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George Town is a place full of character. The incredible street art, the diverse mix of architecture and culture gives it a special feel. And then combined with the start of Chinese New Year takes it to a whole new level. Keep on reading for the must do top things when heading to George Town, Penang.
1. GO ON A HUNT FOR STREET ART
Most hostels will have a free map to give you which will pinpoint the most well known pieces of art. Be sure to spend at least a day looking at the street art, the journey will take you down small side streets that you probably wouldn’t have found if you weren’t on the hunt.
Read my full blog post on the street art in George Town here!
2. PENANG HILL
Spending a few hours on Penang Hill is a great way to get away from the city whilst also giving you spectacular views. If you are feeling adventurous you can hike to the top of the hill, which takes about three hours. But the most popular way is to take the train.
The best way to get to the station is to take a Grab, however the day before we planned to go we read a lot of reviews on Trip Advisor to learn that the queues for the train get extremely long! We read stories of people waiting two hours from arriving to eventually getting on the train. So, as the first train leaves at 6.30am we decided to set an early alarm and go up for sunrise! Even though we missed the 6.30am train we got the next one at 7am and managed to still catch the sun come up.
I would highly recommend you do this, or go late at night, as it only took us about twenty minutes to board the train and once we were up, there weren’t many people around at all. The ticket is RM30, and there are fast track tickets for a lot more if you don’t want to spend ages queueing.
3. SPEND A FEW HOURS IN A PARK
We are always so pleased when we find a good park in the area where we are staying as you know there is somewhere you can relax other than your room. We found a great one next to Lebuh Light street, where we spent a few hours watching the locals play football. It seemed like a hub for activity, there were people juggling, running and all sorts!
4. FORT CORNWALLIS AND JUBILEE CLOCK TOWER
If you have been spending the morning exploring the street art, just a short walk away is the Jubilee Clock Tower which is worth taking a look at if you are in the area. Also close by is Fort Cornwallis, with an entrance fee of RM20 for foreigners there isn’t a whole lot to do inside but is worth the price if you are stuck for other options.
5. FEAST AT LITTLE INDIA
As Little India was right by our hostel and we had heard great things about the food we had to check it out! When you hear the music blaring out you know you are in the right place. It is a definite must do when in George Town.
WHERE TO STAY
Unfortunately when we visited George Town it was the beginning of Chinese New Year, so all accommodation was very busy and very pricey. Every place seemed to double their nightly rates so it was quite frustrating to have to pay £18 a night for a tiny room with no window. But the location we were in was great, and looking at their prices now the same room is £13. We stayed at ST Hostel.
Another great location is around Love Lane, there seemed to be a lot of hostels and backpackers in this area.
HOW TO GET AROUND
Thankfully Grab is available in Penang, which is our transport of choice around a city. We much prefer using Grab over a normal taxi as the prices are always so cheap, the journey can be tracked on the app and you don’t have to try and show the driver where it is you want to go.
I did also see a lot of people cycling around George Town, which we would be a good mode of transport to use for exploring the street art.
WHAT’S IN MY BACKPACK