Georgetown, Malaysia: An Illustration of Contrasts

A stroll through Georgetown gives one a sense of being whisked to several countries in a matter of hours.

In this largely Chinese city, bundles of smoldering incense scent the maze of bustling streets as crimson red lanterns sway overhead.

Bollywood music rumbles in Little India, echoing off storefronts dotted with colorful saris and bins of sparkly bangles.

Women donning headscarfs whizz by on motorbikes.

A pristine white clock tower from the colonial era commemorates the reign of Queen Victoria.

Georgetown is indeed an illustration of contrasts.

Georgetown-Penang-Malaysia

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Georgetown-Penang-Chinese-Temple-OfferingsGeorgetown-Penang-Chinese-Temple-Courtyard

Georgetown-Penang-Bikes-cycle-rickshaw-driver-sleepingGeorgetown-Penang-Architecture

Georgetown-Penang-Street-ScenesGeorgetown-Penang-Shrine-Spirits-Incense-Offerings

Georgetown-Penang-Cycle-Rickshaw

Georgetown-Penang-Chinese-LanternGeorgetown-Penang-Queen-Victoria-Memorial-Clock-Tower

Georgetown-Cycle-Rickshaw-Kolam-Chalk-ARtGeorgetown-Penang-Diversity

Where in the World?

Photography & text © by Tricia A. Mitchell. All Rights Reserved.

Published by Tricia A. Mitchell

Tricia A. Mitchell is a freelance writer and a co-founder of Eloquence. Born in Europe but raised in the United States, she has lived in Valletta, Malta, as well as Heidelberg, Germany. An avid globetrotter who has visited more than 65 countries, she has a penchant for off-season travel. Tricia has learned that travel’s greatest gift is not sightseeing, rather it is the interactions with people. Some of her most memorable experiences have been sharing a bottle of champagne with distant French cousins in Lorraine, learning how to milk goats in a sleepy Bulgarian village, and ringing in the Vietnamese New Year with a Hanoi family. She welcomes any opportunity to practice French and German, and she loves delving into a place’s history and artisanal food scene. A former education administrator and training specialist, Tricia has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in international relations. She and her husband, Shawn, married in the ruins of a snowy German castle. They’ve been known to escape winter by basing themselves in coastal Croatia or Southeast Asia. Though they are currently nomadic, they look forward to establishing a European home someday. Her writing has appeared in Fodor’s Travel, Frommer’s, and International Living.

12 thoughts on “Georgetown, Malaysia: An Illustration of Contrasts

  1. Tricia I LOVE the colors of your photos, especially the half-a-bike jutting out the yellow wall! Georgetown will be added to my list of places to go! :o) Thanks for sharing once again!

    1. Hi again, Antoinette, and thank you! In addition to Georgetown/Penang, I also recommend Malacca (south of Kuala Lumpur). It’s smaller but also has the vintage charm and whimsy of Georgetown. Feast away while you’re there – the food is wonderful! :)

    1. Aggy, thank you / ‘terima kasih’ comes to mind. :) I’m glad the shots transported you back to your time there. What other spots in Malaysia did you visit? We really enjoyed the butterfly sanctuary, tropical fruit farm, and just walking the backroads of Georgetown. There’s so much more to see in Penang; I hope we can return someday soon.

  2. My boyfriend and I are thinking of traveling here in December! Loved the pictures and totally made me realize Georgetown is a must see!

    1. Hi, Catherine & Fabian – glad you enjoyed this glimpse into Georgetown. We visited Malaysia in December as well. Georgetown was one of our highlights, along with Malacca, which is south of Kuala Lumpur.

      Feast away while you’re in the country! How I find myself now missing the food court in Georgetown, with its stands dishing up food from the Philippines, Malaysia, China, Korea and more. We dined at a different place every night, and an added bonus is that there were also many locals there with whom to mingle. If you’re interested in a preview of the food offerings, see if you can find Anthony Bourdain’s Penang episode. :)

      Gute Reise & Guten Appetit!

  3. Nice photos and it really describes the real people and cultures in Malaysia. Perhaps if you’d love to know and explore more about the Malay cultures, you may visit to the east coast of Malaysian peninsular (state of Kelantan or Terengganu for example). Really enjoy reading your posts!

    1. Tudungceklat, having only seen a small part of Malaysia, we’d love to return and explore more of the country. Thank you for the recommendation to focus upon Kelantan and Terengganu, and for your compliment about the pictures. I’d love to be in Penang right now – all that fantastic food!

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