Penang can get brutally hot so the most ideal time to go heritage house hunting would be early in the morning or late in the afternoon. The temperature is mild and the light is best during those times.
I don’t know much about the architecture but most of the houses are made in a ‘Straits eclectic-style’ which are described as a fusion of Eastern and Western styles that was popular during a period of affluence in Penang. Many of the heritage houses have been converted to guesthouses, cafes, and shops. Even though most of them provide modern amenities, the structures still retain their old world charm. The architecture in George Town reflects the 171 years of British presence on the island. British sensibilities blended with Malaysian, Chinese, Indian, and Islamic influences to create a unique and distinctive brand of architecture. I loved looking at the windows, walking around town, it was fun peeking into the many boutique hostels.
Here’s a picture of Love Lane. The rich tradesmen of Muntri Street were said to keep their mistresses here, which is how it got its name. This picturesque street was home to many guesthouses and street pubs which only opened from 9:00 pm to 3:00 am.
We hopped on to trishaw and took a tour of George Town. Trishaws are two-person carriages powered by a driver on a bicycle. Our Trishaw Guide, Bruce Lee was a cute fellow who made sure we get clicked at every famous points and know the history behind it too. We paid RM 20 for a half an hour ride around the streets and it was definitely worthed. The picturesque busy town with its alluring smell of food and incense sticks everywhere you go doesn’t let you leave. What we found on our way –
Wall Art: We love the works created by Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic. Get a map of the places in a stall in Armenia street. Rent a bicycle or take a trishaw to explore them all.
Iron Structures: You can also find 52 iron structures around the town, they present anecdotes about the history of the streets.
101 lost kittens is a work of Thai artist Natthapon Muangkliang and Malaysian artists Louise Low and Tang Yeok Khang aimed at creating awareness of street animals. All of these 101 kittens are depicted in 12 artworks that are spread around the heart of George Town and make another reason to visit George Town Penang.
You’ll see them if you keep your eyes open!
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