At the King Edward’s Place roundabout, there is a sculpture of areca-nut palm (or commonly known as betelnut) standing proudly to greet visitors with it’s unique modern look contrary with the historical Jubilee Clock Tower.
Pencil on Moleskine. Coloring was done digitally.
Standing at 4.8 meters in height, the metal sculpture serves as a fountain where a spray of water comes up from inside the sculpture. Named as Pinang Fountain, the sculpture was erected to commemorate Pulau Pinang which translates ‘the Island of Areca-nut Palm’. History has it that when Portuguese traders discovered Pulau Pinang (which was a small uninhabited island back in the 16th century) they named it “Pulo Pinaom” as there were abundance of Arecanut Palm trees found around the island.
I came across one of many caricatures installed around Georgetown. Since the inner city of Georgetown has been declared as World Heritage Site by UNESCO in July 2008, Penang State Tourism Development & Culture has been developing a project called ‘Marking Georgetown’ since 2009. This project consists of a total of 52 sculpture located around the city. ‘Marking Georgetown’ creatively symbolises street and social history of the early settlement days. The project showcases the works of cartoonists such as Tang Mun Kian and Baba Chuah.
Here is one that I managed to capture during my short visit to Georgetown.
Tok Tok Mee by Tang Mun Kian. Installation work was done by Scuplture at Work.
Tok Tok Mee is the name of a steel-rod sculpture placed at the junction of Lebuh China and Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling. The sculpture tells how hawkers of wantan mee signal their presence by striking ‘tok, tok’ sound. Housewives and children would be scurrying out of their homes to buy a bowl or two soon they heard the ‘tok, tok’ sound.
My son and I took a trishaw around Penang Esplanade and at the intersection of Light Street, Beach Street (Lebuh Pantai) and King Edward’s Place (Persiaran King Edward), we saw a clock tower.We managed to see part of the inscription written on the tower ‘This clock tower was presented to Penang….‘
After doing some reading online, I learned the name of the tower; The Jubilee Clock Tower.
Previously known as QueenVictoria Memorial Clock Tower, the clock tower is a free-standing clock tower at the intersection of Light Street, Beach Street (Lebuh Pantai) and King Edward’s Place (Persiaran King Edward). Completed in 1902 in commemoration of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee, the clock tower rises to 60 feet to mark the 60-year reign of Queen Victoria.
The full inscription on the tower reads ‘This clock tower was presented to Penang by Cheah Chen Eok in commemoration of Her Majesty Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee 1937-1897‘.
This clock tower comprises of 4 tiers; the base is octagon-shaped and the following two tiers comprise four distinct sections with elaborate windows, balconies and a clock face on each side. The topmost tier is rounded off with Roman pillars and topped with a golden dome cupola.
The total cost of construction came to$35,000, a princely sum in those days, borne by Cheah Chen Eok, a wealthy businessman. Chen Eok was also a Justice of Peace, Municipal Commissioner of Penang, member of the Chinese Advisory Board, a trustee of the Penang Free School and member of all local clubs. Chen Eok regarded himself as a loyal British subject and when Queen Victoria celebrated her Diamond Jubilee, he offered to fully fund the erection of a clock tower in commemorating the event.
During the Second World War, many bombs were dropped around the nearby government buildings and interestingly, this resulted in the slight lean of the clock tower.
It has been two years since my family and I last visited Penang and during our way back from Kedah after my uncle’s funeral last week, we dropped by Georgetown, Penang. Initially we wanted to go to Kuantan as my husband has some work to do but after confirming with the boss, the Kuantan trip was actually scheduled two days ahead. Since it was already evening, we decided to put up a night there. We found a very cheap hotel at Pitt Street that is within walking distance to Penang Esplanade; one of the attractions in Penang.
View from our room on Pitt Street.
Pitt Street, or now known as Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling, is one of the four major streets in the Original Grid of George Town laid out by Captain Francis Light when he established his trading settlement. After naming the first street of his settlement after himself, Light realised that he may have offended the prime minister for not naming anything after him. Hence, he decided to name Pitt Street after the then prime minister, William Pitt the Younger.
