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George Town Introduction Walk (Self Guided), George Town

Georgetown is the capital city of the island and state of Penang and was listed by UNESCO in 2008 as a 'World Heritage Site''. Touted as the food capital of Malaysia, Georgetown is a favorite spot for tourists. It has many attractive pre-Second World War houses and shophouses, as well as 19th century churches, temples and mosques. One of the top attractions of George Town is its beautiful colonial buildings. Mainly from the British colonial era, these wonderful buildings have been magnificently restored to display the proud heritage of the city. Check out the most interesting sites and areas with our George Town Orientation Walk.
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George Town Introduction Walk Map

Guide Name: George Town Introduction Walk
Guide Location: Malaysia » George Town (See other walking tours in George Town)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 18
Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.2 Km or 2.6 Miles
Author: Caroline
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Queen Victoria Clock Tower
  • Fort Cornwallis
  • City Hall
  • Town Hall
  • St. George's Church
  • Penang Museum and Art Gallery
  • Cathedral of the Assumption
  • Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion
  • Chinatown
  • Campbell Street Market
  • Syed Alatas Mansion
  • Leong San Tong Khoo Kongsi Mansion
  • Kapitan Keling Mosque
  • Kuan Yin Teng, Goddess of Mercy Temple
  • Sri Mariamman Temple
  • Little India
  • Market Street
  • Beach Street
1
Queen Victoria Clock Tower

1) Queen Victoria Clock Tower (must see)

The Queen Victoria Clock Tower is a symbol of Penang that everyone can recognize as a landmark of George Town. It was built in 1897, funded by a local rich Chinese, to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of Britain’s Queen Victoria. The tower is high, with each foot symbolizing a year of Victoria's reign.
2
Fort Cornwallis

2) Fort Cornwallis (must see)

Fort Cornwallis is an old star-shaped fort located on the northeastern coast of Penang, which is the largest of its kind in the country that remains standing. It is named after Charles Cornwallis, who was Governor-General of Bengal, India in the late 18th Century. Captain Sir Francis Light took possession of the island from the Sultan of Kedah in 1786 and built the original basic fort, which extended to an area of no more than 400 feet. The Chapel at Fort Cornwallis, which was built in 1799 on the southwest bastion, is the earliest roofed structure still standing in Penang. The first recorded marriage took place here that same year, when John Timmers married Martina Rozells, the widow of Francis Light.
Sight description based on wikipedia
3
City Hall

3) City Hall (must see)

The City Hall of Penang is a recognized national monument of Malaysia. This two-story building at the Esplanade has a significant historical and architectural value. Built in 1903 in the typical British Palladian architectural style, the municipal building has been listed as a national monument since 1982. Its design resembles that of the nearby Town Hall.
Sight description based on wikipedia
4
Town Hall

4) Town Hall

The Town Hall Building is situated within a park. Completed in 1883, this sumptuous colonial building has a huge ballroom, assembly hall and a library. Its beautiful interior features wooden ceilings, great crystal chandeliers, white columns and stucco mouldings. It was featured in the famous movie "Anna and the King".
5
St. George's Church

5) St. George's Church (must see)

The St. George's Church, which is named after England’s patron saint, is the oldest Anglican church in all of southeast Asia. Built by convict labor in 1818, it was designed by Captain Robert Smith, a military engineer. A memorial to Captain Francis Light in the form of a Greek temple with a marble slab stands in the grounds of the church. The site is currently undergoing restoration works.
Sight description based on wikipedia
6
Penang Museum and Art Gallery

6) Penang Museum and Art Gallery (must see)

The Museum of Penang dates from the late 19th-early 20th Century. The building was first occupied by the Penang Free School. During World War II one part of the building was damaged and never repaired. However, the rest of the site was transformed into today’s museum by the state government in 1965. Inside, you can learn lots of interesting facts about the population, history and traditions of Penang, and get the chance to see historical artworks and costumes from the area.

