Penang – Georgetown, its street art, food and temples
The city of Georgetown has 180.000 inhabitants and the most of them are Chinese Malay. Penang is famous for its delicious food and people say this place offers the best food all over the whole country and maybe around South East Asia. Its capital is also known for its Chinese and Indian temples, mosques, the colonial style architecture and last but not least for the old and modern street art which you can find all over the old town.
The maps I got provided at the airport or at my hostel showed me the most famous sights as well as places where to find old fashioned street art. To find and explore these sights sounded like a perfect plan for me. As soon as I arrived I was curious enough just to drop my stuff in the hostel and made me ready for a nice long walk around and chasing the colorful drawings all over the old town. The colonial architecture everywhere is very beautiful and the local life offered me a lot of good sceneries for some photo shots.
To see some different architecture I also made a walk through little India – also situated in the old town -. This was a great place to see Indian temple and to enjoy some Indian food. The one or two things which shocked me a bit was this old – and obviously disturbed – Indian man who stand at a street with its trouser down and playing with himself during one afternoon and some Indian people literately just laying on the pedestrian walk.
I heard about a Thai and a Burmese temple which are also situated in town and for some people these are the most interesting sight.Another day I could not resist and took the bus to visit these two temples. The reclining or by the locals as sleeping buddha known statue in the Thai temple is very impressive with its length about 33 meters. It is lined by more buddha statures symbolizing the Chinese star signs. Just opposite the Burmese temple can be found with one tall Burmese buddha. I was pleased that both temples were free of entrance fee and it was nice to explore them instead of the mosque across the street from my hostel in which I never made it because it always was prayer time when I give it a try. Nevertheless I got a lot of impressions and ideas of local life in these couple of days I stayed in Georgetown.
How to go to
It is very easy to take a plane into Penang from different places in Malaysia and the countries around. Plane tickets are very cheap why it is always worth to check them out before deciding to take a bus for long hours. Busses can be also taken from different places and are cheap. When arrived at the airport just check for a bus map and use the public bus to the center of Georgetown which only costs some cents.
Where to stay
In the old town you will find a big amount of hostels and hotels to stay in. Prices for hostels starts around 4EUR per night and for nice rooms at around 15EUR. Plenty of places are located around Guilia Street – the main street where also the local busses stoping -. From here you perfectly can start to explore the city as well as take the bus to different places on the island.
Where to eat
Penang is famous for its food and for that reason you will find food everywhere. In little India many nice indian restaurants can be find. Chinese and Malay food are served everywhere over the city. I mostly tried the street food and never got disappointed. Food in Georgetown is like in the rest of Malaysia very cheap. You already can buy a nice roti depending on the filling for around 0,60 to 1,00EUR. I also loved the different samosas where I paid mostly around 0,20EUR per piece. A plate of fried noodles is around 1,00 and 1,20EUR. Furthermore the city has more than one night market where all kind of different food is served.