Another of the sea-frontiers of Malaysia, Gurney Drive is located in Georgetown in Penang. The lovely smell of the roadside hawker stalls will draw you to this popular tourist spot. The construction of the road was completed in 1936 and was earlier known as New Coast Road. The Gurney Drive was named in memories of Sir Henry Gurney who was the British High Commissioner. A recent project, Tanjung Tokong was planned to protect the beaches of Gurney Drive which were falling prey to coastal erosion and was slowly getting lost.
Earlier Gurney Drive used to have sandy beaches and was home to various seashells. During the period from 1960 to 1980, the purity of the sea water indulged the area in becoming host to many dragon boat races. But the beauty and clarity of the sea water is lost now and along with the excitement it once hold is also gone. You will get to see many hotels and shopping centers in Gurney Drive now. But these were once the place for war training houses and bungalows where priests from various countries of Southeast Asia were brought to get trained for war.
The Dharmikarama Burmese Temple is located near to Gurney Drive. It has a pair of white elephants standing at the entrance. There is a wishing pond inside the temple. The temple was built in 1805. During Wesak Day festival you will find the temple bustling with activities. You can also find your way to the Roman Catholic Church, named Church of Immaculate Conception which is also located nearby. In Tanjong Tokong, you can visit the Tua Pek Kong Temple. The temple becomes all the more important in the Chinese New Year festival. You can look out for the temple’s divine architecture and its peaceful surroundings. Located nearby is the Chooi Bee Keong temple where you will be fascinated by the traditional Chinese interior and exterior decorations. The 700,000sqft Gurney Paragon Mall is another attraction of Gurney Drive. The lifestyle mall has an outdoor dining area which is set within the heritage building of St. Joseph’s Novitiate. You can hop and shop around from the wide collection of branded outlets. There are several restaurants and cafes to energize you once you are done with you shopping.
Gurney Drive also boasts of a wonderful night life which you must give a shot. The German Brussels Beer Café has a collection of the best beers from round the world. A wide variety of continental dishes are served in the classy bistro, 75 Degree Restaurant. The relaxing seating arrangements along with a variety of cocktails and retro music add G Spot to the list. If you are a lover of seafood you should visit the Bali Hai Restaurant. The wonderful environment with its elegant dining setup will see to it that you definitely enjoy your dine. However Gurney Drive is also about hawker food and hence a visit to the Gurney Drive Food Court becomes all the more important. The cheap yet quality food will serve you the best.