[284] Meanwhile, the Chung Hwa Confucian School, founded in 1904, was the first Chinese school in Southeast Asia. It’s hard to think of George Town, Malaysia, without thinking about food. [240], Since the mid 20th century, modern urbanisation has transformed much of George Town. [43][44] Due to the opening of the Suez Canal, the advent of steam ships and a tin mining boom in the Malay Peninsula, the Port of Penang became a major tin-exporting harbour. The northwestern suburbs are somewhat more affluent, given their seafront locations which attract tourists and expatriates. Congratulations to Seahorse Yachts and "Peking", a 462 DIESEL DUCK, honored as People's Choice Award "BEST IN SHOW" at the 2007 Mystic Trawlerfest. [87][88], In 1974, the George Town City Council was merged with the Penang Island Rural District Council to form the Penang Island Municipal Council, sparking a decades-long debate over George Town's city status. [254], In 2012, as part of the annual George Town Festival, Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic created a series of wall murals depicting local culture, inhabitants and lifestyles. [248], Bangsawan is a form of Malay theatre which was developed in Penang with Indian, Western, Islamic, Chinese and Indonesian influences. In the city of George Town, clicking rickshaws weave past smoky Cantonese kitchens, blue-hued mansions from the 19th century, and the aged remnants of a vainglorious British past – it’s no wonder the whole place comes under UNESCO World Heritage designation. Kuala Lumpur is by far the largest urban area as well as the largest metropolitan area in Malaysia. [238] Meanwhile, Indian architecture is more prominent within the city's Little India, which also contains the Sri Mahamariamman Temple. [13], The city has been recognised as one of Asia's top street food cities by CNN, as well the world's top culinary destination by the Lonely Planet in 2014. Here, lots of random goodness has been mixed together to result in a city that is just so vibrant – think, colourful street art caricatures right beside centuries-old temples, and you are right on the money. [94][95][96] As a result of the widespread resentment over George Town's decline, the then federal opposition coalition, Pakatan Rakyat (now Pakatan Harapan), was voted into power within Penang in the 2008 State Election. [232], An integral part of Penang's services sector is medical tourism, which has made George Town the medical tourism hub of Malaysia. [201] In 2016, George Town was ranked Malaysia's most attractive destination for commercial property investment by Knight Frank, surpassing even Kuala Lumpur. [159] Penang-based non-governmental organisations are also allocated four of the 24 councillor positions. [45][46] By the end of the 19th century, as mercantile firms and banks, including Standard Chartered and HSBC, flocked into George Town, the city also evolved into a leading financial centre in Malaya. [129][130][131] The southern suburbs, such as Jelutong, grew due to industrial activities. [15] In addition, George Town serves as the economic pole of northern Malaysia, with relatively wide logistical connectivity. [133][134], Since the 1970s, massive industrialisation around Bayan Lepas, which created the Bayan Lepas Free Industrial Zone, led to the rapid urbanisation of the southeastern corner of Penang Island as well. Monsun boats", "German U-Boat Operations in Australian Waters", "World War II: Yanagi Missions – Japan's Underwater Convoys", "Italian Royal Navy in World War Two: Italian surface units in Far East", "George Town's first mayor Ramanathan was a fiery man, politician, educationist and unionist", "Penang Island Municipal Council seeks city status status", "After four-year wait, Penang Island to finally get city status", "In Malaysia, Tourists Are Lured by George Town's Colorful Past", "Brain-drain debate after Penang loses $4b deal", "Komtar: Malaysia's Monument to Failed Modernism – Failed Architecture", "Remember the city status of George Town", "Asianow – Asiaweek | A City at a Crossroad | 31 March 2000", "Asia Times: Wreckers ball rips heart out of city: Car Rentals at www.The-Car-Reservations-Desk.com", "Tsunami impact in Penang, Malaysia: Our island, our world", "Making George Town more walkable, one street at a time", "Singapore investors 'invading' pre-war properties in Penang", "George Town: From old to modern chic and expensive", "10 of the best boutique hotels in historic George Town, Malaysia", "Nine years on, Penang's tsunami pain still lingers", "George Town meliputi 'pulau', jelas Datuk Bandar", "Seminar Teknikal Kebangsaan Gempa Bumi dan Tsunami (Study Area) – Implementing Thematic Indices Combination Technique for Tsunami Vulnerability Mapping in West Coast of Peninsula Malaysia using High-Resolution