Beach Street, George Town

Beach Street, George Town

Beach Street was created soon after the founding of Penang by Captain Francis Light in 1786. The concentration of Malaysian and international banks on Beach Street has made George Town the financial nexus of northern Malaysia.

Beach Street started out as a coastal road on the eastern shoreline of George Town. Because of land reclamation in the 19th century, the street has shifted further inland. The eastern coastal road is now Weld Quay. Beach Street may be the oldest road in Penang. It is older than some cities of Malaysia and older than Singapore.

From the beginning, Beach Street has been the financial heart of George Town. The street was literally at the port, convenient to vessels from the British East India Company and regional traders from China, India and the Malay archipelago. To this day it is George Town's Central Business District.

Most of the international banks of Penang are here. The Chartered Bank of India opened its doors here in 1875. Since then quite a few banks and mercantile institutions have set up shop on Beach Street.

Among the landmark buildings on Beach Street are: Palladian Art Deco Standard Chartered built in 1930; HSBC, rebuilt as Art Deco in 1948; Neoclassical Penang State Islamic Council built in 1905; The Art Deco OCBC Building built in 1938; the Victorian 1886 Building; the Victorian Logan Building built in 1883; and India House, another Art Deco building built in 1937.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in George Town. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Beach Street on Map

Sight Name: Beach Street
Sight Location: George Town, Malaysia (See walking tours in George Town)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in George Town, Malaysia

Create Your Own Walk in George Town

Create Your Own Walk in George Town

Creating your own self-guided walk in George Town is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
George Town Introduction Walking Tour

George Town Introduction Walking Tour

Some felt in Malaya that the city of George Town should be renamed Tanjung Penaga ("Cape Penaga"). That was the name of the area where George Town now stands. But the Chinese, British, Muslim, Malay and Indian movers and shakers of the town wisely declined. It might be bad for business.

Captain Francis Light, R. N., came to Tanjung Penaga in 1786. He wanted to set up an entrepôt for...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.3 Km or 2.1 Miles
Farquhar Street Walking Tour

Farquhar Street Walking Tour

The Farquhar Street is home to a number of interesting historic buildings and other heritage sites. In fact, it has been listed by UNESCO as a world heritage site since 2008. Here you can see the Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion, the St. Xavier school and the Protestant Cemetery, where Francis Light's tomb is located. While you’re here, take this self-guided walking tour to admire the beautiful...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.4 Km or 1.5 Miles
George Town's Historical Religious Buildings

George Town's Historical Religious Buildings

George Town has much to be proud of when it comes to religious heritage, as the city has a host of wonderful churches, temples, mosques and other religious centers. Each is beautifully decorated and has its own unique story to tell. Check out the most interesting historical religious edifices in the city with this self-guided walking tour.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.8 Km or 1.1 Miles