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Burmah Road

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Burmah Road in front of Loke Thye Kee at night (2 November, 2012)

B. Melayu

Burmah Road (Malay: Jalan Burma, Traditional Chinese: 車水路, Simplified Chinese: 车水路, Pinyin: Chēshuǐ Lù, Penang Hokkien: Chia3 Chooi1 Lor33 ), is one of the major roads in George Town, Penang. This long road begins at the junction with Penang Road, and runs in a northwesterly direction out of town, ending at the junction with Gottlieb Road, Bagan Jermal Road and Mount Erskine Road. The traffic dispersal system of George Town requires that Burmah Road has two sets of traffic flow: from Penang Road to the Pangkor Road junction, it flows east to west; from Gottlieb Road to Pangkor Road junction, it flows in the opposite direction.

Dashcam view of Burmah Road

Burmah Road was named after the Burmese settlement that existed in Pulau Tikus district, of which stands the Dhammikarama Burmese Temple as the lasting reminder of their presence. That, and the existence of other Burmese-inspired road names in the vicinity, including Salween Road, Moulmein Close, Rangoon Road, Mandalay Road and Irrawaddi Road, to name some.

Among the locals, Burmah Road was called Jalan Kreta Ayer in Malay, or Chia3 Chooi1 Lor33 in Penang Hokkien. Both means the same thing - "Water Cart Road". The name refers to an essential earlier-century activity that may appear totally alien to a 21st century piped-water world. Before piped water became an expected part of life, fresh water had to be carried - on ox-carts, and often, on shoulders - from waterfalls and springs, to awaiting buyers in town. Burmah Road was the route taken by these water bearers, and that route became known by that essential task. Is this aspect, it is similar to Kreta Ayer Road in Singapore. In Singapore, there is also a small road called Burmah Road.

Like many of the major roads in Penang, Burmah Road began as a rural road. Although it is today urban and gentrified from end to end, in the beginning Burmah Road was a country road that led through various ethnic villages in its progress towards the hills. For over half a century of its initial existence, Burmah Road passed through a rural landscape with kampung houses on both sides, and an open sky above. The tall roadside trees that provide shade along much of Burmah Road today were not planted until the third quarter of the 19th century. Their addition to the street not only provides shade, they transform it into a verdant urban street.

Burmah Road should be spelled with a "h"; it's one of the quarky idiosyncracies accompanying British transliteration of foreign names before there was any form of standardisation. The city end of Burmah Road begin at a point where, up till the turn of the 20th century, there was a plank bridge across the Prangin Canal. The canal is still around, albeit buried under the ground, emerging only at Sia Boey. It used to continue all the way to Transfer Road, where it connects to another ditch that leads out into North Beach, where Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah is located today, effectively creating an island out of George Town. The plank bridge is remembered in the name of Masjid Titi Papan located in the vicinity. Loke Thye Kee Restaurant, once a forlorn structure, but since restored, still stands at the junction of Burmah Road and Penang Road.

As we go down Burmah Road, we pass sights in rapid succession. The Kuan Yin See, one of the biggest temples associated with the Nine Emperor Gods Festival is on a busy section of Burmah Road. At the junction of Anson Road, we find Penang Plaza, one of the earliest shopping malls in Penang, with Wesley Methodist Church across the road. Farther down the road, two more churches appear, the Adventist Church and Gospel Hall.

Toward the junction with Pangkor Road, we see the Chinese Recreation Club at Victoria Green, with the Statue of Queen Victoria. Beyond the Pangkor Road junction, Burmah Road enters what was the start of the Burmese-Siamese settlement. Thai and Burmese temples are tucked away off the main road, including Wat Buppharam in Perak Road, Wat Chaiyamangkalaram and the Dhammikarama at Burmah Lane. The junction of Burmah Road and Cantonment Road marks the heart of Pulau Tikus district. The final stretch of Burmah Road, from Cantonment Road to Gottlieb Road, was traditionally a Eurasian settlement - called Kampung Serani - their presence is most conspicuously represented by the Church of Immaculate Conception, as well as such road names as Leandro's Lane.

