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 Street (25 July, 2012)
Indian businesses operating on Penang Street (25 July, 2012)
Koong Har Tong, a Chinese clan house at Penang Street (25 July, 2012)
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)
Khoo Salma Nasution, The Chulia in Penang (Areca Books, 2014, p.14)
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