Getting there - You can walk to Tan Kongsi from Weld Quay Bus Terminal. Cross Pengkalan Weld using the pedestrian bridge, then turn left, walk along Pengkalan Weld until junction of Gat Lebuh Chulia, then turn right. Walk along Gat Lebuh Chulia until junction of Lebuh Pantai, then turn left. Walk along Beach Street until you reach Tan Kongsi on your right, about 300 meters from the junction.
207. Teluk Ailing: one of the bays in Penang National Park. The Universiti Sains Malaysia maintains a research station here. Set up in 1996, the station conducts research into marine life and coastal ecology.
On a usual day, Teluk Ailing is serene. There is hardly anybody going to the area, save for a few anglers and hikers. The best time to see it is during high tide, so that the mudflats are covered by water.
Getting there - Teluk Ailing is part of Penang National Park. Get information on getting there at 138 above.
208. Teluk Bahang Dam: is the largest dam on Penang Island. It was built to provide an alternative source of water supply to the Ayer Itam Dam and the Botanic Gardens Waterfall. It is located on the southern part of Teluk Bahang. From its crest, one can enjoy a scenic view of the northern coast of Penang Island. The Teluk Bahang Dam was completed in 1999. The dam has a height of 58.5 meters and a length of 685 meters. The crest is 12 meters thick, allowing for a roadway to be built along it. The Teluk Bahang Dam is often used as the venue for international dragon boat races.
Getting there - From George Town, take the northern beach road through Batu Ferringhi until you reach the Teluk Bahang roundabout - turn left. You will reach the dam after passing the Penang Butterfly Farm and the Teluk Bahang Recreational Forest, both on the left side of the road. If you are taking public transport, Rapid Penang Bus 101 goes to Teluk Bahang Village. From there you need to change to BusU501 that heads towards Balik Pulau. Take note that bus services is sporadic.
209. Teluk Kumbar: Fishing village on the southern side of Penang Island. Teluk Kumbar's call to fame among Penangites is seafood. At Teluk Kumbar are several seaside restaurants specializing in seafood, the most popular of which is a Chinese establishment called Good Friend Seafood, located behind the disused Yellow Bus Workshop near Pekan Teluk Kumbar, with a good view of the sun setting off Gertak Sanggul.
Another popular fare from Teluk Kumbar is mee udang, a spicy noodle dish cooked with big-sized prawns sold mostly at the Malay stalls, and available during lunch time. Many office workers from the Bayan Lepas Industrial Zone visit it during lunch.
Getting there – difficult with out a car/taxi.
210. Teochew Ancestral Temple: Chinese temple located along Lebuh Chulia in George Town. It is within a short distance from the Sri Mahamariamman Temple and the Nagore Durgha Sheriff. It is the community temple of the Penang Teochew Association. The association was formed in 1855 by six Teochew migrants. At first they started a lodging house for newly arrived Teochews. It was located at 381 Beach Street. In 1867, they purchased the land along Chulia Street to construct the community temple. The Hanjiang Ancestral Temple was completed in 1870. At the time of completion, it was known as the Teochew Kongsi. It only changed its name to Han Jiang Ancestral Temple in 1935.
The Teochew is one of six main Chinese dialect groups in Malaysia. The Teochews originate from Chaozhou prefecture, on the eastern part of Guangdong province, bordering Fujian province, in southern China. Early Teochew immigrants arrived in Penang in the mid-19th century and settled as plantation workers in Province Wellesley. Later some moved to George Town, where they established themselves in the wholesale and dried foodstuff trades.
From the late 18th to the early 20th centuries, Chinese migrants to the Nanyang (that is to say, Southeast Asia), form mutual benefitting guilds, not unlike the merchant guilds or Hansa prevailing in medieval Europe at that time. These guilds or associations are usually based on the people's district of origin, dialect, surname, clan or occupational group. For this reason, we can find in George Town today such associations as the Khoo Kongsi, for the Khoo clan, Teochew association, for the Teochew dialect group, and Carpenter's Guild, the association of carpenters. These associations act as a safe house for early immigrants to find shelter before establishing themselves in the new land.
The original Han Jiang Teochew temple was in the form of si dian jing, or four-point gold. This is a quadrangle design with an inner courtyard, or atrium. In 1890, an outer gate was added. In reflection of the prosperity of the community at that time, the gate was even more ornate than the original temple. It also has one of the biggest doors of any clan temples in Penang.
The Han Jiang Temple houses the altar to the Teochew patron deity, the Taoist god of the north as well as ancestral tablets of deceased Teochews. In keeping with the high status of the temple's patron deity, the Teochew temple features three pairs of doors instead of only one for most temples.
