Welcome to George Town, Penang

“… A unique architectural and cultural townscape without parallel anywhere in East and Southeast Asia.” - UNESCO


About the Award

On 7th July, 2007, George Town’s rich living heritage, culture and history was officially recognised when the World Heritage Committee in Quebec City, Canada, officially inscribed the city as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Jointly listed with Melaka, George Town was acknowledged as having developed over 500 years of trading and cultural exchanges between East and West in the Straits of Malacca.

The influences of Asia and Europe have endowed the town with a specific multicultural heritage that is both tangible and intangible. Featuring residential and commercial buildings, George Town represents the British era from the end of the 18th century.



Penang Heritage

Citing “outstanding universal values” as the reasons for the inscription, UNESCO acknowledged the city 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


  • The most complete surviving historic city centre on the Straits of Malacca with a multi-cultural living heritage originating from the trade routes from Great Britain and Europe through the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent and the Malay Archipelago to China

  • An exceptional example of multi-cultural trading towns in East and Southeast Asia, forged from the mercantile and exchanges of Malay, Chinese, and Indian cultures and three successive European colonial powers for almost 500 years, each with its imprints on the architecture and urban form, technology and monumental art

  • A living testimony to the multi-cultural heritage and tradition of Asia, and European
    colonial influences

  • A reflection of a mixture of influences which have created a unique architechture,
    culture and townscape