Campbell Street



Any stories/experiences to share? Use the form below:-


Anthony Khong<>

Can anyone remember the kite flying in Madras Lane in the early sixty. I had many happy hours flying and fighting the kites as well as chasing after them. the blue sky practically filled with kites of various sizes, especially after school in the afternoon. Till this day I still treasure this vivid memory in Madras Lane. It was also where I went to my primary school called Hu Yew Seah and next to the school was a coconut oil refinary. I wonder are they still in existence? Good pictures of Campbell Street where my dad used to work as an accountant in Tai Meng Jewellery Shop in the seventies. Keep up the good work. All the best. Anthony

Victor Lim<>

I was born in one of the shop houses in campbells street, grew up there, Ive been away from home for almost 8 years... everytime I look at the pictures of campbell street online, makes me feel lost, and homesick, its really crazy to see people u know in the pictures. Childhood memories flash through my mind like crazy, I miss all the people, the people selling 'KO TEH' or herbal tea, the indian shop (Taj Mahal), and 'Tuah Chun' coffee shop where my grandpa and dad used to have breakfast. Market place, textile shops etc. Life is simple and GREAT!! NOTHING should be changed, no building should be renovated or tear down... we had lots of festivals and religious ceremony along the road, Tipusum (forgot how to spell it), flower festival (remember it when I was like 12), Chinese New year used to be so fun on the road until houses starts ta get burned down... Im in the US now (Michigan), finished my Bachelor's degree in Biomedical Science, specializing in both Virology and Immunology, going for my PhD in Immunochemistry. Looking back at those days, remembering that I was just another kid that grew up on campbell street like all others running across roads with so many cars, and playing with stray dogs and cats just bring tears to my eyes, Ive never ever thought that I will make it to College... God Bless Penang and Campbell street.


Can someone tell me if the jewellery store on 41 Campbell Street still exist? I live in Canada. I came to Penang on vacation 25 years ago. On this day, 25 years ago, my life has changed forever. Do you believe in love, destiny, fate? I met this guy in Penang. He took me out for dinner. I didn't remember too much about what we ate for dinner, but I certainly remembered our conversations. He took me site seeing around the city: visit local open markets, dancing in the night club, drove up to the mountain at night, dinner at Rasa Sayan hotel, stroll along the beach at night... and the snake temple. He was a gentleman, soft spoken and "Cary Grant" manner. I felt so safe being with him. 2 months later, I had to go back to Canada. I was planning to tell him that night that I would be leaving in a couple days. He took me to dinner and asked me to stay and marry him. I was shocked ...didn't know what to say and how to respond. Even though we had a great time, he was a wonderful man, but I was way too young (I wanted to finish my college degree in Canada). I guest I was too shock and he was too disappointed, we did not think about exchanging addresses. I came back to Canada. Today, I am still single. For 25 years, everyday wondering how he was doing.

Mun Ching<>

I always enjoy the old shophouses so I don't actually mind if Campbell street does not become some major shopping centre. Usually, when this happens, the shopkeepers start selling real junk at grossly inflated prices. It is great now - despite being described as 'shopping centre of yore'.I felt really unhappy when a McDonalds and a Watsons took over pre-war shophouses in KL Chinatown. You don't want that to happen in Campbell.

Peter Welk<>

Hello everybody! I'd like to invite anybody who's interested (especially the maker of this page) to the presentation of an evaluation of Campbell Street Mall I've conducted with a friend in the past three months in cooperation with Penang Heritage Trust. Venue: Syed Alatas Mansion at 128 Armenian Street See you then, Peter Ps: Good idea with the page! Thanks


Hardly get a Parking space. Campbell Street is located in the heart of Penang and it is a great location for a shopping centre. It could be improve if the goverment do something for it. There is a will, there is a way! All the best to Penang!


i'm a penang boy and from my view penang is a choice of staying place.great plcs especially town area

S.B. Koay<>

It would be tough for Campbell St. to compete with the shooping malls, if you ask me. What the place needs is something unique. Perhaps open air bistros and other attractions not found in Penang would help.

BJ Chong<>

A mall concept for business can only be sustained by locals what with all the modern airconditioned lower priced supermarkets ? Left as it is, its pathethetic.The steel arch... what is it to represent? Do it as a chinatown concept of St Fran or something. But wait. We love Penang,those living abroad and as I look at those pictures which are nostalgic of days when I would drive my mother and later my wife to do their shopping,I ponder at the thought of shall we be sentimental slobs to want to see presevation to suit our alto ego? No we must also be realistic and offer our two bits worth. We need to preserve our heritage,yes,those buildings will be demolished in many parts of the world, save some southern cities of China. The State Government should hold a carnival to commemorate events there, religious festivals, some permanent floats depicting cultural heritage, stores should be encouraged to cater to tourists or returning tourists.Clean modern eating stalls etc.Added incentives should be given for vendors locating there for some export orientated crafts. We need to have the resolve to do all that if we want to preseve whats left of it. Good work Kayes, highlighting it to us. .


Good pics once again :) Several people have mentioned "singapore & hong kong"--surely you would not want Penang to look like them??? Singapore has become so sterile that I will never go there again & frankly it's boring.

John Ong<>

Wow, I didn't realize so many things changed just within 3 years. I think the idea is good, the "Mall Concept" that is. And the success of the project is greatly influenced by the attitude of the people. As someone being away from the wonderful state of Penang, I'd say, the concept is awesome, and none of us should make this project fail. Most of the stores in your picture collection, I've either seen or been in. The original look and most of the merchandise are still in their very original state, which I think is great. Many foreigners are attracted to these kinda stores, and I can understand. Being away from the country and Penang especially makes me treassure her a whole bunch more. The culture, atmosphere, quality of the products, and the tradition are priceless. I regretted not taking all those closer to my heart when I was closer to them. But if you're closer to it, try try to think again, and you'd probably appreciate them more than you think you do. Don't take things! f! ! or granted. To me personally, it will be a success. And a whole lot is due to my experience outside of Penang, that brought me to realization how lucky I was to have such a rich tradition and culture of Penang, and a very unique one if I may. If you're in Penang, contribute your part by just appreciating what's in front of you. Will do my part in 2001, seems so long!

Florence Lee<>

It is surprising how much Campbell street has changed. It is a pleasant surprise at the positive steps that had been taken to rev up Campbell Street's image. The chairs and paved road (as seen from pics above) are nice additions. But I must do pose some doubt on the aesthetic quality of those structures. A steel gate and stone slab ? Hmmm... what a mix-match of old and new. It would be great if it had been some more artistically pleasant objects.


hmm... were there protests, kayes? couldn't remember. protests from the shopkeepers you mean? but i thought they were the one who were all for the idea of turning campbell street into a pedastrian mal???. er... not close to traffic? methinks the mall is close to traffic on certain parts only and on certain time. i do remember reading some say on those 'futuristic looking steel structure' seats. many people complained that this kind of seats are not suitable for our weather. when it is hot and you decided to rest your bum on 'em 'futuristic looking steel structure' seats, whoosh!! it would be like you are sitting on burning embers; and when it is cold, you'll have cool ice meeting your bum. these seats are just not appropriate for our weather and outdoor use. i think that's why they came up with those cement slabs eh... but from a futuristic look to a... er... doomsday look?... they look like miniature coffins! LOL. btw, the reason the authorities gave for that kind of 'futuristic looking steel structures' was that this kind of seat will prevent beggars and vagabonds from using them as their bed! anyway, apart from the 'seaty' complain, i agree with john ong the mall is a good idea. campbell street area used to be the hive of shopping long ago before the coming of 'skycrappers' shopping centres like komtar, gama, bj complex. their business were badly affected with the mushrooming of those shopping centres. in a way, it is good to see the government doing something to help revivie their businesses. another thing, most of the shophouses in campbell street are old shophouses of pre-war era, and these are our heritage buildings which tourists look forward to rather than tall skyscrappers which they can find in their homelands. well, campbell street shopping mall should be listed in the hotel's recommendation of tourist spot!

Yam Wai Meng<>

Good job Kayes,I have been waiting for the pics of Campbell Street for a few months coz when I left Penang,the project has not completed yet. Thanks! But I think if really to revive the golden days of Campbell Street like during the 60's,we need to have more branded stuff there too.Not too fancy until like Orchard Road in Singapore but something to attract both locals and foreigners to drop by the place all year round instead of just a few days during the carnival.It's a cruel fact but true indeed to help stimulate business at the area. Nowadays,I only go to Campbell Street for food at night,beg and lugage if I need them,home made biscuits and cookies and cakes and that's all.Things there are really compartible and worth buying.But when you talk about following the trend,then........... I hope everyone in Campbell Street can do something about this so that the money spent by the state government won't turn into making another "white elephant".

John Lyon<>

Has anybody asked the locals how they feel about the new arrangement? While it is great for us "ferringhi" to lok back with nostalgia to the old Campbell St., the Wet Market.etc. thre are those for whom the changes may mean a better economic environment, better business, better profits. The true Penangite is a business first and last!

Eric Woo<>

It's better don't let the cars drive in the street and put more store along the street

Trish Dredge<>

no not in my opinion progress is progress however one would have thought thast it could have been done mire sensitive we all know what happened in Singapore The beautry of Campbell St was the "originality feeling free fom western moderism The parking meters are just the worst icon of western culture even in Adelaide my home town they are now at the end of an area and one must 'WALK" to purchase a ticket however the ugliness has gone

Ooi Foo Kim<>

It is a good idea but the merchandise for sale do not look to attract the tourists???? If the shops can change themselves (hopefully with some subsidy from the govt) to suit the pedestrian mall, it would be great!!!

Chury Chen<>

may i know more history about campbell street? and how the name come from? which is the heritage building in the campbell street? hope that u can help me as fast as possible !! thanks!!!


we shape the building and later the building shape us