Categories
Culture

ICYMI: Taiwan’s Eslite Spectrum To Debut in Southeast Asia at Starhill in 2022

Just in case if you miss the news, Taiwan’s famous bookstore that has turned into a lifestyle store, Eslite Spectrum will make its debut in Southeast Asia in year 2022. Eslite Group has signed a tenancy agreement with YTL Land & Development Berhad to be an anchor tenant in Bukit Bintang’s luxury shopping mall The Starhill.

bookstore ICYMI: Taiwan’s Eslite Spectrum To Debut in Southeast Asia at Starhill in 2022 eslite spectrum 1
Image via Eslite Spectrum

In a joint statement, Eslite group chairperson Mercy Wu said by establishing the new flagship branch in Kuala Lumpur, their first store in Southeast Asia, Eslite is committed to becoming an influential platform for the cultural and creative industry.

“Eslite Spectrum seeks to be a venue with a rich selection of Chinese, English and Malay language books, as well as music, design and handmade goods, performing arts, themed restaurants and coffee shops, lifestyle brands, and diverse cutting-edge cultural and creative brands.

“The focus will be on showcasing the dynamism and vibrant energy of cross-cultural and creative exchange between Malaysia and Taiwan,” she said.

bookstore ICYMI: Taiwan’s Eslite Spectrum To Debut in Southeast Asia at Starhill in 2022 eslite spectrum 2
Image via Eslite Spectrum

Named ‘Asia’s Best Bookstore’ by Time magazine and ‘The World’s Coolest Bookstore’ by CNN, Eslite Spectrum in Taiwan is a cultural icon and a must-see shopping destination for bookworms.

The partnership between Eslite Group and YTL Land & Development Berhad will see Eslite Spectrum taking up the entire Level 1 of the Starhill which is approximately 70,000 square feet.

bookstore ICYMI: Taiwan’s Eslite Spectrum To Debut in Southeast Asia at Starhill in 2022 eslite spectrum 3
Image via Eslite Spectrum

Mercy Wu, who is also the daughter of the Eslite Group founder said “We are excited about embarking on this journey in Kuala Lumpur, as Malaysians have been Taiwan’s top tourist segment from Southeast Asia for 10 consecutive years and are strong supporters of our stores in Taiwan.”

“My father once said, ‘Eslite’s ultimate concern is people, and the most beautiful scenery of a city is its people,” she adds.

bookstore ICYMI: Taiwan’s Eslite Spectrum To Debut in Southeast Asia at Starhill in 2022 eslite spectrum 4
Image via Eslite Spectrum

Can’t wait until 2022 for Eslite Spectrum to arrive in Southeast Asia? We are anxious too!

Categories
Street Stories

Street Stories: Campbell Street

Story of the Street

Campbell Street or Lebuh Campbell is a one-way street within George Town UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was named after Sir George William Robert Campbell, who served as the Penang Inspector General and also, the Acting Lieutenant-Governor of Penang between 1872 and 1873. The street is called Sin-kay (新街) in Hokkien and San-kai in Cantonese, which both also mean ‘the new street’ created between Pitt Street and Penang Road.

It was a red-light district in the mid 19th Century. Then, the both terms ‘Sin-kay’ and ‘San-kai’ came to a whole new meaning, which refers to the new arrival of the ‘new chickens (prostitutes)’. Meanwhile, Fa-kai is another Cantonese term used to refer to the street. It meant ‘flower street’, which is also a substitute for the prostitutes along the street. Furthermore, the Malays called the street Jalan Nona Baru and Jalan Makau. Jalan Nona Baru meant ‘the street of new maidens’ and Jalan Makau meant the coastal city of Macau in China, where most of the Cantonese prostitutes came from.

Campbell Street was part of George Town’s New Chinatown. The Cantonese immigrants populated the area around the street and mostly worked as tailors, coolies, goldsmiths and ironmongers. In the 1950s and 1960s, it became the most famous place to shop for shoes, bags, jewellery, watches, and textiles. Then, the businesses began to decline in the mid 1970s. Today, wholesalers, modern cafes as well as other businesses have taken over most of the retail outlets. Besides, several shops selling jewellery, bags, textiles, watches and traditional Chinese medicine are still operating along the street.

