Flowers of Cambodia & Malaysia

Melbourne Time

Malaysia Time

Click On Your Flag To Translate

Malaysia and Cambodia


This is about my upcoming trip to Malaysia and Cambodia. The first part is pre-trip - information about flights, itineraries, accommodation and all the things that you need to do to plan an overseas holiday. This is my first trip to Asia and I hope it may help others. Comments are very welcome and anyone who has travelled to Malaysia and/or Cambodia, please feel free to comment and offer any advice or tips that you think would be helpful. As of today ( 28th February) , in exactly 11 days (minus 30 minutes) I will be in Kuala Lumpur.

I had the most amazing time and hope you enjoy reading about my trip. Each post is numbered and I'm doing them in order from start to finish - a little like a diary.



73. Georgetown Walk and Komtar

Walk down Penang Road
The evening before I had only seen Penang Road by night, today I saw it in daylight. I had to go to Komtar to book my bus ticket to Tanah Rata, (this I was told was the only place you could get them) and so I combined a bit of sight-seeing. One place I really wanted to see was the Church of St. Francis Xavier.

Above: Church of St. Francis Xavier
It was getting pretty warm by the time I arrived here and I sat on the steps in the shade for a bit. I liked the clean lines and the pretty garden in front.

Church History
The church was founded in 1852, by Father Francis Xavier Hob and named after the "Apostle of the Indies",
St Francis Xavier, who brought Christianity to Malacca in the 16th century. The Godfrey family donated the land that the church's foundation lies upon and it was built for the Tamil-speaking Catholics in Penang.

The original church building was completed in 1867, along with the presbytery and a school. It is located at the end of a driveway leading from the Catholic Information Centre at Penang Road. Within the same complex is the St Joseph's Orphanage and a school. The present church building was completed in 1952. The Grummit Family from England offered financial support including purchasing the land for the church building.

Above: Church Interior
I really liked the interior with its high roof and light, airy feel. The simplicity is in my opinion, very suited to the climate and has an aura of calm - a place to come in and sit while cooling down from the heat outside.

Recent History
In 1988, the Church of St Francis Xavier was amalgamated with the Church of Our Lady of Sorrows and the Church of St John Britto, to form the City Parish of Penang. In 2007, the Church of St Francis Xavier celebrated its 150th anniversary of the original structure.

A short distance behind the church is the Catholic cemetery, which is adjacent to the Protestant cemetery of Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah. Buried at the Catholic cemetery are the nuns of the Holy Infant Jesus who founded the girls school of Convent Light Street.

It was fortunate for me that I visited St. Francis Xavier's Church when I did, for after taking several photos and having a good look around, when I came outside a man said he was locking the Church for the day.

Bus Ride
I caught the bus to take me to Komtar but it was a dirty, smelly and not a nice area. After several attempts for information on where to purchase my ticket, I finally found the right one - G.S.M. and booked my ticket which was 38MYR. I had to find a bank and an EFTPOS machine as GSM only took credit cards with the micro chip - mine didn't have one. (I must see about getting the new version).
Wandering around for a bit I took the following shots.

Above: Local street
I like this arch and the prescence of trees. This is Campbell Street (or Lebuh Campbell) which is a street within the buffer zone of the George Town Unesco World Heritage Site and was named after the Penang Inspector General (1866-1891) Sir George William Robert Campbell, who was also the acting Lieutenant-Governor of Penang between 1872 and 1873. It used to run from Pitt Street, which was much older.

Past History
The locals called it Sin Kay, meaning "new street". During the third quarter of the 19th century and into the 20th century, it was a red-light district, lined with brothels that advertise themselves by hanging red lanterns at their doors. The term "sin kay" acquired a whole new meaning, as a pun to mean "fresh hookers", in reference to the newly arrived prostitutes, many of whom were Cantonese.

Campbell Street Today
In the mid 20th century, Campbell Street had become the most important shopping street for the locals. It is the place to shop for clothes, watches and shoes. The business began to decline by the mid 70's. Today most of the retail outlets have been taken over by wholesalers.

Above: Architecture
This building is on the corner of Phee Choon Road and Penang Road and I liked the classical lines with its columns, fan window and decorative architecture.

Above: Thye Guan Tong Ong Kongsi
Since returning home, it was only today I found out the name of this temple which is in Penang Road. The Thye Guan Tong Ong Kongsi, is a clan temple - Ong Kongsi is the clan association of the Min Hokkien bearing the Ong surname. The original Min Hokkien Ong ancestral temple was established in 1891 and was built by the sea in Jelutong, with an extension into the Kin Jiu Pah (banana grove, or banana jungle). The present clan temple, the Seh Ong Kongsi, is located on a 30,827 sq ft plot at 436 Penang Road. It was purchased in 1894, and faces Komtar.

The clan temple was built through the donation from three brothers, Han Teng, Han Chong and Han Siew, at a cost of $41,000. On completion in 1900, the temple was named the Min Hokkien Ong Kongsi, or Kai Meng Ong Beow and is dedicated to the pioneer king who led the Chinese across the sea to settle in the Nanyang, or Southern Seas, during the late Tang Dynasty, thus becoming the first ruler, or ong, of the Hokkien State.

The Ong Kongsi registered itself in 1904 as the Thye Guan Tong Ong Kongsi and the Ong Si Thye Guan Tong. A pair of granite lions for the entrance were donated by Ong Chin Teik in 1905. An extension was built on the left, at a cost of $18,000, in 1916 and a wall was built on the right in 1918.

Back to the Hotel
By the time this photo was taken the time was nearly 1 o'clock and I had made an appointment for a Thai massage at the hotel for 1.30pm, so I caught a taxi which was 10MYR. Had a quick shower (the humidity requires at least two or three a day)
then it was down to the floor for some therapy. It cost 84MYR - an unheard of price compared to at home. I must say the lady who performed the massage was stronger than any male masseur - I had to beg her to stop at times, it was a but painful. But oh, was she good. This was the first Thai massage I'd had and it was marvelous the way the whole body is massaged - right down to your feet and ankles to your little finger.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...