Night-time Niceties in Georgetown

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The streets of Georgetown, Penang are made for nightlife. The Chinese, in particular, never seem to go to bed. Their open-front restaurants are noisy gathering places where waiters shout your order to someone in a back room. A jukebox, if there is one, is turned on full volume. Hawker stalls on Gurney Drive and the Esplanade do a thriving business, while brightly lit stores cater to late-night shoppers. At the fashionable hotels, latecomers wait in line at the discotheques. There are roof top restaurants where dinners look down over the city light, hills and harbor, and dark cellar cabarets with no view at all.

Those who prefer to seek entertainment in bars can find a few around Georgetown and on the northern outskirts of the city. Some small and friendly establishments, like Hong Kong Bar, keep a “family album” of snapshots showing just about every traveler who has walked in and bought a drink. They provide jukeboxes for dancing, game machines for entertainment and barmaids for conversation. If you prefer a light music and comfortable surroundings, I would like to recommend the Penang Bar Street, along the stretch of Penang Road from Cititel Hotel and to where it intersects with Lebuh Farquhar. Others are more consciously sophisticated, like the Farquhar Bar in the Eastern & Oriental Hotel, which only operate until midnight.