Georgetown

Description: GeorgetownGeorgetown is a prominent city in Malaysia and capital of Penang state. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, listed as such in 2008 by UNESCO. It is a historic city and was founded by British trader Francis Light in 1786. It is renowned for its rich cultural heritage, old buildings, museums and delicious local food.

Numerous historical buildings in this city are worth visiting. Prominent ones include Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion, Municipal Council of Pulau Pinang Hall, Fort Cornwallis, Leong San Tong Khoo Kongsi, Queen Victoria Clock Tower, Pinang Peranakan Mansion and Penang Islamic Museum. Apart from these historic monuments, there are a number of religious buildings that have splendid architecture.

Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion was the residence of Chinese trader Cheong Fatt Tze, a local icon. This mansion is essentially an architectural marvel and its beauty attracts visitors from far and wide. It is a sprawling mansion with dozens of rooms, staircases, windows and courtyards. This mansion has even featured in numerous classical as well as modern Hollywood movies.

Fort Cornwallis is an 18th Century fort where Francis Light first landed in the city. It is named after the legendary American, Charles Cornwallis. It has an intricate design and some of original structures of the fort are still standing. These days, it houses a museum where old photographs and its historical accounts are exhibited.

Leong San Tong Khoo Kongsi is another splendid place famous for its stunning structure and ornamented roof carvings and exquisitely built pillars and walls. This was originally built as a temple by a local clan in 1836 and was rebuilt a couple of times in the past. It is a fine example to Chinese architecture of the bygone era. This structure is open for tourist visit on weekdays.

Queen Victoria Clock Tower, Penang State Museum, Pinang Peranakan Mansion and Penang Islamic Musuem are other prominent places of interest and worth paying a visit. All these places are between 150 to 200 years old and have splendid architecture. Queen Victoria Clock Tower was built in 1897 for commemorating Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. Penang State Museum houses some interesting exhibits that belong to 19th and 20th centuries.

Georgetown is also home to some fine places of worship as well. These sites include Wat Chaiyamangalaram, Dhammikarama Burmese Buddhist Temple, Kapitan Keling Mosque, St. George's Church and Kuan Yin Teng (Goddess of Mercy Temple). Most of these sites are exquisitely built and important places of worship as well as tourist interest.

The local cuisine including local drinks is quite delicious and ought to be tried by visitors. There are numerous decent restaurants and coffee shops here where tourists can enjoy traditional local food, Chinese, Indian, Thai and other popular cuisines.

Public transport in the city is not much extensive and taxi drivers can charge significantly higher rates from normal. Stay safe, especially during nights and keep away from drugs as drugs can attract serious penalty including death. It is worth considering traveling in groups to avoid trouble.