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It is clearly a city on the move. Modern Penang however is better known for its swank mega-malls, mega sales, respectable big-city mega-traffic, golf, and preening mega-resorts hosting plump sun-burnt travellers from countries as diverse as Saudi Arabia, UK, Hong Kong and Japan. The city remains a melting pot of gawping, sweaty visitors, splendid turn-of-the-century colonial architecture, nose-twitching spices, hot curries, football-field-size shopping malls, excellent spas, ancient temples, modern oddities, and resident Malays, Indians, and Chinese. To convince his unwilling men to clear the land for settlements, he filled a cannon with gold sovereigns and fired it into the jungle thus inspiring his merry men who marched into the rainforest, machetes in hand, offering us the opportunity some years later, to present a robust Penang guide for latter day adventurers who can now enjoy multi-lane highways and air-conditioning. We’re not sure if any gold coins survived the melee but it’s always worth a poke around when no one is looking. Goddess of Mercy Temple While the rush hour traffic tends to clog up historic Georgetown the business and heritage heartland and even the ribbon of road running up the coast to the beach strip of Batu Ferringhi also called Ferringi Beach , the island still has a welcomingly slow, sleepy feel to it. If you sensibly can, avoid roads

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The best spa hotels in Penang cater to travellers looking to relax and rejuvenate throughout their holiday, featuring spacious guestrooms, excellent service, onsite eateries, and well-maintained facilities at value-for-money rates.

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After-Dark Shopping Add to Trip! Not only does it deserve an honourable mention for having the most extensive stretch of outdoor retail offerings, this street also has the best beach frontage on the whole island. Open every night, you will find dozens of stalls here and even though lots of people say that prices are jacked up, in truth vendors are pretty open to bargaining and will usually give visitors pretty good deals.

Perfect for nightclub-hopping, Upper Penang Road is home to the largest concentration of pubs, bars and dance clubs on Penang Island. Located at the start of Jalan Penang, it is closed off to vehicular traffic allowing neon-lit clubs to place tables and chairs outdoors, where you can people-watch and also listen to the diverse, slightly muffled music soundtracks from individual clubs.

Brunei Museum. Overlooking Sungai Brunei, the Brunei Museum is located approximately five kilometres east of central Bandar Seri Begawan. The Islamic Art Gallery is particularly interesting as it has some stunning exhibits including rare Islamic manuscripts and artefacts dating back to .

Prehistory[ edit ] Human remains, dating back to about 5, to 6, years ago, have been uncovered in Seberang Perai , along with seashells, pottery and hunting tools. However, the modern history of Penang only began in the late 18th century. To this day, the Malaysian federal government still pays Kedah, on behalf of Penang, RM 10, annually as a symbolic gesture. Light founded George Town as a free port to entice traders away from nearby Dutch trading posts.

However, the population growth also led to social problems, such as inadequate sanitation and public health facilities, as well as rampant crime, with the latter culminating in the Penang Riots of Although Penang Island had been designated as a fortress, Penang fell to the Imperial Japanese Army on 19 December , after suffering devastating aerial attacks. The British covertly evacuated Penang’s European populace; historians have since contended that the moral collapse of British rule in Southeast Asia came not at Singapore, but at Penang.

Subsequently, the Straits Settlements was abolished, as the British sought to consolidate the various political entities in British Malaya under a single polity named the Malayan Union. The now separate Crown Colony of Penang was consequently merged into the Malayan Union, which was then replaced by the Federation of Malaya in The idea of the absorption of Penang into the vast Malay heartland initially proved unpopular amongst Penangites. However, the committee’s attempt to avert Penang’s merger with Malaya ultimately petered out due to British disapproval.

The Komtar Tower , Penang’s tallest skyscraper , was built in the s.

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Understand[ edit ] Roof of the Khoo Kongsi clan house, Georgetown Penang was part of the Malay sultanate of Kedah until , when Captain Francis Light built a fort at the site of present-day Georgetown and managed to get the island ceded to the British East India Company. The name Pulau Pinang translated literally from Malay means “betel nut island”. During the early and middle part of the last century, Penang Island was also known as “The Pearl of the Orient”.

Today, Penang Island is Malaysia’s second largest city and has the highest population density in Malaysia. In addition, Penang is the only state where the ethnic Chinese are the majority.

Hotels in Jonker Street are among Malacca’s most affordable stay options that also place you right in the heart of Malacca’s Chinatown. Once a renowned antique-collector’s haven, this humble-looking street has evolved to become a collection of clothing, craft and restaurant outlets.

But a leading British conservation and heritage expert has now made the economic case for Government support to help save colonial and industrial treasures to promote Britain abroad as well as to bolster local regeneration. It pays real economic dividends. Historic buildings and neighbourhoods are a huge economic and cultural asset. Several of the sites on the target list for his preservation mission are in and around Calcutta , the erstwhile capital of the British Raj. North of the city, Government House at Barrackpore was once the summer residence of Governors-General and its elegant riverside grounds were long regarded as a pearl of Empire.

But today the house is derelict, abandoned since its last use as police hospital, and the park is a near-impenetrable jungle. They are the oldest such gardens in Asia, a site of world importance where the introduction of tea to India from China was pioneered, but are now blighted by decades of mismanagement and in desperate need of conservation. There is talk of turning it into an arts space after a businessman’s earlier plans to gut the building and convert it into a hotel provoked an angry outcry.

