China Street Ghaut, or Gat Lebuh China, is an extension of China Street. Until the third quarter of the 19th century, Beach Street runs along the shoreline. Where China Street meets the sea, there was a flight of stone steps leading to the water's edge, called "ghaut". Reclamation works between 1880 and 1904 extended the shoreline outwards, creating new land for warehousing and commercial offices. China Street itself was extended, and the newly created road took the name "China Street Ghaut", after the stone steps that were no more. The street forms the northern border of the Chinese Trades Neighbourhood which spreads south until Sia Boey.
China Street Ghaut runs for only a short distance between Beach Street and Weld Quay. The Chinese community in George Town is said to be quite upset over its construction. The British had - deliberately or otherwise - built China Street Ghaut in such a way that it does not align to China Street. As a result, the sea view enjoyed by Kuan Yin Teng temple at the head of China Street was now blocked by new buildings.
But worse things were on the way. At the seaward end of China Street Ghaut, the British built the Malayan Railway Building, with a tower on which they placed a clock. To the ever superstitious Chinese, the blocking of the sea view of the Kuan Yin Teng has disrupted the auspicious fengshui while the placing of the clock - another fengshui no-no - was also another attempt by the British to limit the economic prowess of the Chinese.
From the Weld Quay Ferry & Bus Terminal, cross Pengkalan Weld and then turn right, walk along Pengkalan Weld, and you will arrive at China Street Ghaut to your left.
China Street Ghaut sign (12 November 2008)
China Street Ghaut plaque (12 November 2008)
Shots by featured photographers
I am also pleased to showcase the work of other photographers who has shot Chulia Street Ghaut.
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