PLACES OF INTERET
The first Arab traders settled down near Armenian Street and that became their Muslim enclave. They founded the Acheen Street Malay Mosque in 1808.
Both (Arabs and Indians) became rich by buying in spices between Sumatra (Aceh) and selling the spices on Penang to the Europeans.
In the old days there was some dispute between the people Armenian Street (Acheen Street Malay Mosque) and the Kapitan Kling Mosque about the ramadan.
But that's over now!
Nowadays there is a unique tradition in George Town in which Muslims performed their Friday prayers alternately at the Kapitan Keling Mosque and the Armenian Street Malay Mosque
Kek Lok Si Temple
One of the finest Buddhist temples in South-east Asia. Stands majestically on a hill in Air Itam, this temple built in tiers culminates the beautifully crafted ''Pagoda of Ten Thousand Buddhas''. It took more than 20 years to build which features gardens, a turtle pond, shrines and beautiful sculptures. There are many souvenir shops leading up to the temple which offers good buys. And as for food lovers,famous hawker food are lined up near the Air Itam market.
The temple was begun in 1890 and, from all appearances, construction really hasn't ever stopped. And it's still going on! The temple is supposedly the largest in Malaysia.
The Kek Lok Si project was inspired by the chief monk of the 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 Kuang Hsi, who bestowed a tablet and gift of 70,000 volumes of the Imperial Edition of the Buddhist Sutras.
Without doubt the largest and best known temple in Penang, the Temple of Supreme Bliss, better known as Kek Lok Si, staggered on the hillside overlooking the town of Ayer Itam.
Since the olden days, the hills of Ayer Itam are regarded as important geomantically. Known as He San, or Crane Hill, they are recommended as a retreat for Taoist practitioners striving for immortality.
Construction of the temple started in 1893, but it was only in 1930 that the Pagoda of Rama VI, named after the Thai king who laid the foundation stone, but better known as the Pagoda of 10,000 Buddha's, was completed.
This pagoda combines a Chinese octagonal base with a middle tier of Thai design, and a Burmese crown, reflecting the temple's embrace of both Mahayana and Theravada Buddhism.
Opening Hours: Early morning to late evening
Admission is free
Coming out of the mosque's compound, walk straint ahead onto Lebuh Cannon. This street is so called after a hole in the ground made by cannon balls fired into the area during the Penang Riots of 1867.
These were the secret society wars, fought between local groups, which the British tried to suppress.
The Straits Chinese from the surrounding clan associations together with the Acheen St Mosque community formed an alliance against later Chinese immigrants and the Rope Walk Mosque community.
On your left, you will see a row of Straits ecletic-style terrace houses from the late 1930s, faced with Shanghai plaster. On your right are a plainer row of shophouses from the late 19th century. Enter the porte cochere in the middle of the row to visit Penang's most famous historic monument, the Khoo Kongsi at Medan Cannon. You will walk through a charming street flanked by rows of mid-19th century shophouses. Turn right and you will see the recently renovated Khoo Kongsi office building before you come to the majestic Khoo Kongsi, a gloriously ornate late-Ch'ng dynasty temple.
The Khoo Kongsi is a clan association of the Leong San Tong (Dragon Mountain Hall) clan, whose forefathers came from Sin Kang clan village in Hokkien province. The Khoos were among the wealthy Straits Chinese traders of 17th century Malacca and early Penang. In the 19th century, the clan complex resembled a miniature clan village, with its own self-government as well as educational, financial, welfare and social organisations. The clan temple was built in 1906 when the Khoo clan was at the height of wealth and eminence in Penang society.
9.00am to 5.00pm - Mondays to Fridays
9.00am to 1.00pm - Saturdays
Permission to enter must be obtained from the Kongsi office.
Address: No.18 Cannon Square, 10200 Penang
KOMTAR (Kompleks Tun Abdul Razak)
The major shopping giants in this 65-storey building (above) in Penang Road include Super Komtar Departmental Store and Japanese supermarket Yaohan Departmental Store.
Retail shops featuring clothes are also found on the second and third floors at Phase One and Two. Komtar was once the shopping haven for Penangites as shoppers could purchase almost anything under the sun
Kuan Yin Temple
One of the oldest Chinese temples in Penang, the Kuan Yin Teng or the Goddess of Mercy Temple was built in 1800 by early immigrant settlers from China and land given by the East India Company and originally named Kong Hock Keong or the Cantonese-Hokkien Temple, as it was jointly established by both clans. But just as mercy knows no bounds, the temple has come to be known by the name of its patron saint and its devotees include Chinese from any clan and all walks of life. The most popular Chinese temple in Penang, it is congested on the full moon days of the1st and 15th day of the Chinese lunar month, holy days for the observance of precepts. On the three enlightenment days of Kuan Yin, the 19th day of the 2nd, 6th and 9th Chinese lunar month, the whole temple is brimming with devotees and visitors who turn up for worship and also to join in the celebrations and watch the puppet shows and Chinese operas staged on the temple's open grounds.
