Many has compared Singapore with Georgetown, both being an island with modern facilities yet persevering the vast culture and heritage that makes the city what it is today. Getting to Penang from Singapore is surprisingly easy as you can either take a bus from Singapore to Penang, board a train or even take a flight via the budget airline.
Unesco World Heritage Site, Georgetown is a fantastic and magical place to be. Probably you have heard a ton of story about how amazing this place can be and trust me, you will not be disappointed. Prepare to be awed by the unique blending of the ancient cultures, indigenous and colonial architecture. Among the many places, you might find the following attractions worth paying a visit to.
• Blue Mansion
This is a more than a century-old heritage hotel is estimated to have been built in the 1880s. What makes it unique is the exceptional blending of the Eastern and Western designs with beautiful tile floors, louvred windows, and art nouvea stained windows. The house is beautifully decorated from inside and outside with beautiful ancient Chinese architecture. You will wonder a 38-room capacity was developed during those times.
• Khoo Kongsi
Khoo Kongsi is another spectacular attraction you cannot miss to visit. The clan house is indeed among the most impressive sites. The magic carving with distinct meanings welcomes you into this more than a century-old facility. The interior is immortal sculptures, dragons, carp and many other amazing artworks.
• Cheah Kongsi
They restore recently, it still retained its splendid look and authenticity as one of the oldest attraction sites in Penang. Dating more than a century old, it is first of Penang’s five great Hokkien clan houses. The breathtaking ancient architectural art will just blow your minds away. Get amazed with the fine art of the carvings that have stood the test of time to remain relevant at this age. Get into this place and learn fascinating stories about its existence and mostly the inter-clan riots that rocked it in 1867.
• Penang Peranakan Mansion
The mint-green structure will give you a feel of what life and art were back then. How people valued style and class. The walls and doors of this ostentatious structure are carved in an artistic and magic way, considering the times this was done you can only imagine who the owner was in the society. The wood furniture is majestically curved, and charming antiques will just make your visit here very fulfilling. The owner of the house (Chung Keng Quee) was a wealthy trader and clan leader who lived in the 19th century.
• Hin Bus Depot Art Center
This former bus station is another great heritage splendor of Georgetown. Though it has been converted for various uses, it did not lose its splendid look as one of the most significant heritage zones. The place is nowadays a vibrant contemporary art hub showcasing regular arts, exhibitions, and crafts market every Sunday. One thing that you will enjoy is the fantastic, excellent street art. The quality and the creativity behind this art will leave you lasting images of this place.
• Sri Mariamman Temple
Built in 1883, it is the oldest Hindu houses of worship in Georgetown. You will be amazed by how in those days, the fine architectural art was highly used to build this temple. From the exterior to interior of this temple, you will experience more than century old carvings that depict the Hindu culture in South Asia. If you are lucky, you will experience the Thaipusam festival that is celebrated during late January and early February every year.
• Penang Museum
This state-run museum provides a vast history of the Penang state and mostly, Georgetown. You get access to materials exhibiting the history, customs, and traditions of Georgetown. This includes videos, costumes, documents, and photos. Get to experience a history gallery with a collection of 19th-century captions showing the magnificent landscape of old Penang.
These are some of the main places that I visited and would recommend to anyone traveling Georgetown, Penang. I would also highly recommend travel by bus from Singapore to Penang as this will provide you a free tour of the enchanting Malaysia. You might even consider dropping by some other places on your way back!