In the series of Streets, Top 5 Things To Do Near Little India Penang, Street of Harmony | Famous Attractions in George Town, here we again are this week with a BAM!! Presenting the famous Penang Road, I bet all you could think of right now is the Famous Penang Teo Chew Chendol but NO, there’s more to this stretch of the street than a bowl of coconut milk and green slimy goodness! Keep on reading
Penang Road: Where Penang Began
Little a bit of History
Penang Road is a major thoroughfare in the city of Georgetown, Penang especially during the colonization of Britains. Known to be the first road ever built on this island, It runs the from Lebuh Farquhar in the north to Jalan Gurdwara in the south, near the Kompleks Tun Abdul Razak (KOMTAR) tower, at the junction of Macalister Road leading into 4 different section with its own uniqueness. Confused? Me too!
Back in the early eighties, the northern portion of Penang Road was known to be the home to the best bakery in town alongside Cold Storage. Now though no longer around yet engraved with its name, buildings have risen and the old bakery is substituted with an Indian- Muslims hawker stall scrawled their way and named it ‘Hameed Soup’.
The Party Street (1st Section)
What was then a pastry and the sundry street is now the hip of the town aka, ‘Upper Penang Road’, comprising upscale restaurants, karaoke joints, bars, discotheques, pubs, and vogue boutique and antique shops.
Read also: Top 15 Live Band Cafe & Bar in Penang
Just like Hollywood with its Rodeo Drive and Kuala Lumpur with Bintang Walk, Penang homes a la mode precinct where the locals and tourist come together to bring the night to life with music, food, and laughter. Besides The Garage Band and City Bayview Hotel ( 360 revolving restaurants) Upper Road also plays host to a few karaoke joints and nightclubs including 32 Mansion & Slippery Senorita.
The cure for a hangover in this street is a stop to the nearest Nasi Kandar for a cup of teh tarik sweet enough to jiggle you up for the rest of the night stone’s throw away from sweaty joints selling pina coladas, margaritas and slings. Doesn’t just stop here!!!
The Hippy Lane
Besides, Upper Penang Road, the second section of Penang road runs from the intersections of Lebuh Chulia all the way to Jalan Burma.
This is quite the hippy lane with bars and cafes mushroomed everywhere, street vendors marking their territory at the side of the road to get the noodles into the hot pot (Chulia Street Food ) and tourist with their flip-flops on a bicycle (not more than rm15 for a day ) strolling their way through downtown. For the budget hotels at Chulia check out Booking.com for honest reviews and the best price.
The End of the Road
In the earlier part of Penang history, in the 19th century, the 3rd section was a very cosmopolitan section settled by several different communities. Today only the road names survive them, as the character of the street becomes more homogenously Chinese. The third section of Penang Road runs from the junction of Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah to Lebuh Chulia, where you will find a collection of downmarket hotels and guesthouses.
Further down the road is the Chowrasta market where you can indulge in a shopping spree of nutmegs and fresh pickles. As for the book lovers, scroll through the market and step into the magical world of second-hand books.
The final section begins at the junction of Jalan Burma to Magazine Road. Spot the Komtar Tower as well as Ong Kongsi, one of Penang’s ornate clan temples. One of the ways to get there is through the CAT Free Shuttle Bus which is absolutely free.
We hope you enjoyed reading the article and got to know Penang in more than a way. Comment below on the topics you’d like us to feature in this blog and we hope to hear from you soon! Ciao.
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