George Town Travel Guide

  • George Town
    by PeterVancouver
  • Noordin & Dean Kafe, George Town
    Noordin & Dean Kafe, George Town
    by antistar
  • View from Penang Hill
    View from Penang Hill
    by Paulm1987

George Town Things to Do

  • Komtar Tower

    The pride of Malaysia when it was built, the Komtar tower is still by far the tallest building in George Town, even if it has since been surpassed in size by several others in Kuala Lumpur. Today large parts of the complex are abandoned, and the once popular observation deck has been closed indefinitely for renovations. It looks hopeful, as some of...

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  • Clan Jetties

    Only a few of George Town's once plentiful stilted houses still remain, clinging desperately to the coast as if they might be torn away in a tropical storm at any moment. They are wonderfully evocative of a bygone era, but they are also living spaces so should be treated with respect. Each jetty is dominated by one of several Chinese clans, who...

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  • Little India

    George Town's Little India manages to transport you to the streets of Mumbai or Delhi, with all the sights, sounds, smells, but without any of the hassle. It's more authentically chaotic than Little India in Singapore, but just as hot. Take time to enjoy the authentic food, shopping and the Bhangra beats.

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  • St. George's Church

    Consescrated in 1819, it cost the British as much to build as Singapore cost to buy the same year. This, the oldest Anglican church in Malaysia, became a focal point for the British community on the island. It's cold, white washed walls and austere neo-classical architecture are stand out features in this tropical climate.

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  • Promenade

    Starting at Esplanade Park, near Fort Cornwallis, and stretching up along the north coast of Penang, past Eastern & Oriental then all along Gurney Promenade, is a stretch of disconnected walking paths that give outstanding views of the Penang Straits and the island as it curves around the bay. You can stop off at the some tea and sea breeze at the...

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  • Eastern & Oriental Hotel

    Perfectly placed on the promenade, the Eastern & Oriental is, like its sister Raffles in Singapore, the quintessential colonial hotel. It's all whitewashed walls and cast iron verandas. It's easy to imagine some of the famous fin de siècle writers, like Rudyard Kipling and Somerset Maugham, enjoying tea on the sea front, cooled by a breeze fresh in...

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  • Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion

    Cheong Fatt Tze's "Blue Mansion" is a throwback to George Town's colonial years - one of the best examples of merchant houses that still exists in the city. This one stands out particularly from the often white washed mansions on the coast by being painted a bold indigo blue.

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  • Hainan Temple

    Many of the Chinese who emigrated to Penang came from the island of Hainan, but they were late arrivals and typically had a tougher time than most settling in South East Asia. The temple on Muntri Street is dedicated to the god of seafarers, their patron, Ma Chor Po.

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  • Penang Hill

    The climate on Penang Hill, about 800 meters above sea level, is a refreshing relief after the muggy, tropical conditions in George Town. The temperature is a few degrees lower, the air is drier and there is a significant cool breeze. It's no wonder the British built their colonial retreat up here. At night the temperature can drop below 21...

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George Town Hotels

  • Hotel Hong Ping

    I'm not sure what the real Waldorf would think of its Georgetown namesake but I haven't heard...

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  • Hotel Mingood

    We came for a short stay but extended due to the more than adequate accommodations, convenient...

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  • Merchant

    My arrival in Georgetown coincided with the Hindu Deepavali festival. Not only that but Penang was...

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George Town Restaurants

  • Great Food

    I was uncertain when approaching Noordin & Dean Kafe from Komtar because of the amount of wasteland and building work. It didn't seem like the location for a great restaurant. But I was mistaken. The beautifully renovated old town house stands out immediately, and inside there is warm, snug feel created by plenty of dark wood and sombre lighting....

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  • Sea View

    Great for a tea or a buffet lunch by the sea, this annex of the Eastern & Oriental is very high quality, but not too snobby or expensive.

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  • Great Central Lunch

    A brand new cafe in a refurbished town house on Lebuh China, just off the busy thoroughfare of Beach Street, is Pit Stop no. 6. The menu is small, but the food is tasty, the decor and atmosphere very relaxing, and the service friendly. Good for lunch or a casual dinner.

