Exploring the historic George Town, the Capital City of Penang, in Malaysia
Have you ever been to Malaysia? Better still have you ever been to George Town, the capital city of Penang in Malaysia? I’m sure many have never been. The world is a beautiful place indeed and it’s all around us. Traveling and seeing the world should be on everyone’s bucket list. Changing your environment once in a while is a stress reliever. It makes you look at the world in a whole new perspective thereby having the ability to lift your spirits.
George Town is the capital city of the Malaysian state of Penang. It is on the northeastern tip of Penang Island. And it is the second largest city in Malaysia with over 708,127 inhabitants as of 2010. Captain Francis Light of the British East India Company established it in 1786. The town was one of the first British settlements in southeast Asia.
With an illustrious history behind it, Penang’s capital city is one of the most colorful and interesting cities in Malaysia. And it’s named after the famous king George III. Walking down the streets of George Town is like walking through the town’s glorious paths of history.
The influences of Asia and Europe have endowed this city with specific multicultural heritage. Which is both tangible and intangible. The town features many residential and commercial buildings. It represents the British era from the 18th century. Thus validating outstanding cultural heritage. Because of this, UNESCO listed Georgetown as world heritage site on the 7th of July 2008. The historic city of Georgetown has over 12,000 old buildings. Comprising of shop houses, churches, mosques, government offices, and monuments.
The core areas of the site encompass the historical enclave and sites. Such as the Lebuh Acheh Malay Mosque, The Goddess Mercy Temple, Jalan Masjid Kapitan Kling Mosque, Khoo Kongsi,Sri Mariamman Temple, St. George’s church, St. Xavier’s Institution, Assumption Church, Convent Light Street, Little India, The Commercial Area of Beach Street, The Museum and Court Building, Fort Cornwallis, City Hall, Esplanade, The Clan Jetties and The Port Areas. Listing Georgetown on the world heritage list has boosted tourism a lot since 2008.
Today the city is a great example of the multicultural society in Malaysia. Although many different nationalities live in the city, the Chinese form the majority. The colonial architectures characterize the city. It is not a modern metropolis. Although some are modern, the majority are old fashioned. You can compare George Town best to those typical and hectic Asian cities. You can sense the authentic Asian atmosphere.
Hotels in George Town
Many say that all city hotels are equal. With the same range of facilities, uninspired interior design, and lackluster service. Yet, every busy metropolis has a few accommodation options that stand them out from the pack. In Penang’s capital city of George Town, hotels seem to have taken the city’s UNESCO heritage site status to heart. Resulting in urban escapes with plenty of flair, luxury amenities. And guest-centered services at the top of their must-have accessories.
A few of these hotels in George Town includes; eastern and oriental, 23 Lovelane Penang, Macalister mansion, hotel Panaga. Amongst others… Whether you’re looking for a nice and quirky budget hotel with lots of pizzazz. Or heritage houses that put in mind regal palaces befitting maharajas, these hotels will please all.
George Town Attractions
George Town is built in quarters. There is the Chinese quarter (Chinatown). There is also the colorful quarter known as little India and a business district. A lot of activities are available for one to engage in the city. You could go on a day trip through the city by walking or by trishaw or just go in a taxi.
It wouldn’t be too much to say that George Town is Penang in a nutshell. Visiting the beautiful city of George Town is like visiting a world where time stands still. A world full of history, nature, and traditions weaved into a rich cultural tapestry. Georgetown contains the best of Penang’s sights, sounds, smells, and tastes. From heritage buildings to nature parks, the city has plenty of attractions to appease the curious visitors. It is best enjoyed on foot or trishaw, which helps you take in the sights and sounds better. Some of these attractions includes;
This magnificent building was built in the 1880s. It blends both eastern and western designs. With louvered windows, beautiful floor tiles and art louvered stained glass. It is a surviving example of the eclectic architectural style preferred by wealthy straits Chinese.
This is a spectacular clan house dominated by incredible murals depicting birthdays, weddings and the 36 celestial guardians. Beautiful ceramic sculptures of immortals, carp, dragons and carp becoming dragons dance across the roof ridges.
George Town festival
This is a month-long festival that brings top international talent to the city and premiers exciting new local works.
You can’t say you’ve been to George Town without stepping inside china house. It’s a block-wide amalgamation of shop houses that is home to a variety of dining, drinking and shopping options.
This is home to the oldest straits Chinese clan association in Penang. Besides serving as a temple and assembly hall, the building has also been registered headquarters of several clans.
Travelling can be fun and it can be a great eye opener to the beautiful world we live in. But it is important to note that you can face several risks when you travel. Some are small like having a rainy beach day or leaving an umbrella in a cab. Others are big, like a costly canceled trip or getting sick abroad.
Planning a trip means prepaid expenses like plane tickets, cruise fare, or tour packages. And these expenses can be at risk if you need to cancel, but you also risk more expenses from medical emergencies while traveling.
For example, you embark on a two weeks trip to Malaysia, and two days into the trip, a family member gets ill and you have to get home fast. So you cancel the rest of the trip and head home. What happens to the trip? You would have losses. Such as prepaid expenses you didn’t get to use for the rest of the trip. The cost of the last-minute plane ticket to get home, and the expense of re-joining the trip if you’re able to. But you can sort all these fast. And avoid unnecessary expenses if you invested in a trip cancellation coverage. This type of insurance can reimburse you for pre-paid, non-refundable expenses if you need to cancel your trip before leave. Or if you decide to cut the trip short. If you need peace of mind and protection against unexpected incidents. If you also don’t want to lose money, then invest in travel insurance before embarking on any trip. You’ll see how the right coverage can protect your vacation investment, your health, and safety.