Pulau Penang

Georgetown Travel Blog

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Penang's capital city is an interesting mix of Malaysian modernity, British colonialism, and a strong Chinese influence. Numerous colonial era buildings line the narrow streets, and there are some fabulous mansions dotted around the town...though many are in decay despite heritage preservation groups trying to raise money for them. The nightlife here, however, brings in many domestic and international tourists and is second only to KL's scene. The shopping plazas in the inner city, however, are lacking and could use a makeover. But the central bus terminal beneath the mall is very practical and well-planned.

Edit (3 March 2011):

I've visited Georgetown several times since my original blog post about it so I figure an update is needed. Penang has grown quickly over the past decade. Georgetown was named a UNESCO Heritage City but has managed to keep its modernizing away from the historic areas of the city. Fingers crossed that this lasts for many more decades to come. The older part of town is still a pleasure to visit and best done on foot (or by becak if you are not too shy). There inner city malls have since been improved and expanded and even nicer ones are found in the suburbs (Queensbay and Gurney, for example). Nightlife continues to thrive in Penang and a new club/bar/pub strip has opened up between the start of Penang Road and the E&O Hotel, making it really easy to entertain yourself at night. For food, Penang still reigns, with the hawker foods lining the streets at night and a range of other good places to dine throughout the day. I'll be back here soon.

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photo by: Caliber-A