Pink Plankton

Georgetown is a unique little city located on Penang, an island in Malaysia.  It is unique in the sense that so many cultural influences blend together here.  Many residents hail from either an Indian or Chinese background.  Yet, the architecture tells a different story.  Malaysia was once ruled by the British, and thus, colonial architecture can be found throughout the city.

I happened to be visiting Georgetown throughout Chinese New Year.  Wandering around the city during this time was an absolute pleasure!  There were many customs I had never witnessed before.

lanterns for Chinese New Year

In Malaysia, Chinese New Year is a week-long celebration.  Lanterns and other decorations adorn the streets of Chinatown throughout the week.

Chinese New Year woman lighting candle in temple

Throughout the town, members of the Chinese community gathered to the many Chinese Temples to make offerings.

Chinese new year candles in temple

The many lotus-shaped candles are a symbol of purity and perfection.   Some also leave notes with their intentions for the new year ahead.

Chinese New Year people burning insence in temple

Burning incense is a form of paying respect to the spirits.

Chinese New Year burning large insence

Larger sticks of incense, also known as joss sticks, burn throughout the streets.

This particular joss stick embellishes a dragon, a symbol of good luck.


The altars in the temples were very intricately designed and  laid out.

Chinese New Year orange offerings in temple

Mandarin oranges are a symbol of good luck.  Many Chinese give mandarins as presents to their friends and family during this time.

Chinese New Year burning oil in temple

Oil lamps are used to keep flames burning for the entire celebration.

colonial architecture in Georgetown, Malaysia

Beautiful colonial architecture can be found all throughout the city.

Georgetown, Malaysia, door

 Time has certainly taken a toll on most of the buildings, which has given them a unique, grungy look.

young man sketching colonial architecture of Georgetown, Malaysia

I stopped and talked to a Malaysian man from Kuala Lumpur, who enjoys visiting Penang on his time off.  He finds the city's charm much more inspiring for his art.Georgetown, Malaysia, street art

Georgetown, Malaysia, street art

Georgetown has been declared by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.  Street art similar to the above two images can be found throughout the city, giving visitors information on the significant of the location.

Chinese New Year lanterns

One last look at all the lanterns!