Operation Hours: Saturday - Thursday: 9 am - 5 pm.
7
Cathedral of the Assumption

7) Cathedral of the Assumption

Situated on Farquar Street, the Cathedral of the Assumption is one of the most famous churches in town. Built in 1860, it was extended in 1928 to accommodate more worshippers. This Catholic cathedral has the hallmarks of a colonial building, with lots of high windows that give it a very elegant appearance.
8
Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion

8) Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion (must see)

The Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion was built by the merchant of the same name at the end of the 19th Century. There is much for the visitor to see and admire at this magnificent home. It boasts 38 rooms, five granite-paved courtyards, seven staircases and 220 vernacular timber louvre windows. Other notable architectural features include Gothic louvered windows, Chinese porcelain work, Stoke-on-Trent floor tiles, Glasgow cast iron pillars and Art Nouveau stained glass. Interestingly, the mansion was built with careful attention to the principles of Feng Shui. For example, it faces the sea with Penang Hill behind, has water running through the complex and is built with a step in the middle to create a slope, a feature known as riding on the dragon’s back.
Sight description based on wikipedia
9
Chinatown

9) Chinatown

The Chinatown district is one of the most fascinating areas of George Town. Here, among the crowded streets you can explore several different markets full of exotic Eastern products, as well as visit traditional temples and browse antique stores.
10
Campbell Street Market

10) Campbell Street Market

The Campbell Street Market is one of the most popular community markets on the island, as well as one of its oldest. Some locals say it was established on the grounds of an ancient Malay cemetery. If you visit this market you will be delighted by the range of meat, rice, tea, coffee and assorted cooking products on offer.
11
Syed Alatas Mansion

11) Syed Alatas Mansion

Now better known as the Islamic Museum, this Armenian Street mansion has a rather eclectic style. Once owned by the Indian chettiar shred merchants and used as a storehouse, it also served as a home for Syed Mohamed Alatas, a famous Muslim citizen of Penang.
12
Leong San Tong Khoo Kongsi Mansion

12) Leong San Tong Khoo Kongsi Mansion (must see)

This mansion has a fascinating and unusual history. Built in 1850 by the Khoo family of South China, it burned to the ground in 1894, apparently from a lightning strike. The Chinese believed its downfall was due to its resemblance to the Emperor’s Palace, and so a much scaled down version was erected in its place in 1906. Nonetheless, today you can still admire the richly ornamented wood carvings of the roof, walls and pillars that reflect the art and architecture of ancient China.
Sight description based on wikipedia
13
Kapitan Keling Mosque

13) Kapitan Keling Mosque (must see)

The Kapitan Keling Mosque, which dates from the early 19th Century, was named after Indian Muslim merchant Caudeer Mohudeen, who was also known as Kapitan Keling (headman). It is the most prominent historic mosque in Penang, with a dome-shaped minaret that reflects a Moorish Islamic influence. It has been a place of worship for the Indian Muslim community here for more than two centuries. Unlike modern mosques which are mainly frequented on Fridays, the Kapitan Keling Mosque is used by worshippers five times a day, seven days a week. Visitors should be ready to take their shoes off, and female visitors must wear a robe provided by staff.
Sight description based on wikipedia
14
Kuan Yin Teng, Goddess of Mercy Temple

14) Kuan Yin Teng, Goddess of Mercy Temple (must see)

Also known as the Goddess of Mercy Temple, this house of worship is one of the oldest Chinese temples in Penang. Built in 1801 by early immigrant settlers from China, the building is decorated with intricately crafted dragons and a pair of stone sculptured lions, known as Fu dogs. Pilgrims flock to the site all year round, and particularly on the first and fifteenth day of each lunar month. Outside, there’s a lovely square that hosts puppet shows and Chinese operas on special occasions.
Sight description based on wikipedia
15
Sri Mariamman Temple

15) Sri Mariamman Temple (must see)

Built in 1833, Sri Mariamman is the oldest Hindu temple in Penang. Here you can see fascinating sculptures of gods and goddesses over its main entrance and façade. A long-standing place of worship for Indian Hindus in the city, today it holds a special place in the heart of that community. Built in the south Indian Dravidian style, the temple’s most outstanding feature is the impressive gopuram (tower). Rising above the entrance, it features Hindu deities, soldiers and floral decorations. Housed within its ornately decorated interior is the priceless statue of Lord Subramaniam, embellished with gold, silver, diamonds and emeralds. The statue figures prominently in the annual Thaipusam festival, when it is borne on a silver chariot through the city streets to the temple.
Sight description based on wikipedia
16
Little India

