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Air Itam

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Air Itam

Air Itam
Air Itam is located in Peninsular Malaysia
Air Itam
Air Itam
Location in Peninsular Malaysia
Air Itam is located in Malaysia
Air Itam
Air Itam
Location in Malaysia
Country Malaysia
State Penang
District North-East Penang Island
 • Local government Penang Island City Council (MBPP)
 • Member of Parliament (Bukit Bendera) Zairil Khir Johari (DAP)
 • State assemblyman Wong Hon Wai (DAP)
 • Penang Island City Mayor Dato' Patahiyah binti Ismail
Time zone Malaysian Standard Time (UTC+8)
 • Summer (DST) Not observed (UTC)
Postal code 11400
A RapidPenang bus passing through Air Itam.
Kek Lok Si Temple complex viewed from Air Itam market
Jade Emperor's Pavilion Main Prayer Hall
The buildings in the foreground form part of Air Itam, as viewed from Penang Hill

Air Itam (Chinese: 亚依淡, Penang Hokkien: ai tam) (Malay for black water) is a town in Penang, Malaysia.


Located in the valley between Bukit Batu Lanchang (Batu Lanchang Hill), Bukit Penara and Bukit Bendera (Paya Terubong and the south of the island via Jalan Paya Terubong. The town covers a broad area that incorporates Farlim, Thean Teik Estate, Rifle Range, Kampung Bahru, Kampung Melayu, Hill Railway Road, Hye Keat Estate, extending as far east as the junction with York Road.[1]


Captain Francis Light had established agriculture on the island which was based on growing pepper. Pepper was first cultivated in Air Itam valley. Today, flowers, fruits and vegetables are still grown on the surrounding hills. Nutmeg is a popular fruit found in this part of Penang Island.

A wealthy monk by the name of Fa Kong, which means "Empty Dharma", had built a zoo here . He was said to be a practitioner of Zen Buddhism. The Penang Zoological Gardens, which was open in the 1920s, houses different kinds of animals and was the earliest zoo in the country. It was closed down in the 1940s due to excessive high maintenance. It was located in a plot of land which today is known as Jalan Zoo (Zoo Road). [2]

On February 3, 1935, a big fire which was due to gust of wind which blew burning incense papers destroyed more than 100 wooden house and attap houses, with only two buildings remained. This incident was known as the Great Air Itam Fire. [3]

Eastern Garden Amusement Park which has a large public swimming pool was established in the 1950s used to be located there. It was forced to closed down when it became unpopular after several incidents of drowning. [4]


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