As I arrived in Penang’s capital city of George Town–a former trading port that was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008 for its multi-cultural heritage and buildings of architectural significance–I knew I wanted to sink my teeth into as many of the Chinese, Indian and Malay street foods as I could in my brief stay. What I did not know was that I would also fall in love with George Town’s art, in particular the playful street murals that decorate the beautifully decayed walls of buildings throughout the city, as well as the murals on the walls of the former Hin Bus Depot on Jalan Gurdwara.
There is something I like about a city that makes street food and art such an integral part of its daily life. And I love that a place recognized for its history is still actively adding modern touches to its landscapes. Add to that the lightness of the people—I still smile when I remember a man on his motorbike who teased me about my terrified expression as I realized I had stepped too soon into a jumble of speeding cars and motorbikes—and you have something special. These are some of my favorites of the fantastic and fun art in Penang.