"The World Heritage Penang capital, Georgetown." George Town by Askla

George Town Travel Guide: 210 reviews and 584 photos

A brief history of Georgetown.

The history of modern Penang can be traced back to 1786 when Francis Light managed to persuade the Sultan of Kedah to cede Pulau Pinang ("the Island of betel nuts") to the British East India Company. Light landed at the site of the present Esplanade and the Fort Cornwallis. The island was originally named Prince of Wales Island and the settlement that soon grew up was named Georgetown after King George III.
In 1832, Penang formed part of the Straits Settlement with Malacca and Singapore. Penang, and most so Georgetown, flourished and grew to be a major trading spot for the lucrative trade in tea, fruits and spices, china and cloth. Later also in tin.
Penang remained under British controle until 1957 when Malaya got indepence and in 1963 formed the now existing Malaysia.

Imposing temples dominate the scenery.

Georgetown has a lot of interesting and beautiful temples, as well as mosques and some churches. Among the temples you will find the only Burmese Buddhist temple outside of Burma (or Myanmar as it is nowadays).

A World Heritage man.

Encounter this remarkable man, in my tips. At the age of 81 he is still making joss sticks by hand.

  • Last visit to George Town: Nov 2009
  • Intro Updated Feb 14, 2010
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