Did you know that the Rifle Range is Penang’s first low cost high rise accommodation? Built in 1968, the Rifle Range Flats is one of the most densely populated areas in the island. There are 6 blocks of 17-storey buildings and 3 blocks of 18-storey flats with 20 single-bedroom units and 4 two-bedroom units on each floor.
The area is named Rifle Range Road or pak cheng poh in Hokkien, as it used to serve as a shooting range by the police and military in the old days. Rifle Range Road is neighbouring to the Batu Gantong Cemetery. When the flats were completed in the 1970s, they were considered the tallest buildings in Penang.
With more than 25,000 residents to serve, there area has a community hall, a public library, a big public market and a long length food court. These are set in a three-storey building, the Rifle Range Market (Pasar Awam Padang Tembak), built by the Majlis Bandaray Pulau Pinang (MBPP). The modern market is wheelchair-accessible and equipped with toilets and a parking area.
The lowest level of the wet market is the “wet” area. The stalls are well-arranged with sections for fish, seafood, chicken, beef and pork. The second floor is where you can buy fresh vegetables, fruits, tofus, fishballs, eggs, dried goods and other grocery items.
There are also stalls selling clothing, toys, personal items and housewares. The prices here are much lower compared to the other areas in Penang. Some of the vendors have been operating here for more than 20 years. Many were indeed the first occupants of the flats.
On the right of the wet market, you can find one the longest hawker centre in Penang. Packed with a variety of food and drinks stalls, the food here is good and cheap. You can choose from Chinese, Malays or Indian food, all under one roof. Many residents and shoppers eat at the food court and it can get very crowded. Some of the favourites here are the curry chee cheong fun, dry char hor fun, nasi lemak, nasi kandar, economy fried bee hoon and ban chang kuih, the Penang-style pancake topped with sugar and groundnuts.
There is also a textile factory beside the wet market which provides jobs for the residents. You can easily find the very spacious parking lot in front of the market that caters to the market-goers. It can accommodate up to 290 cars. The upgraded car park cost about RM445,000 and was funded by the Federal Government under the Safe City Project. It has assigned parking bays for traders to unload their goods.
How to get to Rifle Range Market?
You may take Rapid Bus Penang Bus No 201, 202 or 204, and alight at Jalan Padang Tembak. You just need to walk a short distance to the market.
If you are driving from George Town, Rifle Range Market is accessible via Jalan Air Itam or via Lorong Batu Lancang. Just f ollow Jalan Padang Tembak(P221) to Taman Padang Tembak in Taman Ayer Itam.
Coming from Jalan Macalister, you may use Jalan Batu Gantung. Turn left toward Jalan Lumba Kuda and then turn rignt onto Jalan Goh Guan Ho and Jalan Padang Tembak to Taman Padang Tembak.
Nearby Sights and Properties
• Sekolah Kebangsaan Padang Tembak
• House of Hope
• Batu Gantun Cemetery
• Kek Lok Si
Pasar Awam Padang Tembak
Address: Jalan Padang Tembak, Taman Ayer Itam, 11400 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia