Timothy Tye
Penang Street

Penang Street, George Town, Penang (25 July, 2012)

Penang Street, or Lebuh Penang, is one of the oldest streets of George Town. It is located within the core zone of the George Town Unesco World Heritage Site.

Penang Street is within the original grid laid out by Francis Light for his early settlement of George Town in the late 18th century. The earliest known documentation of Penang Street appears in the 1798 Popham map. On that map, Penang Street was known as China Street. However, the name Penang Street has been in use since 1803 in the map of George Town drawn under the administration of George Leith as Lieutenant Governor.

Today the section of Penang Street south of Church Street is within Little India. You can notice a change in character to the street, particularly between Church Street and China Street.

Coffee shop along Penang StreetCoffee shop along Penang Street (25 July, 2012)

Indian businesses operating on Penang StreetIndian businesses operating on Penang Street (25 July, 2012)

Koong Har Tong, Penang StreetKoong Har Tong, a Chinese clan house at Penang Street (25 July, 2012)

Location of sights on Penang Street on the map

Accommodation on Penang Street

  1. Friendship Motel (GPS: 5.41958, 100.34154)
  2. Merlin Hotel (GPS: 5.4194, 100.34176)
  3. Ren i Tang Heritage Inn (GPS: 5.41737, 100.34012)

Sights along Penang Street

  1. Chettiar Kattangi (GPS: 5.4164, 100.33944)
  2. Moey She Temple (GPS: 5.41796, 100.34074)
  3. Penang 3D Trick Art Museum (GPS: 5.41973, 100.34174)
  4. Silver Chariot House (GPS: 5.41624, 100.33959)

Eateries along Penang Street

  1. Hock Poh Lye Cafe (GPS: 5.41765, 100.34027)
  2. Kafetaria & Hotel Eng Loh (GPS: 5.41833, 100.34103)
  3. Merlin Nasi Kandar (GPS: 5.4194, 100.34176)
  4. My Nyonya Favourites (GPS: 5.41917, 100.34128)
  5. Restoran Nasi Dalcha Kassim Mustafa (GPS: 5.41582, 100.33938)
  6. Restoran Veloo Villas (GPS: 5.41873, 100.34102)
  7. Sri Ananda Bahwan Banana Leaf Restaurant (GPS: 5.41777, 100.34061)
  8. Sri Ananda Bahwan Vegetarian Restaurant (GPS: 5.41805, 100.34079)
  9. The Leaf Healthy House Cafe (GPS: 5.41856, 100.34115)
  10. Via Pre Penang (GPS: 5.4193, 100.34137)
  11. Woodlands Vegetarian Restaurant (GPS: 5.41802, 100.34052)
  12. Yun Shan Ge Vegetarian House (GPS: 5.41963, 100.34166)

Historic Buildings on Penang Street

  1. Chinese Chamber of Commerce (GPS: 5.42012, 100.34168)
  2. Foo Tye Sin Mansion (GPS: 5.41975, 100.34209)
  3. House of Yeap Chor Ee (GPS: 5.41982, 100.3418)
  4. Kwangtung & Tengchow Association (GPS: 5.41826, 100.34065)

Commercial Properties on Penang Street

  1. RHB Investment Bank Building (GPS: 5.4191, 100.34122)
  2. Sentral Tower (GPS: 5.41896, 100.34148)

Clinics on Penang Street

  1. Klinik Sentosa (GPS: 5.41846, 100.34106)
  2. Klinik Sentosa (GPS: 5.41936, 100.34142)

Businesses along Penang Street

Junction of Penang Street with Light Street (21 August, 2011)

Penang Street, as viewed in the direction towards Light Street (23 January, 2007)

Sentral Tower, at the junction of Penang and Bishop streets, is one of the few high-rise buildings erected before World Heritage inscription of inner George Town (18 November, 2012)

Getting there

From the Weld Quay Ferry & Bus Terminal, cross Weld Quay and then turn right. Walk along Weld until the junction of China Street Ghaut. Take China Street Ghaut. The next road after Beach Street is Penang Street.

Property Numbering

Property numbers increase as you head from Light Street towards Chulia Street. The properties on the left side of Penang Street have odd-number addresses while those on the right side have even-number addresses.

Koong Har Tong Association at Penang Street, the ground floor now houses a cafe (18 November, 2012)

One of the two outlets of Sri Ananda Bahwan Restaurant along Penang Street (18 November, 2012)

The new Lebuh Penang road sign (12 November 2008)

The old Lebuh Penang road sign (30 November 2008)

In Other Words ...

Penang Street is known in Hokkien by different names according to different section. Between Light Street and Bishop Street, it was known as Kau1 Keng3 Chu3, meaning "Nine Houses", in reference to a row of nine townhouses there. Between Bishop Street and Market Street, it was known as Kin1tang3 Kay1 or "Cantonese Street", and between Market Street and Chulia Street it was known as Chet1tiah4 Kay1 or "Chettiah Street". As this is the street where the Tamil moneylenders have their office, the Kattangi, the Tamils call Penang Street Kattangi Teru, meaning "street of the Chettiar office"1.

Penang Street history plaque (12 November 2008)


  1. Khoo Salma Nasution, The Chulia in Penang (Areca Books, 2014, p.14)

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