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Penang Heritage Trail

Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008, George Town, was cited as 'A remarkable example of historic colonial towns on the Straits of Malacca that demonstrate a succession of historical and cultural influences arising from their former function as trading ports linking East and West.'

From the time Captain Francis Light (1740-1794) established Britain's trading post in Penang, settlers from all over the world have made Penang, especially George Town, their home. Their presence is seen and felt strongly in the diverse architecture, places of worship, food and historic monuments around the Island.

There are two "American Express Heritage" trails which you can explore on foot or by trishaw. And these trails begin right at the E&O's very own doorstep.

Fort Cornwallis
Francis Light first landed at this very spot to "establish" Penang Island in 1786 and, to date, it is the most well preserved fort in West Malaysia. Within the walls of the fort is a remarkable cannon called Seri Rambai. It is famed for its procreative powers, and childless women place flowers in the barrel of the cannon and offer special prayers.

City Hall
Boasting impressive Victorian-style public architecture, City Hall was opened in 1903 and, till today, Municipal Councillors convene here regularly. You can see the Esplanade from here, and to the far end of the Esplanade is the Cenotaph, built in memory of those who perished in World War I.

Kapitan Keling Mosque
Crowned with yellow domes, this is the largest historic mosque in Penang built before 1800. This is the place of worship for the Indian Muslim community in Penang. The mosque has been enlarged several times to its current size, and the beautiful minaret dates back to 1916.

Penang State Museum
Reopened after a major renovation, the exhibits here are organised according to the various communities in Penang; their customs and costumes, historic places, houses of worship and so on. Among the original collections on display are a hand-written Quran and old Malay weapons.

Carpenters' Guild
Also known as Lo Pan Hang, this association is for the Cantonese carpenters and other builders, whose forefathers constructed many of Penang's heritage buildings. All builders who came to Malaya from their home country, first stayed at the Carpenters' Guild before spreading out to other parts of Malaysia.

Christian Cemetery
This is the final resting place for many early European pioneers including Francis Light. Another personality who was buried here was Thomas Leonowens, the husband of Anna Leonowens who inspired the movie "The King And I".

Cathedral Of The Assumption
Francis Light arranged for the first group of Roman Catholics to be brought over from Kedah shortly after he arrived in 1786. It was a coincidence that they arrived on the eve of the Feast Of The Assumption, hence the name. In 1955, the church was raised to the status of a Cathedral.

St. George's Church
St. George's Church was built in 1818 and it is one of the oldest landmarks in Malaysia. Dedicated to the patron saint of England, it was the first Anglican Church built in the diocese of Singapore and Malaya. Within the compound of the Church stands a monument to the memory of Captain Francis Light.

Find out more about Penang at the Penang Tourism website :

Penang Heritage Trail