Georgetown, Penang is an absolute feast for the senses. The Dutch East India Company established themselves in the town in the 1700’s, to conduct trade between China and India. This multi-cultural history is still very present today, with many well preserved examples of British, Dutch, Chinese and Indian influences in both the buildings, the customs, the food and the people.
Strolling through Georgetown is nothing short of thrilling. From the heavy bass pounding out of the speakers playing the latest Bollywood tunes in Little India, to the smell of incense burning out side the Chinese temples, the exquisite old buildings that nowadays house places like the bank and the post office – there’s something to capture your attention on every corner.
One of the biggest attractions in Georgetown is the street art. Only a recent addition to the historic town, it’s done wonders for giving Georgetown a face lift as well as providing visitors with a physical ’treasure hunt’. There are many famous murals around town, and half the fun of wandering the streets is seeking them out.
As well as the beautiful murals – most of which are cleverly designed to integrate with the natural setting of the building – there are many humorous welded iron wall caricatures that offer tidbits about the history of Penang. Coupled with beautiful temples, beautifully decorated streets and endless captivating doorways – exploring street art in Penang is an experience that will captivate you for hours.
I hired a bicycle for just 10 RM / $3.30 AUD for the day, and set out with a map to find some of the famous works. The beauty of going about exploring street art this way, is that you’ll inevitably get lost – and come across more murals, sculptures, doorways and temples that you hadn’t planned to find!
These are some of my favourite shots that I captured whilst exploring the streets.
As you can imagine, exploring street art in Penang is an incredibly popular activity for visitors. If you find yourself exploring alone, like I was, there’s no shortage of people around to help take photos for you – the murals are just too fun to not be a part of them!
Most accommodations in Georgetown will provide you with a map, which should make note of where the more famous murals are located. If you don’t get one of these, head to Lebuh Armenian and start there – however, with such a friendly, safe and walkable town, my best advice is to get lost, take a camera, and have fun! Exploring street art in Penang has definitely been one of my favourite days on my travels so far, and best of all – it was all FREE!