Over the years, the Han Jiang Ancestral Temple has suffered from long years of wear and tear as well as neglect, particularly during the period when it functioned as a school. Unsympathetic additions and alterations further contributed to marring its original beauty.
The need to restore the Teochew ancestral temple was realised quite some time ago. In July 2002, a restoration committee was formed. It consisted mainly of professionals from the Teochew community who contributed their time and skill for the restoration project. A dilapidation study was conducted on the temple. On 26 July of the same year, a fund raising dinner managed to collect RM900,000 (US$250,000) for the project. Through much of 2003, work was in progress to select a contractor to execute the tremendous task of restoring the temple to its original state.
Meticulous research conducted both in Malaysia and China to learn the building's history and architecture in order to ensure proper restoration was carried out. As the skill required is not available locally, master craftsmen were brought in from China. This allows for a level of craftsmanship that matches the original standards in terms of materials as well as technique.
Finally the Han Jiang Ancestral Temple was completed and open to the public in March 2005.
Getting there - From the Weld Quay Bus Terminal, cross Pengkalan Weld using the pedestrian bridge. Then turn left and walk along Pengkalan Weld until you reach Gat Lebuh Chulia. Turn right into Gat Lebuh Chulia and walk the distance. At the junction of Lebuh Pantai, Gat Lebuh Chulia becomes Lebuh Chulia. Continue along Lebuh Chulia and you will see the Teochew Ancestral Temple on the left side of the road, right in front of Lebuh Queen.
211. Teoh Kongsi: a clan association founded by local Penang tycoon of the turn of the 20th century, Cheong Fatt Tze, whose Hokkien name happens to be Teoh Thiaw Siat. The association has its premises fronting Lebuh Carnarvon. It is located in a recessed compound with the archway at Lebuh Carnarvon.
Teoh Kongsi was founded in 1895 and is presently housed in a two-storey Straits Eclectic style building built in 1931. The upper floor is given to the Teoh clan temple.
The road near it was called Hong Kong Street, but after Cheong Fatt Tze Road was erased by the Komtar development, Hong Kong Street was renamed Jalan Cheong Fatt Tze.
Getting there - Teoh Kongsi is located at Lebuh Carnarvon. It can be reached by taking the Rapid Penang Bus 10,301, 302, 307, 401 and 502, disembarking at Lebuh Carnarvon. Check the Rapid Penang Bus Routes for details.
212. The Great Wall: Located on Penang Hill is the name of the hill retreat built by early 20th century Penang tycoon and Municipal Commissioner, Khoo Sian Ewe. It was built in 1933 in the Art Deco style which was in fashion during that time. The home was named after the great retaining wall that skirts the property. At the time of its construction, The Great Wall was one of the highest properties on Penang Hill to be built by a non-European.
Getting there – From the Penang Hill funicular train stop, turn right – then ask for directions as it is not easy find.
213. Thio Thiaw Siat (TTS) Building: an impressive structure constructed in 1920 for the estate of the late Cheong Fatt Tze, whose alias is Thio Thiaw Siat, hence the initials TTS on the building. The building bears a combination of Eastern and Western elements reflective of the Straits Eclectic sense of aesthetics. At the parapet level of the TTS Building are ornamental urns which are aligned with four piers to create the portico. Drapes appear to hang down from the ventilation holes.
214. Thirty Two at the Mansion: an up market restaurant along Northam Road. It is housed in the Italian-style seaside villa built by Leong Yin Kean, son of tin magnate Leong Fee (also known as Liang Pi Joo, ca. 1857-1911). The mansion was built in 1926. The architect was Charles Joseph Miller, and it was known back then as Leong Yin Kean's George Town Garden House. It was modeled after the opulent villas in London’s Regent's Park. The mansion has a splendid view of the north coast of Penang Island all the way to Tanjong Tokong. Born with a silver spoon, Leong Yin Kean was privileged to further his studies at Cambridge University. While in Europe, he acquired a taste for European architecture, and began constructing European-style mansions for himself in Penang. Apart from the mansion at No. 32, which cost $250,000 to build, he also owned a few properties on Penang Hill including Tosari and Lausanne bungalows.
Take the Rapid Penang Free Shuttle Bus to Station No. 7 (Lebuh Muntri Station), located along Penang Road at the junction of Muntri Street. From there, walk north along Penang Road until junction of Northam Road. Turn left at Northam Road, walk a short distance and you will find Thirty Two at the Mansion on your right.