Map of Burmah Road

Hotels on Burmah Road

  1. 1926 Heritage Hotel (GPS: 5.42393, 100.3205)
  2. Apple 1 Hotel Gurney (GPS: 5.43289, 100.3076)
  3. Burmahtel Hotel (GPS: 5.42831, 100.31429)
  4. Georgetown City Hotel (GPS: 5.43314, 100.30695)
  5. HP Hotel (GPS: 5.41783, 100.32904)
  6. Tune Hotel (GPS: 5.41952, 100.32715)

Sights along Burmah Road

  1. Asia Camera Museum (former Kuan Lok Bakery) (GPS: 5.41769, 100.3292)
  2. Chinese Recreation Club (GPS: 5.42509, 100.31858)
  3. Glass Museum Penang (GPS: 5.41749, 100.32947)
  4. Long Say Building (GPS: 5.4257, 100.31913)
  5. Malaysian Hakka Heritage Centre (GPS: 5.41813, 100.3287)
  6. Malaysian Buddhist Association (GPS: 5.4255, 100.31942)
  7. New World Park (GPS: 5.41986, 100.3268)
  8. Penang Chinese Chin Woo Athletic Association (GPS: 5.42502, 100.32002)
  9. Saw Khaw Lean Heah Kongsi (GPS: 5.4182, 100.32862)
  10. Soka Gakkai Malaysia (GPS: 5.42755, 100.31634)

Memorials along Burmah Road

  1. Queen Victoria Memorial Statue (GPS: 5.42558, 100.31829)

Churches along Burmah Road

  1. Burmah Road Gospel Hall (GPS: 5.42432, 100.32096)
  2. Church of Immaculate Conception (GPS: 5.43285, 100.30912)
  3. Seventh-Day Adventist Church (GPS: 5.42394, 100.32153)
  4. Wesley Methodist Church (GPS: 5.422, 100.32442)

Mosques along Burmah Road

  1. Masjid Tarik Air (GPS: 5.4204, 100.32553)
  2. Masjid Tengah (GPS: 5.41808, 100.32895)
  3. Masjid Titi Papan (GPS: 5.41723, 100.32966)

Temples along Burmah Road

  1. Kuan Yin See (GPS: 5.41871, 100.328)
  2. Poh Oo Toong Temple (GPS: 5.428, 100.31464)
  3. Pulau Tikus Tua Pek Kong Temple (GPS: 5.42973, 100.31349)
  4. San Huah Tang (GPS: 5.41968, 100.32635)

Food and Beverage outlets along Burmah Road

Hospitals and Medical Centres along Burmah Road

  1. Adventist Medical Centre (GPS: 5.43337, 100.30375)
  2. Penang Adventist Hospital (GPS: 5.43241, 100.3056)
  3. Public Specialist Centre (GPS: 5.42307, 100.32261)

Petrol Stations along Burmah Road

  1. Petron Burmah Road (GPS: 5.4287, 100.31474)
  2. Shell Burmah Road 2 (GPS: 5.42779, 100.31514)

Amenities along Burmah Road

  1. Komtar Pedestrian Crossing (GPS: 5.41672, 100.33005)
  2. Pulau Tikus Police Station (GPS: 5.4307, 100.31282)

Banks along Burmah Road

  1. Hong Leong Bank (GPS: 5.41721, 100.32928)

Schools & Colleges along Burmah Road

  1. Convent Pulau Tikus (GPS: 5.43301, 100.3085)
  2. Kolej PTPL (GPS: 5.42626, 100.31738)
  3. Pykett Methodist School (disused) (GPS: 5.4219, 100.32358)
  4. Union Primary School (GPS: 5.42304, 100.32173)