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  • Vegetarian

    There is vegetarian food in Malaysia, but it can be a bit hard to track down, and always a little bit strange. In Penang it's easier than elsewhere. This particular restaurant was filled with local Chinese customers, but we didn't feel out of place. The menu was interesting with lots of local and western dishes. I risked some pasta, and it was...

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  • Wafles

    My son likes wafles so this was his favourite restauarnt. You can get here some more western style food. It is modern decorated. Thye have breakfast, lunch and diner. wafles with ice cream!

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  • Belgium food

    If yu are tired of rice and noodles you can get here decent potatoes and a lot of vegetables, like we are used in holland.

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George Town Nightlife

  • Chinese Night Market

    I had a good time at this Night Market down-town Georgetown. Every night I always ate here and had some drinks after a long day. It was just a walking distance from where I was staying.There is quite number of stalls selling different Asian Cuisine at the Night Market and there is live performances everyday.If you looking for cheap variety of Asian...

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  • Bollywood film, anyone?

    There are a lot of Indians here so the Bollywood cinema is a popular place. Personally, these films drive me nuts. Beautiful location somewhere, pretty young girl (normally very fair-skinned) with high-pitched voice, dodgy looking male lead with customary moustache or beard and bad haircut, laughable choreography, amateur acting, lots of funny...

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  • George Town Hotels

    42 Hotels in George Town

George Town Transportation

  • Penang Airport

    Given that it can take the best part of a day to travel by land to Singapore, and 20 hours by train to Bangkok, flying seems a sensible option unless you really want to enjoy the overland experience. Flights to Singapore from Penang take just 1.5 hours, and cost as little as 25 euros. Compared to this the 12-13 hour bus ride (with change in Kuala...

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  • Intercity Bus

    The trains in Malaysia are very slow, although comfortable. Most people recommend using the bus system, which uses modern, safe, buses. They are also relatively cheap, so you can pay a bit more and catch one with upholstered seats, lots of legroom, TV screens in the seat, and even in-ride meals. We used Aerolines, which I can partially recommend....

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  • Trishaws

    Typically driven by sun worn old men, these are a very different, and slow, way to get around the city. They are slowly fading out, and really only used by tourists.

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George Town Shopping

  • Shopping Centre with Supermarket

    Malaysia is great for shopping - the malls are many, the shops are well stocked, and the prices are low by European standards. First Avenue Mall is a new shopping centre in the old Komtar complex. It has plenty of clothes shops and a huge supermarket upstairs. It's probably the nearest supermarket to the old town as you are going to find.

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  • shopping on the way downwards

    Kek Lok Si is the wide templearea built on a hill and the Taxis will drop you somewhere on top of that hill and when you have visited all sights you will walk down slowly a long path with hundreds of steps and stands with Food, souvenirs, clothings and also a lot of rubbish beeing sold there.Your taxi will wait for you at the end of this path...

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  • Postman Cake

    If you are been Penang, don't forget to buy some Tambun / Tau Sar Piah. There are lot of shop selling Tau Sar Piah but I find this shop have a best piah (biscuits) I ever tasted. It may be a long way up to Ayer Itam but I don't mind. Buy them as present from Penang. Tau Sar Piah, Pong Piah and Postman cake (the name got stuck as Postman cake from...

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George Town Local Customs

  • globetrott's Profile Photo

    by globetrott Updated Aug 4, 2014

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    When-ever you enter a chinese temple or shrine, watch out for the temple-guards that will be shown there at the entrance in oder to fight against evil spirits and ghosts. Mostly you will see them as a painting or sometimes as a woodcarving, it is a tradition that started already in the 6th century. Mostly you will see 2 different such defenders: 1 with a pale face and swords and the other one has a dark face and batons.

    Related to:
    • Photography
    • Architecture
    • Arts and Culture

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George Town Warnings and Dangers

  • Dengue Fever

    There's no malaria in George Town, but the whole of Malaysia continues to suffer epidemics of Dengue Fever - a nasty mosquito borne virus which kills 1 in every 100 of its victims. Even surviving it can leave you damaged for life. It's common enough that few people living in the region don't know someone who has suffered from it. It shouldn't put...