The cobbled square in front of the temple is a comforting sight with the burning of kim and gin (gold and silver paper), feeding of a lively flock of pigeons, burning of incense and joss paper and also with the bustling about by the temple hawkers. It is also here that the followers of Hare Krishnan distribute food free to the homeless, beggars and the hungry regardless of race. At a corner of the same square is a well, shaped in an octagon, which was once a public well for the Chinese community.
It is interesting to know that although mercy and heavens know no bounds, the devotees of the temple consider the temple to be of important geomantic significance. When the Malayan Railway was built in 1907 with a huge clock tower, the Chinese community saw it as a conspiracy against them as the feng shui of the temple would then undergo a change! But a more likely explanation would be that the temple's pair of stone lions who loved to play out at the sea's edge at night would then be without their enjoyment.
Opening Hours: Early morning to late evening
The Penang Bridge is a 13.5km long bridge stretching from Seberang Prai on the mainland to Gelugor on the island, this is one of many architectural wonder in Malaysia.
It was officially opened by our visionary Prime Minister, Dato' Dr. Mahathir in 1985. It ranks as the longest bridge in Asia and 5th largest in the world.
The Penang Bridge costs RM 800 million and took five years to build. Before the bridge was built, people depended upon ferry services to cross the Penang Straits.
Admission: RM7 for one-way toll
Penang Museum and Art Gallery
As early as 1940, a museum had existed in Penang, located at St. Xavier's Institution. This modest museum was destroyed during the Second World War. In 1956, under the encouragement of a Mr. Bingham, the nucleus of a new museum took shape at a residence in Northam Road (Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah). When the building was demolished, the available collections of artifacts and archives were scattered. The initiative to run a museum was subsequently left to historical and arts societies which held lectures, exhibitions and undertook research.
The proposal to have a state museum in Penang was suggested by the state government in 1962. The first Prime Minister of the nation, Tunku Abdul Rahman, had proposed that the existing Hutchings School be utilised for the project. The school was the premise of the Penang Free School where he and many leading citizens of the country had been pupils.
Work began in 1963 with the formation of a working committee. By July 1964, both the receipt of artifacts and reconstruction of the school building were proceeding smoothly. The State Management Committee was formed and the Museum was officially opened on 14 April 1965.
In the same year, the art gallery was added to the Museum. The State Secretary functioned as the Chairman of the Management until 1971, when the Museum Board Enactment was passed by the State Legislative Assembly.
Two years later in 1973, the State Museum Board was formed and made a statutory body. The newly-appointed curator was made secretary of the Board to be responsible for the everyday management of the Museum.
The Museum recently underwent a complete renovation.
Today, the Museum possesses archive and artifacts that are state treasures. Outstanding amongst these are eight of the ten original oil paintings executed by Captain Robert Smith (the remaining two being in a private collection).
Other artifacts of note include extensive collections of Baba Nyonya porcelain, furniture, jewellery and costumes that are unsurpassed in their artistic beauty and historical value.
The Museum is the history of, and a tribute to, the peoples of the island. It emphasises the multi-cultural composition of the state and demonstrates unity in diversity. The inherent grace and cultural heritage of each community are reflected in the national treasures, cultural and religious performances and the mores of each individual society.
The displays in the Museum render an instant picture of what Penang was and what it is today; it is a microcosm of the macrocosm outside, past and present.
Together, the peoples of Penang have attracted and impressed visitors with their harmonious coexistence such as not seen in many parts of the world. This harmony continues to weave "a spell which makes those who have never been, wish to go there, those who live there want to stay, and fills those who have spent their appointed hour or so with a longing to return" (J.W. Clark, George Town, Penang Illustrated Guide, Margaret Adams [comp.] 1952).
Unfortunately, as is the case with cities that are developing rapidly, Penang has lost a significant amount of its identity through the unfortunate destruction of many of its heritage buildings, monuments and even the renaming of streets. Still, much of this history and character is bound up in the remaining artifacts and landmarks.
Realisation that the "survival of historic areas is of capital importance to every people seeking to preserve their true cultural dimension and their individuality" (The General Conference of the UNESCO, 1976) has brought concerned bodies together in their effort to conserve remaining priceless heritage. Only such concerted efforts will keep alive the past that Penang has. And it is this past that has imbued Penang with its soul and its presence today.
The State Museum strives to maintain and enhance this heritage for both Penangites and visitors from near and far.
Opening hours :
9.00am to 5.00pm - Saturday to Thursday
Admission Fees: RM1.00 (Adult)
Penang Museum and Art Gallery
Address: Lebuh Farquhar
P. Ramlee House
P. Ramlee's House at No. 4A, Jalan P.Ramlee Pulau Pinang is the birthplace of the late P. Ramlee. The house was built in 1926 by his father and his uncle, Rejab bin Hussein. The house has been repaired by his uncle during the Japanese Occupation and once again in 1948. Today the house has been renovated and preserved for the third time by the National Archives of Malaysia. Although it is renovated, the house remains unchanged and still retains its original shape.