Imagery", "Penang's Growth Cries Out for More Local Councils", "Gurney Drive's reclamation project will transform the seaside promenade", "E & O gains more time to finish Seri Tg Pinang reclamation", "Cover Story: IJM Land to unveil two much-awaited projects", "The Historic City of George Town Heritage Management Plan", "Unesco heritage listing: Height of new projects capped at 18 metres", "UNESCO World Heritage Centre – State of Conservation (SOC 2009) Melaka and George Town, Historic Cities of the Straits of Malacca (Malaysia)", "Several Penang roads named after distinguished Scotsmen | Wong Chun Wai", "Streets named after places in England remind the British of home – Malaysia Premier Property and Real Estate Portal", "Penang to stick with multilingual road signs", "Multilingual road signs put up to boost Penang's tourism", "Jelutong: Home to a thriving coastal village", "Penang DAP rep: Put all projects in Gurney Drive on hold", "Mega project plans for reclaimed Gurney Drive", "Penang's Gurney Drive bund turns brown waters jade green", "The Official Opening Ceremony of the Viewing Deck, Penang Hill", "myPenang – Penang Botanic Gardens, 130 years of Legacy", "The smallest national park in the world: Penang National Park", "Sensitising Visitors to Mother Nature's Wealth", "Why is South-East Asia's annual haze so hard to deal with? Bon Odori is celebrated yearly at the Esplanade by the Japanese, while St. Patrick's Day and Oktoberfest, traditionally celebrated by the Irish and the Germans respectively, have also been gaining popularity amongst the locals. [148] The city sees on average about 2,477 millimetres (97.5 in) of precipitation annually. However, the absorption of the British colony of Penang into Malaya alarmed Penang's population over economic and ethnic concerns. [326] Occasionally, the pier hosts warships as well, including those from Singapore, Thailand and the United States. [64], George Town fell to the Imperial Japanese Army on 19 December 1941, marking the start of a brutal period of Japanese occupation. However, George Town, and by extension Penang, is best known for its distinct Hokkien dialect, known as Penang Hokkien. Venture a little further from George Town and you’ll find this quaint, relatively undisturbed beach on the southwestern shores of Penang Island. [255] They now stand as celebrated cultural landmarks of George Town, with Children on a Bicycle becoming one of the most photographed spots in the city. Visuals of the wallpaper bearing drawings of late Chinese communist leader Mao Zedong and also depicting elements of communism have gone viral since yesterday. [311], Development of George Town's streets and roads is an ongoing process that dates back to the early years of British rule. [17][18][19] Logistically, the Penang International Airport links George Town with several major regional cities, while a ferry service, the Penang Bridge and the Second Penang Bridge connect the city with the rest of Peninsular Malaysia. More Than Merchants. Hundreds of shophouses, schools and temples, as well as whole streets, were demolished in order to make way for the construction of Penang's tallest skyscraper. [48][49], Also in the same year, the Straits Settlements was made a British crown colony, to be governed directly by the Colonial Office in London. [276][277] In addition, George Town will host the Asia Pacific Masters Games in 2018, the first Malaysian city to be selected to host this regional multi-sports tournament.[278]. Januar 2005), überwiegend Chinesen. [183][185][186], As with other multi-ethnic cities in Malaysia, all four major languages are widely spoken in George Town – Malay, English, Chinese and Tamil. An annual Chingay parade is held in the city every December, though Chingay performances are also a common feature of Chinese festivities and major state celebrations in Penang. This was helped by the mushrooming of missionary schools throughout George Town, all of which used English as their medium of instruction and were held in high esteem by the locals. We have reviews of the best places to see in George Town… [156][157], The Mayor of Penang Island is appointed by the Penang state government every two years, while each of the 24 councillors is appointed for a one-year term. [106][107], The jurisdiction of George Town covers an area of 305.77 km2 (118.06 sq mi), encompassing the entirety of Penang Island and five of the surrounding islets, including Jerejak Island. Each of the new road signs shows the street's official Malay name and either the street's English, Chinese, Tamil or Arabic name. Due to the intermingling of the various ethnicities and religions that arrived on its shores, George Town acquired a large eclectic assortment of colonial and Asian architectural styles. Bhd. [305] This version of the