Georgetown Tourist Information and Tourism

(Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia)

The Malaysian island of Penang and its capital Georgetown combine to make the most popular tourism destination in this region of tropical beauty and natural wonders. The inner city and historic commercial centre of Georgetown has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site for its magnificent core of colonial buildings, its fascinating mix of diverse culture and history, and for its ancient and well-preserved temples.

Georgetown is one of the largest cities in Malaysia, with a mix of over 300,000 Malay, Chinese and Indian residents, yet its laid-back, traditional atmosphere is reminiscent of Singapore some 50 years ago. In 2009, the city was voted the tenth-best Asian city to live in, boosting visitor numbers as a result. Extensive tourist information about Georgetown can be found at the Tourism Malaysia and the Penang Heritage Trust outlets, as well as at the plentiful travel agencies based along the Lebuh Chulia.

Georgetown Tourist Information and Tourism: Top Sights

Most hotels and attractions within Georgetown can be comfortably reached either on foot or by trishaw, with plenty of affordable accommodation lining Chinatown's Lebuh Chulia stretch. The Jalan Panang serves as the principal thoroughfare and as an important shopping destination, with waterfront views at the end. If you are on holiday in Georgetown and looking to sightsee, then consider a self-guided walking tour, starting at the early 19th-century Fort Cornwallis and passing many significant buildings en route, which often feature descriptive plaques outside. For a bite to eat, both the neighbourhoods of Chinatown and Little India will likely beckon, while for a taste of history and opulence, pay a visit to Suffolk House, the mansion once owned by the actual founder of the city. Offering Chinese-style architecture at its most simple and elegant, the colourful Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion also often appeals to tourists. More information about Georgetown Tourist Attractions.

The Chinese and Raj-era buildings add great character to Georgetown and are some of the city's most distinctive landmarks, with the Kapitan Keling Mosque (Masjid Kapitan Keling), the State Mosque (Masjid Negeri) and the Acheen Street Mosque (Masjid Lebuh Acheh) being especially fine. Boasting unbeatable panoramic views from its 60th floor is the Komtar Tower, Penang's tallest structure, which is often a useful point of reference if you have lost your bearings. There are also many beautiful temples gracing the streets of Georgetown, such as the temples of Hainan, Kuan Yin Teng, Sri Mariamman and Tua Pek Kong. Further character is provided by the Penang Chinese shophouses within the Old City, the Temple of the Reclining Buddha (Wat Chayamanghalaram), and the more European Queen Victoria Memorial Clock Tower, which dominates King Edward's Place (Pesara King Edward) and was erected to honour the Queen's 60th jubilee. More information about Georgetown Landmarks and Monuments.

Penang may not be a vast island, but its cultural offerings are plentiful, with a number of notable museums present in this capital city. The white-washed Penang State Museum is one of Georgetown's best and contains much information about the city's past, culture and festivals, and rather resembles a lavishly appointed palace in its appearance. At the elegant Pinang Peranakan Mansion, various artefacts and antiquities document the culture of the Peranakan community. The Penang State Art Gallery is another esteemed attraction for the more discerning tourist and stands directly above the State Museum, where it showcases many fine Malaysian paintings, often of a contemporary nature. More information about Georgetown Museums and Georgetown Art Galleries.

You can easily reach attractions on the other side of the island by planning a day trip, which means that tourists who have chosen to rent a car for the duration of their holiday will find nothing out of bounds. Many sandy beaches line the coastline of Penang, with some of the most appealing including the touristy Batu Ferringhi strip and the more secluded Pantai Kerachut beach, both of which reside on the northern side of the island, to the north-west of Georgetown. Away from the coastline, the Teluk Bahang Forest Reserve features jungle treks amidst lush rainforest and indigenous wildlife. Close to Georgetown is the Penang Hill Funicular Railway, which is near to the Botanical Gardens and offers scenic views as you rise. Those wishing to explore the southern side of the island can visit a series of traditional fishing villages, such as Batu Muang, Gertak Sanggul and Teluk Kumbar. If you have time for some island hopping, then Jerejak Island (Pulau Jerejak) comes recommended, with its popular beach resort and virgin rainforests. More information about Georgetown Attractions Nearby.

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