Significant Buildings

Campbell Street Market
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Campbell Street Market is a Victorian-style market built in the 1900s. The market was formerly known as Carnarvon Street Market. It is a small wet market located at the junctions between Campbell Street and Carnarvon Street. It offers a wide range of fresh vegetables, fish and meats to supply to its surrounding community. According to some locals, the land on which the market now stands was the site of a Malay cemetery. Furthermore, the cemetery at the land was provided to the Indian Muslim community for the construction of the Masjid Kapitan Keling in 1800. However, the George Town Municipal Council bought the land in the 1890s and subsequently built the Campbell Street Market.

Boon Wah Co. Textile
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Boon Wah Chow Chong Sdn. Bhd. is a textile company and has existed since 1982. This company is working in fashion, fabric, textile and building materials business activities. It is located at the corner area along Campbell Street and Rope Walk Street. In fact, this turquoise-coloured building has been an Instagram-worthy spot to check in for the locals and tourists.

Where to Stay

Campbell House Penang
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Campbell House is an Award-Winning Luxury Boutique Hotel in George Town. The owners are a husband and wife team, one of them is from Italy and another one is a mix of Malay and English. The boutique hotel occupies a unique three-storey Straits Chinese corner plot. The building was built in 1903 and underwent a major renovation when the owners bought it in 2008. It offers a total of 11 themed rooms incorporating Colonial charm and Asian heritage with an authentic but modern Italian restaurant.

Kim Haus Loft
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Kim Haus was a goldsmith jewellery shop turned into a cafe and residence lofts. This four-storey building offers a total of 40 guest rooms with something more basic and homey. In fact, it is not just a boutique hotel. There is a goldsmith museum, an event and performance space, and a cafe. Besides, it uses black as the theme colour with an industrial influence in the decor and stays true to its history as a jewellery and goldsmith shop. There is an array of vintage jewellery and goldsmith tools displaying at the cafe area.

ATTIC Hotel
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An attic is similar to a loft. It is a space or room inside or partly inside the roof of a building. Attic Hotel features a total of 17 rooms, including double rooms, triple rooms, and family rooms. Besides, the hotel also provides guests with a sun terrace.

What to See

Street Art: “Retail Paradise” Sculpture
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The “Marking of George Town” is an art challenge organised by the Penang State Government to mark George Town’s status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2009. The company, Sculpture At Work won the design idea by relating the history and/ or characteristic of selected streets in George Town with metal rod caricatures of local cartoonists. 

The “Retail Paradise” Sculpture was installed in 2013. This sculpture at Campbell Street by cartoonist Reggie Lee portrays a guard arresting a burglar, who claims he has simply misplaced his keys. The sculpture celebrates a period in the history of Campbell Street when it was the main shopping area in George Town. “Campbell Street is Penang’s Fifth Avenue, a retail paradise where shoppers can stroll along the row of shophouses and feast their eyes on an array of goods.”

What to Eat

Hameediyah Restaurant
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Hameediyah Restaurant has claimed the title in the Malaysia Book of Records (MBR) of being the nation’s oldest Nasi Kandar restaurant. It was established in 1907 and is still going strong until today. Meanwhile, it is also crowned as one of the best Nasi Kandars in Penang. The restaurant offers around 35 types of curry. For instance, their Chicken Kapitan, Ayam Bawang and Beef Rendang are among the famous choices. Besides Nasi Kandar, they also offer Murtabak and a wide range of vegetarian options. 

Toh Soon Cafe 多春茶室
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Toh Soon Cafe is a small coffee shop located at an alley along Campbell Street. It is one of the famous breakfast spots among the locals and tourists. People are willing to queue up for their signature Kaya Toast Bread with two half-boiled eggs and its Hainan-style coffee. They use a super old charcoal stove to prepare the toasts. Now, Toh Soon is opening a new branch at Bishop Street.

Island Problem
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Island Problem is Japanese-Thai fusion eatery tucked in a shophouse along Campbell Street. It is a rather tiny dining space that could only accommodate up to 10 people. This open-kitchen concept restaurant allows diners to catch the live action of the chef preparing the meals. Their specialities include Don (rice bowl dishes), Sando (Japanese sandwiches), and Men (noodle dishes). Meanwhile, the upper floor of this black interior restaurant is a fashion boutique that sells their own branded fashion apparels.     

Kim Haus
Kim Haus Cafe at Campbell Street  Street Stories: Campbell Street Kim Haus Cafe

Kim Haus is a cafe bar that serves Western cuisine. It is a casual eating and drinking spot in George Town. It is a pork free restaurant that offers a variety of dishes and desserts. In addition, there is a small bakery at the corner of the cafe that serves fresh Danish Pastries, Scottish Scones and more. Taking up the space of the entire building, Kim Haus also provides comfy stays with industrial influence of concept.

