Banner for John P - Travel Writing and Photography

Home Malaysia Georgetown, Penang ⇒ Colonial Heritage

Georgetown: Asia’s Melting Pot

7Colonial Heritage

The streets along the waterfront starting at the Butterworth ferry are the administrative heart of Georgetown. Government buildings, parks and the fort are all to be found in this quarter close to the ferry and by the coast. There are many churches and convents as befits a European outpost. This includes the oldest Anglican church in Southeast Asia, St George’s, built by convict labour in 1818.

The clock tower
The clock tower.

The cemetery of the nearby Cathedral of the Assumption, like similar places throughout Asia, is worth spending a few minutes in. Read the inscriptions on the tombstones and take some time out to ponder on the often-young lives and dreams that ended here so far from home.

This corner of Penang was the administrative centre and the buildings are correspondingly grand. A trishaw is the best way to view this area. Go along the sea front, up Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah admiring the mansions set in enormous grounds along the esplanade.

The trishaws here are front loaders rather like a wheelbarrow that can seat a family of three or even four at a squeeze. The driver pedals from behind. They’re low slung and you can feel a bit exposed in traffic but they’re a quiet and surprisingly comfortable way to sightsee. Hire one for an hour for around M$20 and enjoy the majestic buildings slowly going past before they are gone forever.

Banner for John P - Travel Writing and Photography