Chinese shophouse with green door and two green windows with two columns
MALAYSIA

21 Cute Doors and Windows in Penang, Malaysia

By on 09/09/2017

Penang has to be one of my favourite destinations in South East Asia, and I believe that this tropical island is totally underrated and deserves more recognition.

Located off the west coast of Malaysia, at the crossroads of Eastern and Western trade routes, the island of Penang is a melting pot of cultures with Malay, Chinese, Indian and British influence.

This mix of cultures has resulted in the most unique heritage, food and architecture in the UNESCO World Heritage Site that is the city of George Town. Traditional temples, homes, hotels and shophouses mingle with modern buildings, and you can feel like you’re in India one moment, cross the road and you feel like you have travelled to China.

In this post, I am taking a stroll through the streets of George Town, and celebrating the quirkiness and diversity of this multiculturalism and how it is reflected on the local architecture.

 

Chinese shophouse with red door and two red windows

Peranakan home with a ji-ho (plaque) with the family name above the door


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Chinese shophouse with green door and two green windows with two columns

Some of the colours are just so charming!

 

Blue Chinese shophouse with brown door and two brown windows and two pink lanterns

I think this is my favourite!

Decayed blue Chinese shophouse with black door and two red windows

Or maybe this one… I love them all!


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Chinese shophouse with wooden door and two wooden windows and two red lanterns

Peranakans were the early Chinese immigrants to the Malay Peninsula

Facade with yellow door and a blue arch in the distance

Beautiful tiles and colours

Chinese shophouse with red wooden door and two red windows

A Peranakan home with its own front garden

But it’s not just the cute little shophouses of George Town that show the island’s multiculturalism. This diversity means that there are places of worship that serve the different faiths that harmoniously live in the island.

Chinese temple door with green railings and Chinese figures on the door

Doors of a Chinese Temple with painted protective deities

Hindu deity on a blue arched window from a Hindu temple

A window to the Hindu Temple in Penang Hill


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 Penang is also well known for its street art. The last few years have seen a resurgence that was kicked off in 2012 by the municipal council, who commissioned Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic to bring a new lease of life to the streets of George Town. This art plays with objects and architectural features, so here are couple more doors and windows that have been enhanced by street artists.

Cute dolls painted on a purple wall next to a white window with a yellow and blue disk

A cute little window used to display art

Window painted on a wall with a giant cat looking out

But if you don’t have a window, just paint one!

Door surrounded by an iron sculpture

One of the many Penang Iron caricatures enhancing a dull door

Boy on a motorbike painted on an old door

Boy on a Bike by Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic (without anyone spoiling it)

So tell me: Have you been to Penang? Which style of doors and windows is your favourite?
Let me know in the comments!

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38 Comments
  1. Reply

    Lauren

    09/09/2017

    I love, love, love this!

    • Reply

      Teresa

      10/09/2017

      Thanks Lauren! So glad you like it! 🙂

      • Reply

        Eileen Lim

        24/09/2017

        hi Teresa, lovely heritage architecture. Penang is where my mother comes from and where food is simply yummy!

        • Reply

          Teresa

          24/09/2017

          Hi Eileen. Thank you! The food is delicious in Penang! You’re very lucky to have family in the island. Such a gorgeous place! 🙂

  2. Reply

    Christine

    09/09/2017

    I’m totally obsessed with unique doors! Penang has so many creative and stunning doors! Your photos bring them to life!

    • Reply

      Teresa

      10/09/2017

      Thank you Christine! I’m so obsessed with these doors too! Penang is so full of character. I hope it never loses it 🙂

  3. Reply

    Penny

    09/09/2017

    Not only are the doors beautiful but I love the creativity and the artwork in some. We were in Malaysia a few months back but we did not have time to visit Penang. I think we will make a trip there soon enough. There is so much left to see in the country!

    • Reply

      Teresa

      10/09/2017

      Thanks Penny. Malaysia is an incredible country and there’s so much to see! But Penang has to me my favourite stop there. Go on your next visit if you have the chance. You’ll love it! 🙂

  4. Reply

    Micamyx|Senyorita

    09/09/2017

    Lovely photos! I’ve been to Malaysia twice, but only managed to visit KL, Kota Kinabalu and Cameron Highlands. Penang is next on the list since its known for its nice hotels and food 😀

    • Reply

      Teresa

      10/09/2017

      Thanks Micaela! Penang is definitely worth the trek up to the north of the country. And the street food is just delicious too!

  5. Reply

    Nuraini

    09/09/2017

    These are a lovely selection 🙂 I do love doors myself, but I’m rubbish at taking good photos of them.

    • Reply

      Teresa

      10/09/2017

      Thanks Nuraini! Doors can be so quirky, can’t they? And Penang is a door-lover paradise! 🙂

  6. Reply

    My Travel Tricks

    09/09/2017

    Can’t believe how beautiful it is there!! I see so many stunning pictures of the street art in Penang but seems like everyone is just walking past these doors! Really good pictures as well. Would love to go there!

    • Reply

      Teresa

      10/09/2017

      Thanks! Penang is great for street art, but there’s a lot more to it than that. To me the little houses and the street food are major highlights too. It’s a place with so much character! 🙂

  7. Reply

    Drusilla

    14/09/2017

    Hi Teresa,
    What a lovely collection. You have many there that I haven’t seen, despite many mornings mooching around Georgetown. Did you keep a list of the street names?
    Regards

    • Reply

      Teresa

      14/09/2017

      Thank you so much Drusilla. I’m so happy you enjoyed it 🙂
      I’m afraid that I haven’t kept the street names but most of them were in the vicinity of the Blue Mansion and Chinatown. I hope that helps 🙂

  8. Reply

    Ora

    14/09/2017

    Hi ! nice capture ! penang is my home town ! 🙂

    • Reply

      Teresa

      14/09/2017

      Thank you Ora! I’m so glad you like it! You’re very lucky to have such a beautiful and interesting home town 🙂

  9. Reply

    Fuad

    14/09/2017

    Very nice indeed. Love your work. Being a Penangite myself, the city is full of flavors. Cheers!

    • Reply

      Teresa

      15/09/2017

      I’m so happy you liked it! Especially being a Penangite. You’re so lucky to live in such a wonderful city! 🙂

  10. Reply

    John

    18/09/2017

    I love this! All of these entryway look so warm and inviting.

    • Reply

      Teresa

      19/09/2017

      Thanks John. That’s what I thought too. I would have loved to see what’s behind those doors 🙂

  11. Reply

    Jasmah Fiore

    18/09/2017

    I lived and went to college..Dental School in Penang. The island is a hidden gem. Thank you for your high lights on their unique door decors/designs..a direct reflection on multiculturalism of the people.. Love it!

    • Reply

      Teresa

      19/09/2017

      Thanks Jasmah. How lucky of you to have spent some time in Penang. Its multiculturalism is one of the things that makes this place so wonderful. I love it too, and I’d love to go back one day 🙂

  12. Reply

    Hang Around The World

    18/09/2017

    We have never been there in Malaysia so far but we’d like to plan a trip later next year! These photos are simply amazing and show how charcteristic this place is. It was a good reading 🙂

    • Reply

      Teresa

      19/09/2017

      Thank you. I’m so glad you enjoyed it! If you make it to Malaysia next year, don’t miss Penang. It’s a fabulous place and the street food is delicious! 🙂

  13. Reply

    Paula - Gone with the Wine

    21/09/2017

    What a great idea to feature some beautiful doors. They all look very cool! Not a typical travel post and I love it! Hopefully I get to visit Malaysia soon.

    • Reply

      Teresa

      21/09/2017

      Thanks Paula! I’m really glad you enjoyed it. I hope one day you make it to Malaysia, and especially to Penang. So so beautiful! 🙂

  14. Reply

    Jeany

    23/09/2017

    This is such a cool idea! Really good pictures!

    • Reply

      Teresa

      23/09/2017

      Thanks Jeany! I’m so glad you enjoyed it 🙂

  15. Reply

    Sara Broers

    23/09/2017

    What a fun post! I love all the colors and architecture. It’s fun to see the different doors, windows and of course, the paint color! What’s fascinating to me is that many call this art and others would say it’s nothing.

    • Reply

      Teresa

      23/09/2017

      Thank Sara! You’re so right! This is art in its own way for sure. All the facades are so similar but so different at the same time 🙂

  16. Reply

    Zoya

    24/09/2017

    I totally love this post! The Chinese and Western influence is very evident in the architecture. Isn’t it just amazing how different cultures can influence architectural styles?

    George Town looks like a great place to explore. I can already see myself being mesmerized by all these lovely colors and styles, for hours. Totally adding this to my list! Thanks!

    • Reply

      Teresa

      25/09/2017

      Thank you Zoya! I’m so glad you like it! George Town is a real melting pot of cultures and that’s why I love it! I hope you get to visit some time 🙂

  17. Reply

    Wanderlust Vegans

    24/09/2017

    You have a great eye for style. A lot of these awesome doors and windows would go unnoticed if you weren’t keeping an eye out. It is interesting once you start noticing something how you can find some cool stuff. I like the colour and design of these places. It is interesting how some look Chinese and others Indian.

    • Reply

      Teresa

      25/09/2017

      Thank you so much! That’s such a lovely thing to say! There is always beauty all around us but sometime we don’t really pay much attention to it. Penang is full of interesting and eye-catching things wherever you look and I guess the doors and windows were what caught my imagination there 🙂

  18. Reply

    Ling Ge

    25/09/2017

    Wow, these are some amazing doors and wall art! I wished I paid more attention to these because some of them are very vibrant and intricate! Maybe will be keeping more of an eye out for them.

    • Reply

      Teresa

      25/09/2017

      Thanks Ling! It’s so easy not to notice beautiful everyday things that are around us 😊

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HI, I'M TERESA!

Hi! I’m Teresa, a London-based traveller and photographer who quit her job in the summer 2016 to explore the world. I’ve been to 39 countries and have ticked some adventures off my bucket list. I hope I can inspire you and motivate you to get out there and explore this beautiful world we live in. Follow my updates and discover the essence of travelling with me!

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