Georgetown is the capital city of the island and state of Penang, on the west coast of peninsular Malaysia. It is the second-largest city in Malaysia and was listed by UNESCO in 2008 as a ‘World Heritage Site’. Founded in 1786 by British trader Francis Light, Georgetown was one of the three Straits Settlements along with Singapore and Malacca. Modern-day Georgetown is the centre of Penang Island, Malaysia’s second-largest city – with over 700,000 inhabitants.
My visit to Georgetown, Penang, was in November 2019. I absolutely enjoyed Georgetown! From the food (Penang laska, Penang Char char kway teow), the people, the culture, there were many highlights that made this trip an unforgettable one. Here are some attractions I highly recommend visiting if you ever visit Georgetown one day.
#1: Penang Art Street
Number 1 on the list is definitely a familiar sight to most of us. I started off my trip with a visit to Penang Art Street, where the painting of ‘kids riding a bicycle’ lies. This particular street art is one of the talked about tourist attractions in Penang, with many Singaporeans posting pictures of the ‘ Kids riding a bicycle’ on Instagram. The painting is stunning and captivating, with a never-ending line of people who want to take a photo or selfie. Unwilling to queue? Don’t worry, you will find amazing murals, steel sculptures, and wall paintings on every street corner.
Furthermore, the ‘ Kids on a bicycle ‘ mural was nominated as one of world’s Top 15 Wall paintings by the newspaper The Guardian (UK) in November 2013. Definitely worth a visit if you are visiting Georgetown.
Address: Jalan Penang, Muntri Street, Weld Quay, Armenian Street, Ah Quee Street and more..
#2: Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion
One of Penang’s most iconic landmarks, Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion is a stately 1980’s manor that stands out because of indigo-blue exterior design. It was rescued from the ruins in the 1990’s and converted into a boutique heritage hotel.
I actually spent three nights at the Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion and it was nothing short of amazing. I was so reluctant to leave and wanted to spend a few more nights there. My guide was very informative and spared no details which really brought alive how the mansion would have been when first built. I could really feel the different layers of history within the mansion.
The Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion went on to win countless architectural awards and has even been featured in international films such as The Blue Mansion and Indochine. The next time you visit Georgetown, do immerse yourself in the rich culture and history that Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion has to offer.
Address: 14, Leith Street , 10200 Penang
#3: Penang Hill Railway
The Penang Hill Railway is a single section railway which climbs the Penang Hill from Air Itam, on the outskirts of Georgetown. The railway opened in 1923 and was initially constructed for the British colonial community to enjoy the cooler air of the Penang Hill. Penang Hill Railway offers visitors a stunning view and fresh air.
I visited the railway with my family and I really enjoyed the tranquillity of nature. It was a fun experience racing up the hill, passing through local villages and jungle before finally getting to the top of the hill. What I remembered the most was the amazing view from the top of the hill. It was really a surreal moment.
However, I do recommend going there as early as possible as it is always crowded during holiday periods, hence, it will take quite some time just to get into Penang Hill. You should definitely go as early as possible to avoid the crowd.
Address: Jalan Stesen Bukit Bendera Air Itam, George Town, Penang Island 11500 Malaysia
#4: Escape Adventureplay
Escape Adventureplay is a newly opened theme park and it was designed with the goal of being as ecologically as possible. The theme park is surrounded by natural landscapes and is famous for its wide variety of thrill rides. This would be the perfect place to visit for adrenaline junkies and teenagers seeking to have some fun.
Personally, my favourite ride is Tubby Ride, which is a gravity based ride where participants sit inside a tube and navigate through a series of twisting obstacles. However, do take note that some rides have a minimum age requirement. But rest assured, there is definitely a wide variety of activity for all ages and courage levels.
I had the time of my life there and i can’t wait to visit Adventureplay Theme Park as I had so much fun. The saying “Time flies when you’re having fun” could not have been more true. Without a doubt one of the best and most affordable theme parks I have ever been to. Do bring along your friends and families here the next time you visit Penang!
Address: 828 Jalan Teluk Bahang, Teluk Bahang, Penang Island 11050 Malaysia
Georgetown is filled with many different things to do. Fancy a tranquil and peaceful experience? Georgetown has got you covered. Fancy something adrenaline thrilled and exciting? Georgetown has got you covered. Georgetown has something for everyone. Furthermore, Georgetown is home to Co-operatives such as The Coop Mart and the Penang Teachers Cooperative Society. You can also discover more about the uniqueness of co-ops in Penang here, where some of SNCF staff and scholars went on a co-op seminar!
Coop Mart Address: Jalan Universiti, 11800 Gelugor, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Penang Teachers Cooperative Society Address: 1-G, Lebuh King, George Town, 10200 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
This article was brought to you by Adrian How Jian Yang who is currently interning in SNCF. He is in his third year of his polytechnic education and is pursuing a diploma in Business and Social Enterprise at Ngee Ann polytechnic. He likes to play basketball, travel and enjoys spending time with his dog.