The history of George Town, Penang, is intertwined with an ignominious time in British history vis-a-vis its American colonies and the American War of Independence.
George Town is named after King George III, the monarch who lost the American colonies; whereas the original name of Penang at its founding by Captain Francis Light of the British East India Company was Prince of Wales Island, as it was founded on the eve of the birthday of Prince George (later to be King George IV), the heir to the throne.
King George III
Fort Cornwallis (the largest standing fort in Malaya today, built by the British East India Company) was named after Charles Cornwallis, the 2nd Earl Cornwallis who was infamous for being the British general who surrendered his army to George Washington at Yorktown in 1781.
Today, Fort Cornwallis is usually the first stop on any “heritage trail walk” for the first-time visitor or tourist in Penang, as it’s seen as the place “where it all started”.
Breakfast in the Fort is a pleasant spot to start one’s morning, when one plans to explore the historic quarter of George Town on foot. It’s an al fresco cafe set under the shade of rainforest trees that shielded one from the harsh tropical sun.
Dog-lovers abound here, as they meet for breakfast.
Breakfast fry-up - sausages, ham, scrambled eggs, baked beans, sauteed potatoes, shitake mushrooms, toast smeared with smashed avocado, and a green salad:
Grilled chicken breakfast - grilled chicken breast, scrambled eggs, shitake mushrooms, toast, and a green salad with sesame dressing:
Conclusion: Come for the ambience, and to soak up the indelible sense of history that seemed to permeate everywhere.
The food here is “meh”, and I’m also not too enamoured with coffee served in paper cups.
Noticed that the government buildings around the fort were all flying the Penang state flags at half-mast, as a mark of respect to the late Queen Elizabeth II who was to be buried today (Monday, 19 Sep 2022).
Penang State Assembly Building
Penang City Hall
Penang High Court Building
St George’s Anglican Church
The last time British royals visited George Town, Penang, was in 2017, when the now King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla came.
Breakfast in the Fort
Fort Cornwallis, Jalan Tun Syed Sheh Barakbah, 10200 George Town, Penang
Tel: +6012-454 6666
Opening hours: 7am to 1.30pm daily