They were left to slide into rack and ruin by the old junta as it demonstrated its anti-colonial credentials. The Yangon [Rangoon] Heritage Trust , is now seen as a role model for preservation projects but it operates on a shoestring with support from Australia, the US and France – but not Britain. Pegu Club – Rangoon The once splendid teak portals of the late 19th century Pegu Club now lie derelict and decaying Away from the major hubs of Empire, on Ross Island in the Andaman Sea , a former British penal settlement as well as administrative centre before an earthquake struck in , the old Anglican church, residences and cemetery are being engulfed in jungle.

The island may have the air of romantic decay that attracts some adventurous tourists now, but Mr Davies argues that without a conservation strategy, those ruins will soon be lost forever thanks to the combination of neglect and climate. On islands with very different climate, in the windswept depths of the South Atlantic, he recently visited sites that bear testament to the hardy spirit of commerce and exploration that also drove the Empire.

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In the interwar years and during the Great Depression , the Penang business elites suffered numerous setbacks but also witnessed the rise of the nouveau-riche such as the legendary Lim Lean Teng. Rice-milling, opium syndicates, and pawnbroking were among the most lucrative businesses. Penang was administered by four successive Japanese governors, beginning with Lt-Gen Shotaro Katayama. Between and , the Allies launched bombing raids throughout Southeast Asia , including in Penang.

The destruction of the Penang Secretariat building by Allied bombing in the final months of the Occupation caused the loss of the greater part of the British and Japanese records concerning the island, causing enormous difficulties to compile a comprehensive history of Penang. Flag of the Crown Colony of Penang between and

Nov 26,  · The Club was established in and was then known as the ‘Pinang Club’. The first President of the Club was Mr Walter Scott who was also a member of the Penang .

On the whole, however, like Singapore and unlike many other cities in Malaysia, George Town has retained most of its colonial street names, although they used to be indicated on street signs only in their Malay translations. Until , street signs in George Town were only written in Malay, as a result of the national language policy.

Unfortunately, this had the effect of confusing tourists, who found it difficult to match the English names commonly used by Penangites with the Malay names on street signs which were often very different. In the case of proper nouns, the English name is easily recognisable, e. Kimberley Street is Lebuh Kimberley. In other cases, however, the Malay translation may be unfamiliar to those who do not speak the language, e. Church St is literally translated as Lebuh Gereja from the Portuguese igreja.

A few streets have been given completely new names in Malay. Even where official street names have changed, the local population have largely continued informally to use the old names when referring to streets. This is partly because the new names are often unwieldy e. When Scott Road was renamed Jalan D S Ramanathan, after the first Mayor of the City of George Town, the new street signs were repeatedly defaced and had to be replaced several times, eventually forcing the city authorities to fix a replacement street sign fifteen feet up a lamppost instead of at waist-height, as was then usual.

Street sign design[ edit ] Colonial-era street sign at Market Cross National-language street sign at Armenian Street Lebuh Armenian New bilingual street sign at Victoria Street Lebuh Victoria New multilingual street sign at China Street Ghaut Gat Lebuh China The oldest street signs in the centre of George Town are rectangular and made of painted metal plate blue with white lettering , usually affixed to corner shop-houses at the top of the ground floor, and many can still be seen.

In the suburbs, rectangular cast-iron signs with indented corners white with black lettering and edging in English and sometimes Jawi script , fixed at head-height to a black iron pole surmounted with a finial, could also be seen. Almost all of these have been replaced by the modern road signs.

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Penang Heritage Trust, 26 Church Street Come join us in celebrating our 30th Anniversary with our special talk series: Late Night with PHT. Thank you for attending and making the 30th Annual General Meeting a success. Here is a copy of the Annual Report for your perusal. Details and further information can be obtained here. To find out more information or to register, please click here. To find out more about the workshop, please click here.

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Located between Batu Ferringhi to the northwest and Tanjung Tokong to the southeast, Tanjung Bungah’s beaches attract tourists and local Penangites alike as a picnic spot of choice. The once-quaint Tanjung Bungah suburb has been undergoing urban development in recent years. Apartments and condominiums have been built here, offering a scenic view of the Andaman Sea. After the Indian Ocean tsunami hit Tanjung Bungah, a ‘floating’ mosque was constructed, becoming the first mosque in Malaysia to built at sea.

The area is so named due to the cape having a number of minor promontories jutting out to the sea between Tanjung Bungah and Tanjung Tokong.

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Several conservation gems can be found along Neil Road, including what would have been the houses of the very wealthy judging from the enclosed front yards these units at No. The Bukit Pasoh Conservation Area boasts many architectural conservation gems and is also one that has been cast in the shadow of a towering public housing development at nearby Duxton Plain. Built in in the Edwardian style on a triangular plan with a fairfaced brickwork exterior, the building is one that certainly needs no introduction and is now owned by Hong Kong Jackie Chan.

It is just up the road from the Jinrikisha Station that No. The Jinrikisha Station at the start of Neil Road — built as a registration centre for rickshaws is now owned by Jackie Chan. The conservation of No. The restored unit at No. The successful conservation project involving the 32 houses was the first phase of a larger effort to conserve a total of government owned shophouses in the Tanjong Pagar area and intended to demonstrate the technical and commercial viability of shophouse conservation.

The effort was one that was welcomed by conservationists as it had come at a time when large parts of the city had already been cleared of the pre-war shophouses which once dominated the cityscape. The shophouses are on a 4. The units had contained a mix of businesses and residents including many traditional businesses — one was Chan Pui Kee , an antique dealer and antique furniture restorer which had operated at No.

The residents of the houses had lived mainly on the upper floors, some at the point of acquisition, having lived there for much of their lives. The acquired houses, many of which had once been in the hands of Arab property owners, were to be demolished to make way for public housing, but a shift in thinking of our urban planners on high density public housing in the city centre saved them from that fate.

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