The conservation project on P.Ramlee's House is an extension of the P.Ramlee Memorial in Kuala Lumpur. It is also the government's effort in preserving the memory of P.Ramlee as Malaysia's leading artiste. The P.Ramlee Memorial Commitee's meeting on 22 November 1988 decided that his house should be restored and preserved. The house has undergone repairs and conservation, and hopefully it will become an historic place for visitors who wish to remember the Great Artiste himself. It also stands as a symbol of honour from the government in commemoration of the deeds of a great artiste to the nation.
The house has been carefully furnished, in order to present the likeness of the original setting that prevailed during the period of his youth. Various archival materials and items which relate to his early life are also on display.
The Hall (Arts and Sports)
Here we find the Late P. Ramlee's artifacts as well as pictures of his involvement in the arts and sports.
In the bedroom is kept an iron berstead, a table and a mirror. These are things the late P. Ramlee used everyday. There is also a large metal chest where he kept the clothes to his family.
This area shows the original kitchen and utensils used the late P. Ramlee's younger days.
The exterior section
There is kept under the house a bicycle of the type that was used by P. Ramlee. Most of the surrounding trees have been closely associated with the early life of P. Ramlee.
Admission to the Memorial is free of charge and the opening hours are as follows:Monday - Closed except during school holidays
Tuesday - Thursday: 9.00 am to 6.00 pm
Friday - 9.00 am to 12.00 noon and 3.00 pm to 6.00
Saturday - Sunday: 9.00 am to 6.00 pm
(No photography allowed inside the P Ramlee House)
No 4A Jalan P.Ramlee
Built in 1805 in the memory of the renowned Chinese monk Chor Soo Kong, the Snake Temple is situated in the small town of Bayan Lepas and is famous for the fact that it has pit vipers living on the temple ground. Legend has it, that Chor Soo Kong, who was also a healer, gave shelter to the snakes of jungle. After the completion of the temple, snakes appeared on their own accord. Today the snake population of the Temple of the Azure Cloud is very small, due to the urbanization of the area, but you can still see them coiled up on the altar tables, and touch them if you are brave enough. Originally the snakes were said to be rendered inoffensive by the smell of the incenses, but just for good measure, today the resident vipers are devenomed.
St George's Church
Oldest Anglican church in Malaysia
Saint George Church, is reportedly the oldest Anglican church in Malaysia. Built by convicts, at the corner of Lebuh Farquhar and Jalan Mesjid Kapitan Keling, it has been faithfully holding services since its conception in 1818. The grand Francis Light memorial that rests in front of the church is a reflection of Penang's tribute to Francis Light, who established the island in 1786. Stroll through the grounds and if you are lucky, you might just hear sweet strains of the church choir practising. Services in English are held on Sundays at 8.30am.
Address: 1 Jalan Lebuh Farguhar, 10200 Penang
Tropical Fruit Farm
Tropical Fruit Farm which is situated at about 800ft above sea level on the hilly terrain of Teluk Bahang, Penang is an ideal location for cultivating many types of tropical and sub-tropical fruit trees. The orchard covers 25 acres and it was developed back in 1993 with a few objectives in mind. First of all, to conserve the rare and exotic fruit trees. Secondly, to educate and promote to the locals as well as foreigners on the gift that our land is blessed with and lastly, to make a positive role towards agriculture and eco / agro tourism amid the intensive development in our state’s rural areas.
Over the years, the orchard has acquired many rare and exotic fruit trees from the region as well as from far-flung corners of the globe such as Central and South America, Central Africa, India, the Middle East, the Caribbean’s, the Pacific Islands etc. Today the orchard boasts of a collection of over 200 different species and the list is still growing.
Apart from viewing the fruits of course there would be sampling of the variety of flavors that is unique to each individual fruit. The orchard also prepares light snacks, juices and a hefty BBQ buffet spread on the weekends and public holidays.
Farm Address: Batu 18, Jalan Teluk Bahang, Penang
The farm is open daily from 9.00am to 6.00pm.
For more information and advance booking for minimum of 20 pax kindly contact us at:-
Tel: +604 227 6223 or H/P: +6012-433 1245
The Reclining Buddha of the Wat Chayamangkalaram is the 3rd largest of its kind, with its 33 meters length. This gorgeous traditional Thai temple complex would be well worth a lengthy visit even without the Reclining Buddha, but no doubt most visitors come to pay homage and admire the majestic golden Buddha. In the main shrine in front of the Reclining Buddha there are smaller shrines of different Buddhas and Buddhist and popular Thai deities. On the fantastically ornate temple grounds the visitors can see many beautifully carved and lavishly colored statues of Devas and other mythical creatures.
The temple was built in 1845. The first monk was a Theravada Buddhist monk from Thailand, Phorthan Kuat, also known as the "Powerful Monk" Legend has it that he was very fond of laksa, a local specialty and even today devotees bring a bowl of laksa as an offrand to his shrine.
Open hours: 6.00am - 5:30pm
Entrance Fee: Free
Address: Lorong Burmah, 10250 Penang
(Between Georgetown and Batu Ferringhi area approx 10 mins from Georgetown)