GATN - Global Alternative Tourism Network
Penang is often known as "The Pearl of the Orient", "东方花园" (Garden of the East) and Pulau Pinang (Penang Island). Penang is a city filled with cultures and ethnicities, as well as a lot of exciting attractions for you to explore. The island of pearl is a thriving modern city that still retains its traditions and customs with loads of arts and cultural activities.

Georgetown was awarded the coveted title of World Heritage Site, and was listed under the category of Cultural Heritage by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee. These sites, known as the "Historic Cities of the Straits of Malacca" were recognised for the living multicultural heritage communities and architectural treasures.

The true value of George Town’s historic aura is simply too unique to define. It is said that there’s no other site quite like it anywhere else in the world. These are lists of places that reflect both tangible and intangible heritage in George Town World Heritage Site.

Cultural Enclave: The myriad sites within the Cultural Enclave define the history of George Town in richness and variety. Within the enclave, you will find the sites that span the breadth and depth of the multicultural melting pot that make George Town what is it today. From the Street of Harmony to clan kongsis and associations, this is the place that begs to be explored.

Clan Jetties: Built by the clansmen of olden days, the clan jetties were segregated into distinct communities of Chinese people that arrived in George Town in search of a better future. Denoted by the clan surname such as Chew, Tan and Lee among others, the jetties were traditionally occupied by people of the surname and the descendants of which still occupy the homes which line the jetties to this day.

Leisure Zone: The outstanding sites in the leisure zone includes Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion, a building that won the UNESCO "Most Excellent" Heritage Conservation Award in 2000, the Eastern and Oriental Hotel which still operates to this day, the Protestant Cemetery where Francis Light, founder of George Town was buried in 1794 and the quaint narrow streets of Leith Street, Love Lane, Muntri Street and Stewart Lane filled with their many treasures.

The Waterfront: Once the heart of George Town’s trading port, the sites that do the waterfront of George Town reads like a where’s where of colonial history. Choose from the iconic Fort Cornwallis to the majestic colonial buildings of the Town Hall and City Hall, from the old Custom’s Building to Convent Light Street. The waterfront is perfect for the intrepid explorer to discover the colonial past of George Town.

Heritage Traders: In George Town, the colonial architecture and heritage shop house that give the city its undeniable character are only part of the story. It is the people of George Town that gives the city its soul. They represent a living heritage, the traditional trades and artisans, that still exists and do business now as they used to do in George Town all those years ago.

On top of that, Penang homestay also offers you a chance to immerse yourself into the culture, traditions and people of the northern region. Penang Homestay lets you discover yourself in a "kampong" lifestyle and experience cultural activities of Malaysians (i.e. fishing, rubber tapping, fruit picking, craft making and more).

Moreover, you can exchange stories with the locals, savour local home-cooked delicacies or even be a part of a wedding celebration. Experience this truly traditional, truly cultural Penang.

Penang is especially known as the best place to enjoy wonderful local dishes; it is seen as the food capital of Malaysia. The hawker food is as delicious as the finest gourmet experience in any city. Many tourists hold Penang as the top food destination in the region, not because of some fancy restaurants but rather for their humble road-side eateries and stalls that line the streets. You have to come and taste the delicious food and tour the heritage sites of this amazing city.