Instead of taking the short walk along Pitt Street to the esplanade, we decided to take a long walk by walking around the area passing by Lebuh China, Lebuh Queen, Lebuh Gereja, Lebuh King and Lebuh Light. After Lebuh Light, we reached the esplanade. It was a great walk as we got to see fascinating heritage shophouses.
Fascinating buildings! I didn’t get to capture these buildings on my previous trip here back in 2010.
After admiring the buildings, we crossed Lebuh Light to get to Penang Esplanade. This esplanade consists of Padang Esplanade (or Taman Padang Kota Lama), Fort Cornwallis, Fort Cornwallis Lighthouse, City Hall, Town Hall, Penang Museum, Municipal Fountain, Victoria Clocktower, Cenotaph, Logan Memorial, Supreme Court, Convent Light Street, St George’s Anglican Church, Francis Light Memorial, Cathedral of the Assumption, Argus Lane, St Xavier’s Institution, Protestant Cemetery and Eastern & Oriental Hotel.
Built in the 1880s, the Town Hall (also known as the Ang Moh Kong Kuan – White Men’s Club) is now the oldest municipal building in the state and boasts a spacious ballroom, where regular local events and exhibitions are staged.
Fort Cornwallis. Can you find Yassin and his dad?
Fort Cornwallis is the largest intact fortress still standing in Malaysia. The fort dates back to the earliest days of British settlement on the island. When Captain Francis Light landed on Penang Island in 1786, the cape where he landed was called Tanjung Penaga in Malay. There, he established the British settlement and trading port of George Town. To defend the site, he built a simple stockade out of nibong palms.
Fort Cornwallis Lighthouse.
Fort Cornwallis Lighthouse is one of the oldest lighthouses in Malaysia. It was erected by the British in 1882 and previously 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. But considering that it stands within Fort Cornwallis, the lighthouse is later called the Fort Cornwallis Lighthouse. Visual distance of the lighthouse is 16 nautical miles.
There are more buildings that I like to cover but I don’t want to make this a very long one, so more posts on Georgetown soon.
So… after walking for hours, we were hungry! We went to the food stalls next to the open field, not sure what to eat. My husband saw a long queue at one particular stall, Hameed Pata Special Mee Sotong and he went and order. Although we had to wait for almost 40 minutes due to the long queue, we were happy that we ordered Mee Sotong. It was delicious! We also had Coconut Milkshake from the same stall. It was worth the 1% body fat that I gained, I tell you. LOL.
Spicy Mee Sotong. It is actually a mee goreng with sambal sotong.
Coconut Milkshake with Vanilla Ice-Cream.
We had a blast! Yassin was happy to revisit Penang. Here are some more photos around Georgetown.
Sunset in Georgetown.
Yassin playing at the Taman Kota Lama playground (Day 2 before we leave Georgetown).
My husband chasing the birds.
When I look at my photo albums, I noticed that I have some trishaw pictures and decided to write about it. I am no historian but we all know that trishaw was one of the main transporation in Malaysia up to the 70s. Since then, rapid urbanisation has increased demand for more efficient public transport, resulting in the decreasing numbers of trishaws. I try to remember hard but I can only remember that I rode on one during the 70s in Alor Star when I was a child.
Today, they are operated as tourist attraction, mainly in Melaka, Penang, Terengganu and Kelantan.
Let’s take a look at trishaws in Melaka. I prefer it way back when it was in its much simpler state where there were no fake flower decorations. LOL. Less is more. But if fake flowers can attract tourists, so be it. I guess I can live with that. On second thought, I think the creativeness of the trishaw operators somehow made the trishaw unique. I would love to interview one of the operators one day and find out who started the trend.
And this one was in Penang. I love the trishaws in Penang, they were quite an antique! The originality is still there, no fake flower decorations. And look at the back stand; antique and precious.
And this one was in Terengganu when my son, Yassin was 3. Some were undecorated…
…but some were decorated with fake flowers as well. But not as exaggerated as the ones in Melaka.
I don’t have any pictures of trishaws in Kelantan but will definitely take a snap or two if I pass by the town. I did passed by Jeli during my road trip last February but did not went into town.
Last but not least, let’s take a look at the one in the National Museum. Purely an antique, 1950s.
Have you rode on trishaw before? Mind sharing the experience?
keep looking »