Penang’s Little India is a vibrant and colorful region in Georgetown where you get to experience the full-on Indian culture. Subtly bordered by Lebuh Queen, Lebuh Chulia, Lebuh Gereja and Lebuh Pantai, walking into this zone takes you right into the setting of a Bollywood movie. Apart from the Malaysian language that describes the stores and cars with Malaysian number plates, it actually does feel like you’ve stepped into the streets of India.
Before Little India was formed, the Indian settlement covered a wider area, extending much further down Lebuh Chulia. After a surge of Chinese migration, the area has been reduced to a much smaller version, which is the current Little India. Among all the Chinese establishments on Lebuh Chulia, an Anglo-Indian structure still stands tall despite its difference from the others – the Yeng Keng Hotel. Even though it has now been converted to a hotel of Chinese architecture, it still holds its original structure of an Anglo-Indian bungalow.
In the current Little India, you can find Punjabi suits, Sarees, and other Indian fashion items that come in affordable prices among rows of boutiques. Additionally, looking for the latest Bollywood movies and music in Little India is not hard at all as there are a bundle of video shops around Little India. You can easily pick up a DVD from any stores and enjoy it when you’re back home. Besides shopping, you can enjoy delicious Indian cuisine in any of the restaurants plotted throughout Little India. Here, a variety of dishes like Tandoori chicken, Dosa, banana leaf rice, nasi kandar, samosa and so much more can be found, that it would take you a few meals to try only half the menu in any restaurant. A myriad of spices will leave you feeling like your tummy has gone on a trip to India, and the best part of it is that these dishes are not expensive; you can eat so much for so little!
When festive seasons are just around the corner, the streets are filled with even more items for sale; set-up tents leave a narrow space on the streets for pedestrians. Shops will be blasting music, giving off a festive vibe to the lively area.