Yee Heong Restaurant 宜香茶楼饭店
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Yee Heong Restaurant is a great place for dim sum in the morning and Zhu Char dishes for lunch and dinner. This restaurant is currently managed by the 5th generation of the family. Their signature dishes include Claypot Seafood, Braised Pork Hand and Stewed Mutton in Claypot.

Tho Yuen Restaurant 桃园茶楼
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Tho Yuen Restaurant is located between the intersection of Campbell Street and Cintra Street. The restaurant serves dim sum in the morning and then a variety of noodles and chicken rice in the afternoon. Besides, they also offer one of the best egg tarts that come with a crisp and thin crust. 

L Kitchen 李月香 粥面饭
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L Kitchen serves authentic Chinese food ranging from noodle to rice and even porridge at very affordable prices. Some of their dishes are worth trying out, such as Indian Style Curry Fish Fillet, Dried Scallop & Minced Pork Porridge with Chinese Coriander Meatball, as well as Spicy & Sour Fish Head Noodles.

IL Bacaro in Campbell House
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IL Bacaro is an authentic Italian restaurant housed in Campbell House. Their menu features a wide selection of Italian cuisine such as pizzas, pasta, grilled dishes and desserts. Besides, there is also a selection of fine wines at this cozy restaurant too. 

Hong Kee Wan Thun Mee 鸿记广式竹昇云吞面
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Some people call it “Hong Kee Bamboo Noodle” as it is a restaurant that specializes in serving handmade traditional bamboo-pressed noodles. Particularly, the chef rides on a bamboo log to press the eggs, flour and other ingredients together to yield the noodles. Their Hong Kong style Wan Thun Mee that topped with shredded char siew and Wan Thun beneath the noodles is definitely their signature. Furthermore, there is an in-house pastry stall that offers freshly baked Hong Kong style pastries. Make sure to try out their Egg Tarts, Buttered Polo Bun, and Honey BBQ Pork Pastry.

Coffee Addict Cafe
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Coffee Addict was previously at Hutton Lane and now it has relocated to Campbell Street. They also expanded their menu which covers breakfast, sandwiches, pasta, snacks, coffee, and desserts. Some of their popular dishes include, Guacamole Bacon on Toast, Open Omelette Pepperoni, and Thai Basil Minced Pork Pasta. In addition, the cafe also offers comfortable seatings for diners to enjoy good food and good coffee.

Trois Canon Cafe 三炮台茶餐厅
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Trois Canon Cafe provides the feeling of classical coffee shops (茶餐厅) in Hong Kong. Without any fancy presentation of the food, this cafe serves authentic and delicious Hong Kong food at affordable prices. Their menu features breakfast, brunch, lunch, tea and also dinner. Although it is very challenging to find parking, the food here is able to satisfy your tummy. 

Hanjan Eatery Soju Bar
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It is most probably the first and only Korean Soju Bar in George Town. Hanjan is a place that serves both Korean food and alcohol. Their food menu features a selection of Korean cuisines such as Kimchi Fried Rice, Korean Rice Cakes, Stir Fried Korean Glass Noodles, as well as Meat Platter. On the other hand, the drinks menu offers a list of Korean-influenced Cocktails and Mocktails, Beers, Wines and Liquors. Some of the food is best paired with Soju and Beer. Additionally, the ambience and atmosphere of Hanjan is too great for gatherings too.

Mun Thung x Soon Huat 满堂 x 顺发
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Mun Thung is the name of the eatery while Soon Huat is a long-established brand in Penang that sells alcohols and liquors. Hence, it is a place with a crossover concept for breakfast and brunch cafe with wine and cigar shop. The interior is simple and their menu is wallet-friendly. Some of the signature dishes are Roasted Pork Dry Noodle, Rendang Chicken Rice and more. Besides, they also offer snacks, toasts and buns, as well as desserts. 

Haru Stationary Cafe
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Haru is a minimalist Muji-inspired cafe. Apart from cafe, it is also a stationary shop especially for those who like journaling. Besides the interior design, the menu is also Japanese inspired. For instance, they are serving Poke Bowls, a series of Liege waffle, cakes and a wide variety of beverages.