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  • Pretty Safe

    Although some parts of the old town can be a bit dark and gloomy, there was nothing that made me feel uncomfortable. At night it gets pretty busy with the street food stalls, so you never really feel alone, and only a few prostitutes coming out on Chulia Street after sundown gave any impression of seediness. I've read of a few pickpockets on the...

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  • Travel with Small Kids

    The pavements in George Town are generally pretty good, but there are few places to cross the often busy roads. What crossings there are can involve vast overpasses and many steps up and down. The pavements in much of the old town consist of covered "five-foot ways", which are like extensions of the shops and businesses. They aren't well...

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George Town Off The Beaten Path

  • hiking 5 km

    You take the bus to the Penang hill. Take the train up the hill. Above in front of the train station you will see a small police station. If you go down next to that building just following the yellow marks, you will have a nice but very steep walk down to the botanical garden. The road is called jeep trail. It is only 5 km but that is a lot...

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  • botanical gardens

    They have a very nice botanical garden in Penang. You can get there by bus number 10 from George Town. In the garden there is a little train to go around. At the entrance is a very old tree. It was established in 1884 and also has a nice waterfall cascade in it. There are monkeys around. If you are hungry, there is a restaurant overthere.

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  • The Botanical Garden of George Town

    The Botanical Garden of George Town is also known under the name "Waterfall Gardens", or Monkey Park. It is 29 acres large and a great place to visit for everybody of the Family and you will see a lot of exotic trees and flowers as well as Monkeys and other animals and to my very surprise there were also Varanidae, as you can see in my last 2...

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George Town Favorites

  • George Town on the Heritage List.

    George Town was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List on 7th July, 2008. The "reason" for this was explained: the built and living environment of this historic city reflect the unique mosaic of multi-cultural elements from the Malay Archipelago, India, China and Europe to create an architectural and cultural townscape unparalleled in the...

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  • How to find the objects.

    I have put links to Google Map in my tips to make it easier to find the objects mentioned, when possible to get the right position. The links are marked in italics. Unfortunately Google Map isn't very precise and too often points to other buildings than the wanted one.

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  • Penang

    George Town is located off the Malaysian penisular on the island of Penang to the west. It's connected to the mainland by bridge and there is also a ferry service connecting it to Butterworth. The island itself is easy to get around and worth exploring.

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Explore Deeper into George Town
Taxis
Transportation
Penang Hill Railway
Things to Do
CAT Free Shuttle Bus
Transportation
City Bus
Transportation
Penang 3D Trick Art Museum
Things to Do
Fort Cornwallis
Things to Do
Central Fire Station
Things to Do
Queen Victoria Memorial Clock Tower
Things to Do
Penang Ferry Service
Transportation
Train
Transportation
Go up the Penang hill
Things to Do
Street art, go look for it
Things to Do
Boat to Langkawi
Transportation
history of Penang
Things to Do
Chinese art
Things to Do
Kek Lok Si (Buddhist) Temple
Things to Do
Penang & George Town
Off The Beaten Path
The Temple of the reclining Buddha
Things to Do
In the park of Dhammikarama Temple
Things to Do
The interior of Dhammikarama Temple
Things to Do
The Burmese Temple (Dhammikarama)
Things to Do
The Hock Teik Cheng Sin Temple
Off The Beaten Path
The turtle pond in Kek Lok Si
Off The Beaten Path
The bronze statue of Kuan Yin in Kek Lok Si
Things to Do
Take the funicular in Kek Lok Si
Transportation
Pinang Peranakan Mansion
Off The Beaten Path
The Esplanade of George Town
Things to Do
Dont feed the monkeys & other animals
Warnings and Dangers
By Cruise to George Town
Transportation
Take a Teksi / Taxi
Transportation
Take a Trisha or Riksah
Transportation
The clocktower
Off The Beaten Path
Yap Kongsi & the Yap Temple
Off The Beaten Path
St. George Anglican Church
Off The Beaten Path
Masjid Kapitan Keling Mosque
Off The Beaten Path
Penang Bridge
Transportation
The origins of the Snake Temple
Things to Do
The Snake temple
Things to Do
The rich interior of Khoo Kongsi
Things to Do
Kooo Kongsi, a Chinese clan house
Things to Do
Map of George Town

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