Georgetown Penang Online


Georgetown is the capital of Penang state and is also one of Malaysia’s largest cities with about 1 million inhabitants. The origins of the town can be traced back to late 1780s when Captain Francis Light, the then famous British trader was granted permission from Kedah Sultanate for the construction and development of the strong foundation, Fort Cornwallis.

The original blueprint of this commercial town suggested that it was located between Light Street, Beach Street, Malabar Street and also Pitt Street. These streets are more commonly known as Masjid Kapitan Keling Street and Chulia Street currently. Georgetown Municipal Council was incorporated in 1857 making it the first local authority outside of Singapore and also the first in Malaya back then.

In conjunction with Malaya’s independence in 1957, the town was granted city status due to its continuous growth within the township. Perhaps, it is best known as a sightseeing destination and food paradise with its various historical buildings and numerous restaurants and hawker stalls serving mouth watery local delights.

Georgetown was voted as one of the best cities in Asia by the reputable magazine Asiaweek ranking 6th in 1998 and subsequently, 9th in 2000. Recently, a study-cum-research conducted by Conditions Abroad Limited (ECA Limited) shows that Georgetown ranked 10th as one of the preferred locations in Asia among the Europeans to work and live in. ECA Limited listed the city in the list after judging on several elements including the infrastructure, health services offered, housing, security, politics and also the surroundings.

UNESCO World Heritage Site

Last year, Georgetown was also named as UNESCO World Heritage Site for its numerous unique architectural and cultural townscape which is only available here in South East Asia. The city is considered UNESCO World Heritage Site due to the well-preserved colonial era shop-houses. The existence of these architectural gems was mainly due to the rent controls. However, following the repeal of the act in 2000, quite a number of pre-war buildings were torn down allowing the construction of new high rise buildings. Most of the residents in the city are Chinese.

.       Things to do in Georgetown

The most popular thing to do when in Georgetown apart from visiting the historical and cultural sites is to eat. This is because Penang prides itself as one of the states in Malaysia with the best food and Georgetown, being nucleus of the state makes it more accessible. So if you are in Georgetown, you must try out their specialties around here. The best place to go is Gurney Drive which is where you will find most, if not all the food from Penang congregating.

In most cases, people who come here for food would surely try out the Penang Fried Kuey Teow, the Penang Curry Mee, the Penang Laksa, the Penang Prawn Mee and of course the Penang Rojak as well. While Gurney Drive has most of all the mentioned dishes, it might not be the best as they mainly cater to tourists. Lorong Swatow in Jalan Burma is New World Park foodcourt is where you can find a wide range of food as well. Otherwise, New Lane is where you can go at night where the food is known to be very good as well. Otherwise, just inform the taxi driver or Trishaw peddler and they will bring you to the best food around.

.       Attractions in Georgetown

As a main tourist attraction in Malaysia, Georgetown has almost a complete list of places which you can go to ranging from seaside resorts, natural parks, religious houses of worship, cultural attractions and many others. If you are into history and like its architecture and stories then Fort Cornwallis would be a good place to start. You can also go to Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion, the    Municipal Council of Pulau Pinang Hall, the Leong San Tong Khoo Kongsi and others.

On certain religious dates, the religious houses of worships will be filled with devotees and this is where tourists would like to experience how people practice their faiths. You can go to the Dharmmikarama Burmese Buddhist Temple, the Kapitan Keling Mosque, the  St. George’s Church or to Kek Lok Si which is a temple on a hill which one can view from the city itself. The steps leading up to the Kek Lok Si are filled with stalls and shops where you can buy souvenirs, goods and many other stuff for remembrance. A short drive away from Georgetown will bring you to Batu Feringghi which is where the seaside is. Here you will be able to enjoy the gushing waves and sea breeze while enjoying the nightlife of the city. There is also a night market here which sells imitation goods to souvenirs to clothing and such.