The Tongkang – Symbol of the Entrepot Age

By Koay Su Lyn, Pan Yi Chieh

July 2016 WINDOW INTO HISTORY
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Access to this article is open for a limited time only. To read more on our e-archive, subscribe here.Once a part of Penang’s lively waterfront scene, tongkangs have faded into obscurity.It was the 1920s. Penang Harbour, stretching from Swettenham Pier to Pengkalan Weld, bustled endlessly. Bullock carts and handcarts transported goods of all kinds to the wharf while labourers and handlers moved bags and sacks against a backdrop of large ships waiting in the sea roads for their load. Between these...

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Koay Su Lyn

reads and writes of the past to make sense of the present. She is a research analyst in the History and Heritage Programme of Penang Institute.

Pan Yi Chieh

is a research analyst at Penang Institute who was born in Taiwan but now lives in Penang. She is proud to be nurtured by the two beautiful islands she regards as home.


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