Tanjung Tokong

Tanjung Tokong is a suburb of George Town in Penang, Malaysia. It is located along the northeastern coast of Penang Island, next to Pulau Tikus and 4 km (2.5 mi) northwest of the city centre. Over the recent decades, the former fishing village has been transformed into an upper class residential suburb of George Town, with high-rises such as Straits Quay lining the coast.[1]

Tanjung Tokong
Suburb of George Town
Other transcription(s)
 • Chinese丹绒道光(Simplified)
丹絨道光 (Traditional)
 • HokkienTan-jiông-tō-kng
Aerial view of Tanjung Tokong, looking towards Gurney Drive, George Town
Aerial view of Tanjung Tokong, looking towards Gurney Drive, George Town
Tanjung Tokong is located in George Town, Penang
Tanjung Tokong
Tanjung Tokong
Coordinates: 5°26′51.36″N 100°18′24.12″E / 5.4476000°N 100.3067000°E / 5.4476000; 100.3067000Coordinates: 5°26′51.36″N 100°18′24.12″E / 5.4476000°N 100.3067000°E / 5.4476000; 100.3067000
Country Malaysia
State Penang
DistrictNortheast Penang Island
CitySeal of George Town.svg George Town
 • Local governmentPenang Island City Council
 • Mayor of Penang IslandYew Tung Seang
 • Kebun Bunga State AssemblymanOng Khan Lee (PKR)
 • Bukit Bendera Member of ParliamentWong Hon Wai (DAP)
Time zoneUTC+8 (MST)
 • Summer (DST)Not observed
Postal code

The area had already been inhabited for decades prior to Captain Francis Light's founding of Penang Island in 1786. Tanjung Tokong was believed to be the site of the first Chinese settlement on Penang Island. Up until the 1970s, Tanjung Tokong was a fishing village; rapid urbanisation soon followed, with residential high-rises now lining the coast.[2][3]

At present, the reclamation of land is ongoing off the shores of Tanjung Tokong, creating a new township - Seri Tanjung Pinang.[4][5]

Due to its location along the northern coast of Penang Island, Tanjung Tokong was hard hit by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.[6]


An 1818 painting depicting the coastline of what is now Tanjung Tokong. Mount Erskine is also visible to the right.
Tanjung Tokong in the 1910s
Skyline of Tanjung Tokong as seen from Gurney Drive in George Town proper
Condominiums at Tanjung Tokong as seen from the Penang Chinese Swimming Club.

In the mid-18th century, a Chinese by the name of Zhang Li founded a fishing village at what is now Tanjung Tokong.[7][8] He had actually intended to sail from China to Sumatra, but the rough seas pushed him to Penang Island instead. His arrival at Tanjung Tokong preceded Captain Francis Light's landing on Penang Island by about 40 years. To this day, Zhang Li, whose grave still lies at Tanjung Tokong, is worshipped by ethnic Chinese in Malaysia and Singapore as Tua Pek Kong, a local deity.

Tanjung Tokong remained a quiet fishing village until the 1970s, when the urbanisation of the area began. Low-rise apartments were followed by higher condominiums that were constructed along the shoreline. In addition, land reclamation is currently being carried out off the coastline as part of the Seri Tanjung Pinang project.[4][5] The new Straits Quay marina was created at the newly reclaimed land and opened to the public in 2011.[9]

These developments have led to an increase in the standards of living, as Tanjung Tokong grew into an upscale suburb of George Town, similar to neighbouring Pulau Tikus. However, the land reclamation projects were also thought to have caused the siltation of nearby Gurney Drive, one of George Town's famous seaside promenades. As of 2016, another land reclamation project is being conducted off Gurney Drive itself to create Gurney Wharf, thus rectifying the siltation issue.[10]

Tanjung Tokong was one of the hardest hit areas during the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that ultimately claimed a total of 52 lives in Penang.[6]


The main thoroughfare within Tanjung Tokong is Tanjung Tokong Road, which stretches from the neighbouring Pulau Tikus suburb and continues as Tanjung Bungah Road to the west. Part of the pan-island Federal Route 6, Tanjung Tokong Road, as with the handful of roads within the suburb, is prone to traffic congestion.[11][12] An alternative route for the residents within the Tanjung Tokong and Tanjung Bungah suburbs is the Vale of Tempe Road, which connects with Mount Erskine Road.[13]

Rapid Penang buses 101, 102 and 104 serve the residents of the suburb, by connecting Tanjung Tokong with George Town and other destinations on Penang Island, such as Tanjung Bungah, Batu Ferringhi, the Penang International Airport and Queensbay Mall.[14][15][16] Aside from these routes, Tanjung Tokong is served by two free-of-charge transit services, namely the Pulau Tikus Loop (PTL) and the Congestion Alleviation Transport (CAT) Tanjung Tokong route, which are also operated by Rapid Penang.[17][18][19]

Another bus service, the Hop-On Hop-Off service, caters primarily to tourists.[20] This service, which utilises open-top double decker buses, includes a stop at Straits Quay.[21]

The Tanjung Tokong transit line is a proposed eight station, 7km public transportation line to link the upcoming Komtar integrated interchange station and terminate at Tanjung Tokong as part of the Penang Transport Masterplan. It would feed through Jalan Burma, Jalan Kelawei, Gurney Drive and the Seri Tanjung Pinang.[22]


A total of 3 primary schools are located within Tanjung Tokong. The schools at Tanjung Tokong are as listed below.

Primary schools

  • SRK Tanjong Tokong[23]
  • SRJK (C) Hun Bin[24]
  • SRJK (C) Phor Tay[25]


Straits Quay, a shopping mall-cum-marina at Seri Tanjung Pinang

The two existing shopping malls within the Tanjung Tokong suburb are Straits Quay and Island Plaza.

Straits Quay, built at the new Seri Tanjung Pinang neighbourhood, includes a marina and is connected to the Eastern & Oriental Hotel in the heart of George Town via a water taxi service. It also contains a Royal Selangor outlet, a convention centre and the Performing Arts Centre of Penang (PenangPac).[26]

Meanwhile, Island Plaza, situated at Tanjung Tokong Road, houses a number of upmarket outlets, including Cold Storage and Guardian.[27] Adjacent to Island Plaza is Precinct 10, a food and beverages complex.[28]

Aside from the two shopping malls, Tesco also opened a hypermarket at Seri Tanjung Pinang in 2011, its third outlet on Penang Island after the Gelugor and Sungai Dua stores.[29][30]

As of 2017, City Mall, an upcoming shopping mall just across Tanjung Tokong Road from Island Plaza, is under construction.[31] The mall is scheduled for completion in 2017.[32]


The Penang Chinese Swimming Club at the western end of Tanjung Tokong was founded in 1928 to promote swimming among Penang's Chinese community, at a time when Asians were barred from existing swimming associations.[33][34] Aside from swimming activities, the club house now hosts other watersports activities as well, such as water polo and scuba diving.[34]

Tourist attractionsEdit



  1. ^ Quay, Straits. "Straits Quay". www.straitsquay.com. Retrieved 2016-11-11.
  2. ^ "Managing Changes in Tanjung Tokong". Managing Changes in Tanjung Tokong. Retrieved 2017-05-17.
  3. ^ "Residents wish for heritage village - Community | The Star Online". www.thestar.com.my. Retrieved 2017-05-17.
  4. ^ a b "E & O gains more time to finish Seri Tg Pinang reclamation - Business News | The Star Online". www.thestar.com.my. Retrieved 2016-11-11.
  5. ^ a b "Seri Tanjung Pinang". www.seritanjungpinang.com. Retrieved 2016-11-11.
  6. ^ a b "Victims of 2004 tsunami back on their feet in no time thanks to Govt's prompt action - Nation | The Star Online". www.thestar.com.my. Retrieved 2016-11-11.
  7. ^ "Tanjung Tokong | Property For Sale In Penang Island - The Edge Property Malaysia". news.theedgeproperty.com.my. Retrieved 2017-05-16.
  8. ^ "A peek into Hakka heritage - Community | The Star Online". www.thestar.com.my. Retrieved 2017-05-16.
  9. ^ "Portal Rasmi Kerajaan Negeri Pulau Pinang - The Official Opening of Straits Quay". www.penang.gov.my. Retrieved 2016-11-11.
  10. ^ "Penang's Gurney Drive bund turns brown waters jade green". AsiaOne. Retrieved 2016-11-11.
  11. ^ "Guan Eng insists Putrajaya's duty to strengthen federal roads in Penang". 2016-11-08. Retrieved 2017-05-20.
  12. ^ "Great divide in views - Community | The Star Online". www.thestar.com.my. Retrieved 2017-05-20.
  13. ^ Sekaran, R. "Road reopens ahead of deadline - Nation | The Star Online". Retrieved 2017-05-20.
  14. ^ http://www.rapidpg.com.my/journey-planner/route-maps/details/101.gif
  15. ^ http://www.rapidpg.com.my/journey-planner/route-maps/details/102.gif
  16. ^ http://www.rapidpg.com.my/journey-planner/route-maps/details/104.gif
  17. ^ The Star Online (2018-02-14), Penang announces RM15m free bus service, retrieved 2018-04-01
  18. ^ "Free shuttle in Pulau Tikus now includes Mount Erskine in its loop - Community | The Star Online". www.thestar.com.my. Retrieved 2017-05-20.
  19. ^ "myPenang - Pulau Tikus Loop". mypenang.gov.my. Retrieved 2017-05-20.
  20. ^ "myPenang - Penang Hop-On Hop-Off is here!". mypenang.gov.my. Retrieved 2017-05-20.
  21. ^ "Penang Hop-On Hop-Off Official Website". www.myhoponhopoff.com. Retrieved 2017-05-20.
  22. ^ "Tanjung Tokong Line – Penang Master Plan". Retrieved 2020-06-24.
  23. ^ "SK TANJONG TOKONG - PULAU PINANG - Carian Sekolah Malaysia". www.sekolahmy.com (in Malay). Retrieved 2017-05-20.
  24. ^ "SJK(C) HUN BIN - PULAU PINANG - Carian Sekolah Malaysia". www.sekolahmy.com (in Malay). Retrieved 2017-05-20.
  25. ^ "SJK(C) PHOR TAY - PULAU PINANG - Carian Sekolah Malaysia". www.sekolahmy.com (in Malay). Retrieved 2017-05-20.
  26. ^ Quay, Straits. "Straits Quay". www.straitsquay.com. Retrieved 2016-11-16.
  27. ^ "Island Plaza". 2016-07-12. Retrieved 2017-05-20.
  28. ^ "BSG Property | Precinct 10". www.bsgproperty.com. Retrieved 2017-05-20.
  29. ^ "Tesco Stores (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd". tesco.com.my. Retrieved 2017-05-20.
  30. ^ "Tesco comes to Tanjung Tokong - Community | The Star Online". www.thestar.com.my. Retrieved 2017-05-20.
  31. ^ "CityMall Site Progress". www.ivory.com.my. Retrieved 2017-05-20.
  32. ^ "Ongoing Projects". Ivory Properties.
  33. ^ "Chinese Swimming Club, Penang | www.cscpg.com". www.cscpg.com. Retrieved 2017-05-20.
  34. ^ a b "The Cherished Clubs of Penang". The Cherished Clubs of Penang. Retrieved 2017-05-20.