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Acheen Street Ghaut, George Town, Penang

Acheen Street Ghaut, George Town

Acheen Street Ghaut is a seaward extension of Acheen Street within George Town's UNESCO World Heritage Site. It runs from the western intersection with Beach Street and Acheen Street until Weld Quay to the east.

The street was created in the late 19th. century, when the area was reclaimed from the sea. Prior to that land reclamation, Beach Street had served as the coastal road, with the stone steps at the eastern end of Acheen Street enabling vessels to offload goods to be sent to the warehouses.

Etymology

Acheen Street Ghaut sign, George Town, Penang

A bilingual Acheen Street Ghaut sign, featuring its Chinese name.

Similar to the adjoining Acheen Street, Acheen Street Ghaut was named after the Acehnese settlement that once existed around Acheen Street.

All streets that were extended towards the sea carry the word 'ghaut', which means a flight of steps leading down into the sea. A common feature along India's rivers, ghauts were constructed to allow the offloading of a ship's cargo.

As the imposing Acehnese Store at the junction between Beach Street and Acheen Street had served as the major landmark here, Acheen Street Ghaut was called Kuan3 Lau2 Lor3 T'hau2 in Penang Hokkien, meaning 'the tall house junction'. In addition, the street was also known as the junction of stonemasons, or Phak1 Ciok1 Kay1 Lor3 Thau2 in Penang Hokkien,

History

Acheen Street Ghaut only came into being towards the end of the 19th. century, when the area was reclaimed from the sea.

Prior to the land reclamation, there were stone steps that led out of the water's edge; these steps enabled vessels to unload their goods, which were then sent to the old Acehnese Store and other similar warehouses in the vicinity.

Notably at the time, the Acehnese Store, built in the early 19th. century, was one of the first multi-storey buildings in George Town. Located at the junction between Beach Street and Acheen Street, it served as the main landmark for ships approaching this stretch of waterfront.

Political Representation

Penang State Government

N.27 Pengkalan Kota State Assemblyman : Lau Keng Ee (Democratic Action Party)

Malaysian Federal Parliament

P.049 Tanjong Member of Parliament : Ng Wei Aik (Democratic Action Party)

References

  1. Khoo S.N., 2007. Streets of George Town, Penang. Areca Books, Penang.
  2. http://www.penang-traveltips.com/acheen-street-ghaut.htm

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