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*