Shopping Malls along Burmah Road

  1. Midlands One Stop (GPS: 5.43319, 100.30635)
  2. Penang Plaza (GPS: 5.42144, 100.32506)

Commercial Properties along Burmah Road

  1. Bellisa Row (GPS: 5.43283, 100.30982)
  2. Burmah House (GPS: 5.43193, 100.31081)
  3. Burmah Place (GPS: 5.42292, 100.32284)
  4. Pulau Tikus Plaza (GPS: 5.43232, 100.30904)
  5. Wayton Court (GPS: 5.43402, 100.30388)
  6. Wisma Cheok Holdings
  7. Wisma Soon (GPS: 5.42831, 100.31429)

Clinics on Burmah Road

Businesses along Burmah Road

  1. Aik Soon Tang Herbal Tea & Jelly
  2. Amica Hair Salons
  3. Axis Pharmacy
  4. Auto Bavaria (GPS: 5.42106, 100.32469)
  5. Beautiful Planet Holiday (travel agency)
  6. Bee Fong Photo Studio & Digital Colour Lab
  7. Chiew Thean Yeang Aquarium (CTY Aquarium & Pet Hotel) (GPS: 5.41899, 100.32776)
  8. Kean Boon Motor (motorcycle dealer)
  9. Delta Business Furniture (GPS: 5.42161, 100.32409)
  10. Eng Ong Heong Trading (Chinese prayer items)
  11. EOS Boutique (cameras)
  12. Flower Scents
  13. Ghee Hiang Burmah Road (GPS: 5.42336, 100.32194)
  14. Hai-O (Chinese Medical Hall)
  15. Hesco (24-hour convenience store)
  16. Him Heang Biscuit Shop (GPS: 5.42407, 100.32131)
  17. Jade Auto (auto repair)
  18. Kim Lee Loong Chan Dry Cleaning & Laundry
  19. Lee Leong Chuan Sdn Bhd (Hyundai dealership)
  20. MC Wheels & Tyres
  21. Mekio Home Furnishing (GPS: 5.41771, 100.32856)
  22. Ming Xiang Tai Pastry Shop
  23. (Internet cafe)
  24. Ritz Cakes & Pastries
  25. Rozel (furniture shop) (GPS: 5.42148, 100.32423)
  26. Titanium Lifestyle Corporation (Chevrolet showroom)
  27. Trinity Auto (used car dealer)
  28. Young Ones

Consulates along Burmah Road

  1. Indonesian Consulate General (GPS: 5.4328, 100.30448)

Neighbourhoods along Burmah Road

  1. Kampung Syed (GPS: 5.42813, 100.31529)

Government Buildings on Burmah Road

  1. Bangunan LPPKN (GPS: 5.42675, 100.31637)
  2. Wisma Perkeso (GPS: 5.42885, 100.31371)

Organisations on Burmah Road

  1. Women's Centre for Change (GPS: 5.4262, 100.31696)

Residential Properties along Burmah Road

  1. Burmah Road Flats (GPS: 5.41998, 100.32568)
  2. Icon Residence (GPS: 5.42191, 100.32359)
  3. Taman Manggis (GPS: 5.41914, 100.3268)
  4. Sri Pangkor Condominium (GPS: 5.42644, 100.31833)

Burmah Road, George Town, PenangBurmah Road in Pulau Tikus, Penang (29 December, 2018)

Burmah Road, George Town, with Komtar in the background (22 May, 2011)

Burmah Road (12 November 2008)

Burmah Road plaque (12 November 2008)

Updates on Burmah Road

28 September, 2013: The MPPP is putting up two speed tables along Burmah Road to reduce speeding.

27 July, 2013: Much of Burmah Road is made one way, with traffic going from west to east.

Burmah Road on Google Maps Street View

Burmah Road in the evening (9 December 2008)

A row of well-preserved Straits Eclectic townhouses along Burmah Road (30 November, 2008)

Burmah Road sign (12 November 2008)

Getting there

Rapid Penang Bus 10, 11, 101, 103, 104, 201, 202, 203, 204, 206 and 304 ply Burmah Road.

Old Burmah Road sign (30 November 2008)

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