George Town, sometimes also referred to as Georgetown, is the capital city of the Malaysian state called Penang. It was named after British King George III and it has a population of about 400,000 people. George Town is one of the best cities to live in located in Asia, according to research done by Asiaweek, and the state of Penang is also known as the ‘Pearl of the Orient’. Owing to this fact, it is no wonder why so many people all over the world choose to visit George Town and spend their vacations there.
Facts About George Town
• The languages spoken in this city are Malay, English, Chinese, Thai, Tamil, Telugu, Punjabi, Cantonese and Malayalam.
• Although George Town is considered a pretty safe city, it has been known to be somewhat unpleasant for women as the locals have a tendency to be a little more ‘friendly’ than they should be.
• When it comes to getting around George Town, it is best to use the public transport or to navigate the city on foot. However, if people happen to need a taxi, they are advised to ask for the price in advance and try to negotiate before paying it.
• Selling drugs is strictly prohibited by Malaysian laws and anyone who is caught doing so will be sentenced to death. Therefore, when visiting George Town it is highly recommended to stay as far as possible from any suspicious activities.
History and Culture
George Town was founded by Captain Francis Light in 1786, and the reason for its foundation was the fact that the British East India Company needed a base of the company in the states of Malaysia. Ever since then, the city has been growing endlessly, mostly thanks to its trading importance during the 19th century.
When it comes to the cultural significance of George Town, it is important to mention that this city became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in July 2008. The reason for this is the fact that this city has beautiful architectural wonders consisting of Eastern and Western architecture, and it also has a great number of pre-WWII buildings the most in the whole of Southeast Asia.
Things to See and Do in George Town
There are a lot of different interesting tourist sites in George Town that people should not miss if they are visiting Malaysia. Some of the more interesting ones are:
• KOMTAR – a 65-storey building built in the mid 1970’s, at the time it was considered to be one of the most innovative buildings in Asia and it was the tallest one for a brief time.
• Dhammikarama Burmese Buddhist Temple – a beautiful Buddhist temple built in 1803.
• Protestant Cemetery – visiting this site will give people the opportunity to witness the rich history of George Town.
• Little India – a lovely Indian market where people can find the most amazing souvenirs, it is just important to remember to haggle.
There are many different night clubs, pubs and bars where people can enjoy great live Malaysian music, but also some techno beats – whatever the taste might be, there will be somewhere to go to and have loads of fun. Although the nightlife is not what you would call wild, it will offer everyone a chance to have a good time.
Eating and Drinking
Food lovers will definitely enjoy George Town, as it is famous for its wide variety of different foods. There are many fast food shops that offer not only local specialties, but also food from all over the world. In addition to this, tourists with deeper pockets will have a chance to enjoy a fantastic meal in some of the classy seafood restaurants.