Murals hunt at Penang, Malaysia

Penang (pronounced as ‘Pinang’) is a beautiful island located in the northwest coast of Malaysia. It is a place with lovely atmosphere, which offers you an inner peace and serenity.

Apart from being famous for the colonial architecture, temples, hills, jetty and seashores — there’s something unique about Penang, and that is it’s street art (people also call it a living museum!).

George Town, which is a UNESCO world heritage city and also Malaysia’s second largest city — amazes you with the variety of street art (they call it ‘murals’) as you walk along the streets. Murals are not only paintings, it’s a form of 3D art! Each of them is a reflection of history, people, culture and lifestyle of Penang.

We did a small treasure hunt of finding out murals which lasted for around 2.5 hours. Thankfully, weather was on our side — we neither faced sun nor had heavy rains and so, we could take the full advantage of the walk!

We set up a challenge among our team to click the craziest pictures with the murals and this is what we landed with — read below (Don’t miss ‘THE’ photo of our tour at the end of this blog!).

Most of the murals you will see below are by the famous Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic, who was commissioned in 2012 by the Penang Municipal Council to create the murals in different parts of the old town.

Old Penang Soy Milk Seller — my heart says “May I also get some milk, auntie?”
Girl with Birds in Her Hair — I am trying to recreate the mural with the help of my friend Hui Yi
The Kungfu girl — Can we be one?
Children On The Swing —Let me became a child again!
The fisherman — Adrian got a nice prop to pose!
The Boy and his pet Dinosaur — Let me help you, boy!
The Boy and his motorbike
Smoking kills!
“Ah Quee?” wrought-iron street art and an alarming minion — This wrought-iron piece of street art is about Kapitan Chung Keng Kwee, one of the wealthiest and most powerful men in 19th century George Town and it is based on the work of artist Reggie Lee. The work of art depicts a european visitor meeting him for the first time and not being sure how to say and spell his name. Ah Quee.
Almost There!
Cat in the window — Hui Yi’s favourite mural
Marcus posing with the ‘Tree lady’.
Painted walls along our way
Ice cream rose
Let me play! — This so much resembles with the game I played as a child — “pagathiya”
Some serious fighting
Stealing a Bao — of an egg tart!
Children Playing Basketball — I could never play this game in real life, but posing is always fun, right?
Little Children on a Bicycle — last but not the least, here comes to photo of the walk with my crazy team-mates! This is undoubtedly the most iconic mural of Penang and we had to stand in a queue to get a picture with this beautiful piece of art :)

Some tips for the first time travellers to Penang:

  • Choose your stay in George town to get the ‘local’ feel of Penang. We stayed at Royale Chulan Penang, it’s a decent hotel.
  • Try out the tuk tuk ride while you’re roaming in the city.
  • Keep Google Maps handy while you’re hunting for murals.
  • Penang is known as the ‘food capital’ of Malaysia, so keep all your dieting aside when you’re there. There are ample street food markets around (for eg, Macallum Street Night Market). Some of the places we really loved visiting are Mews Cafe, Lagenda cafe & Kopi Loewak.

I hope you enjoyed reading my blog! To my knowledge, these murals are still less than half the number of total murals in Penang so I have one more pending trip to Penang to finish my hunt. I shall plan one soon. Stay tuned for the ‘Mural hunt part-2’. haha!

Work. Travel. Sing. Dance. Cook. Repeat! Live life to the fullest.