international listings magazine is currently published in three versions – an annual guide, a website and a mobile app. [121][122], Unlike other cities in Malaysia, George Town still retains most of its English street names. [145] Other notable natural attractions nearby include the Tropical Spice Garden and the Entopia Butterfly Farm, the latter of which was Malaysia's first butterfly sanctuary. The major cultural and religious festivities in George Town include, but not limited to, the Chinese New Year, Chap Goh Meh, Songkran, Wesak Day, Seventh Month Festival, Nine Emperor Gods Festival, Eid ul-Fitri, Deepavali, Thaipusam, Vaisakhi and Christmas. [29][46], Today, George Town remains the banking hub of northern Malaysia, with branches of major international banks such as Standard Chartered, HSBC, Citibank, UOB, OCBC, Bank of China and Bank Negara Malaysia (Malaysian central bank). [180][181] As of 2010[update], expatriates made up nearly 6% of George Town's population, reflecting the city's popularity amongst foreigners. [171][182], The city was also once home to Burmese, Filipino, Sinhalese, Japanese, Sumatran, Arab, Armenian and Persian communities. [100][320] Dedicated cycling lanes have been marked throughout the city and in 2016, George Town became the first Malaysian city to operate a public bicycle-sharing service, with the launch of LinkBike. [235], George Town is the birthplace of a unique form of Chingay procession, which began with its first parade in 1919. [76] By 1956, George Town had become the first municipality in the Malayan Federation to have a fully elected local council. Belong anywhere with Airbnb. [80][81][82], In the following years, George Town retained its free port status, as guaranteed by the British colonial authorities before granting independence to Malaya. [109][110], The contiguous hotel and resort belts of Batu Ferringhi and Tanjung Bungah and Tanjung Tokong along the northern beaches of Penang Island form the northwestern fringes of George Town. [165] The parliamentary constituencies are Tanjong, Bukit Bendera, Jelutong, Bukit Gelugor, Bayan Baru and Balik Pulau. George Town is Malaysia's third most populous city with 708,127 inhabitants as of 2010[update], while Greater Penang is the nation's second largest conurbation in the country after Greater Kuala Lumpur with a population of 2,412,616. Due to its well-preserved heritage cityscape, George Town served as the filming location for a number of movies, such as Anna and the King, Lust, Caution and You Mean the World to Me, the latter of which is the first movie to be filmed entirely in Penang Hokkien. [285][286][287] The Penang Japanese School is the only international school in George Town that caters for expatriates of a specific nationality. [69][70] Between 1942 and 1944, the Port of Penang was utilised by submarines of the Imperial Japanese Navy, the Kriegsmarine and the Regia Marina. [313], George Town was once a pioneer of public transportation in British Malaya. [300][301] Since then, AEDs have been installed at several public locations throughout the city. Top Things to Do in George Town, Penang Island: See Tripadvisor's 168,290 traveller reviews and photos of 283 things to do when in George Town. [138], The central hills of Penang Island, situated to the west of George Town, serve as a gigantic green lung and water catchment area for the urbanised island. Penang is located on the north-west peninsula of Malaysia, and amongst this island lies the UNESCO city of George Town. The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) logo is seen at its headquarters on Jalan Raja Laut January 22, 2020. [211] In addition to these, the Employees Provident Fund, run by the Malaysian federal government, operates an office at the road as well. Under British rule, missionary schools were set up across George Town. [37][38] Edmond Stanley assumed office as the First Recorder of the Supreme Court of Penang in 1808, thus serving as Malaya's first Superior Court Judge. The oldest bank in Malaysia, Standard Chartered, opened its main branch in George Town in 1875 to cater to the financial requirements of early European traders. [30][31], Light developed George Town as a free port, thus allowing merchants to trade without having to pay any form of tax or duties. [61], After a period of military administration, the British dissolved the Straits Settlements in 1946 and proceeded to merge the Crown Colony of Penang into the Malayan Union, which was then replaced with the Federation of Malaya in 1948. [139] Rising 833 m (2,733 ft) above sea level, the peak of Penang Hill is accessible via the Penang Hill Railway from its base station off Hill Railway Road. The fishing community here prides itself on its fresh seafood, so even if you’re here for the sand and sea, be sure to