Hotels in George Town
Weather, the Best time to travel:
George Town in Penang is the Malaysian state capital. It comprises of the city of Penang and the surrounding five smaller islands. The city is the second-largest in Malaysia with a population of about 800,000. The city is famous for its pristine beaches, lovely architecture, seamless mix of Chinese, Malay, and Indian culture, and is a gastronomical delight for foodies. The central hills including the Penang hill act as the city’s lungs with their huge green cover The city covering an area of about 360 sq km is a very popular tourist destination for a long time. It is famous for its beaches, architecture with the world heritage site tag, and also the highly inspiring street-art.
George Town experiences a relatively moderate temperature from an average high of 32 deg to an average low of 21 deg Celsius. Its closeness to the island of Sumatra makes it susceptible to southeast Asian haze due to the forest fires between Jul and Oct. The time to visit is between November and February when the climate at its best combined with a chance to experience the region’s colourful festive season.
Airport/ nearby airport:
The Penang International Airport, PEN, is located 16 km to the south of George Town. The Penang airport is the third busiest in Malaysia and handles almost 8 million passengers a year. Having started in 1935, this is also the oldest airport in the country.
A tourist has several choices for getting to George Town from the airport. One of the cheapest modes is the public transport bus network which has five routes operating to various parts of the city. For a taxi to the hotel, a counter at the arrival terminal issues a voucher that needs to be presented at the taxi counter to get to your hotel. The taxi fare might range from SGD 4 to SGD 16. A single passenger without heavy luggage can even hire a scooter to get to the hotel.
Getting around George Town is easy with public transport buses connecting all parts of the city. The bus network has two main hubs, namely the Weld Quay Jetty, where it connects with the ferry network and the KOMTAR complex, which is the tallest building in the city. RapidPenang Buses are convenient and take you to all tourist places with ease. However, remember that they stop plying at 11:00 PM. Tourists can also rely on free buses called central area transport, CAT, for moving around to main attractions from the jetty hub. If you plan for a longer stay, get a rapid transport card.
As usual, taxis are available for easier conveyance at a price. A trishaw is an option during cooler times for moving around leisurely. However, it is better to negotiate prices with taxis and trishaws before engaging them. Rental cars are also available for hassle-free travel.
How to get to George Town
The Penang International Airport is connected to most destinations in Southeast Asia, many destinations in mainland Asia, Europe, and the US. The highest frequency of flights from Penang Airport is to Singapore with around 100 weekly flights during normal times. Dozens of airlines like Singapore Airlines, Air Asia, Cathey Pacific, Malaysian Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Emirates, and Thai Airways operate out of Penang Airport.
The fare from Singapore to George Town starts at around SGD 300 for travel at short notice. However, you can expect very substantial savings for booking about 45 days in advance, when you can avail the cheapest fares starting at SGD 75 for a direct flight.
Hotel info, prices for different hotel range
Shangri-La’s Resort and Spa, Crimson Resort and Spa, Lind Borocay, and Discovery Shores are some of the best 5-star hotels in George Town. The prices start from SGD 300 per night.
If you are looking for less expensive luxury hotels, some of the best 4-star hotels are Coast, Mandala Spa and Resorts, and the Muse Hotel which are available for around SGD 200 per night.
More affordable accommodation in the 3-star and 2-star category George Town hotels is available for those on a tighter budget. They provide a comfortable stay with high-quality service, but with a lesser degree of luxury. These cheap hotels in George Town are available at a price starting from a low SGD 40 per night.
George Town Tourist Information
Top Tourist Attractions in George Town
We shortlist three among the most exciting and popular George Town attractions usually visited by tourists.
1. Visit the Clan Jetties
This is one of the top things to do in George Town. These are the settlement colonies of the original Chinese settlers. The six floating villages are a part of the Penang heritage trail, resting on stilts on the sea and accommodating seven ancient Chinese clans in rows of houses. The most tourist-friendly is the Chew jetty with a long walkway, many souvenir shops, and even a temple.
2. Cheon Fatt Tze Mansion
This is a large manor of the 1880s heritage which was restored from ruins in the 1990s and converted to an award-winning heritage hotel. The mansion with 38 individually themed rooms has been featured in many international movies, documentaries, and TV serials bringing it international recognition.
3. Street Art
A visit to the city is not complete without a look at the highly imaginative and interesting street-art scene. One of the spots is the Mural Garden at the Hin Bus Depot where many attractions like the ‘upside-down girl’, ‘Malaysian Tiger’, ‘Thoughtful Girl’, and more can be seen. There is a lot more of street art to enjoy in the many streets around the city.
Top Food Places in George Town
- Nagore Place to the northeast of George town has several restaurants serving Thai, Malay, Indian, and Western food.
- Little India is another place where a visitor can get great food. Food is served in many eateries here on plantain leaves.
- Street food in George Town is very popular. Street food is available in plenty at many locations. Gurney Drive to the north of George Town is very popular with several carts lining the street. Kimberley and many other streets of China Town are also famous for delicious street food.
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