Guide to photographing Georgetown Penang

Over the years I have the opportunity to visit and discovered better this gems of Malaysia coast. Here is my little guide to photographing Georgetown. From its origins in the late 18th Century as a British trading post Penang developed through trade and cultural exchange to become a truly unique, multicultural city. Recently became a Unesco Heritage Site and can be a really surprise to any photographers how much you can shooting here.

Be prepare

In researching a destination you’re going to photographing Georgetown, the most important thing is to find a way to see image locations from a city and then decide what your photography goals are for your trip.  When researching where to photograph in Georgetown, I noticed that the main things that kept popping up where the old town and the temples.  Thus, I knew that those were the two most iconic things to see in the city.  From there, I can then start to asses how much time I need to shoot everything in the city, and the locations to best photograph them.

For researching images, I use tools like Google Images and Instagram.  Then, for researching the locations I use google maps, an app called the photographer’s ephemeris, and a good old fashioned google search.


Once I’ve found the potential locations, I then try to plan out when I want to shoot each spot.  The most important thing in this regard is the direction of the light.  I look at sunset vs. sunrise, and try to make an educated guess on when it will photograph best.  Once I’ve done all that, I can create a bit of a shoot plan. Before living be sure you have the right traveling photography equipment .

photographing Georgetown,Ratu Mutiara, Penang, Malaysia
Ratu Mutiara, Penang, Malaysia Rolleiflex Planar

Getting Around

If you stay in the Unesco area you can easily walk. However the city offers a free CAT Bus (Central Area Transit) which routes the UNESCO heritage sites. Buses are provided by local government and loop every 15 minutes. For more information check here. Also you can rent scooter also and drive around the island. Can be great option. Or finally take taxi , but the don’t have taxi meter and you have to bargain. If you gonna take it better ask in your hotel about rate.

Where to start

 Explore Little India

We start photographing Georgetown in Penang’s Little India. Is easy to explore. In fact is made up of three streets: Market, Queen and Chulia street. For this Georgetown to do is simple…walk around and just take in the sights and smells. You’ll see the Hindu temple of Sri Mahamariamman Temple and be able to get your fill of Malay Indian food.Short and sweet, Little India is  a fun few blocks to explore by foot.

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Wander Down Armenian Street

The next area is the near Armenian Street You can stroll past the Kapitan Keling Mosque and visit the various Chinese Temples and Clan Houses that surround the street.Aside from the temples and Mosques, Armenian Street is where you can kick off your street art tour to see the famous street art of Penang. Every saturday evening, Armenian Street comes alive with locals selling arts and crafts, live music and even plays are had.

photographing Georgetown,stree art, Penang,
Wall Painting, Penang, Malaysia

Check Out the Clan Jetties

Among Penang’s most unique places to visit are the Clan Jetties. Easy to reach from the Heritage Area, these water “villages,” clinging to George Town’s eastern shores. Walking along the seaside road toward the Marine you will find these traditional waterfront houses. Although The Clan Ketties have become quite the tourist attraction, the are still home to many families. So respect the local and be sure to obey the “no photography” signs when posted and stay respectful to the area’s residents.

Botanic Garden

If you are done with street photo you will have other option. For example, the Botanic Garden, one of the places worth photographing Georgetown. Located at Jalan Kebun Bunga, it is Malaysia’s only botanic garden, boasting a great and artistic landscape. The garden is most well-known for its greenery with a variety of flora and fauna. Some of the rare and special flora that can be found in the garden include the large roots of Sengkuang tree, the Cannon Ball tree, the Pinang palm, the black lily and the candle tree. There are also waterfall and monkeys. The Botanic Gardens is open every day from 5 a.m. until 8 p.m. daily. 

photographing Georgetown, botanic garden
Waterfall, Botanic Garden, Penang, Malaysia

Shop for photographer

Near the World park there are different shop and seller and at the time also you can find one shop who develop film Uni Color Lab.

How get there

Georgetown probably one of the easiest tourist destinations to reach within Malaysia. You can use every form of transport imaginable; plane, train, bus, car and even a taxi. From Kuala Lumpur it generally takes around 5/6 hours to get to Penang. Though it is only a 55 minute flight away from Kuala Lumpur. Cheapest solution is the bus, followed by taking a train (followed by the Butterworth/Penang ferry). From Thailand you have flight, minibus or train.

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