George Town, Penang – the history told through street art

The history of George Town in Penang began with its establishment by Captain Francis Light of the British East India Company in 1786. Founded as a free port, George Town became the first British settlement in Southeast Asia and prospered in the 19th century as one of the vital British entrepôts within the region.

George Town, Penang, became the first city in Malaya, and by extension, Malaysia. Today, the city is well known for its cultural diversity, colonial-era architecture, and street food.

You will need at least two full days to discover all the street art that can be found in George Town. There are two kinds: Grafitti and the metal-wired constructions, both telling the story of a normal local life in the past and the present.

Head to the Tourist Information Center and grab a specially prepared map where all of those peaces of art are located. Don’t forget to ask when is the free walking tour. They do it twice a week and it’s definitely worth checking out.

Here’s what you can expect:

Where to stay

Hostels are not the strongest game that George Town has. I would recommend staying in a hotel in the Old Town, with walking distance to all the night markets. I stayed at Kooning. It was clean, modern, and quiet.

Where to eat

Chulia night market is the only right answer for me! There is a big choice of dishes, they are all fresh, cheap and delicious! There are many, many places with amazing food in George Town. It deserved a separate post. Check it out.

How to get there

A direct bus leaves the Kuala Lumpur Central Bus Station and arrived at the center of Penang. From there it’s a short taxi ride or a long bus ride to George Town. I recommend using the Grab app, it’s 2-3 euros. If you don’t have a Malaysian SIM card, the wi-fi is available at the bus terminal.


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Penang – the Mecca of Street Food.

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