Padang Kota Lama

Padang Kota Lama of Penang: Aesthetic and Pedestrian-friendly old Town

by Salsabila Nasution
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Padang Kota Lama of Penang is an aesthetic old town with vintage buildings and festivals. This is where you can just walk from one street to another and still get to enjoy everything. Fortunately, there are lots of crossroads and sideways to walk on, making it a very Pedestrian-friendly destination. With sophisticated architectures all over the town, this place is also full of Interesting History.

Location of Padang Kota Lama of Penang and how to get there

Padang Kota Lama which was once called the Esplanade road is located in Jalan Padang Lama, Penang, Malaysia. The famous Padang Lama road connects Jalan Tun Syed Sheh Barakbah and Light Street. It was once a dirt path along this road, but now it is easily accessible even by bicycle. If you wonder about public transportation, there is Rapid Penang bus shuttle that you can take for free. Just go down at station number 5 which will stop at Bank Negara. The road you are looking will be next to the bank.

The Esplanade

Padang Kota Lama
The ocean facing the esplanade

Not to confuse with Esplanade in Singapore, The Esplanade in Malaysia is a waterfront which offers a nice scene of the blue ocean. Esplanade is one of the most important places in the history of Penang. Francis Light, which was the captain of British East Indian Company, landed in 1786. The British army then built a military fort which is now Fort Cornwallis that you can visit as a historical site. In the 1970s, some people try to make this place lively by bringing local music bands to perform. As to entertain the public, the place then attracted many more visitors.

But before you come to visit Esplanade, plan it ahead on special days where they held various festivals. Most of the festivals are free admission so you really need to take the chance. The theme of the festival is “A Festival for Everyone’ where they will introduce you to the local cultures. The festivals held annually for 16 days where you can enjoy theatre, dance, opera, live music, to movies in The Esplanade. The first festival was in 2010 to celebrate the city as the UNESCO World Heritage List. Not only that, the show sometimes includes international performers such as in The Extravaganza event where they invited professional ballerinas. So try to visit when they have the festivals with absolutely no admission fee!

Vintage Architectures

Padang Kota Lama

What makes Padang Kota Lama even more special is the sophisticated architecture from the British Colonial Era. The government decided to keep the buildings around. It is just recently that the government started to fund and renovate the buildings and it turns into tourists attraction to this day. The buildings reflect the 171 years of British presence here. There are several other buildings which have British-styled architecture, such as the famous City Hall and the other Queen Victoria Diamond Jubilee Clocktower, in Georgetown. It is the time where you can feel like back in 1700.

Read more: Kek Lok Si Temple: Largest Buddhist Temple in Malaysia

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