Mount Erskine, Penang, viewed towards the coastal skyline. (22 July, 2015)
Mount Erskine (Traditional Chinese: 白雲山, Simplified Chinese: 白云山; Pinyin: Báiyún Shān; Penang Hokkien: Paek3 Hoon3 Snua1 , Literal translation: "White Cloud Mountain") is a locality on the northeastern part of Penang Island. It was named after John James Erskine, the member of the town council of George Town around 1810. The Mount Erskine that we know today is a different place from the original Mount Erskine, which today is known as Mount Olivia, named after Olivia Mariamne Devenish (1771-1814), the wife of Stamford Raffles (1781-1826), who founded Singapore. Due to the Mount Erskine Road being built linking Fettes Park with Bagan Jermal, the entire stretch along the road became known as Mount Erskine.
Much of Mount Erskine is taken up by the Chinese cemetery there. This cemetery dates back to the early 19th century, and can be divided into different sections. The Cantonese-Teochew section is located closest to Gottlieb Road. Within its vicinity is the Kwangtung & Tengchow Association Funeral Parlour. Further up the road is a cemetery of the Hokkiens, managed by United Hokkien Cemeteries. It is one of the many Hokkien cemeteries in Penang, the others being at Batu Gantong, Batu Lanchang, Paya Terubong and Teluk Bahang.
Residential development in Mount Erskine occupy the land at the surroundings of the cemetery. The majority, such as Hong Seng Estate, are working class neighbourhoods for people who do not mind living in close proximity to cemeteries. Nonetheless, due to the size of the cemetery, it is just a stone's throw from the more affluent neighbourhood of Tanjong Tokong.
Mount Erskine is 4.3 km from Magazine Circus, making it an ideal distance from the city centre of George Town. However the main road through the area, Mount Erskine Road, is today overloaded with traffic, leading to regular congestions and jams building up at the Gottlieb Road junction.
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