Categories
City Guide

Checkout the beautiful Christmas decor in malls around Malaysia

It is Christmas time again, and though we may not have the opportunity to travel, we may enjoy the good vibes locally at the shopping malls.

The malls around our city have begin decorating their premises and there is always this sense of excitement to experience the seasonal vibes with a good photo for our social media.

But always remember to keep ourselves safe and practice social distancing.

Here’s the beautiful decorations of some of the shopping malls around Malaysia that we have curated this year.

Sunway Pyramid
KL East Mall
Mid Valley Megamall
1 Utama
The Gardens Mall
Suria KLCC
Pavilion Kuala Lumpur
Berjaya Times Square
Gurney Plaza, Penang
Queensbay Mall, Penang
Aman Sentral, Kedah

Which shopping mall decoration is your most favourite of all?

Categories
Garden

Houseplants That Is Difficult For You To Kill, So Grow Them

When we talk about environmental sustainability, other than reducing waste and carbon footprints, planting more greens and growing a a garden is one of the way. But with the limited space that we live in now, especially if we stay in an apartment, we can’t plant huge trees. But we can always do our best by growing smaller houseplants. Still, not everyone have green fingers that can grow anything and anywhere.

That is why we curated a list of plants that is difficult for you to kill. Not every plants require green fingers for you to grow. Time to look at the list and make your house greener and fresher!

Epipremnum Aureum / Golden Pothos
houseplants Houseplants That Is Difficult For You To Kill, So Grow Them golden pothos money plant

One of the best plants which can withstand low-light conditions, also known as the golden pothos, it is an easy care vining plant. You can plant it in the soil or even let it grow in vases of water. If you feel like displaying it in different spot in your house, just cut several cuttings, and it grows easily to become another plant.

Snake Plant
houseplants Houseplants That Is Difficult For You To Kill, So Grow Them potted snake plants in modern planters

Snake Plant basically tolerates low-light, but if you gave them more indirect sunlight, it will grow even better. It is also known to purify our air by absorbing toxins through its leaves and producing pure oxygen.

Aglaonema
houseplants Houseplants That Is Difficult For You To Kill, So Grow Them aglaonema chinese evergreen

You prefer other colours rather than a typical green colour plant? Well, you can get the aglaonema. Like most of the houseplants, put it under indirect sunlight, and keep the soil moist, but not too wet.

Dieffenbachia / Dumb Cane
houseplants Houseplants That Is Difficult For You To Kill, So Grow Them dieffenbachia plant potted with new soil into new YRLDE7Q scaled
Repotting plant concept. Dieffenbachia plant potted with new soil into new modern pot, and gardening stylish tools, and old clay pots on wooden floor.

This plant will give your house a tropical look with its leaves able to grow huge. Put the tree in any corner of your house with plenty of indirect sunlight and it will grow healthily.

Ficus Lyrata / Fiddle Leaf Fig
houseplants Houseplants That Is Difficult For You To Kill, So Grow Them repotting fiddle leaf fig tree in big modern pot

Kind of popular nowadays, you can grow it into a tall tree or if you want a smaller one, just trim it. Besides water, make sure you feed it with plenty of sunlight, but not hot sunlight. If you have the patience, wipe the leaves every few weeks, and it will look shiny and healthy.

Ficus Elastica / Rubber Plant
houseplants Houseplants That Is Difficult For You To Kill, So Grow Them rubber fig ficus elastica plant with green leaves

One of the toughest indoor plants, it is able to grow very tall. If you’re a fan of tall houseplants, or you just need to hide some awkward corners, get one of this.

There are definitely more than other houseplants that are easy to grow, but these are the few ones that you can try first. If you want to know more, you can always check us out or drop us a message at Thirsty Gardener.

Categories
Culture

Pantone selects our colour as the 2021 colour of the year

Despite in designers’ standard and precision, it might not be the exact colour of the Scapes, but we just love it when they chose PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating which is so close to ours.

pantone Pantone selects our colour as the 2021 colour of the year Scapes Logo Illuminating Yellow

Pantone, the global colour authority and provider of professional colour language standards and digital solutions for the design community, today announced PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray and PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating, as the Pantone® Colour of the Year selection for 2021, two independent colours that come together to create an aspirational colour pairing, conjoining deeper feelings of thoughtfulness with the optimistic promise of a sunshine filled day.

pantone Pantone selects our colour as the 2021 colour of the year pantone color of the year 2021 homepage 2 1

As people look for ways to fortify themselves with energy, clarity and hope to overcome the continuing uncertainty, spirited and emboldening shades satisfy our quest for vitality. Illuminating is a bright and cheerful yellow sparkling with vivacity, a warming yellow shade imbued with solar power. Ultimate Gray is emblematic of solid and dependable elements which are everlasting and provide a firm foundation. The colors of pebbles on the beach and natural elements whose weathered appearance highlights an ability to stand the test of time, Ultimate Gray quietly assures, encouraging feelings of composure, steadiness and resilience.