215. Titi Kerawang Waterfalls: a natural cascade on the northwest side of Penang Island. It offers the people of Penang respite from the hustle and bustle of city living. Only a 40 minute drive from Georgetown depending on traffic. The only reminder of civilisation comes from the water pipes belonging to the Penang Water Authority (PBA).
Getting There – bus is slow and tricky. A taxi hired for a full day is the best choice.
216. Town Hall of George Town is a civic building at Padang Kota Lama. Like most important buildings of the British administration, the Penang Town Hall takes pride of place in front of an open field, in this case the Esplanade Padang.
The foundation stone of the Town Hall was laid in 1879 and the main building completed in 1883. It consisted of an assembly hall, a grand ballroom, and a library. An annex was added in 1890 while the porch and top floor added in 1903. The left wing - when cement plaster was introduced - as added in 1930. Those extensions and renovations together constitute the Town Hall.
For decades the Penang Town Hall was the watering hole for the local socialites and elites, the venue for theatrical performances. Church services were held here - by Wesley Church in 1891, Bangsawan plays were performed, in 1903, while a group of Filipino musicians played here from 1890 right up to 1954. The Penang Town Hall was even featured in the movie Anna and the King, the courtroom segment of which was filmed here in 1999.
217. Tropical Spice Garden: a commercial landscaped garden located in Teluk Bahang. It covers an area of 8 acres and is planted with about five hundred different types of tropical plants ranging from herbs to garden plants and trees.
The Tropical Spice Garden was opened on 27 November 2003, with funds from Bertam Consolidated Rubber Co. Ltd., a company managing palm oil estates. It was set up to showcase exotic as well as endemic tropical plants.
Within the grounds of the Tropical Spice Garden is Lone Crag Villa, a colonial-era holiday bungalow, which had been converted into the Visitor Centre. It houses the Spice Museum, which showcases the history of spices in the region, and the Garden Shop, which make available for sale some of the exotic plants of the garden. There is also a cafe and a gift shop.
As the garden is in a shallow valley, it get HOT, very, very HOT.
Getting there - Take the Rapid Penang Bus nos. 101 from Weld Quay Bus Terminal.
218. Tseng Lung Fui Kon: at 22 King Street is a district association of the Hakka people from the Tseng Lung district of Guangdong Province in southern China. It is located next to Kar Yin Association. The original building on the site was constructed in 1849 and was restructured in 1920-22.
The Tseng Lung Fui Kon has a parapetted facade with four fusticated columns. A huge double-height arch frames the main entrance. On the upper floor facade are key stoned arches that sit on pilasters. The first-floor balconies have been sealed up and windows installed. The double-height main hall inside retains the original old columns.
How to get there - Using Weld Quay Bus Terminal as a point of reference, cross Pengkalan Weld and then turn right. Walk along Pengkalan Weld until you reach Gat Lebuh Gereja. Turn left. Walk along Gat Lebuh Gereja, past the Beach Street junction, onwards through Lebuh Gereja, until you reach Lebuh King. Turn right and you will find the Tseng Lung Fui Kon on the left side of the road, after Kar Yin Association.
219. Wat Buppharam Thai Buddhist temple: Located on Jalan Perak. The name Wat Buppharam means "flower temple", and is one of the common names for temples in Thailand. Among the locals in Penang, the Wat Buppharam here is often called Temple of the Lifting Buddha, on account of the century-old Buddha image in the temple. It was founded in 1942 by Phothan Srikheaw, a Thai Buddhist monk, who acted as the first abbot of the wat. Wat Buppharam began as a small temple, but over the years, through donations and gifts from believers, was able to embark on several expansion programs. In the early 2000, it completed its gateway arch, which is one of the grandest entrance arches of a Buddhist temple in Penang. An image of Phothan Srikheaw is found at Wat Buppharam today.
Among the structures in Wat Buppharam is a viharn or prayer hall. The viharn has a chedi linked to it. To the left of the viharn is an ubosot, flanked on either sides by undulating nagas. A short distance behind the ubosot is the rice pagoda, a square-base structure built in the form of amondop.
Although founded as a Theravada Buddhist temple, Wat Buppharam embraces elements of other faiths from Mahayana to Taoism to Hinduism. Within the compound of the temple are the statues of the Kuan Yin (bodhisattva Avalokitesvara), the Ganesha, the Taoist Earth Deity, and spirit house containing the 4-faced buddha (the Hindu deity Brahma?).
Getting there - Wat Buppharam is located at the north end of Jalan Perak. Rapid Penang Bus Nos. 101, U104 and 304 pass by there. The temple is located immediately after Hong Hock See Temple.
NOTE: Beggers are often drug users – give them money and feed their habbit. Also, make the drug dealers richer!!!
