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The Esplanade is a waterfront location in the heart of George Town, Penang, Malaysia. It includes the historical parade field, known as Padang Kota Lama and the seaside promenade along the edge of the field. It has been utilised for major events and celebrations.
Padang Kota Lama, the historical parade field
The Esplanade is surrounded by colonial administrative buildings, such as Penang City Hall, Penang Town Hall, the Supreme Court of Penang, the State Assembly Building, the Jubilee Clock Tower and Fort Cornwallis. It is bounded by Lebuh Light and Jalan Tun Syed Sheh Barakbah. The Jalan Padang Kota Lama separates the Padang Kota Lama on one side, the Penang City Hall and the Penang Town Hall on the opposite side.
The Esplanade was the site of a significant event in Penang's history. Captain Francis Light, the founder of George Town, first landed on 17 July 1786. He is also a trader for the British East India Company. Upon claiming possession of Penang Island for the British Empire, the Esplanade became the first area to be cleared by Captain Francis Light. Fort Cornwallis was also constructed next to the cleared field. The cleared field was then used as a military parade ground. The planned layout of the Esplanade is similar to that of the Padang in Singapore and Merdeka Square in Kuala Lumpur.
The Esplanade has been used for recreational purposes since the mid-19th century. Municipal Band Stand was erected at the Esplanade, providing a stage for music bands to entertain the public. The Esplanade was also utilised as a cricket ground. A two-storey pavilion designed by Wilson & Neubronner, was built in 1908 by Penang Cricket Club. Penang Recreational Club had also erected a similar structure at the Esplanade for its supporters. However, these structures were destroyed during World War II.
Speakers' Square as a symbol of the freedom of expression
Today, the Esplanade is a major venue for celebrations and cultural performances, such as the anniversary of George Town's inscription as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Japanese Bon Odori and Chinese New Year Chap Goh Meh. A portion of the Esplanade, the Municipal Band Stand has also been converted into a Speakers' Corner, the first of its kind in Malaysia. Speakers' Square as a symbol of the freedom of expression under the Penang state government.
Esplanade's Scenic Seafront Promenade
The Esplanade's scenic seafront promenade facing the Strait of Malacca is a favourite haunt of the locals who come there in the morning or evening to jog, walk and chat. We may sit at Medan Renong to feel the breeze of wind and enjoy the evening view as well.
A playground beside the Medan Renong Padang Kota Lama Food Court
A playground just beside the Medan Renong Padang Kota Lama Food Court is still buzzing with kids, buskers and bubbles. This is a decent place to bring our children for evening outdoor activities just besides Padang Kota Lama.
The Esplanade is open daily. Free admission.
Trip Suggestion : 30 minutes
Operating Hours : Daily
Admission Fee : Free
Address : Lebuh Light, 10450 Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia