I am delighted to share some of the street shots that I recently took around George Town, Penang or Tanjung as the local people prefer to call it. George Town boasts of 229 years of history since it was first opened as the British trading outpost in 1786.
On 7 July 2008, George Town was, together with Malacca, formally inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is officially recognised as having a unique architectural and cultural townscape without parallel anywhere in East and Southeast Asia.
UNESCO has this to say to describe the uniqueness of George Town and Melaka:
“Melaka and George Town, Malaysia, are remarkable examples of historic colonial towns on the Straits of Malacca that demonstrate a succession of historical and cultural influences arising from their former function as trading ports linking East and West. These are the most complete surviving historic city centres on the Straits of Malacca with a multi-cultural living heritage originating from the trade routes from Great Britain and Europe through the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent and the Malay Archipelago to China. Both towns bear testimony to a living multi-cultural heritage and tradition of Asia, where the many religions and cultures met and coexisted. They reflect the coming together of cultural elements from the Malay Archipelago, India and China with those of Europe, to create a unique architecture, culture and townscape.” – UNESCO
When approaching Penang Island by ferry I was welcomed by three prominent Penang’s icons – the ferry, the KOMTAR and Penang Hill in the background.
Moving closer towards the Raja Tun Uda Ferry Terminal in Penang Island, I was greeted by the prominent clock tower of the former Malayan Railway Building, it used to be the railway’s northern region headquarters. In the late 60s, the state Custom office started occupying the building.
An elderly trishaw puller takes a break and unwinds on his own trishaw enjoying a pack of nasi lemak while waiting for his next passenger.
A trishaw moves past a row of pre-war shophouses on Campbell Street (Lebuh Campbell). Shophouses are the main architectural feature of George Town and it is estimated there are 7000 units of surviving shophouses in George Town alone!
An elderly lady walks past a shophouses with bright yellow coat of paint on Campbell Street.
A trishaw at the junction of Campbell Street and Jalan Pintal Tali.
Street market selling fresh local produce on Carnarvon Street just in front of the Campbell Street Market.
The facade of the Victorian style Campbell Street Market.
One of the shophouses on Muntri Street has been turned into an interesting camera museum.
This style of shophouse is categorised as “Early Straits Eclectic Style”. This style was adopted between the period of 1890s and 1910s according to this great website that identifies and categorises shophouses into several styles. Please feel free to visit penangshophouse.com.my to get to know the Penang shophouses better.
Shophouses with a mixed bag of styles namely Southern Chinese Eclectic Style (1840-1900s) and Early Straits Eclectic Style (1890s – 1910s) on Muntri Street.
Benggali bread peddler I found on Muntri Street. I ended up buying two loaves of Benggali bread which were spread with margarine and “kaya” on the spot. They tasted heavenly
Another row of shophouses with Southern Chinese Eclectic style found on Muntri Street. Muntri Street is situated within the Buffer Zone of George Town UNESCO World Heritage Site.
These three lots of shophouses on Campbell Street have their facade changed to Art Deco style. Art Deco style of shophouses was fashionable from 1930s to as late as 1960s.