Pete's Penang

Armenian Street

Many people will wonder why I photograph very ordinary aspects of life such as shop-houses. It is simple. I am looking 50 and more years ahead. In a few decades Penang will probably be a characterless mass of shopping malls, high rise apartments, KFC and parked cars. The shop-houses, little Hondas and bejak will have disappeared. Without detailed photographs of the ordinary aspects of life, following generations will not know what life was like in 2008. It is because of this I am delighted to include, old bicyles, little Hondas, rubbish bins and rubbish in the street. This is what life is really like, not like the advertisements in magazines.

Since 2011 Armenian Street has changed greatly. It is now packed with tourists and many of the old shop-houses are selling tourist products. I am delighted that I started photographing the street before the boom in tourism.

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One more colourful artifact of Penang's heritage disappears.
Most of the old street signs I photographed had disappeared by 2012.

Some great wall art that I came across on my 2012 visit

Cheah Kongsi is off Armenian Street,
Click on picture for more on Cheah Kongsi

Barber's Shop
The barber's wife shouted at me,
she didn't want me to photograph their shop, 2008.

Cycle repair & junk shop, 2008
These guys were friendly and happy to be photographed.

The guys were still there in 2009, and still friendly :-)

This is the inside of their shop.
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Click here to see a full-screen, high resolution panorama.

In 2013 they seem to have opened another shop across the road.

Click for a photo slide-show of 24 Shophouses along Armenian Street

Unfortunately Apple iPhones can not run Flash Slideshows :-(

Hock Teik Cheng Sin Temple is off Armenian Street

An Art Studio
A few have been nicely renovated, 2008

Shop-house, Armenian Street, 2008
Many need some attention

Swatow Lodging House, Armenian Street, 2008

2013. This shop house has been done up beautifully.
However this makes me feel uneasy. Armenian Street shop-houses will be given an idealised architectural heritage that never existed. A beautiful frontage does not retain the cultural heritage :-( Perhaps a few scrap dealers, barbers and ordinary shops should be retained.

The Yap Temple is on Armenian Street

Dr Sun Yat Sen's Penang Base, 2008

In 2013 it was a museum on the Heritage Trail

A Scrap Metal Dealer, 2008

Shop-house, Armenian Street, 2008

No. 114, still a scrap dealer, 2013


Cafe, 2009
and below, the same cafe, 2012

Some informative street art that I came across in 2014.

How long will it be before these 2013 scrap dealers sell out and become fashionable, expensive, heritage, tourist facilities?

More street information that I came across in 2014.

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Images Copyright Peter Loud, 1970-2015