A misnomer that is Pulau Tikus  

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About Pulau Tikus ( short Introduction )

PULAU Tikus, or Rat Island , in Penang is neither an island nor is the whole area infested with rats or mice.

The Pulau Tikus area is said to be named after an actual Pulau Tikus isle - a small rocky island shaped like a mouse, located about 2km away from the north-eastern coast of Penang island.

Despite its name, the area is considered one, of the "upper class" neighbourhoods, with its fair share of mansions, bungalows and colonial buildings, and many high-end condominiums, such as those, along Gumey Drive .

Even the first Prime Minister, the late Tunku Abdul Rahman, chose to live his retirement years in Pulau Tikus, in a house on the former Ayer Rajah Road now renamed Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman after him.

Besides the lovely homes, there are many pre-war shophouses on certain roads such as Burmah Road , which also boasts heritage build­ings that include the 195-year-old (Catholic) Church of the immaculate Conception.

A sharp contrast to the heritage along the same road include high-end commercial buildings such as the Burmah House and Bellisa Row, the latter a favourite hangout at nihgt with outlets like the dance club Bed Cafe & Lounge, bistro Segafredo Zanetti Espresso and café The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.

There are also numerous Buddhist and Taoist temples, with the more amous ones being the Wat Chaiya Mangalaram ( Reclining Buddha Temple ) built in Burma Line in 1845, the 203-year-old Dhammikarama Burmese Buddhist Temple just oppo­site, and the Buppharam Buddhist Temple in Perak Road .

In Pulau Tikus, you can drive along roads lined with palm trees such as Peel Avenue , which marks its south­ west border, and Codrington Avenue .

But perhaps the most scenic part of Pulau Tikus is its east coast of Gurney Drive, a tourist attraction with its long stretch of seafront promenade.There are also restaurants and cof­feeshops, puU and dubs, hotels and condominiums, and the popular Gurney Plaza shopping complex. Shopping is a favourite pas­ time and besides Gurney Plaza , there is also the Midlands Park Centre in Burmah Road and the Bandar Baru Air Itam supermarket in the commercial Plaza Axis in Cantonment Road .

And then, there's the other favourite pastime makan (eating).

A former Pulau Tikus resident, college student Justin Ling, said his favourite char koay teow is at the Kedai Kopi Sin Hwa opposite the Pulau Tikus police station in Burmah Road .

For halal food, a friend highly recommends the mee goreng stall at the junction of Burmah Road and Bangkok Lane , and there are several nasi kandar stalls and restaurants along Burmah Road , such as Kassim Mustafa.

Lecturer K. Priyanka, 33, who lives near Burmah Road, said those with a sweet tooth have no lack of choices, with delicious cakes available at Secret Recipe and at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, both in Bellisa Row, Maxim Cake House in the next block of shophouses, and nearby Jenni's Homemade Cakes and Bakery in Cantonment Road.

"If you prefer ice cream , there are also the Haagen Daz outlet in Bellisa Row with Baskin Robbins across the road. And there is the Iceice Baby restaurant along that same row with a wide range of desserts," she said.

At the Pulau Tikus market in the mornings, regulars seeking a refreshing drink head to the Khaw family's stall selling soya bean milk and soya bean curd.

Just outside the market, there is a stall selling Chinese pancake in the original plain style sprinkled with sugar and nuts.

When night falls, the hawker stalls near the market come alive with a wide variety of tasty local fare.

Photos by G014 GAIK LEE and

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Palm tree line Peel Avenue, which marks the southwest border of Puala Tikus

A lovely landscape on a traffic island at the junction of Codrington Avenue and Macalister Road.
In the background is large mansion.

The 195-year-old (Catholic) Church of the Immaculate Conception in Burmah Road, Pulau Tikus.

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