“The selection of two independent colors highlight how different elements come together to express a message of strength and hopefulness that is both enduring and uplifting, conveying the idea that it’s not about one color or one person, it’s about more than one. The union of an enduring Ultimate Gray with the vibrant yellow Illuminating expresses a message of positivity supported by fortitude,” said Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute. “Practical and rock solid but at the same time warming and optimistic, this is a color combination that gives us resilience and hope. We need to feel encouraged and uplifted, this is essential to the human spirit.”

About the Pantone Colour of the Year
The Colour of the Year selection process requires thoughtful consideration and trend analysis. To arrive at the selection each year, Pantone’s colour experts at the Pantone Colour Institute comb the world looking for new colour influences. This can include the entertainment industry and films in production, traveling art collections and new artists, fashion, all areas of design, popular travel destinations, as well as new lifestyles, playstyles, and socio-economic conditions. Influences may also stem from new technologies, materials, textures, and effects that impact colour, relevant social media platforms and even up-coming sporting events that capture worldwide attention. For 22 years, Pantone’s Colour of the Year has influenced product development and purchasing decisions in multiple industries, including fashion, home furnishings, and industrial design, as well as product packaging and graphic design. 

Categories
City Guide

Ten Most Popular Photos of @Georgetowncity for November 2020

As we have just published the ten most popular photos of our @KualaLumpurCity instagram for November 2020, this time it is from our @GeorgeTownCity’s instagram account.

Since the CMCO in George Town, Penang has just been lifted, take this opportunity to look at some of this nice photo inspiration to plan for your next domestic travel to Penang.

Here you go, the ten popular ones.

Ken Yue

Creatively framing the tallest building in Penang, KOMTAR, using the old heritage structures in George Town City. There may be only one tall tower in the heritage city, but by snapping the photos creatively, it can always be different.

Tamashiun

The mainland part of Penang is less tourist attractive, but who knows it can make a good site for photos as well. Do we have more nice photos from the mainland?

Yong’s Photography

A drone shot of the Pulau Tikus & Tanjung Tokong which includes the reclamation in progress. We will have a future Gurney Wharf and man-made island in the northeast of the island soon.

Nurhani Jauhar

Religious places are always an attraction in Penang, no matter which religion it is. This one is a floating mosque located at Tanjung Bunga. But before you enter, do adhere to the do’s and don’ts.

Hairilavida

Nope, this is not the Penang bridge. It is the Prai River bridge in Butterworth. The photographer nicely snapped the photo with a beautiful sunset background.

Noah

One of the most notable buildings in George Town City, which has housed the Standard Chartered Bank for over 87 years until they moved out to make way for a co-working space.

Koay Shi Chian

This was probably shot when Penang was at the alert stage of the Covid-19 pandemic, reminding everyone to stay safe and keep social distancing to prevent the virus from spreading to others. Although it might be safer now, we still need to keep each other healthy and strong.

Nazarizal

One of the best shots of the Jambatan Sultan Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah using a drone. We love the tone and the angle that has created by the photographer.

Ming Han

Probably the highest cafe in Penang due to its location on Penang Hill, it is a nice place to sip a cup of coffee while enjoying the nature.

Acah Street

Jalan Kek Chuan has a row of traditional shophouses painted in colourful paints which is interesting enough for a good photoshoot. While some may disagree as it may not be the original colours of the buildings, it certainly has attracted many eyes.

Love the photos of our contributors? Follow our instagram Scapes, Kuala Lumpur City & George Town City for more.

Categories
Food + Drinks

Make your year-end a blast with the Deadset Arvo pop-up dining by Chef Joeri

If you are looking for an awesome dining experience with a good-looking chef to end the year, you must consider to try Deadset Arvo. It is a pop-up dining series by Dutch chef, Joeri Timmermans who have the experience from his time in the kitchens of David Chang’s Momofuku Seiōbo and Automata in Sydney before becoming head chef of Blackwattle in Singapore.

