Georgetown is the capital city of the state of Penang and it is one of the premiere tourist attractions in Malaysia. It is a large city with every modern amenity. The city’s population is 720,000 and when you include the surrounding metropolitan area the population is 2.2 million.
The city has a long history which is why it is one of the most interesting places in Malaysia. It was founded in 1786 and visitors will immediately notice from the architecture that its history was very diverse. The city’s older buildings and religious centers feature architecture from the Chinese, Muslim, Hindu and European cultures. The UNESCO World Heritage Committee took notice of the city’s unique and unmatched architecture and on July 7, 2008 inscribed it as a UNESCO World Heritage site. In 2010, the city celebrated being named a World Heritage Site with the Georgetown Festival.
Attending the Georgetown Festival is one of the most interesting things to do in Penang. The 2010 Georgetown Festival was a big success, and it has been held in every year since. The festival begins on August 1st and continues through the end of the month. It features dancing, music, cultural exhibits, street performances, great food and much more. Many consider the month-long festival to be the finest art festival in South East Asia.
Georgetown is perhaps the top tourist attractions in Penang, partly because of its festivals. The people in Georgetown are good at putting on festivals, they host more of them than any other place in Malaysia. However, despite all of the festivals and celebrations there is something unique about the Georgetown Festival. The streets seem to be especially colorful and bright, and the atmosphere is electric.
The festival was initiated to honor the city’s cultural heritage, and the venues of many of the events reflect that. For instance, there will be exhibits and displays on landmark streets, and at structures such as the Penang Performing Arts Center, the old MPPP Town Hall, the Dewan Sri Pinang building, the China House, the 19th century Mission House building and more.
The festival which was planned out by Joe Sidek will feature 100 performances and exhibits, and there will be something going on every day. Mr. Sidek’s goal was to recruit both local and international talent that could make the festival an event that people would want to attend and participate in. The featured events will be diverse, and there will be something for people of all ages and backgrounds.
While the festival events will be highly entertaining, just sightseeing in Georgetown can be a blast. It is one of the most exciting places to visit in Malaysia. In some of the older areas of the city, the architecture makes it seem as if you have taken a trip back in history. In addition, there are exciting places to visit in Penang like the Kek Lok Si Buddhist Temple, which is an enormous complex that has striking statues of Kuan Lin the goddess of Mercy and the highly revered Buddha. There are other places to see such as the Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion. The mansion which has 38 rooms and 5 courtyards was built by the Chinese immigrant who amassed a fortune after arriving in Georgetown nearly penniless.
There are plenty of things to do in Penang. Enjoying the Georgetown Festival is just one of them. However, while having fun is great, one must never forget to show respect to the people of Georgetown and to honor their customs and traditions.