Photo Essay: Exploring Chinatown in George Town, Penang

Malaysia as a whole country is interesting due to its mix of different cultures and religions, but there are few better examples of this than the city of George Town on the island of Penang. Due to its history as an important trading port, people came from many parts of the world to settle here, and those who had the numbers created their own communities within the city itself. These days there are only the two predominant ones of Chinatown and Little India, though there are traces of others if you look close enough.

Chinese immigrants flocked to Penang, and although their “clans” scattered throughout the city, it is Chinatown that really keeps that culture alive.

As budget travellers, we headed straight to Chinatown when we arrived in Penang to seek out some cheap accommodation. We weren’t let down on that part, and we were also pleasantly greeted by a beautiful and interesting area of George Town.

Chinatown is home to busy narrow streets lined with picturesque old buildings, many of which have shops or restaurants on the lower levels. At night, the streets become home to the many hawker stalls that set up to serve cheap and delicious Chinese and Malay cuisine.

One great thing about staying in Chinatown is that I got to wander these amazing streets each day when I went out to explore the city.

In today’s post, I’d like to share some of my photos from George Town’s Chinatown. I’ll definitely be back.

Love Lane in Chinatown, Penang, Malaysia

Love Lane in Chinatown

Jalan Muntri in Chinatown, Penang, Malaysia

Jalan Muntri at Night – Our street in Chinatown

Hawker Stalls in Chinatown, Penang, Malaysia

Hawker Stalls along Lebuh Chulia – Chinatown’s main street

Quiet street in Chinatown, Penang, Malaysia

A quiet, narrow street at night in Chinatown

Love Lane in Chinatown, Penang, Malaysia

Another view down Love Lane

Shrine inside the Goddess of Mercy Temple in Chinatown, Penang, Malaysia

The main shrine inside the Goddess of Mercy Temple

Candles inside the Goddess of Mercy Temple in Chinatown, Penang, Malaysia

Candles inside the Goddess of Mercy Temple

Trishaw at night in Chinatown, Penang, Malaysia

A trishaw on Jalan Muntri

Char Kaoy Teow in Chinatown, Penang, Malaysia

Char Kaoy Teow from a hawker stall in Chinatown

Love Lane at night in Chinatown, Penang, Malaysia

Love Lane at night

A Chinese Temple sparkling in the night in Chinatown, Penang, Malaysia

The lights of a temple sparkle in the night in Chinatown

Hawker stall in Chinatown, Penang, Malaysia

Another hawker stall along Lebuh Chulia

Old building on a street corner in Chinatown, Penang, Malaysia

A typical scene in Chinatown

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8 comments… add one
  • Michael May 17, 2014

    Nicely done and the photo of the shrine is my favourite

  • Hannah Wasielewski May 17, 2014

    Nice pictures! I love visiting Chinatown whenever I get the opportunity. I’ve only been to the ones in NYC and Chicago, I’d love to visit in another country someday too!

    • Dean Wickham Jun 12, 2014

      Hi Hannah. I love the different Chinatowns in different cities as well. I haven’t been to any in the US. I’m sure they are different again 🙂

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