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Image via Joeri Timmersman Instagram

He had already concluded a couple of pop-up within Malaysia, and this time around in December, he is collaborating with New World Petaling Jaya Hotel with a blend of Eastern and Western cuisines for three days.

The pop-up will be held from 11-13 December at the hotel’s Residence Club Living Room at Level 29. Besides enjoying the good food of Chef Joeri, the diners will be treated to eclectic pairings curated by Ngie Kok Kiong, PJ’s Bar & Grill’s mixologist.

Make sure you’ve done making the bookings on these dates:

11 & 12 December | 7pm onwards RM550 nett per person

13 December | 12pm onwards RM550 nett per person

For more information or to make reservations, call 010-2163 810 or email marketing.petalingjaya@newworldhotels.com

Categories
City Guide

Ten Most Popular Photos of @KualaLumpurCity For November 2020

If some of you may now know yet, @kualalumpurcity at Instagram is part of our social media tribe. Thanks to the support of our contributors, followers and the audiences, we have a fun time curating good photos of Kuala Lumpur and its surrounding cities.

Therefore, we are doing a compilation of the ten most popular photos from the Kuala Lumpur City’s instagram account for the month of November 2020. We are selecting it based on the number of reach, likes and engagement.

Well, this is not a competition, so we do not rank the photos accordingly and it is in random order. And here’s the ten photos, enjoy.

Desy Wulandari

Made popular by street art, this streets near to Bukit Bintang was one of the dark and dirty alleys. Now it has turned so colourful, bright and full of positive vibes that so many Malaysians and tourists just have to be there for a good Instagram photo.

AcahStreet

Looks like it is from a science fiction movie, which only the photographer knows which part of the city this exactly belongs at.

Aereon Wong

We will never grow bored of such a view of our beautiful city; showcasing our skyscrapers, towers, and development.

Adam Eusoff

Scenes of the city can be interesting, snapping photos and putting the moving cars at still in a photo. Sometimes we’ll never know what we snap until we view it carefully. As Forrest Gump says, “Life is like a box of chocolates, we’ll never know what we get.”

Adrian

Simply a different perspective of the Batu Caves’ colourful stairs. Never thought that a shot using a drone from up above can be interesting.

Syafiq Jasni

Another shot showing off our amazing city, and its nightscape. A little bit of editing and tweaking it makes it perfect!

Fariz Baron

We can’t wait for the new skyscraper to be fully operational. Our city, lovely.

RJ

We can’t have concrete jungle all throughout our city, we still need the green lungs to still function and maintain the air quality. It is all about sustainable development.

Fahmy Remy

We find Kuala Lumpur perfect as it is with the preservation of the older parts of the city. The old buildings sure have a lot of stories to tell us.

Amir

Looking at the three tall ones at Kuala Lumpur City, admiring the beauty with a perfect skyline.

Our team simply enjoy curating awesome photos of cities. We hope this photos will share the good vibes to every one of our readers; and let us pass it on to the people around us.

Categories
Street Stories

Street Stories: Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling

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Story of the Street

Pitt Street or Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling is one of the oldest roads in George Town. It was laid out after Light Street. It was named after William Pitt the Younger, the Prime Minister of Great Britain when Penang was founded in 1786. The street is called Koan-im-têng-chêng (观音亭前) in Hokkien which meant in front of the Goddess of Mercy Temple. Meanwhile, some locals call it Yâh-kha-kay (椰角街) which meant the street under the coconut grove. In the past, there was a large police station in front of the temple. Thus, Toā-ba-laí is another name of the street, which meant big police station. The street has been officially renamed as Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling since the 1990s.

The nickname of Pitt Street is the Street of Harmony as there are four different places of worship located within metres of one another along the street. The Kapitan Keling Mosque was built in 1801. While British administrators and Europeans resided at the northern end of Pitt Street, St. George’s Church was built in 1816. Meanwhile the Chinese built the Kong Hock Keong Temple, which is also known as the Goddess of Mercy Temple in the early 18th century. Then, the Hindus also constructed the Sri Mahamariamman Temple in 1833. The nickname also reflects the harmonious coexistence of various religions and cultures that have lived here for centuries.

