Experience the unique charms of Straits eclectic architecture and sights from our colonial past that has earned George Town a place in Unesco’s heritage site listing. Here, every clanhouse and building represents a page of Penang’s colourful history and every street corner has a tale to tell.
Better still, join the guided walking tours organised by Penang Heritage Trust (from RM50/person) or do with ‘green wheels’ – via a bicycle or trishaw package tour by Metro Bike (from RM88/person).
Upper Penang Road and Chulia Street
For those who love to drink and party, the Upper Penang Road party hotspot in George Town comes alive when the sun descends on the horizon. Here, you will find pubs, karaoke lounges and clubs with live bands where the drinks keep flowing and the beat keeps thumping! At nearby Chulia Street, backpackers chill and bond in little budget motels, coffee shops and watering holes that serve relatively cheap(er) beer and drinks.
At 821m above sea level, Penang Hill visitors will be privy to some of the grandest colonial mansions (which are now restaurants and guests houses) while enjoying the cool, refreshing air and panoramic views of the island. Take a short 30-minute cable car ride up Penang Hill from the funicular station in Air Itam or trek up the hill via the Botanic Gardens – a three-hour hike through lush foliage of the rainforest.
Place of Worship
Grand churches, elaborate Buddhist and Indian temples and magnificent mosques are all part and parcel of the local culture. Be it the St George’s Church (built in 1816), Kapitan Keling Mosque, Kek Lok Si Temple, Snake Temple (yes, there are live snakes inside!) or Sri Mahamariamman Temple, the different races often converge at these places of worship to practice their faith and it is indeed, a sight to be hold
CHEONG FATT TZE MANSION IN PENANG
Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion, a boutique hotel that’s one of Penang’s best-known attractions in an ornate edifice built in the traditional Hakka – Teochew style. Located at 14 Leith Street, the structure was erected in the 1880s when Hakka merchant, Cheong Fatt Tze commissioned its construction.
A self-made and affluent merchant-trader, Cheong Fatt Tze left China as a penniless teenager but soon rose to the ranks of the well-heeled when he established a vast financial empire throughout East Asia at the end of 19th century. Despite the popularity of modern Anglo-Indian designs at the time, he chose to build his domicile as a traditional-style Chinese courtyard house. The stately manor has 38 rooms, five granite-paved courtyards, seven staircases and 220 timber-frame windows.