If you’re a traveler, India is probably already on your bucket list. Well, a country as big as that definitely demands a huge amount of time to be completely explored and understood. How about getting a little sneak-peak into this huge country, while exploring the other one? Little India offers commercial as well as a cultural glimpse of major Indian cities.With its rich history and constantly developing present, this place definitely tops the list of must-visits in Penang.
Little India is located in the heart of the UNESCO zone of George Town in Penang. Just like India, it is not so little considering the area it covers in a city of another country. It is covered by three streets namely, Chulia Street, Queen Street, and Market Street. However, it finds its traces even to the Jalan Masjid Kapitan Kling and Church Street.
Best time to visit:
Best time of the year to visit Penang is around November to January, if you’re up for festivity, maximum activity in the city and of course, rush. If you’re looking for a quieter getaway, February to April is your season. The rest of the year witnesses heavy downpour.
Best time of the day to visit Little India is later in the day since most of the marketplace opens up after 11 in the morning and a lot of them, including food stalls, open up during the dusk hour or when the sun goes down.
How to reach:
You can get to the island from KL via various modes of transport, be it buses, flights, cars, taxi or even railways. Once you get to the airport, station or bus stands, you can get to Little India directly via road, either by taking a bus or just hiring a cab or taxi. Another way is to first get to George Town through any modes of available transport (try for rapid buses first) and then get to Little India with a trishaw.
What to do when you’re here:
Immerse yourself in the Indian vibe from the very first step in the area. Enjoy the loud Indian music, take time to appreciate the vibrant streets, pamper your tummy with delicious Indian foods, grab traditional Indian clothing like Saree, and give yourself a spiritual dose at the Sri Mahamariamman Temple. If you do it right, you’d probably be coming back.
There are a number of accommodation facilities in the Little India area itself, mostly being the budget ones. However, there are a huge number of options in other parts of the city which is not too far from here. The accommodations range from high-end luxurious hotels to budget backpacking lodgings.
Where and what to eat:
Anyone who knows even a little bit about India must be very much aware of the mouth-watering food the country has to offer. Little India is exactly the place to come to when you’re craving for some authentic Indian food. The entire area is full of stalls and Indian restaurants, providing the best Indian food available in Penang. A little tip from our side would be to tell the vendors beforehand about how much spice you’d prefer since Indian food could be little spicy for most.
Things to keep in mind:
- Make sure that your taxi is metered and if it’s not, settle on a mutual price before hopping in.
- There are a number of ATMs and money changers providing reasonable exchange rates near the area.
- Buy a local SIM before you start exploring Malaysia to ensure a good communication, locally and abroad.