As the Indian Muslim part of town, there are numerous of Indian Muslim eateries around the area. Meanwhile, there is also a row of Indian Muslim jewellery shops upon crossing Chulia Street. George Town’s money changers are a close-knit Indian Muslim community with about a third of them originating from the same village in India. Hence, there are a number of money changers along Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling too.

Significant Buildings

Kapitan Keling Mosque

Kapitan Keling Mosque is the oldest and largest mosque in George Town. The Penang’s first Indian Muslim settlers (East Indian Company troops) built it in 1801. The Indo-Moorish structured complex is surrounded by low walls and topped with Moghul-style copper domes. The mosque was named after the ‘Kapitan’ of the Keling (a leader of the South Indian community similar to the leader of the Chinese community), Cauder Mohuddeen Merican. It was once used as Penang’s state mosque when the construction of the Penang State Mosque at Air Itam road took place in the 1970s. The mosque was originally a small single storey brick mosque. Over the years, the mosque has been expanded many times to its present scale, the largest mosque in George Town, Penang. 

St. George’s Church
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St. George’s Church is a 19th century Anglican church. It is the oldest Anglican church in Southeast Asia. Convict labour from East India Company built the church in 1817. The Church was built with a combination of Neoclassical, Georgian and English Palladian architecture styles. Furthermore, the interior is pastel blue with marble floors. Besides, there is an elegant Victorian style pavilion outside the main building on the church ground as a memorial to Sir Francis Light. Hence, the St. George’s Church is one of the most impressive colonial buildings in George Town. 

Goddess of Mercy Temple
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The Goddess of Mercy Temple is also known as Kuan Yin Teng or Kong Hock Keong (Cantonese-Hokkien Temple). It is the oldest Chinese temple and also one of the most important temples in Penang. It was built in 1728 through the joint efforts of the early Chinese settlers, especially the Hokkien and Cantonese communities. Besides religious purposes, the temple is also used for social functions until the establishment of the Penang Chinese Town Hall. The temple was originally dedicated to Mazu, a sea goddess worshipped by the Hokkiens. Then, the temple’s main deity was changed from Mazu to Guan Yin when the temple underwent renovation in 1824. Additionally, the temple is also one of the most magnificent Chinese architecture style structures in northern Malaysia. 

Penang Chinese Town Hall
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Penang Chinese Town Hall was established in 1881. It was originally intended to resolve the controversy between the Hokkien and Cantonese communities. Besides, Penang’s Chinese merchants founded Penang Chinese Town Hall in order to take over the economic and social functions of the Kuan Yin Teng Temple. In the 1980s, it was rebuilt into its current 12-storey office block. Meanwhile, it also plays an active role through involvement in Chinese cultural events until today.

Sri Mahamariamman Temple

The Arulmigu Sri Mahamariamman Temple was built in 1833. It is the oldest Hindu temple in Penang. Moreover, it is a typical example of Hindu architecture, built in the south Indian Dravidian style. It is located on Queen Street and the back entrance is on Pitt Street (Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling). In addition, it is dedicated to the Hindu deity, Sri Muthu Mariamman, which is considered a motherly power figure, a goddess of mercy and patron deity of the peasants of southern India. 

The Star Office
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The Star Office is tucked within a colonial three-storey building. It was first used as a godown and a dispensary for the distribution of opium and alcohol in 1906. The property was later owned by a millionaire from Penang, Loh Boon Siew. He then opened Malaysia’s first Honda showroom within the building. In 1971, The Star (Malaysia’s most popular English-language newspaper) was founded in George Town with the building as its headquarters. Since then, the building has been known as The Star Office. After that, The Star’s headquarters was moved to Petaling Jaya and its Penang head office to Bayan Lepas. Its reporters are still using The Star Office. The building now provides space for Areca Books, the Penang Philharmonic Orchestra, a resource centre and an exhibition centre.    

Where to Stay

Broadway Budget Hotel  
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Broadway Budget Hotel is located within the Little India area and Chinatown. It is clean, tidy and includes all the necessary facilities. It offers a contemporary, quiet and comfortable place to stay. For instance, the room types cover from Standard Room to Triple Room, which could accommodate up to 5 people in a room. In addition, some of the rooms even provide views of the city or Swettenham Pier.

Red Inn Court
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Red Inn Court is a boutique eco-guesthouse located in the UNESCO World Heritage Site. “Every stay becomes a memorable experience” characterises the hospitality one can expect from Red Inn Court. They offer two main types of rooms which are King & Queen Rooms and Two & Dormitory Rooms. However, only Queen Rooms come with an ensuite shower and toilet while other rooms come with shared showers/ toilets. 

