ENTICING COLORS OF GEORGE TOWN, PENANG

George Town or Georgetown, is the capital of the state of Penang in Malaysia. Named after Britain’s King George III, George Town is located on the north-east corner of Penang Island and has 157,743 inhabitants. The Penang metropolitan has a population 1,253,748, the third largest metropolitan in Malaysia by population.

Formerly a municipality and then a city in its own right, since 1976 George Town has been part of the municipality of Penang Island, though the area formerly governed by the city council is still commonly referred to as a city, and is also known as Tanjung (“The Cape”) in Malay and 喬治市 (Qiáozhì Shì) in Chinese.

The inner city of George Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Sourced from Wiki

I considered myself lucky blessed for I was given a chance to work and live in Penang, Malaysia. I and some 23 Filipino doctor-educators became expats here last July 30, 2010.

Penang is more like Manila or its nearby provinces; but the presence of 3 races -Malays, Chinese and Indians with their colors, religions, cultures fused into one city make it distinctly diverse compared to our own country.

Allow me to showcase my humble captures of Georgetown, one of UNESCO World Heritage Cities.

If you’re traveling to Penang for the first time and will not be coming from the airport which is in the Penang Island itself, here are my few travel tips to guide you on your trip.

You need to get off from a train or a bus (which comes from Kuala Lumpur or as far as Singapore or Thailand) in Penang Sentral Bus Station in Butterworth then be ready with your RM 1.20 (PhP 16.80) to pay ticket for the roundtrip ferry ride at the jetty.

This ferries take you from Penang Sentral in Butterworth to Georgetown and the rest of the Island…

I find the 12-minute ferry ride relaxing. I and my colleague-friends usually sit in the first pews in front to grasp some fresh sea breeze. Stress is somehow diminished once I ride the ferry.

Then after you get off the ferry, you need to find your way to explore Georgetown. There are few Informasi booths (Information) located at the bus terminals where you can ask directions and what Rapid Penang bus number you need to take.

Or if you are in the mood to splurge, you may opt to ride teksi cabs which may  cost you RM 10 (PhP 140) and up on the meter, depending where you’re going. (note : I don’t recommend taking teksi cabs unless it’s past 10PM in Butterworth where Rapid Penang buses become no longer available).  It is best to enjoy Georgetown and the rest of the Island via buses and foot.

You know that you’re in Georgetown already when you see the roundabout at the Queen Victoria Clock Tower…

It is not only the cultures of the 3 predominant races in Penang that is apparent in Georgetown but also the British influence. From it’s contemporary buildings to the centuries-old ones, there’s always something you can appreciate and learn a thing or two from its history without even reading books or just before deciding to get inside a museum. Georgetown is definitely rich in everything! It’s not included in UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites for nothing.

Berhenti means Stop! in Bahasa Melayu…

Then if you must, you may convince yourself to ride the trishaw for RM 30 (PhP 420) per hour which can still be discounted to a lower rate depending on your talent on haggling..

I personally don’t like it for I pity those drivers who take the pedals manually and mostly in their geriatric ages..

One of the streets of Georgetown that is mostly frequented by foreigners and I mean the Americans, Europeans, Australians is Lebuh Chulia or Chulia Street…

Other laterals of Georgetown has more vivid  and vibrant colors…

An early morning walk in Georgetown is such a feast to the senses…

Believe me, there’s more of Georgetown and Pulau Pinang that’s worth any backpacker’s adventure. And did I already tell you that the gastronomic delights are almost endless in this part of Malaysia?

So, will I see you in Georgetown? *wink*

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25 thoughts on “ENTICING COLORS OF GEORGE TOWN, PENANG

  1. Very enticing indeed!

    It’s amazing how the people of Penang have preserved their cultural heritage. I wish we will put the same premium on culture and heritage preservation. We sure have a lot to learn from Penang.

    1. thanks, jun!
      i really appreciate your efforts in emailing me about your backpacking trip in penang. sayang lang and i cannot join and tour you around kasi may work ako. 😦

    1. hi jo! when you come to penang, drop me a line ok, sana weekend or holiday dito so i can finally meet you that is only if you’d like. anyway, whenever there’s festivities here like CNY and Thaipusam festival (google it please), you’ll definitely have time of your life in georgetown.

  2. I fell in love with this place and I cannot wait to go back!:) We just went here for a half day visit because my father, brother and I are in transit going to Bangkok via train during our KL-SINGAPORE-BANGKOK backpacking trip last December. We took the overnight sleeper in KL and arrived here at 6am. It was still dark and we saw the dawn break in Penang. It was beautiful!:) Yes, Penang visitors should ride the buses, they are just awesome! They have that free bus that goes around and brings you to Jetty I think.

    The people are extremely nice and the place is so clean. Everytime we need help someone will come to our rescue. We we’re able to walk around the place (to avoid paying fare or simply because we got lost hahaha!) and saw Georgetown and the whole of Penang. Breakfast was great too. I really cannot stop myself from raving I really like Penang a lot hahaha!!!:)

    Next time I will make sure to stay overnight here and explore it more.:)

  3. nice docgelo, you captured the beauty and colors so well!

    ako i want to ride the trishaw while going around! natawa ako sa “teksi”…aba, slang pala dyan? 🙂

    1. thanks, grace!

      naku ang bahasa melayu parang tagalog na slang na visaya na ilokano pero mahirap matutunan! bow!

      1,2,3 in BM : satu, dua, tiga, empat, lima… hahaha!

    1. hi bert! i was smiling again when i read your comment.
      serisously, i haven’t heard any crime for the past 7 months that i have been here in penang. such a peaceful place; sadly, totally different from our own country. but just like the other cities, it has its flaws of course.

    1. thanks, maria! thanks too for reminding me to mention weather in posting something about travel. i’m not a travel-blogger, you know. hehe. i’m keeping notes now. anyway, the weather in penang seems like an annual summer! although the sun shines late and dusk falls as late as 8PM, it gets so warm during noontime! hotter than in pinas actually! but the good thing is, this side of malaysia rarely gets typhoons and storms; very unlikely pinas there.

  4. nice nice. first to see it upclose (through photos) here. i usually just see small sized photo features of georgetown on magazines.

    it’s also very similar to arab street in singapore. i like those colorful pillars too.

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