Georgetown is the capital of the island of Penang. The city was founded in 1786 and named after the English King George III. It was the first British trading port in the Far East, which has retained traces of European culture to this day. Architecture that harmoniously combines different styles, sights that tell about the exciting history of this great city and, of course, numerous Chinese, Indian and Sikh temples – all this makes for an unforgettable experience. In a city as big as Georgetown, you don’t have to sit still. There are many good restaurants offering national and European cuisines, luxurious hotels, luxurious shopping and entertainment centers, inexpensive markets and colorful souvenir shops that flooded the city. Check ANDYEDUCATION to learn more about the country of Malaysia.
How to get to Georgetown
The city can be easily reached by air from any region of the country or the world. Penang Bayan Lepas International Airport is located about 20 km from George Town.
The city is connected by a road bridge to the Malay Peninsula, from where you can easily get there by bus or taxi.
At the same time, it should be remembered that taxis adhere to the coupon system. You have to pay for a taxi from the airport at the box office at a fixed price. Air-conditioned taxis are slightly more expensive.
Cuisine and restaurants in Georgetown
The local cuisine is really diverse. Here you can dine Malaysian, have a bite of Chinese or Japanese cuisine, dine with North African dishes.
Among the many restaurants in the city, Nyonya cuisine can be distinguished. The place is known for its Chinese dishes with the addition of spices in particular curry and chilli and Malaysian spices. Other dishes worth trying are otak – otak (fish wrapped in banana leaves) and sour-spicy kerabu (shrimp flavored with lemon herbs, chili and coconut flakes). The dishes here have a slightly harsh citrus aroma, which does not spoil them at all, rather, on the contrary, gives them a special piquancy.
East Xiamen Delicacies is a small, cozy art café with antique sewing tables and antique tiled floors. The unique atmosphere of this place is harmoniously combined with interesting and tasty dishes prepared according to old homemade recipes. Here you can try teochew lor ark (duck stew with rice), mangkuang (vegetarian dumplings with chopped beans and green onions) and finally kuang cheang Teluk Anson (fried sweet potato mixed with peanuts, soybeans and deep fried).
The Opera restaurant offers to relax and listen to live music. The stylish atmosphere of this place, in the interior of which East and West merge, gives it a special charm. Here you can taste both national cuisine and Western.
Shopping in Georgetown
Georgetown is the right place for shopping. Here you can buy handicrafts and souvenirs, clothes and shoes in small shops and large multi-storey shopping malls of the city.
Jalan Penang Street is a continuous chain of souvenir shops and shops, large shopping centers. One of the largest Komtar stores is also located here, where almost everything is offered, from electronics to world-famous clothing brands. On the top floor there is a luxurious restaurant with a panoramic view of the island.
On the old shopping streets of the city, you can buy something that you cannot find in any shopping center. This is a paradise for antique lovers. Handicrafts, jewelry and fabrics, clothes, antiques made of wood and tin – all this can be found on the streets of Lebuh Penang, Jalan Campbell and Lebuh Masjid Kapitan Keling.
Entertainment and attractions in Georgetown
One of the most iconic places in the city can be considered the Chinese temple Khoo Kongsi or Dragon Mountain, built by Chinese craftsmen, decorated with frescoes and intricate wood carvings.
One of the largest and most beautiful Buddhist temples, Kek Lok Si Temple, founded in 1890, is not to be missed. Work on its construction lasted 20 years. The mixture of Chinese, Burmese and Thai styles in architecture is mesmerizing at first sight. In front of the temple is a prayer square, where there are prayer halls and pagodas with Buddha sculptures.
And, of course, it is worth noting one of the oldest and most famous Hindu temples in the world, Sri Mariamman Temple, built in 1883. The rich decoration of the temple, magnificent sculptures of the gods made it a popular place where various holidays are held. The main feature of the temple is the statue of the god Subramaniam decorated with gold and silver, diamonds and emeralds. The entrance to the temple is guarded by a pair of stone elephants.
In addition, in Georgetown there is a unique temple erected in honor of the Goddess of Mercy Kuan Yin. Built in the early 19th century by the first settlers from China, the temple is very popular and revered among the Chinese and is constantly filled with visitors and pilgrims. The temple is made in the traditional Chinese style, with carved dragons and sculptures of lions guarding the deity.
The influence of European culture can be seen in the architectural heritage of the city with the naked eye. In 1786, the English captain Francis Light landed on the island of Penang. Later, Fort Cornwallis was built on this historic site. Here you can see a cannon called “Seri Rambai”, donated to the Sultan by the Dutch, preserved fortress walls reaching 4 meters in height, and look into the museum, which stores exhibits telling about the history of the fort. Near the fort there is a small park where you can relax, have a bite to eat in a cafe or walk through souvenir shops. The fort is open from 9:00 to 18:00.