How have I missed sharing one of my favorite places!?! Ready yourself for an onslaught of photographs of one of my all time locations, George Town. The capital of Penang, Malaysia, the old town section is a UNESCO World Culture Heritage city founded in the 1700’s by a trader in the British East India Company with European architectural influences along with a predominant Chinese populations, it’s a wonderful blend of east meeting west.
Oozing with charm the town is a fusion of cultures all from it’s architecture to the cuisine. The best thing I decided to do while in Malaysia was hang out here for a week, rent a bike and meander around the town exploring the cafes, riding through small streets searching for the phenomenal street art.
Grab a map and play cultural “hide and seek”, finding the over 30 pieces of street art on the walls of homes and buildings throughout the city, conveniently marking all of the spots to investigate. It’s a great way to get to know your way around and find other places to explore. I happily got lost here several times.
The interactive murals were commissioned by Lithuanian artist Earnest Zacharevic, and have a whimsical quality that makes for an exciting encounter when you discover one just around the corner. Sculpture At Work is responsible for the quirky, playful steel rod caricatures also found around town. Each of the 52 wire art installments depict life in George Town, giving you a glimpse of the history of the area through a 3D scene on a wall.
Trishaw rides can be another eco-friendly way to see the city. A tradition here in George Town, you’ll see hundreds of them pedaling around their decorated rigs to attract tourists for inexpensive transportation and tours through town.
The best is to head to the corner of town where all of the drivers hang out when they aren’t busy riding. When a large group shows up for a tour it’s a mass exodus and the Trishaws all take to the streets providing for some epic people watching.
Narrow quiet back streets have small cafes and never ending photo opportunities to capture the essence of George Town and in my opinion what make it such a special place. Interesting art, delicious food and friendly locals, I’d go back in a heart beat.