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Pinang Tunggal railway bridge

Triumph of modern British engineering in a remote corner of Seberang Perai

Pinang Tunggal railway bridge © Adrian Cheah

For almost an entire century folks at a rural northeastern quarter of Seberang Perai called Pinang Tunggal were familiar with a solid black-coloured wrought iron bridge that hulked over the Muda River. 

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British-Siam boundary stone

A forlorn and fascinating remnant of Penang’s age-old border intrigue

Siam-British boundary stone © Adrian Cheah

Who would have thought that one of the oldest and most significant relics of Penang’s ancient border politics would lie quietly, undisturbed in the open, at a far-flung and unknown corner of the state for more than a hundred years?

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Tow Boo Kong Temple

An epic edifice where gods descend on Earth

Tow Boo Kong Temple by Adrian Cheah

This is the most famous place of worship in Raja Uda, and indeed in the whole of Seberang Perai. The intricately designed Tow Boo Kong Temple sited on the northern end of Jalan Raja Uda was built in honour of the Nine Emperor Gods. 

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Public artworks and murals

Unleashing creative energies in the urban realm

Art at Jalan Raja Uda

Jalan Raja Uda may be better known for its food, festivals, temples and streetscapes, but of late a series of fresh creative expressions of art have burst into the scene, adding another novel layer of fascination to the area.

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Pantai Robina seafront promenade

The surprising and little-known urban coastal public park of Butterworth

Pantai Robina

Penangites are very familiar with popular beachside recreational sites for the public in several urban areas on the island. They know of Gurney Drive, the Esplanade, Karpal Singh Drive and Queensbay. Few people, however, are aware of Pantai Robina on the mainland.

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Guan Yin Ting Dou Mu Gong Temple

A marvellous blend of aesthetics and mythology from ancient China

Guan Yin Ting Dou Mu Gong Temple

Flaunting vibrant and scintillating traditional architecture, this new major religious landmark constructed in 2015 is also remarkable in that it features two main divine maternal deities – the Guan Yin Ting (Goddess Kuan Yin) and the Dou Mu Gong (Goddess Tou Mu Kung).

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Wat Photichareantam

A historic Buddhist sanctuary gifted by the Siamese of Butterworth

Wat Photichareantam by Adrian Cheah

Located in Sungai Puyu, north of the Raja Uda area, this tranquil and idyllic Siamese temple is nestled amid a lush and peaceful setting, away from the bustle of Butterworth town. 

It was built prior to the Second World War by the Siamese community that once thrived here. Today it is among a handful of other Siamese religious temples and monasteries in the state of Penang, including others in Penanti and Bukit Mertajam on the mainland, and at Burma Road on the island. These were the places where there were important Siamese settlements that have now either dwindled or disappeared.

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Cafes, restaurants, markets places and hawker stalls

Potpourri of delicacies, pub grubs and more, all in one single thoroughfare

Food at Jalan Raja Uda

While Penang island is better known as a food paradise among tourists and local Malaysians alike, the exciting and spectacular gastronomic fare along the 3.5km stretch of Jalan Raja Uda has been a secret hitherto known and appreciated only by Butterworth folks. The diversity of mostly Chinese and western choices available here makes it among the most alluring food destinations in the northern region. These include an array of vegetarian cuisine due to the presents of prominent Toaist and Buddhist temples in the area.

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Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

A humble and enduring Catholic icon of Malaysia

Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Passing by Jalan New Ferry, one cannot help but be struck by the charming sight of a humble wooden church building which has existed here since the parish’s inception in 1935. The first Rev Father J.B. Souhait, priest of the Church of the Assumption in George Town, oversaw its construction to provide spiritual support for Catholics and educational facilities for all on the mainland.

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