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52 Marking You Should Never Miss in Penang (Part I)

Marking George Town started off as a competition initiated by the Penang State Government to physically brand George Town as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. On 7 September 2009, an international competition was aimed at exploring innovative ideas in art and design for public spaces in George Town. Out of the 40 entries within the country and from abroad, Sculptureatwork triumphed with its design concept of ‘voices from the people’. Subsequently, 52 unique and humorous illustrations in the form of iron rod sculptures were installed against the city’s building walls.

1. JIMMY CHOO
This is the place where the famous shoe designer, Jimmy Choo, started his apprenticeship.
Location: Lebuh Leith/Lebuh Muntri

Mahkota Hotel
Mahkota Hotel


2. WIN WIN SITUATION
Muntri Street was named after The Orang Kaya Menteri Of Larut, Perak, Ngah Ibrahim.
Location: Lebuh Muntri

Room in Mahkota Hotel
Room in Mahkota Hotel


3. MR. FIVE FOOT WAY
Five foot ways were meant to protect pedestrians from the hot sun and rain. With the influx of immigrants, work increasingly became hard to find. Many of the old and unemployed thus began using corridors to set up small businesses instead. The Hokkiens began calling these ‘goh ka ki’ or ‘five foot way’ trades.
Location: Jalan Transfer

Teluk Batik Cafe
Teluk Batik Cafe


4. ONE LEG KICKS ALL
The ‘black and white’ Amahs were Cantonese domestic servants from Guangdong who did all kinds of household chores and would refer themselves with wry humour as “Yak Keok Tet” (One Leg Kicks All).
Location: Lebuh Muntri

Dewan Serbaguna
Dewan Serbaguna


5. NARROWEST FIVE FOOT WAY
Obviously, this is less than five feet…
The ‘five foot away’ of Wan Hai Hotel is said to be the narrowest in Penang.
Location: Lorong Stewart

Teluk Batik
Banana Boat


6. BULLOCK CART WHEEL
In the days when your money could be as “big as abullock cart wheel”, this was a popular rest stop for limousines of the time.
Location: Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling

Teluk Batik
Banana Boat


7. CHEATING HUSBAND
The local Chinese say the rich men who lived on Muntri Street kept their mistresses here, hence the name ‘Ai Cheng Hang’ or Love Lane.
Location: Love Lane

Teluk Batik
Banana Boat


8. TOK TOK MEE
Tok Tok Mee is so called because hawkers would strike a ‘tok tok’ sound to signal their presence.
Location: Jalan Masjid Kapitan/Lebuh China

Teluk Batik
Banana Boat


9. ROTI BENGGALI
Kulit asing?
Roti Benggali came from the word, ‘Penggali’ (‘shareholder’ in Tamil).
Location: Lebuh King

Teluk Batik
Banana Boat


10. WRONG TREE
Also called toddy or palm wine, tuak is an alcoholic beverage made from underdeveloped flower of the coconut palm. The collecting and marketing of tuak were entirely an Indian affair with the majority of its drinkers being Indian labourers.
Location: Lorong Pasar

Teluk Batik
Banana Boat


11. TOO HOT
The famous Weld Quay was the birthplace of Kelinga Mee, a spicy Indian noodle dish created to whet the appetites of sailors and port workers.
Location: Pengkalan Weld

Teluk Batik
Banana Boat


12. TING TING THONG
One of the favorite foods sold at Seck Chuan Lane is ‘ting ting thong’ or rock candy, a hardened mixture of sugar, sesame seeds and nuts loved by kids. It has to be “chiselled” and “hammered” to break it into smaller biteable pieces.
Location: Lorong Seck Chuan

Teluk Batik
Banana Boat


13. LABOURER TO TRADER
The early convict labourers were reputed to have built most of the government buildings in Penang. Some ex-convicts became petty traders and were the core group who started the Chowrasta Market.
Location: Jalan Kuala Kangsar

Teluk Batik
Banana Boat


14. KOPI ‘O’
One Tall, Double Shot, Decaf Espresso KOPI-O’-KAU!
Location: Lebuh Kimberley

Teluk Batik
Banana Boat


15. UNTRAINED PARAKEET
Parrot astrologers were Indian fortune tellers, who used green parakeets to foretell a person’s future.
Location: Lebuh King

Teluk Batik
Banana Boat


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