Penang is Malaysia’s only “island state”. There are approximately two million people of diverse ethnicities, cultures and dialects living here. Georgetown has become a large tourist attraction because of the sheer quantity of historic buildings, and I for one was very glad that it had not had the modernisation of so many cities today
What I enjoyed most about Penang is the fusion of the East and the West combined with the old and the new. George Town in particular is a bustling capital with over 200 years of history and culture and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008. The buildings of historical and architectural interest have been handed down from previous generations give George Town a rare uniqueness that is rarely found in South East Asia.
Where to stay in Penang
We decided to stay in George Town at the Cintra Heritage hotel, an old refurbished building that used to be shop houses featuring the Southern Chinese Eclectic style.
Cintra House is located in a perfect location as It is walking distance to all the wonderful sites of Georgetown.
It was built around 1840 -1900’s and once served as a Hair Dressing Saloon for the Japanese Officers and local administrators of Penang during the Post period from 1940’s – 1960 ‘s
With a little garden cafe in the courtyard, it is a beautifully serene sight to have afternoon tea.
Lebuh Cintra, Georgetown, 10100 Georgetown, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia.
I booked a Standard Double Room for
RM 220.00 (£40) per night as I wanted to treat myself. The room comes with air conditioning and a ceiling fan. The free WIFI is very strong which is a plus.
Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion
The blue mansion, which was built by a very wealthy Chinese businessman, has been restored from a fairly ruinous state by a group of locals and today you can have a guided tour around the house for 40 minutes. The house is beautiful, and you can also stay there if you want a bit of luxury during your time in Georgetown.
Fashion designer Jimmy Choo was born in Penang, Malaysia in 1961. He was born into a family of shoemakers where he rose to fame for the quality and style of his handmade women’s shoes. Jimmy Choo was immersed in the world of shoemaking from an early age. His father wanted him to follow in his footsteps and by age 11 Choo had made his first pair of shoes.
The steel-rod sculpture of Jimmy Choo below is based on the caricature of cartoonist Baba Chuah, and is one of those put up by Sculpture at Work.
Jimmy Choo Sculpture, Muntri Street, George Town, Penang
The reason for placing the sculpture here is to do with the Hong Kong Shoe Store at 177 Munstri Street. This is the workshop where Jimmy Choo began his apprenticeship in shoe making. But instead of becoming a roadside cobbler, Choo (whose actual surname is Chow, but misspelled on his birth certificate when he was born in 1957) continued his education at Cordwainers’ Technical College (which then became Cordwainers College and eventually part of London College of Fashion) in London.