George Town, capital city of Penang, is located in the northeast corner of Penang Island. It was founded by Captain Francis Light in 1786 for the British East India Company and was named after the British King at the time, King George III. Light established a settlement and developed George Town from what used to be a swamp into a trading port. The town was badly destroyed and burned for days as a result of heavy bombing by the Japanese and the Allied forces during World War II. It is one of the oldest cities in Malaysia and in 2008 was designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
Aside from the lovely colonial buildings such as shophouses there are a wide array of older developed properties such as condominiums (Sri Perdana, Logan Ville and Scotland Park), apartments (Arratoon Court, Taman Kilangin and Desa Acacia) and newer properties such as Birch The Regency and Birch The Plaza – condominium and shopping complex; The Mayfair, Scott Residence and Residence 21 – luxury condominiums; Medan York – 2-story bungalow and apartments; York Residence – 3-story bungalow and various terrace houses and shopoffices.
As you walk along the streets the most noticeable element is the well-preserved colonial architecture of prominent buildings such as Cheong Fat Tze Mansion, City Hall, Fort Cornwallis, Pinang Peranakan Mansion and Queen Victoria Clock Tower. Various places of worship such as Kapitan Keling Mosque, Wat Chaiyamangalaram, Dhammikarama Burmese Buddhist Temple, Hainanese Temple and St. George's Church coexist harmoniously. Unique attractions are the painted street art mimicking life in this city, wrought-iron caricatures depicting anecdotes of the street (Marking George Town Exhibition) and The Camera Museum showcasing the history and evolution of cameras. The funicular (cable railway) ride up Penang Hill gives a magnificent aerial view of the city and the surrounding forests.
Amenities and Facilities
Today, George Town reels in a great many tourists as a medical tourism hub with abundant public and private hospitals such as Penang General Hospital, Penang Adventist Hospital, Lam Wah Ee Hospital and many more. It also has a well-established cruise tourism and export industry enhanced by the cargo transport facilities provided by the port and the airport. Other facilities and amenities include primary and secondary schools, universities and colleges, City Stadium, George Town Branch Library, flea markets (Little Penang Street Market, Little India and Lorong Kulit Flea Market), shopping malls (Gurney Plaza, Queensbay Mall and Prangin Mall), international banks and ample restaurants and cafes.
Accessibility and Transportation
It is highly accessible by air via the Penang International Airport, by ferry from Weld Quay (to Butterworth) and from Swettenham Pier (to Langkawi and Pulau Payar) and by road via Penang Bridge and Penang Second Bridge which connects to the mainland.