What to See

Street Art: “Bullock Cart Wheel” Sculpture
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The “Bullock Cart Wheel” Sculpture was installed in 2012. This sculpture at Pitt Street is based on a cartoonist Reggie Lee for the “Marking of George Town” project. The description of the sculpture is: “In the days when your money could be “as big as a bullock cart wheel”, this was a popular rest stop for the limousines of the time.”

This “Bullock Cart Wheel” sculpture provides two different historical insights. Pitt Street was where bullock carts used to park during the early 20th century. The second insight is about the ½-cent Straits Settlement coin which is an idiom in Penang Hokkien. Bullock Cart Wheel (Gu-chia-lean) means a stingy person, whose ½-cent is the size of the bullock cart wheel.

Street Art: “Tok Tok Mee” Sculpture
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The “Tok Tok Mee” Sculpture is located at the junction of Pitt Street with China Street, facing the Goddess of Mercy Temple. It is captured by a cartoonist, Tang Mun Kian in the caricature for Sculpture at Work. The description of the sculpture is: “Tok tok mee is so called because hawkers would strike a ‘tok tok’ sound to signal their presence.” The sculpture tells how the itinerant hawkers of wanton mee, which is also known as tok tok mee, announce their arrival.

Gerakbudaya Bookshop
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Gerakbudaya Bookshop is a small independent bookstore located in a row of shophouses along Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling. Founded by Gareth Richards, a researcher, writer and editor, the bookstore opened in 2014. Apart from the large chain bookstores which offer popular titles, Gerakbudaya focuses on literary fiction, poetry, translations and titles from smaller, independent publishers. The team is very passionate about books that matter. Hence, they have a collection of over 6,000 titles in stock ranging from books about Penang, current affairs, politics, to arts and culture, lifestyle and even Southeast Asian studies. In 2018, the second bookshop is opened at Beach Street. The new Gerakbudaya Bookshop concentrates more on non-fiction titles.

What to Eat

Nasi Kandar Beratur

As its name suggests, there is always a queue at the stall. But do you know that the official name for this Nasi Kandar Beratur is Restoran Liyaqatali? It is one of the most popular nasi kandar stalls in Penang. This restaurant offers an extensive selection of dishes ranging from beef kurma, fried chicken to squid curry. Meanwhile, there are actually two different managements at the same stall. Nasi Kandar Beratur starts at 10pm until early morning while another team operates during the day.

Nasi Kandar Imigresen

Besides Nasi Kandar Beratur, there are a few spots that are not so famous but serve equally great Nasi Kandar in the city centre. For instance, Nasi Kandar Imigresen located at Lorong Pasar, off Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling. Just like any other Nasi Kandar, it serves fried chicken, cabbage and various curries with mild spiciness. In addition, the price is considered relatively wallet-friendly too.

Fok Kee Food Centre
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Fok Kee Food Centre is a Chinese coffee shop which was previously known as Jolly Cafe. This restaurant serves Chinese cooked meals. For instance, the dishes include fish head curry, sweet & sour pork, claypot soy sauce pork and more.

Hai Beng Lor Mee
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This Hainan lor mee stall claims to have been operating since 1957. It is located in Hai Beng Coffee Shop, which is across Stewart Lane from the Goddess of Mercy Temple. Their broth is the speciality that attracts lots of patrons in the area. The broth here is less sticky compared to those we usually had. In addition, it has a tangy and nice spiced taste.   

Bean Sprout Cafe
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Bean Sprout Cafe is located right opposite of the Goddess of Mercy Temple. This two-storey cafe has a strong rustic vibe from its exterior to interior. Though the price is slightly higher, the menu offers a wide range of western cuisines and good coffee. For instance, their best sellers include Avocado Toast 3 Ways, Avocado Pesto Spaghetti top with Avocado chips, Classic Pancake and more. Moreover, it’s an Instagram-worthy cafe to chill and hang out with friends and family.

Cafe Little Angel
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This is a nice place that offers cheap local and western food. It is a small restaurant with no outside seating, no inside frills. They offer a very wide selection of Chinese dishes such as Fried Rice, Claypot Mee, Penang Laksa, Hokkien Mee, and even English Breakfast. The atmosphere is rather authentic as many Chinese locals would have their breakfast or brunch here.

Watch the video version of Street Stories below.