George Town, capital of Penang, is easily one of my favourite cities in South East Asia. It’s full of art and culture, some of the best food you’ll ever eat, and wonderfully lovely people.
There’s probably something worth photographing on every street corner of George Town, but I’ve compiled my favourite beauty spots so you can add them to your itinerary when in town!
George Town is renowned for its street art. Take a ten minute stroll around George Town and it’s hard to avoid some kind of street-corner mural. You can get a list or map of the locations of all the murals and sculptures dotted around from Penang airport, tourist information, or from a local taxi or Uber driver.
Here are a few of my favourites by Ernest Zacharevic, who hand-painted these beautiful street murals whilst he was living in Penang..
Lady selling Susu Soya – Gat Lebuh Chulia, George Town
Children Reaching Out of Window – Ming Xiang Tai Pastry Shop, Lebuh Armenian, George Town
Brother and Sister on a Swing – Step by Step Lane, George Town
Boy on Motorcycle – Lebuh Ah Quee, Georgetown
Kek Lok Si Temple
One of the most colourful temples I’ve come across, Kek Lok Si has to be on anyone’s to-see list when in Penang.
The ‘moon gates’ were a favourite feature of mine.
The temple has various levels. You can pay to take the funicular railway to the top where panoramic views of Penang await you as well as a huge 30 metre statue of Guanyin, the goddess of mercy. Basically, plenty to take photos of.
Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion (Blue Mansion)
Tours of the Blue Mansion are available every day, at 11:00am, 2:00pm and 3:30pm. You won’t be able to get a decent photo of the house without a tour so be sure to book a ticket online, or turn up 15 minutes before a tour leaves. It’s well worth the small cost though – every inch of this house is photogenic, thanks to its incredibly pigmented blue paint!
Cheong Fatt Tze was a wealthy and successful Chinese politician and businessman. Inspired by Chinese architecture, the Blue Mansion was painstakingly constructed with materials imported from all over the world and with Feng Shui considered in every element of the design.
The mansion underwent major restoration in the late 1900s as it became run down after Cheong Fatt Tze’s death. The exterior was painted to its former glory and the end result is definitely worth a snap or two.
If you have cash to spare and want even better glimpses of the house, you can stay in one of the boutique rooms!
Streets and Cafes
China House cafe (pictured below) is worthy of a visit; the cafe is one of the longest buildings in George Town and comprised of three heritage buildings. They also serve fifty different cakes every day, so you definitely can’t complain there’s not enough choice.
George Town in general is extremely pretty. There are plenty of eateries and buildings worthy of your attention and my best advice is simply to wander around as much as you can!
If you’re planning to head to Penang feel free to ask for any advice or recommendations!
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