Travel Guide to the most inspiring places in George Town Malaysia
Are you ready to be inspired…
George Town is the heart and soul of Malaysia and the hub of Penang Island. We were drawn to visit purely for the world-renowned street art – but what we experienced was SO MUCH MORE!!
George Town is an UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the world’s most loved destinations, especially to those artsy travelers. Inspiration comes in every form, from the the flavorful cuisine to the architectural landscape, and even more so, from the vibrant faces of those who call it home.
Here are our most inspiring places to visit in George Town:
- The “Playground” Area
Although slightly eerie, these two paintings stole Jen’s heart. And although we’re not sure what the intended meaning behind these two pieces are, the longer we stayed and stared, the more we started to feel something quite strong and slightly uncomfortable. Cant quite explain this in words, but we strongly recommend you visit this area.
- The “I have an obsession with cats” Area
If you’re a cat lover, then consider George Town your new heaven!!! We’re not sure where this cat obsession comes from, but five of the best art pieces in George Town are cat portraits?! Here you can find cat themed shops selling the most hilarious cat home decor and clothing accessories.
*The 5 cat art pieces can be found under the below names:
C: Love Me Like Your Fortune Cat, D: Please Care & Bathe Me, I : Cat & Humans Happily Living Together, J : No Animal Discrimination Please, and our favourite, E: Skippy
- The area of ‘Little India’
We have recently come back from 3 weeks in India, and we can honestly say that ‘Little India’ is right on point with the real deal! Numerous Indian families have moved to this town and fortunately for us, opened some incredible authentic Indian restaurants.
Although the restaurants are very basic with plastic chairs and the odd fan (instead of much needed air-con), the portions are HUGE and the prices are ridiculously CHEAP!! We literally put on 3kgs each in 5 days – the dessert street stands right outside our hotel probably didn’t help!!
- The area around Lover’s Lane
Lover’s Lane is the more touristy street where you can find quirky WiFi coffee shops, bars and some of the sweetest antique shops. Around this area is where we found the most beautiful homes. The front entrances literally look like something straight out of a water-coloured pastel painting.
*Just remember to consider the owners of these homes and ask permission before snapping away on their front porch.
Just around the corner from Lover’s Lane are two of the most famous art pieces in George Town, which are conveniently located between several vibrant and extremely photographic streets.
A 15 minute walk further along we found the biggest art piece in George Town. We didn’t actually know this one existed so just imagine the excitement when we turned the corner. This one really inspired us to realize that our perceived boundaries around our skill sets, passions and careers are really only as limiting as we imagine them to be.
- The Prangin Canal Area
After what felt like a million curry rotis, we decided to take a lengthily walk outside of central George Town. The wall piece at the Prangin Canal was completely empty and probably one of the best. But what we enjoyed even more so, was the walk there. The streets were so authentic to the true George Town style. For half an hour we passed on one other person doing some craft work on his front porch and 2 sneaky rats jumping through the holes in the pavements. It felt like an abandoned vintage ghost town that managed to remain completely unchanged for centuries.
L: Child Mural at Prangin Canal
- The Main Market Area
The below painting is the most recognized art piece in George Town and the cover photo for most travel brochures and articles. Because of this, you may have to wait in a 10 minute “selfie que” to get your shot. Its popularity has also resulted in a market-feel revamp of the street, with souvenir stands, quirky shops and interesting food stores all along the way.
Following down this street in the direction of the bicycle, we recommend you turn right, down some of the smaller streets leading off this main “market road”. Here you can find some of the lesser known pieces that we found to be equally as impressive.
Walk a few streets down and you will find G and F on your way back to ‘Little India’.
- The Grand Swiss Hotel Area
The street leading up to the Grand Swiss Hotel has some entertaining 3D art pieces. And if you’re not keen to “join in” on some of the images, its probably as entertaining to come and watch the crazy tourists (Rudi and I) trying to awkwardly do just that.
So in other words,
- THE ENTIRE TOWN
There is something quite spectacular around every corner in George Town. There’s so many art pieces that aren’t on any map or brochure but are just as inspiring as the rest.
So take some time, and go get completely LOST !!
And during your wanders, try enjoy some of Malaysia’s true wit and humor in the ‘Penang Characters’ found all over George Town. There are roughly 52 of these steel-rod sculptures, all of which stick to the theme ‘Voices of the People‘ as created by local artist, Tang Mun Kian. Each sculptured cartoon actually symbolizes the history of the area it is located in and the locals that live within it.
So how do you find these places?
Firstly, download the App: Maps.Me – this is the best travel app you will ever have. It’s basically Google Maps without the need for working Data or Wifi to use it.
Then what we did, is enter the name of the attractions that you want to visit in to the Maps.Me map so that when you’re walking around you can see where all the attractions are. *We gave you the names of some of our favourite art pieces in the caption below each image. For example, if you want to find the ginger cat, you will see we put the name ‘Skippy’ next to it’s Letter ‘E’ (as also shown on the map above). Type in ‘Skippy’ on the App to find it.
Wander through the streets of George Town with us and our GoPro
Where to Stay in George Town
We recommend staying in Little India as it’s central to all the artwork close to Lover’s Lane.
See all accommodation options for Little India here in the below link: