Georgetown is a bustling, colourful and largely Chinese city, full of tumbledown shophouses, impressive colonial architecture and countless trishaws ferrying tourists and locals alike around the maze of broad streets and narrow lanes. Ancient trades such as rattan weaving, joss-stick making, woodcarving and fortune-telling still go on, in scenes which probably haven’t changed in a century, while the soaring skyscrapers of modern Georgetown gleam blankly overhead.
Chinese and Indian temples, neoclassical reminders of the Raj and a plethora of old-fashioned little shops sprinkled across the city make Georgetown a fascinating place to wander. Most visitors to the island stay in the city, which has countless hotels, restaurants and all the usual urban facilities. Those looking for the beach (such as it is) head to Batu Ferringhi or the less developed Teluk Bahang, a little further west.
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