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Top 5 Wall Murals and Street Art around Penang That You Must See

A must-see for visitors, local and abroad, are the murals around Georgetown  when visiting Penang. Zac Teo compiles a list of 5 murals  that you shouldn't miss in your next trip to the island

Penang Street Art  Hand Painted Wall Murals by CK Lam
Ernest Zacharevic painting the Reaching Up mural. Photograph: CK Lam/

Street arts or mural can be form a strong identity of a place or state, and tourism in Penang grows strength to strength with the beautiful murals around Georgetown. Initiated by the state government from 2011 onwards, the local municipal has commissioned artist from the far reaches of the globe to drop by The Pearl of The Orient and perform their works of art.

It started off as part of a project called Mirrors of Georgetown as part of the Penang Georgetown Festival in 2012 with Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic painting a series of murals in Georgetown, and in late 2015 another artist by the name of Julia Volchkova have also completed several iconic pieces. The following compilation is of personal choice by the editor of, on the top five must-see street art pieces around Penang.

1. Old Indian Lady; mural located at Lumut Lane

The most recent street art completed to be in this list, this mural aptly named Old Indian Lady was painted by Julia Volchkova in late November 2015. The picture paints a thousand words, with the elderly Indian lady portrayed in a worship pose with both her hands clasped. It is a picture of calm with the old lady painted right alongside a real banyan tree. Lorong Lumut, 10300 Georgetown, Penang

Mural of Indian Lady by Julia Volchkova. Photograph: Zac Teo/

2.  Reaching Up; mural located at Cannon Street

One of the most iconic murals among all is the Reaching Up mural by Ernest Zacharevic. Located in Cannon Street, you can find it approximately opposite the Anak-Anak Kota. The mural portrays a toddler literally reaching up to a hole on a wall, and ironically stepping up from a physical chair. Plenty of attractions along this street as well, such as the Leong San Tong Khoo Kongsi, Yap Temple and the Art of Dragon Gallery, to name a few. Lebuh Cannon, 10300 Georgetown, Penang

Penang Street Art  Hand Painted Wall Murals by CK Lam @penang365.comReaching Up by Ernest Zacharevic. Photograph: CK Lam/

3. Little Children on a Bicycle; mural at Armenian Street

Another work of art by Ernest, the Little Children On A Bicycle similarly makes use of a physical old-fashioned bicycle with two toddlers painted on top of them. A portrayal of joy as the two toddlers seem to be having the time of their lives! One of many attractions along the historical Armenian Street, such as the weekly Armenian Street flea market, Sun Yat Sen museum, Armenian House and another mural - Old Man which is next on the list. Lebuh Armenian, 10300 Georgetown, Penang

Penang Street Art  Hand Painted Wall Murals by CK Lam
Little Children On A Bicycle by Ernest Zacharevic. Photograph: CK Lam/

4. Old Man; mural at Armenian Street

One of the largest murals in Penang is the Old Man mural on the side wall of the Armenian Street Art Cafe. Once again another work of art by Ernest for the 2012 Georgetown Festival, it portrays an elderly Chinese man brewing a drink of sorts. Many may not know, the man in this art is actually Mr Ng Chai Tiam, a famous wooden clogs painter in Penang. Lebuh Armenian, 10300 Georgetown, Penang

Penang Street Art  Hand Painted Wall Murals by CK Lam
Old Man by Ernest Zacharevic. Photograph: CK Lam/

5. Boy on a Bike; mural at Ah Quee Street

Last but not least, the mural that many put forth as the most iconic and famous - Boy On A Bike by Ernest Zacharevic. Depicting a boy simply at ease sitting on an old-fashioned motorcycle, this mural captures the real essence of Penang's laidback and historical life with the art painted on an old door. Make your way to Ah Quee street in the heart of Georgetown and tour around Little India as well. Lebuh Ah Quee, 10300 Georgetown, Penang

Penang Street Art  Hand Painted Wall Murals by CK Lam
Boy On A Bike by Ernest Zacharevic. Photograph: CK Lam/
Getting Around
Most of the street art are in the heart of Georgetown, thus the most ideal way to admire all these murals are on foot. Weekend mornings would be the best time as the city streets are relatively empty and walking is much safer. A tour around the area on a trishaw or rickshaw is nice and slow to take in all the sights, while renting a bicycle is getting popular as an alternative. 
Getting There
Most public buses in Penang will transit at KOMTAR, which is actually a walkable distance to these art murals. For those who would like to see this as well as other major attractions around Penang, the Hop On Hop Off bus would be ideal.
Happy viewing!
Zac Teo

Zac Teo


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