City guide George Town, Penang
Malaysia features many islands you can travel to during your round trip. One of the most popular islands is Penang, located at the west side of the country. In high season, Penang can be very touristic. There are some places located at the beach which attracts tourists and offer some beautiful hotels. When you travel to Penang in low season (for example in October/November), like I did, the island isn’t that touristic at all. In contrast to the other islands, Penang can easily be reached by bus or car via the bridge. You can also go by ferry.
The capital of Penang is Georgetown. It’s a beautiful, but chaotic city with lots of Chinese influences. Besides Kuala Lumpur, Georgetown is the most lively city of the country; you can find shopping malls, restaurants and cafes everywhere. Unfortunately, the city also has many high buildings. This makes Georgetown, in my opinion, a little less atmospheric. However, the city has some beautiful street, a big port, several temples and nice food markets. In this article I’ll tell you about all the things you can do when paying a visit to the city.
One of the things which makes the streets of George Town more atmospheric, is the beautiful street art. In general, George Town has some old looking streets. However, the street art which you can find in several streets makes it a pleasure to walk around these streets. It’s beautiful how these street art is created. Most of the street art is created in combination with a real item, which makes it more lively. The street art includes children and several situations. I really loved wandering around the streets and exploring the art on the walls.
Most of the street art can be found in Little India or Chinatown, located close to the port of George Town. Keep in mind that exploring the street art is very popular in the city, so you’ll be standing with some more tourists to take a picture.
There are many street food possibilities in George Town! It’s really cheap and so delicious! You’ll experience the cuisine of Malaysia, which is really nice. Most of the street food vendors can be find in Lebuh Chulia, Lebuh Kimberley and Medan Renong.
Like many big places in Malaysia, also in George Town you can find some big shopping malls where you can easily fill in an afternoon. There are many (inter)national shops where you can buy whatever you need. In every shopping mall you can find a huge food court at the top level. Here you can have local, but also international food for a very small price. Really nice to experience this at least once, because many Malaysians eat here. You’ll literally eating between the locals.
Located in the middle of the city center, you can find Little India. Just like Little India in many cities, here you can also find colourful streets with Hindu temples and delicious Indian restaurants. Especially in the evening it’s a nice place to visit, because then all the lights are on and the streets are filled with stalls selling Indian sweets and other treats.
Located near the Penang ferry terminal, you can find the Clan Jetties. These are water villages dominated by seven historic Chinese clans. The houses, which ‘float’ above the water, are made of wood and aluminium, which makes it a nice image. These water villages are definitely worth a visit.
The area of George Town’s Port
Talking about the ferry terminal: the port of George Town is located close to Fort Cornwallis, which is the largest standing fort in Malaysia. Furthermore, in the direct environment you can also find the Penang Town Hall. It’s a nice area to walk around.
Have you been to Penang and George Town before? What did you think of the city?