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|> Attractions: Historical
This fort was built on the site of Francis Light's historic landing in 1786. Originally a wooden stockade, it was replaced by a concrete structure built by convict labour, in 1804. Today, an open-air amphitheatre, a history gallery, and a handicraft and souvenir centre occupies the interior. Fort Cornwallis also houses a famous Dutch cannon that in some way or another has been associated with virtually every shift in political alliances on the Peninsula since the early 17th century. The cannon arrived on the Peninsula in 1606 as a present from the Dutch to the Sultan of Johor. Only a few years later the Dutch cannon was taken by the Achenese in a raid on Johor's capital. At the beginning of the nineteenth century the cannon was sent to by the Achenese to Kuala Selangor in hopes of establishing an alliance with the Bugis. The cannon's last move, from Kuala Selangor to Penang, followed the British bombardment on Kuala Selangor in 1871. Opening Hours: 8.30am - 7.00pm Admission: RM 1 per person.
The hills of Penang--Western Hill, Tiger Hill, Strawberry Hill, and others--have long been popular refuges from the heat of the low-lying city. As the funicular railway proceeds along its half-hour climb of the hill, a broad panoramic view of Georgetown slowly unfolds. The view from Flagstaff Hill, at the top of the line, is a lovely way to watch night descend over the island. The train leaves the station at Air Itam at 6.30am and at every half an hour. Trainfare Adults: RM3, Children: RM1.50.
For those who enjoy a vigorous walk or fear a funicular ride, there is a very good walking track up the hill. It takes about four hours and should not be undertaken frivolously. The jungle trail begins at the moongate at Waterfall Road, about 300m from the entrance to the Botanical Gardens.
Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion
Landmark grade 1 restoration of an 1880 mansion of a rags-to-riches Mandarin, The paradigm chinese courtyard house, this architectural legacy is a masterpiece of exceptional quality of design & craftmanship. Named the most excellent project by Unesco Heritage Conservation Awards 2000. The mansion is now a 16-room bed and breakfast.
The wave of Chinese immigration to Penang during the nineteenth century gave rise to the formation of clan formations, or kongsi, which served as surrogate kinship and professional associations for immigrants who had left behind family and friends. A multitude of kongsi arose in Penang, and each organization constructed a hall to serve as the locus of its community.
The Khoo Kongsi is the most famous example of these halls, having been designed with such magnificence that it was said to rival the palace of China's emperor. Whether by misfortune or because such a resemblance was viewed as an offence, the original Khoo Kongsi burnt to the ground almost as soon as it was completed. The present structure was built as a scaled down version of that original, though it is an extraordinarily impressive structure nonetheless. The building features a magnificent hall embellished with intricate carvings and richly ornamented beams of the finest wood, each bearing the mark of master craftsmen from China. Opening Hours: 9.00am - 5.00pm (Monday to Friday), 9.00am 1.00pm (Saturdays) Permission to enter must be obtained from the Kongsi office.