220. Wat Chaiyamangkalaram: Biggest Thai Buddhist temple in Penang. It is often called the Temple of the Reclining Buddha of Penang, on account of the magnificent reclining Buddha image house in the vihara. The image of Phra Chaiya Mongkol measures 33 meters (108 ft) from end to end. However, the statue was only built in 1958, in conjunction with the 2500th anniversary of the birth of Buddha, at a cost of M$100,000. The Buddha image is actually columbarium housing niches for urns of the cremated. There is a crematorium within the temple complex in addition to the gilded prang (pagoda), another magnificent sight at Wat Chaiyamangkalaram. A small Thai community still live within the complex. There is also a Thai cemetery.
When Francis Light founded Penang, he adopted an open-door policy to make Penang a conducive place for different communities to co-exist. As a result, within George Town are enclaves of diverse communities including the Armenians, Acheenese, Chulia, Malabaris, Burmese as well as the Thai. In 1845, the Thai community sought a piece of land. As a gesture to promote trading relations with Siam, Queen Victoria granted a five-acre piece in Pulau Tikus to them. The land grant was presented by the Governor of Penang, W.L. Butterworth to four women trustees, on 22 July 1845.
Another interesting information about Wat Chaiyamangkalaram was that the first monk was a Theravada Buddhist called Phorthan Kuat, or "Powerful Monk". According to legend, he was very fond of laksa, a local specialty. Today devotees continue to offer bring laksa as offering to his shrine.
NOTE: Beggers are often drug users – give them money and feed their habbit. Also, make the drug dealers richer!!!
Getting There – see above – they are across the road from each other.
221. Western Road Cemetery: Largest Christian cemetery in Penang. It is the final resting place for both Catholics and Protestants. The cemetery has been in use since the late 19th century, when theProtestant Cemetery at Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah was closed to further burials.
Among those who were buried here were eighty-four Russian soldiers who perished when the Zemschug sunk off Penang harbour in the early hours of 28 October, 1914, when it was torpedoed by the German cruiser SMS Emden. Also buried at the Western Road Cemetery are British soldiers who died fighting communists during the Emergency Campaign of 1948-1960. A memorial is erected to them near the gate into the cemetery. There are also graves to soldiers from the Royal Australian Air Force, RAAF.
There are many interesting gravestones at the Western Road cemetery. Among the Catholics, in particular, are sculptures and statuettes of angels and cherubs. One of the most fascinating sculpture at the cemetery is that of a dog resting on the gravestone. Legend has it that the dog visits the grave of is master after the latter had passed on, and continued to stay at the grave. After the dog had died, symphatisers erected a statue of the dog and placed it on the grave.
Getting there - The best way to get to the Western Road Cemetery is by car or taxi.
222. World Red Swastika Society: Taoist voluntary organisation. It traces its history to the Red Swastika Society founded in China in 1922 as a philanthropic branch of the Society of Dao and Virtue. The society's movement is similar to the Red Cross but is grounded on Buddhism and Taoism.
The World Red Swastika Society, 413,Jalan Masjid Negeri, 11600 Pulau Pinang
Getting there - Take Rapid Penang bus Nos. 11, 206 or 304 that pass along Jalan Masjid Negeri.
223. World War II Pill Box: Miniature fortresses built by the British just before the start of World War II. Their purpose is to monitor and check the advancement of the Japanese troops. Each pill box can accommodate a couple of soldiers manning machine guns. There were a number of pill boxes erected by the British number only a small number survive today. One of those that have been restored by the Army Museum (Muzium Angkatan Tentera) is located in Relau, along the main Jalan Sungai Ara (now known as Jalan Dato Ismail Hashim). It was repainted and proper signage posted.
Getting there - Rapid Penang Bus 306 pass along Jalan Dato Ismail Hashim in front of the pill box.
224. Yap Kongsi: Located at 71 Armenian Street, 10200 Penang, is the clan association of Hokkien Chinese in Penang of the Yap surname. The Yap clan traces its origin to 439 BC, when warrior Shen Zhu Liang defeated the troops of the Qin Dynasty, and helped place the Chu Dynasty back into power. In return, Shen was awarded a title, the hand of a princess to marry, and given a piece of land which was called the Yap district. Shen took on the Yap surname, and from there, the Yap clan was born.
In Penang, there were originally two Yap clan associations. The Tong Eng Siah Kongsi was founded in the late 19th century while the Hooi Teik Choon Ong Yap Kongsi was founded in the early 1910's. These two associations merged to form the Lum Yeong Tong Yap Kongsi, which moved its premises to Armenian Street when the clan association building, built in the Straits Eclectic style, was completed in 1924. The 10,056 sq ft piece of land on which Yap Kongsi stands was donated by local tycoon Yeap Chor Ee, who was also a Yan clansman.
