The best way to experience George Town is to explore its streets on foot from quiet little alleyways branching into narrow busy streets of colourful architectural shophouse terraces, whitewashed colonial buildings and places of worship.
The streets is a living museum of arts, culture and history. The buildings are organic and raw. Walls are used as blank canvases and turned into life size street arts. In recent years, shophouse terraces have been restored and renovated into boutique hotels, restaurants, cafes, cocktail bars and music lounges.
Fortunately, the compact inner city of Penang – George Town – was designated as a UNESCO world heritage site in 2008; thus, preserving its unique architectural and cultural townscape without parallel anywhere in East and Southeast Asia.
To visit Penang and not to walk its colourful streets would be missing out on the most significant part of Penang history – the heartbeat of Penang life. George Town is the only two complete surviving historic city centres on the Straits of Malacca with a multi-cultural living heritage originating from the trade routes from Great Britain and Europe through the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent and the Malay Archipelago to China.