Penang, like most places in Asia, is rapidly developing in step with Asia’s rising economic clout.  You’ll find beach-side resorts and shopping malls  rising  like palm trees all along the northeastern coast of Penang near Georgetown.  However, not all of Penang is following the path to development.  Some places, like Chinatown and Little India, have managed to resist change to  maintain their unique character and identities.   You won’t see any glittering new high rises or freshly painted houses meant to impress the neighbors or the hoards of tourists.  Instead, you’ll keep wondering when the houses were last painted and why all the shop keepers pile so much stuff up at the front of their shops’ entrances.  You’ll also find that Chinatown and Little India offer what most travelers should desire most: opportunities to taste and see the local culture as well as a chance to live and breath the history of the island.

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