The Streets Of Georgetown Penang Are Home To Malaysia’s Best Art And Best Food
The island of Penang in Malaysia is home to quirky Georgetown, a rustic little city of narrow streets and ramshackle old shop fronts on the small island’s waterfront. It’s multi cultural, with Malay, Chinese and Indian communities making their homes here, and not to mention the thousands of travellers who visit to see this World Heritage Listed place each year too.
I’d heard Penang was home to some of Malaysia’s best street art, and best food. So with camera in hand I walked the famous streets, in search of food and art.
I wasn’t disappointed. I found more food than I could eat and more street art than I could photograph in weeks amongst the alleys and street stalls of Georgetown..
In the latest Photos From The Road series, here are my top pictures from the streets of Penang!
Georgetown is the largest city on Penang, an island off the west coast of mainland Malaysia. Despite its compact size, the city is actually home to the country’s second largest population, making it a bustling busy place, and a place with a unique and diverse history and culture.
This diversity is reflected in the UNESCO World Heritage Streets of Georgetown, which are famous for art and food. Travellers flock here to sample the delicious street dishes and to hunt down the art work on the walls.
The best food is from the local hawker stands. It’s all served simply, but the complexity of the cooking isn’t lost on the local chefs. It’s gourmet quality at low, low prices. The most famous Penang dish is Assam Laksa. Steaming hot noodles are served in a thick soupy broth with fish and vegetables, and all for around 2 USD a meal.
There are influences in the cooking, the art and the culture from all over the world . Malay, Chinese, Indian and Western influences are all found somewhere, and usually everywhere, reflecting the diverse number of people that call Georgetown home and have made Penang the cultural heaven it is today.
Little India is the colourful place to visit to see vibrant temples and street rituals. Being English, I love a good curry, and I can vouch that Georgetown’s Little India restaurants can cook up some of the best curries in South East Asia.
Across the city, old rickshaws still ply the streets, mainly catering to the ever growing number of tourists who visit each year, but still a lasting, visible remnant of the culture from year’s passed.
Chinatown is home to many of Georgetown’s shops and merchants, descended from the Chinese settlers who emigrated to the island over the centuries to set up business. Many old families still occupy the same shops that their ancestors have for decades, or even centuries.
All over Georgetown you will find the distinctive trade mark street art that has made Penang as much a haven for travellers as has the food. Hidden across the city, in likely and unlikely places, are delicately painted pieces of street artwork.
And all over the city there is colour and vibrancy to be found around every corner. Just walking the streets of Georgetown is a cultural immersion, with the smell of food wafting from street side restaurants while dialects from across the world are spoken across the table. Penang’s largest city is home to some of the best street food and street art in Malaysia, and it’s a place that can’t disappoint on the culinary and cultural front.
All Photographs Property Of Richard Collett
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