Balik Pulau Town Center Revisited

It was found that the old agricultural town of Balik Pulau was established in the 1790s by the British East India Company. Located at the southwest of Penang Island, Balik Pulau is a Malay name which refers to ‘the back of the island’ in Malay. The town was so named due to its location situated at the western side of the Penang Island, separated from George Town by the island’s central hills. The British East India Company at that time established the first clove and nutmeg plantations in the area, hoping to turn Penang island as the center for spice production in Southeast Asia and competing against the Dutch monopoly of the spice trade during that period.

Campbell Street Facades


Campbell Street is one of the popular streets in George Town and is accessible from Penang Road and a number of other smaller streets. The street was found to be named after the Penang Inspector General Sir George William Robert Campbell, who was also the acting Lieutenant-Governor of Penang between 1872 and 1873. Also called “Sin Kay” in Hokkien by the locals, this street now becomes a shopping street for the locals and tourists to shop for various items such as food produces, clothing, bags, watches and shoes. Several cafes have also opened for business along this street. This is evident by the number of signboards leaning out from the shophouses along the street.