The centre of Georgetown became UNESCO World Heritage in 2008 because of it’s old buildings. But at first glimpse, Georgetown doesn’t look pretty with their concrete apartments rising from the island. But it stole our hart with it's ‘hidden' gems and cultural vibe, and we can say that Georgetown is one of our favorite towns in South East Asia. We keep coming back. And everytime we discover new street art, see things changing in the city and explored other parts of the city.
From the Perhentian Islands we took the boat back to Kuala Besut at 8 am and arrived at 9 am at Kuala Besut (book this boat back one day before). From the jetty to the main busterminal is only a short walk (1 km), and they have an ATM and supermarket here to fill your wallet and bags with cookies and cash. At the busterminal you can book an aircon bus to Georgetown for 50 Ringgit p.p. which leaves at 11 am to arrive at Sungai Nibong busterminal on Penang Island around 6 pm which is 16 km from Georgetown. From this busterminal there are several buses going to the centre of Georgetown, which is Komtar Bus terminal, or you can take a taxi to your place of desire.
From Cameron Highlands by bus to Georgetown will take about 4 hours, and will set you back 35 Ringgit p.p. this can easily be arranged at the local tourist offices.
By Air you will arrive on Penang Airport. There is a bus who brings you to the centre for around 4 ringgit. A taxi will be around 40 to 50 ringgit when going to the centre of Georgetown.
There are so many nice places to eat in Georgetown, it’s hard to pick a favorite. But we are big fans of Indian food so we liked to go there. And the restaurant we kept going back to, everytime we were in Georgetown, was Kapitan. They have great lassi’s, we love their Chicken Massala and their sets with Roti and Naan are the best. The waiters look a bit grumpy but are nice and their prices are pretty good as well. And they are open 24 hours a day.
One of the most famous foodcourts in Georgetown is Red Garden. It’s not the cheapest foodcourt, but they have plenty of variety, the food is good and there is a nice mixture of tourists and locals. And if you’re lucky there’s some live music. We read that they also do a ladyboy show but missed out on that.
When staying at Hotel Sentral Seaview, they recommended the nearby foodcourt to us. And that was a nice one. Lot’s of locals, really friendly people, good food and it was cheap. We didn’t come really far entering the foodcourt because a very friendly and enthusiastic guy told us about his kebab so we had to try. No regrets there!
Hotel Sentral Seaview is nicely located between the old centre of Georgetown and the beach of Buru Feringgi. Their rooms are really nice, spacious with a bathtub and good shower. And the view from the balcony facing the water is great. The staff is really friendly and they have a nice breakfast buffet. You can choose between swimming in the sea or the pool and warm up afterwards on one of the sunbeds. Great place to stay, especially if you want to get away from the crowds in town. Bus 101 and 102 stop 2 minutes walking distance from the hotel. Room rates start at 185 Ringgit.
** You can find them on booking.com
Located in the centre and just 800 meters from Komtar Bus Terminal. It is an old Goldsmith turned into an eatery, museum, cafe and a place to sleep. It is possible to eat in a real vault here. Special experience and well decorated and designed. They even have life music and serve good food. But it is very noisy when sleeping in the dorm rooms on the first floor. This is no problem of course when you go to bed after the music stops. We recommend going here for the food, but you’ll probably find better places to sleep in the city..
Get the streetart map at your guesthouse, rent a bike, motorbike or go on foot for some serious mural hunting. You’ll find some amazing interactive pieces spread through town. And even shops and cafes participate in this and have created some nice pieces themselves. This city breathes art.
We also loved to stroll trough Little India. The music, the food, the people, the colors, we love it. Around Chinese new year the neighborhoods have lanterns everywhere and it creates a really nice atmosphere.
If you have some more time, visit the Kek Lok Si temple. This is a massive temple and can been seen 20 kilometers away when you have good visibility. Combine this temple with a sunset visit to Penang Hill from were you can not only see the bright colored Kek Lok Si Temple but also you will have a very nice view over Penang Island and Georgetown.