George Town Heritage Malaysia Penang Street Art Travel

Walking the streets of George Town

The glimpse that we had got yesterday of this beauty called George Town had made sure we to keep us all excited for the next morning. We wanted to explore the place as much as we can and we wanted to explore it slow. And what better way to do that than walk. Even better was the fact that we knew where most of the must see things in George Town were, thanks to last evening’s trishaw ride. We had first decided to walk to the heritage area of George Town right from our hotel near Komtar, but thanks to the humidity we soon hopped on one of the Rapid Penang buses (CAT bus) that ply at regular intervals and are free.

Khoo Kongsi, George Town - Penang chinese temple
Khoo Kongsi, George Town – Penang

The street art in George Town was one of the things I had been looking forward to, but yesterday’s quick visit to the heritage area had made me realize that this place was much more than that. The Armenian street, little India, the Malay-Chinese-Indian influenced localities, George Town was so much in a surprisingly small area. We were delighted to say the least.

The so charming Armenian street, George Town - Penang
The so charming Armenian street, George Town – Penang

As we strolled through the narrow, spotlessly clean streets I felt as if we had been transported to the colonial era. Rows of colonial-style buildings, some brightly colored while some with their decades-old coatings hanging and about to fall off stood on both sides of the narrow roads, much to the amazement of the tourists walking them. We too were no less wowed!

streets photo penang
Oh the lovely streets, George Town – Penang
armenian street george town at night
When the streets light up, George Town – Penang

All the streets, they seemed as beautiful as the previous one if not more. What varied from one street to another was the architecture. While in general, the designs were similar, there were subtle differences which would become obvious if seen a little closely. The designs of the buildings in Chinese dominated areas had beautiful classic Chinese designs while those in little India had a slightly different style to them.

Old colonial buildings - George Town, Penang
Old colonial buildings – George Town, Penang

While the buildings were a treat to the eyes, the street art — the graffitis and the street caricatures were no less (a post on the street-art of George Town soon). I am a fan of street-art so you can only guess how happy I would have been. I remember spending longer than expected time at each of the graffiti there and clicking an insane number of photos. I proceeded to the next one only when reminded that, ‘there are more graffitis to see ahead’ 😉

Magical sky and a beautiful neighborhood, George Town - Penang
Magical sky and a beautiful neighborhood, George Town – Penang

By the time it was late afternoon, we had walked almost entire George Town and a little more. We had been to all the neighborhoods, to the beach front and the city area too. Soon we found ourselves at a square, the most happening one there. A car or two crossed us every couple of minutes, some carrying people and some vacant. Sitting in the tiny island cum park, we watched other tourists strolling around while a couple of trishaw drivers took their evening siesta next to us. ‘This is what a laid-back life is’, I said to myself.

kashmir shop george town penang
The little ‘park’ at the ‘square’ – George Town

As the sun started its journey towards the western horizon, we too slowly walked towards the city. It won’t take you much to notice the contrast between the heritage area of George Town and the city.

beautiful building penang
The ‘city’ George Town – Penang

To be honest, I was a little surprised to see how two very different world’s, one which seems laid back and at least half a century old while the other, a very modern one, can co-exist so wonderfully and do that without interfering into each other’s space.

penang george town night photo
Penang at night, from our hotel

By the time we were back at the hotel, we were for sure tired but we were quite thrilled to have seen so much of awesomeness in a day, whoa!

Which was the place that has impressed you or charmed you a lot?

23 thoughts on “Walking the streets of George Town”

  1. Wow’d by the old world charm of George Town! nice coverage Rajiv.
    Damn high visa fee for Singapore residents. As a resident I have to pay 60S$+ visa fees (for 1 year visa multiple entry). Now this fees itself is comparable to a one way flight to Indonesia (Free visa for Indians). Every time i think of paying Malaysia a visit, high visa cost acts as a deterrent and I end up planning for some other country.

    1. George Town is so very charming Ankur bhai, you have to go there.

      Why the additional 60SGD? Is it because you have a RP in Singapore. I think I had paid around Rs.3,400/- as Malaysia Tourist VISA fee for 2-year multiple entry VISA.

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