Frequently Asked Questions



What is a World Heritage Site?

A World Heritage Site is selected by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for having Outsanding Universal Values (OUV), and meeting at least one out of the ten selection criteria. States Parties to the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage can nominate sites that are of outstanding value to humanity for inclusion on the World Heritage List. See The Criteria for Selection.

When did George Town become a UNESCO World Heritage Site?

The inner city of George Town and the historic centre of Melaka were jointly inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site under the title ‘Melaka and George Town: Historic Cities of the Straits of Malacca’ on 7 July 2008 during the 32nd Session of the World Heritage Committee in Québec, Canada.

What is the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of George Town?

The three criteria of George Town’s OUV are: (i) multicultural trading town, (ii) multicultural heritage and traditions, and (iii) unique architecture, culture, and townscape.

Where can I get a map of George Town?

You can get a copy of the map from the George Town World Heritage Incorporated office or download from the Resources page.

Where can I get information on public transportation in George Town?

Please visit Rapid Penang for the bus routes and journey planner.

What is the proper attire when visiting George Town?

The best way to explore George Town is on foot. Wear a good pair of walking shoes and a hat, or carry an umbrella. Put on sunscreen. Be properly attired when visiting places of worship.

Where are the public toilets in George Town?

They are located in Padang Kota Lama, Chowrasta Market, Astaka Medanika, Kampung Kolam, Medan Renong, Pengkalan Weld, Lebuh Campbell Market, Tanjung Selera Weld Quay, Pusat Khidmat Setempat (Padang Kota Lama), Surau Bandaraya Lebuh Duke (Padang Kota Lama) and Kompleks Letak Kereta MBPP Lebuh Pantai.

What are the events held in George Town and when?

Please check the Calendar of Events on Penang Global Tourism.

I would like to film in George Town for my video / movie – do I need to get permission?

Yes. You need to apply for a license with the Licensing Unit in the City Council of Penang Island. Also refer to the George Town Special Area Plan on the criteria for film locations inside the George Town UNESCO World Heritage Site.

I would like to draw a mural in George Town – how do I get permission?

Download the application form application form and submit it to the Heritage Conservation Department in the City Council of Penang Island.

Where can I get old photographs of George Town?

Visit Visions of Penang , an online collection of thumbnails and watermarked versions of their images. You can also call the Resource Centre at 04-261 0985 or e-mail us for more information.


What is George Town World Heritage Incorporated?

We are the state heritage agency of the State Government of Penang, established to manage, safeguard and promote the George Town UNESCO World Heritage Site and its Outstanding Universal Values.

How do I make an appointment for heritage conservation advice?

For advice on the conservation and restoration of heritage buildings, please write to Muhammad Hijas Sahari at [email protected]

Can I get advice on paper and textile conservation?

Yes, please write to Annie Lee at [email protected] or Miki Tampo at [email protected]

How can I be kept updated on GTWHI events?

Follow us on social media – Facebook (@gtwhi), Twitter (@wearegtwhi) and Instagram (@gtwhi).

Can I use the information and images from the GTWHI website / social media pages for my website / publication?

Please get our permission by writing in to us, detailing the purpose of reproducing the information and images, which are strictly for educational and non-commercial use only. Do ensure that you acknowledge George Town World Heritage Incorporated in your publication.

What does the GTWHI Interpretative Centre offer to the public?

It has a resource centre with a good collection of books, magazines and journals for reference use by students and researchers. There is also a collection of audio recordings (Oral History of George Town) and videos (Local Artisans and Practitioners of George Town).

How do I make an appointment to access the multimedia materials (audio recordings and videos)?

Fill in this Google form to make an appointment at least three working days in advance.

How do I apply to work with GTWHI?

Check out our Careers page for more information.

Does GTWHI accept interns?

Yes, we accept interns. See the Internship Programme page for more information.

Does GTWHI recruit volunteers or part-timers?

Yes, we recruit volunteers and part-time employees, especially for George Town Heritage Celebrations and other projects.

Does GTWHI provide guided tours to the public?

Not at the moment. However, you may contact the Penang Tourist Guides Associations to engage a tour guide.


I’m a student conducting research – may I interview a representative of GTWHI?

Send us a formal letter of request for the interview with your educational institution letterhead, and provide us with information on your research abstract, study background, and a list of your interview questions.

I’m a journalist and would like to arrange an interview with GTWHI, whom may I contact?

Please write to [email protected] with your request and proposed date and time of interview.

How can I make an appointment for a school group visit to GTWHI?

Please e-mail [email protected] and include details of the proposed visit such as (1) name and address of educational institution, (2) contact person, (3) number of visitors and age range of group, (4) proposed date and time, (5) purpose of visit, (6) field of study, and (7) preferred language of presentation.


What is George Town Heritage Celebrations (GTHC)?

The Celebrations is an annual event to commemorate George Town’s inscription as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and showcase the heritage, culture and traditions of the local communities.

When and where does GTHC take place?

The Celebrations usually take place in July in the inner city of George Town.

How can I be part of GTHC?

Join the team as a project staff, or volunteer during the event.

Is GTHC free-to-attend for the public?

Yes, our programmes are free to join (unless stated) and open to everyone.

Can I take pictures at the event?

Yes, we welcome you to showcase your photography talent during the Celebrations. Tag us on social media – Facebook (@georgetowncelebrations) and Instagram (@heritagecelebrations) for the opportunity to be featured.


I would like to purchase books and merchandise from GTWHI. How do I purchase them?

You can purchase them at our office or order online by e-mailing [email protected] to place your order. We offer worldwide delivery, and we will provide you with a quotation for the cost of postage. Payment is via bank transfer for online purchases.


My question hasn’t been answered, how can I get further information?

Call our office at +604-261 6606 or e-mail [email protected]