We traded the sandy beaches of Thailand for the UNESCO World Heritage site of George Town, Malaysia. This diverse city is known for street art, culture, food, and plenty of historical highlights. George Town was an important port for the British East India Trading Company in the 18th and 19th centuries and today comprises the second largest city in Malaysia. It’s topped travel must-see lists in recent years and I wanted to see why.
Our first day in town we saddled up with Metro Bike Tours to explore Old Town with a local guide. He explained some of the history of George Town and the importance of the UNESCO World Heritage designation for the tourism industry. Beau’s favorite part of the tour was the snack stops to sample local cuisine – a mix of Asian, Indian, and European influences. Food played a big role throughout our stay. We ate amazing curry in the restaurants in Little India, dined on dim sum near the Taoist temple, and drank coffee (kopi) with the locals.
As much as I loved the food and street art, my highlight of George Town was our hotel. I’m not a luxury hotel fanatic, but if you go to George Town please stay at the Eastern & Oriental Hotel. Where to begin? The hotel breakfast buffet – I could have eaten for hours. The service – impeccable. The pools – yep, there were two. I could rave for days about this place. The hotel has been around since 1885 and although it’s a five star hotel and not the cheapest option in George Town, it’s far less expensive than an equivalent five star hotel in other countries. Beau had to drag me out on our final day in town. I wanted to move in!
The weather was unbearably hot and I already had heat rash from Thailand (Irish skin problems) so we only ventured out for a few hours a day and spent the rest of the time poolside. One of our excursions was a self-guided street art walking tour. We grabbed a map and navigated the nooks and crannies of Old Town to see as many murals as possible.
George Town is hard to describe in a few paragraphs. The mix of religion, culture, language, and cuisine make it a unique melting pot. I’m so glad we had time to experience it for a few days.
Know Before You Go:
- The tour with Metro Bike was a highlight of our trip. We chose the 2 hour All-In-One tour of Old Town.
- We used Uber to get to and from the airport, it was around $5 USD each way.
- Grab a free walking map of the street art from any hotel or tourist information center. We spent a morning doing this on our own and found so many photo opps as we explored Georgetown’s nooks and crannies.
- Grab a meal in Little India, it’s some of the best Indian food I’ve had in my life!