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The Ultimate Penang Street Art Guide

One of the most fun and most meaningful things I had done during this trip was to explore the massive collection of Penang Street Art. Even though I managed to see almost a hundred of them, there were still lots that I had missed out.

That just gives me another reason to return to Penang again, haha.

I would say Penang street art is one of the main tourist attractions of the island. These art works that grace the walls of George Town do not just offer aesthetic pleasure but each of them actually tells a story. About Penang. About Malaysia. Its history, people, culture and food.

Grab a copy of the official Penang Street Art Map

In case you don’t know, Penang has an official map that marks out the locations of 67 street art murals. You can see the pdf version here on the official Penang tourism website. Or just pop over to the Tourist Information Centre on Beach Street (Lebuh Pantai) to grab a physical copy.

In this post, I will list out all the 67 street art murals that were featured on the official map and another 34 which were not. That makes this collection a massive one with 101 art works!

The best way to explore Penang’s George Town is by foot. So bring along a copy of the map and start hunting now!

Penang Street Art (on the official map)

Penang Street Art

1. Shorn Hair

Barbers used to operate here. The shorn hair was then swept into the Prangin canal.

Location: Jalan Sungai Ujong

Penang Street Art

2. Labourer To Trader

The early convict labourers were reputed to have built most of the government buildings in Penang. Some ex-convicts became petty traders and were the core group who started the Chowrasta Market.

Location: Jalan Chowrasta

3. Kopi O’ Kau!

Kopi O Kau is a thick, strong black coffee in local terms.

Location: Lebuh Kimberley

Penang Street Art

4. Happy Hour

Transfer Road is named after the event of the transfer of Straits Settlement from Indian office to colonial office in Singapore in 1867. It resulted in a more efficient administration and an era of great prosperity of the crown colonies.

Location: Jalan Transfer

5. Mr Five Foot Way

Five foot way were meant to protect pedestrians from the hot tropical sun and rain. With the influx of immigrants, work increasingly became hard to find. Many of the old and unemployed thus began using these corridors to set up small businesses instead. The Hokkiens began calling these ‘gho ka ki’ or ‘five foot way’ trades.

Location: Jalan Transfer

Penang Street Art

6. Spy

In the early 20th century, the slightly trisque reputation of this area was further enhanced by the presence of Japanese camera shops, which were suspected of covert spying activities.

Location: Lorong Kampung Malabar

7. Same Taste, Same Look

Here, you can find traditional Chinese Cantonese restaurants that serve up dim sum.

Location: Lebuh Cintra

8. Three Generations

Kimberley Street is famous for its hawker food. Some stalls have been here for over 3 generations.

Location: Jalan Sungai Ujong

Penang Street Art

9. Rope Style

Rope Walk was named after the rope making activities on the street.

Location: Jalan Pintai Tali

10. Retail Paradise

Campbell Street is Penang’s Fifth Avenue, a retail paradise where shoppers can stroll along the row of shophouses and feast their eyes on an array of goods.

Location: Lebuh Campbell

Penang Street Art

11. Ting Ting Thong

Seck Chuan Lane was a distribution centre for market produce. Many itinerant hawkers took advantage of the crowds by plying their foods here. One of the favourite foods sold is ting ting thong or rock candy, a hardened mixture of sugar, sesame seeds, and nuts loved by kids. It has to be ‘Chiselled’ and ‘Hammered’ to break it into smaller biteable pieces.

Location: Lorong Seck Chuan

12. High Counter

The counter of the pawnshop is typically higher for security.

Location: Lebuh Carnarvon

13. Cheating Husband

The local Chinese say the rich men who lived on Muntri Street kept their mistresses here, hence the name ‘Ai Cheng Hang’ or Love Lane.

Location: Love Lane

Penang Street Art

14. Budget Hotels

At the turn of the last century, many shophouses were turned into cheap hotels, making this internationally-known tourist strip very popular with backpackers.

Location: Love Lane

15. Rotan

Rotan refers to the rattan cane. This mother is holding her child’s report card. The kid must have done poorly in his exam so the mum is about to cane him.

Location: Lebuh Chulia

16. Jimmy Choo

This is the place where the famous shoe designer, Jimmy Choo, started his apprenticeship.