Next to Yap Kongsi is the Choo Chay Keong Temple, which houses the altar to the Yap patron deity, Hoay Che Chun Wang. Yap Kongsi underwent a restoration in 1998 at a cost of close to RM300,000.
Getting there - If you are walking from the Weld Quay Bus Terminal, cross Pengkalan Weld using the pedestrian bridge. Turn left and walk along Pengkalan Weld until the junction of Gat Lebuh Chulia. Turn right into Gat Lebuh Chulia. At the junction of Lebuh Pantai, Gat Lebuh Chulia becomes Lebuh Chulia. Continue along Lebuh Chulia until the junction of Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling. Turn left and walk along Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling until the junction of Lebuh Armenian. Turn right, and Yap Kongsi is on the left side of Lebuh Armenian, next to Choo Chay Keong Temple on its left.
Yap Kongsi can also be reached by taking the Rapid Penang Bus 10, 103, 301, 302, 401, U502, disembarking at Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling. From Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling bus stop, walk in the south. You will see Yap Kongsi at the junction of Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling and Lebuh Armenian, to the right.
225. Yeoh Kongsi: Or, by it’s full name Har Yang Sit Teik Tong Yeoh Kongsi, is the clan association of Hokkien clansmen bearing the Yeoh surname. It is located at 3 Chulia Street, George Town. The association has its office and clan temple on a plot of land at the corner of Lebuh Chulia (Chulia Street) and Lebuh Victoria (Victoria Street). Yeoh Kongsi is one of the five major Hokkien clan associations in Penang, within the same league as Cheah Kongsi, Khoo Kongsi, Lim Kongsi and Tan Kongsi.
The clansmen of Yeoh Kongsi, who are Hokkien people, trace their ancestral home town to the village of Sam Tor Eh Yeoh Seah, in Fujian Province, southern China. They trace their ancestry to one Yeoh Yew Kheng @ Yeoh Teik Kheng @ Yeoh Guy Pin, who was born on the 18th day of the 6th lunar month, in AD 1312, during the reign of Renzong of the Yuan Dynasty.
The Yeoh clan association was founded in 1836 so that the clansmen can have a premise to worship their patron deities Sye Thow Kong and Poe Seng Tai Tay. It was also founded so that the welfare of newly arrived Yeohs in Penang could be looked after. A stalae commemorating the founding of the Yeoh Kongsi clan temple can be found within the premises.
The clan temple building dates back to 1841. At the time when it was built, the temple was located right on the waterfront. It even had its own jetty. However, land reclamation towards the second half of the 19th century created Lebuh Victoria (Victoria Street), and added new land in front of the temple across the street.
There is a well in front of the temple. There was also a stage, where Chinese operas were performed for the entertainment of the gods. However, the stage was destroyed during the Second World War, and was subsequently demolished.
Getting there - It is possible to walk to Yeoh Kongsi from the Weld Quay Bus Terminal. Across cross Pengkalan Weld by the pedestrian bridge, turn left and walk until you reach the junction with Gat Lebuh Chulia. Turn right and walk the distance until you arrive at Yeoh Kongsi.
226. Yin Oi Tong Medical Hall: One of the oldest still-operating Chinese medical halls in Southeast Asia. Originally located at Pitt Street, where it was established within a decade after the founding of George Town, Yin Oi Tong moved to the junction of Penang Street and China Street, where it is presently located in a three-storey building occupying lots 82A, B and C of Penang Street. The appearance of five-foot ways on the building points to it having been built around the mid 18th century and no earlier. The building underwent restructuring at the early part of the 20th century.
Getting there - From the Weld Quay Bus Terminal, cross Pengkalan Weld and then turn right and go along Pengkalan Weld until the junction of Gat Lebuh China. Turn left into Gat Lebuh China. Go straight, crossing the junction of Lebuh Pantai, and proceed to Lebuh China. Yin Oi Tong is at the junction of Lebuh Penang, on the left side of Lebuh China.
227. Zemschug Grave Marker: Graveboard for those who perished in the Zemschug sinking in World War I. Located at the site of the Tuberculosis Hospital on Pulau Jerejak. It marks the grave of two Russian soldiers who were killed when their ship was attacked by the German ship Emden off the coast of Penang Harbour one morning in 1914.
The Zemschug Grave Marker is one of the two grave stones to the sailors who died in the attack. The other grave stone is the Zemschug Memorial at the Western Road Cemeter.