Georgetown is a pedestrian-friendly city, with a well-planned series of roads and paths connecting one end of Penang’s capital to the other. Here, lots of random goodness has been mixed together to result in a city that is just so vibrant – think, colorful street art caricatures right beside centuries-old temples, and you are right on the money. There is a wealth of creativity, plus a dedication to preserving this island state’s colonial heritage and evidence of this can be found just about everywhere, from the indigo-blue Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion to the ornate Kek Lok Si Temple.
Traveling in Malaysia is quite convenient since it has some major bus terminals and express buses are the preferred mode of transport here. Tickets for which can be booked online from http://www.redbus.my
Located straight down from Lebuh Chulia, the Clan Jetties – a series of six jetties that form part of the Penang Heritage Trail – is billed as one of the last bastions of old Chinese settlements on the island. Initially a wood yard littered with planks and firewood, after the construction of the Quay in 1882, the waterfront was developed with short public landing stages (jetties). In time, settlements grew on these foundations, with each named and dominated by certain clans. Due to constant rivalry over access and monopoly of work consignments on the docks, relationships between the clans were very antagonistic and often led to bitter fights and disputes.
Kapitan Keling Mosque
Built in 1801 by Penang’s first Indian Muslim settlers (East India Company troops), the Indo-Moorish Kapitan Keling Mosque is a Penang landmark, set at the junction of Lebuh Buckingham and Lebuh Pitt. The largest mosque in Georgetown, it was named after the ‘kapitan’ of the Keling (a leader of the South Indian community similar to the leader of the Chinese community), Cauder Mydin Merican. The whitewashed mosque is topped with large golden-yellow Mughal-style domes, crescents and stars and features a single, typical Indian-Islamic minaret from which the sound of the azan (call to prayer) can be heard. It used to sprawl across 18 acres but now encompasses only eight