stay for the shellfish, too. [55][91][92] Consequently, residents moved out of the city's historical core, leaving its colonial-era buildings in disrepair. The beauty and rich history of George Town keeps tourists flocking all year round. George Town, along with Kuala Lumpur and Melaka, is a food capital of Malaysia. [99][100][101] The city's services sector has since been boosted by the private sector and an influx of foreign investors. See the full list: Romantic Hotels in George Town. [271][272] It is the home ground of Penang FA, and was where Penang footballer Mohd Faiz Subri scored the goal that won him the 2016 FIFA Puskás Award. [162][163] The members of the State Legislative Assembly, known as State Assemblymen, are elected into office via the Penang State Election, which by convention is held simultaneously with the Malaysian General Election every five years. The oldest portion of the city centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, while outside the UNESCO zone lies the modern cityscape, with skyscrapers, residential high-rises, office blocks and shopping malls built all over the city. Rapid Penang, with over 30 routes on Penang Island, is the sole public bus service provider within George Town. [161] The unicameral Penang State Legislative Assembly convenes inside the State Assembly Building at Light Street. [29] The Governor of Penang, the head of state, also has his official residence within the city. GEORGE TOWN: A cafe operator here is being investigated for decorating two of his outlets with communism-themed wallpaper, police said today. We’re … [18], As many as 24% of Penang's workforce are employed in the retail sub-sector, the largest of all economic sub-sectors in Penang. [18][19][86] About 1,000 patients arrive in George Town daily, mostly from Asian countries such as Indonesia, Singapore and Japan. [155] In 2018, George Town was recognised as one of the cleanest cities in ASEAN, following a 2017 ranking which placed George Town as Malaysia's second cleanest city. [47] The latter culminated in the Penang Riots of 1867, during which rival Chinese triads clashed in the streets of George Town. [193], However, Penang Hokkien serves as the lingua franca of George Town. [251], Aside from these, there are two Western orchestras based in George Town – the Penang Philharmonic and the Penang Symphony Orchestra (PSO) – as well as several chamber and school-based musical ensembles. [61] Several colonial buildings were destroyed or damaged, including the Government Offices, St. Xavier's Institution, Hutchings School (now Penang State Museum) and the Penang Secretariat Building. [37][38], In the early 19th century, Penang Island became a centre of spice production within Southeast Asia. George Town was the centre of banking in Malaysia at a time when Kuala Lumpur was still a small outpost. St. Christopher's International Primary School, This page was last edited on 22 January 2021, at 03:46. Meanwhile, an incoherent urban planning policy and poor traffic management led to worsening traffic congestion, while decades of brain drain also took its toll as the city lacked the expertise to regulate urban development. [289] As of 2018[update], it was ranked 207th in the QS World University Rankings, the fourth highest in Malaysia. Live Malaysia radio stations online. miles). It is a former British colony, so English is widely spoken. Places to see, ways to wander, and signature experiences. George Town offers views of the famous Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion, Kapitan Keling Mosque and many of the capital's golden crowned Buddhist temples. [304], In 2011, the then Chief Minister of Penang, Lim Guan Eng, officiated the launch of the Penang edition of Time Out. ), violent crimes (being mugged or robbed, being attacked or insulted), corruption and other crimes. [47][53][54], With improved access to education, a greater level of participation in municipal affairs by its Asian residents and substantial press freedom, George Town was perceived as being more intellectually receptive than Singapore. George Town is the capital city of the Malaysian state of Penang.George Town is Malaysia's third most populous city with 708,127 inhabitants as of 2010, while Greater Penang is the nation's second largest conurbation in the country after Greater Kuala Lumpur with a population of 2,412,616. [146][147], The city features a tropical rainforest climate, under the Köppen climate classification (Af). Create a Trip to save and organize all of your travel ideas, and see them on a map. Prominent within the Komtar Tower, Penang 's population, tonight & tomorrow 's weather for George were! 70 ha ) city Park was officially opened in 2014, is Malaysia 's second largest city isn t. 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