Georgetown, Penang Island
I took a 6-hour bus drive to Georgetown, from Kuala Lumpur passing through another great town, Ipoh. I came to meet an old friend in Butterworth (mainland), the town across Georgetown, only a 15-minute wandering by ferry boat. An alternative route was the amazing 8.4 miles Penang Bridge, Malaysia’s longest bridge.
Georgetown isn’t only a heritage site, but a UNESCO World Heritage City. It’s the Intramuros of Malaysia, but twice or thrice larger than Intramuros. Better yet imagine the size of Vigan City (the whole city, not the size of the Heritage Village), with everything looking rusty. Georgetown is composed of colonial British architectures built in the 1500s and a fusion of a beautiful combination of Chinese, Malay and Indian cultures.
Walking on its skimpy streets surrounded by centuries-old houses and structures was a refreshing treat to my eyes. It’s indescribable feeling observing the old-oooold city operating like a modern metro with those amazing architectures of yesteryears transformed into offices, banks, schools, churches, museums, grocery stores, houses, hotels, hostels, bookshops, coffee shops and restaurants. There was no empty space only the rustic walls, which even painted with artistic graffiti. They have the colorful horse hackney, touristy-looking tricycle and modern public buses.
The Armenian Street is a haven for locals and tourists. It’s such a nostalgic peaceful street at day and a street food haven at night. It’s a meeting place for everyone to eat before heading to party all night!
Just outside Georgetown are shopping malls for the rich (judging by its ambiance, the shops and the crowd), high-rise luxurious residences, condominiums, apartments and beautiful landed houses, near the beach or on top of the hills overlooking the beach. Most residents live in high-rise residences.
What truly inspired me was the old fishing village. It’s an old settlement area in Penang where stilt wooden houses were built on the sea. If it’s only in the Philippines, it could be considered a very unlikely place to live; it could be called a squatter. But in Georgetown, residents of the fishing village still were able to maintain its cleanliness, especially their wooden pathway, their wooden houses – it’s such a unique way of beautifying and preserving the place.
Georgetown is a timeless gem; it is really alluring and inviting. Enjoy the photos!
- Food @ Padang, Georgetown, Penang (rumandrye.wordpress.com)
- Penang Street Art (janetnewenham.wordpress.com)
- georgetown, penang (adventuresofcandh.wordpress.com)
- Lucky Customer – Georgetown, Malaysia (travelpod.com)
- Where to stay at George Town (happyfoottales.wordpress.com)
- Hotel Noble: Homely Family Run Guest House in Penang’s Georgetown (beontheroad.com)