Images from George Town, Penang Island

A few images from George Town, Penang Island, Malaysia.

George Town was established by Captain Francis Light to establish trade relations in the Malay Peninsula, acting for the British East India Company.

Light landed on Penang Island on 17 July 1786 to estblish a commercial trading post, and establish a strategic location to check Dutch and French territorial gains in the region.

At the time, Penang Island was part of the Kedah Sultanate, which was threatened with imminent invasions from Thailand and Burma.Taking advantage of the situation, Light negotiated with the Sultan regarding the cession to the British East India Company, in exchange for British military protection.

Francis Light died from malaria in 1794.

A Trip up to to the top of Penang Hill.

A little chameleon fellow that joined us as we walked on Penang Hill.

Crag Hotel buildings.

The old Crag Hotel on Penang Hill. Around 1885 a bungalow was built on the site by Captain John W Kerr, an employee of the East India Company. Penang Hill was a favourite location for Europeans living on Penang to come to escape the intense heat and humidity of lower elevations.

In the late 1880s the Sarkies brothers, were busy establishing hotels throughout South East Asia, including the Oriental Hotel in George Town (from where this blog was drafted) and the famous Raffles hotel in Singapore. They bought the Crag bungalow and developed it into a hotel, opening it in 1894.

The Crag Hotel continued operation until World War 2. After the war, the building was disused for a decade before being leased to the Uplands School. The school opened in 1955. The relatively isolated location was considered a bonus in terms of safety – this was the time of the Malay Emergency. The school was even visited by Queen Elizabeth II in 1972. Uplands School moved to a new site in 1977, and the Crag Hotel site was abandoned.

The site has seen brief action as a movie and TV setting which required some renovations, but has otherwise been mostly overgrown by jungle.

Another resident of Penang Hill,

View of the mainland city of Butterworth from Penang Hill.

Storm over the Strait of Malacca, seen from the Eastern and Orient Hotel.

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