Location: Lebuh Leith

Image source: https://mypenang.gov.my/

17. Win Win Situation

Muntri Street was named after The Orang Kaya Menteri of Larut, Perak, Ngah Ibrahim. The tin merchants of Penang worked very closely with Ngah Ibrahim as Larut District was one of the major suppliers of tin at the time.

Location: Lebuh Muntri



18. One Leg Kicks All

The ‘Black and White’ Amahs were Cantonese domestic servants from Guangdong who did all kinds of household chores, and would refer to themselves with wry humour as ‘’Yat Keok Tet’’ (One Leg Kicks All).

Location: Lebuh Muntri

Penang Street Art

19. Narrowest Five Foot Way

The ‘Five Foot Way’ of Wan Hai Hotel is said to be the narrowest in Penang.

Location: Lorong Stewart

20. Beca

Locally known as ‘beca’. Most of the trishaw paddlers also doubled as tourist guides.

Location: Lorong Chulia

21. Mahjong

Mahjong (The game of sparrows) is a favourite pastime for the elderly.

Location: Lorong Stewart

22. Temple Day

During the first and fifteenth day of every lunar month, the Goddess of Mercy Temple is packed with devotees seeking divine guidance.

Location: Lorong Muda

23. Wrong Tree

Also called toddy or palm wine, tuak is an alcoholic beverage made from underdeveloped flower of coconut palm. The collecting and market for tuak was entirely an Indian affair with the majority of its drinkers being Indian labourers.

Location: Lorong Pasar

Penang Street Art

24. Brother And Sister On Swing

“Brother and Sister on Swing” is a wall mural of two young children, a boy and a girl, standing on a swing.

Location: Gat Lebuh Chulia

Penang Street Art

25. Children Playing Basketball

The “Children Playing Basketball” wall mural is painted by local artist Louis Gan.

Location: Gat Lebuh Chulia

Penang Street Art

26. Love Me Like Your Fortune Cart

“Love Me Like Your Fortune Cat” is one of the murals painted by ASA, Artists for Stray Animals in George Town, Penang. Fortune cats are cat figurines that are supposed to bring good luck and are usually displayed near the entrance of shops and businesses.

Location: Gat Lebuh Armenian

Penang Street Art

27. Please Care & Bathe Me

“Please Care & Bathe Me” is one of the murals painted by ASA, Artists for Stray Animals, in George Town, Penang. It shows two little kittens that have been abandoned.

Location: Gat Lebuh Armenian

Penang Street Art

28. Skippy

Skippy is a giant cat mural that was painted in conjunction with George Town Festival 2013.

Location: Gat Lebuh Armenian

Penang Street Art

29. Old Motorcycle

The “Old Motorcycle” mural on Lebuh Ah Quee is painted by Ernest Zacharevic, a young Lithuania-born artist.

Location: Lebuh Ah Quee

30. The Real Bruce Lee Would Never Do This

“The Real Bruce Lee Would Never Do This” is one of the murals painted by ASA, Artists for Stray Animals, in George Town, Penang for the 101 Lost Kittens project.

Location: Lebuh Ah Quee

Penang Street Art

31. Kids on Bicycle

The “Kids on Bicycle” mural located at Lebuh Armenian is painted by Ernest Zacharevic, a young Lithuania-born artist.

Location: Lebuh Armenian

32. Cats & Humans Happily Living Together

“Cats & Humans Happily Living Together” is a mural created by ASA, Artists for Stray Animals, in George Town, Penang. In this mural, people are replaced by cats carrying banners, lanterns and religious items.

Location: Lebuh Armenian (inside Cheah Kongsi)

Penang Street Art

33. No Animal Discrimination Please

“No Animal Discrimination Please” is one of the murals painted by ASA, Artists for Stray Animals, in George Town, Penang.

Location: Lebuh Armenian

Penang Street Art

34. Boy On Chair

“Boy on Chair” is a mural located along Lebuh Cannon. The boy standing on a chair and inching himself to reach as high as he can.

Location: Lebuh Cannon

Penang Street Art

35. Child Mural At Prangin Canal

Russian artist Julia Volchkova painted this black and white mural, inspired by a photograph taken in Indonesia by her friend.

Location: Prangin Canal

36. Trishaw Man

Trishaws used to be a popular mode of transport in the olden days in Penang. The location for this trishaw mural resembles the trishaw riders’ waiting area near the Cititel Hotel.

Location: Jalan Penang

Penang Street Art

37. Kungfu Girl

Kungfu Girl is a giant mural of a girl trying to lift herself up with both her hands on the window.