16) Little India

Little India Street has a clutch of exotic market stalls where you can find an exciting range of Indian products. There is a huge variety of Indian spicy foods here, such as roti canai, plus lots of traditional Indian goods, including sculptures and Punjabi suits. Make sure to have a look through the extensive displays of cheap DVDs and CDs while you are here.
17
Market Street

17) Market Street

Market Street is a street in the city of George Town in Penang, Malaysia. Located within the city's UNESCO World Heritage Site, this street was named after a market which was established by Indian emigrants to Penang. The street is known in Tamil as Kadai Teru, meaning "street of shops". The market continued to function even after the full reclamation that created Victoria Street. The area has been settled by south Indians, whose presence is still conspicuous till today. This part of town is now regarded as part of the Little India enclave in George Town. The street bears many similarities to market streets in Chennai, Mumbai or Delhi. It is a notable shopping spot among locals and tourists. This street is also famous for Malaysian Indian cuisine.
Sight description based on wikipedia
18
Beach Street

18) Beach Street

Beach Street is a major thoroughfare and part of the central business district in George Town, Penang, Malaysia. It is also one of the oldest streets in Penang, having been created soon after the founding of Penang by Captain Francis Light in 1786. The concentration of Malaysian and international banks around Beach Street has made George Town the financial hub within northern Malaysia. In addition, Beach Street is within the UNESCO World Heritage Site, thanks to the colonial architecture of the bank headquarters and other commercial buildings along the street. Administrative buildings built by the British also once stood along Beach Street; however, these buildings were destroyed during World War II.
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in George Town, Malaysia

Create Your Own Walk in George Town

Create Your Own Walk in George Town

Creating your own self-guided walk in George Town is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Farquhar Street Walking Tour

Farquhar Street Walking Tour

The Farquhar Street area is home to a number of interesting historic buildings and other heritage sites. In fact, it has been listed by UNESCO as a world heritage site since 2008. Here you can see the Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion, the St. Xavier school and the Protestant Cemetery, where Francis Light's tomb is located. While you’re here you can also admire the architecture of other old buildings...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.4 Km or 1.5 Miles
George Town Shopping Tour

George Town Shopping Tour

George Town is a great spot for shopping – the city is blessed with many different colorful and interesting markets, plus there are loads of places where you can pick up an unusual souvenir to take home. Be sure to try some of the delicious snacks native to the island, while you browse the various stalls and stores on our George Town Shopping Tour.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 Km or 1.7 Miles
George Town's Top Religious Sites

George Town's Top Religious Sites

George Town has much to be proud of when it comes to religious heritage, as the city has a host of wonderful churches, temples, mosques and other religious centers. Each is beautifully decorated and has its own unique story to tell. Check out the most interesting religious edifices in the city with our Places of Worship walking tour.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.8 Km or 1.1 Miles
Penang Hill Walking Tour

Penang Hill Walking Tour

The Penang Hill area is a wonderful place to visit if you are seeking to enjoy the benefits of the outdoors. You can go hiking in the beautiful fresh air, see the amazing plant and animal life or ride the funicular railway. Every visitor will want to see the spectacular waterfall too. Take our Penang Hill Tour to see the top sights of the area.

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.8 Km or 4.2 Miles
Penang Upper Beach Street Walking Tour

Penang Upper Beach Street Walking Tour

The Penang Upper Beach Street area is a great district for visitors to explore in George Town. This area has many beautiful buildings, each with their own individual architectural style, plus a number of other interesting spots. Check out all the best sights of the district with our walking tour.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.9 Km or 0.6 Miles
Penang's Top Religious Sites

Penang's Top Religious Sites

Penang is home to a number of beautiful churches rich in history and religious heritage. They are all situated close to one another so if you take our Penang Churches Walking Tour you can see them all in one trip. Highlights include the Church of Our Lady of Sorrows and the well-known St George's Anglican Church, which are both a significant part of the city’s architectural heritage.

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.7 Km or 4.2 Miles