Location: Lebuh Muntri

Penang Street Art

38. The Indian Boatman

This is the second mural painted by Russian artist Julia Volchkova during her brief trip in Penang. Her first mural is ‘Child Mural At Prangin Canal’ on Prangin Canal.

Location: Lebuh Klang



39. Too Hot

The famous Weld Quay was the birthplace of Kelinga Mee, a spicy Indian noodle dish created to whet the appetites of sailors and port workers.

Location: Pengkalan Weld

Penang Street Art

40. Too Salty

The Tamils refer to this street as Uppukaran Teru or Salt Traders Street, a reference to the salt trading activities.

Location: Jalan Green Hall

41. Bullock Cart Wheel

In the days when your money could be as ‘big as a bullock cart wheel’, this was a popular rest stop for the limousines of the time.

Location: Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling

42. Gold Tooth

The traditional Indian goldsmith sat cross-legged on a floor mat, bent over a small bench to work. Their work demanded patience, creativity and skill.

Location: Lebuh Queen

Penang Street Art

43. Quiet Please

To the dismay of parishioners of the Portuguese church there. Church Street also housed the headquarters of the notorious Ghee Hin secret society.

Location: Lebuh Gereja

44. Untrained Parakeet

Parrot astrologers were Indian fortune tellers, who used green parakeets to foretell a person’s future.

Location: Lebuh King

Penang Street Art

45. Gedung Rumpat

While its royal English name sounds very grand, it’s also locally known as “Gedung Rumput” or Grass Godown, with bullock carts being parked along this wide street.

Location: Lebuh Queen

46. Tok Tok Mee

Tok tok mee is so called because hawkers would strike a ‘tok tok’ sound to signal their presence.

Location: Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling/Lebuh China

Penang Street Art

47. Roti Benggali

Roti Benggali came from the word Penggali (‘shareholders’ in Tamil).

Location: Lebuh King

48. Duck

Also known as “Chicken Alley”, this lane was once used by poulterers.

Location: Lorong Che Em

Penang Street Art

49. Property

In the 1800’s, shops and godowns on Victoria Street were built at the seafront.

Location: Lebuh Victoria

50. “Yeoh” Only

Yeoh Kongsi was established in 1836 to look after the welfare of the newly arrived Yeoh clansmen.

Location: Gat Lebuh Chulia

51. Double Role

Up until 1909, the police doubled as George Town’s firefighters.

Location: Gat Lebuh Chulia

Image source: https://mypenang.gov.my/

52. Main Street

Chulia Street was one of the main streets laid out by Captain Francis Light. Today, it is known as “Backpackers” main street.

Location: Lebuh Chulia

53. Ah Quee?

The street is named after Kapitan Chung Keng Kwee who generously donated his house to the Municipality for vehicular access ensuring that his name lives on for posterity.

Location: Lebuh Ah Quee

54. Kandar

Nasi Kandar originated from Tamil Muslims, hawking home cooked curry dishes and rice from containers slung on both ends of a Kandar (wooden stick).

Location: Lebuh Ah Quee

55. Too Narrow

The hand-pulled rickshaw was the most popular form of transportation in early Penang.

Location: Lorong Soo Hong

56. Procession

The Tua Pek Kong Hneoh Grand Float Procession is held in the Year of the Tiger to wash away bad luck and bring great wealth and health.

Location: Lebuh Armenian

57. Then & Now

The Hokkiens called this street Par Thang Ah Kay or Coppersmith’s Street, a reference to the early Malay orazlery making brass and copper wares.

Location: Lebuh Armenian

58. Cannon Hole

A cannon shot fired during the 1867 Penang riots made a large hole in this area, hence the name.

Location: Lebuh Cannon



59. Born Novelist

The birthplace of Ahmad Rashid Talu, the first to write an original Malay novel with local setting and local characters.

Location: Lorong Lumut

60. Limousine

This was the place to go for Chinese books, stationery, coffins and paper effigies. All the pleasures of the material world can be reproduced in paper and burnt as gifts for the hereafter.

Location: Lorong Carnarvon

61. Cow & Fish

Not only were hapless cows bred and slaughtered here but you could also smell the fish hung out to dry.

Location: Lebuh Melayu/Lorong Ikan

Penang Street Art

62. No Plastic Bag

A petty-trading neighbourhood, where you can find activities such as drying of salted fish and basket weaving.

Location: Lebuh Prangin

63. Waterway

Prangin River was a bustling waterway for all manner of goods that were shipped to Penang from all over the world.

Location: Gat Jalan Prangin

64. Chingay

The Penang Chinese first performed Chingay in 1919 during deity processions. Today, the art has evolved to become a unique multi-racial performance.

Location: Gat Jalan Prangin

65. Ironsmith

The striking of the lone ironsmith’s hammer can still be heard along the street where once every tool had to be fashioned by heat and hand, not machines.

Location: Lorong Toh Aka

66. Escape

This old Acehnese godown was originally a jail building already extant in 1805 – hence the thick walls and small windows.

Location: Lebuh Acheh

Penang Street Art

67. Haj Pilgrimage

Much of the traffic of pilgrims to and from Muslim Holy Land for the haj went through Acheh Street, where tickets for the trip were sold. Shopping was also a favourite activity for both pilgrims and their well-wishers.

Location: Gat Lebuh Acheh

Other Penang Street Art (not on the official map)

Penang Street Art

68. Oscar The Grouch

Location: Lorong Toh Aka

Penang Street Art

69. Tiger Mural

Location: Lorong Stewart

Penang Street Art

70. Fishbone

Location: Jalan Kuala Kangsar

71. Cat Hanging On Tyre

Location: Outside Cat N Dog Shop on Lebuh Cannon

Penang Street Art

72. Lion Dance

Lion dance is a Chinese traditional dance that mimics a lion’s movements.

Location: Lebuh Armenian

73. I Can Help Catch Rats

This piece of artwork was created as part of the 101 Lost Kittens project. It depicts a cat trying to catch a rat.

Location: Lebuh Armenian

74. Cat Kicking Minion

Location: Lebuh Victoria



75. Magic

The mural “Magic” depicts a little girl getting frightened over a magic show performed by a magician. I couldn’t capture the entire mural as the door was opened. You can see the whole mural here.

Location: Lebuh Armenian

Penang Street Art

76. Three Cultural Ladies

This mural caricature depicts three different girls in traditional costumes.

Location: Lorong Soo Hong

77. Teach You Speak Hokkien

Location: Lorong Soo Hong

Penang Street Art

78. I Want Bao

Location: On the side of Ming Xiang Tai Pastry Shop on Gat Lebuh Armenian

Penang Street Art

79. Street Vendor

Location: Lorong Song Hong

80. Two Men Pushing A Door

Location: Lorong Song Hong

81. Chinese Woman With Joss Sticks

Location: Lorong Song Hong

82. Chinese Door Guardian

Location: Lorong Toh Aka

83. Ice Cream Flower

Location: Lebuh Pantai

84. Little Girl Walking On Numbers

Location: On the side of Lang Hoose on Lebuh Pantai

85. Minion Next To Fire Hydrant

Location: Lebuh Ah Quee

86. Happy Dog With Steak

Location: Lebuh Ah Quee

Penang Street Art

87. Soy Milk Seller

Location: Gat Lebuh Chulia

88. Grandmother & Grandson

Location: Chew Jetty

89. Kung Fu Minion

Location: Gat Lebuh Chulia

90. Girl On Turtle

Location: On the side of Chulia Mansion Hotel on Lebuh Chulia

91. Chicken Alley

Location: Lorong Che Em

92. Marge Simpson

Location: Lorong Soo Hong

93. Shoal of Fish

Location: Lorong Soo Hong

94. Bao Seller

Location: On the side of Great Shanghai Dry Cleaning Shop on Lebuh Leith



95. Female Portrait

Location: Lebuh Tye Sin

96. Boy Eating Ice Cream

Location: Lebuh Tye Sin

Random Penang Street Art

These are some random street art I spotted while walking around George Town. Unfortunately, I couldn’t remember their exact locations and there’s hardly any online information on them too.

Penang Street Art

97. Grandparents & Grandchildren

Location: Possibly somewhere in Little India

Penang Street Art

98. Postman Running

Location: Unknown

99. Queuing Up To Wash Hands

Location: Unknown

100. Standing On Head

Location: Possibly somewhere near Lebuh Armenian

Penang Street Art

101. Garlands Seller

Location: Possibly somewhere in Little India

If any of you happen to come across any of these random street art, do let me know the location! 🙂

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