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Penang

Distinctly Asian with a dash of British flavour, East meets West in Penang, with its traditional temples, colonial architecture, and world-renowned street food.

The potpourri of Penang's diverse cultures is best sampled through a steaming hot serving of the many cuisines on the island. Constantly voted as one of Asia's best locations for sumptuous street food, the melting pot of Malay, Chinese, Indian and European culinary traditions is a stimulating adventure for the tastebuds. Make your way to a street stall in Malaysia's food capital and dig into famed favourites like nasi kandar, char kway teow or laksa.

A large island off the northwestern coast of West Malaysia, Penang is a charming Asian city fused with a dazzling array of well-preserved classical Victorian architecture, mostly found within the capital of the city, Georgetown. Colonial-era buildings like Penang City Hall, Fort Cornwallis and the Penang State Museum make an interesting sight for history buffs and architecture fans alike.

You will be photographing colonial architecture, dunking your coins into the wishing well at the Dhammikarama Burmese Buddhist Temple, and listening to the calls of prayer at the Kapitan Keling Mosque, all in one afternoon on this culturally diverse and harmoniously multiracial island. A must-see is the Pinang Peranakan Mansion, a restored mansion filled with enthralling antiques from around the world which recreates the lavish lifestyle afforded by wealthy Chinese Straits families in the past.

Take a break from the city for a hike or camp in the Penang National Park, where animal lovers can spot a wide range of wildlife from nesting green turtles to the majestic Brahminy Kite eagles. Explore the nearby Penang Butterfly Farm, a tropical fairyland of winged beauties well-loved by both adults and children. And be sure to check out the Tropical Spice Garden, one of Malaysia’s premier eco-tourism destinations featuring more than 100 herbs and spices growing wild.

For some great views over Penang, head to the top of Penang’s tallest building, Kompleks Tun Abdul Razak, shortened to KOMTAR, which has a viewing platform. Most visitors stay in central Georgetown and the city can mostly be covered by foot. The Rapid Penang bus routes provide a convenient way to get to places further away from the city centre. When in Georgetown, look out for the free Central Area Transit (CAT) shuttle bus, which services major attractions in the area.

The island's tropical climate makes it an attractive year-round destination. With its blend of cultures, it is very easy for your visit to coincide with one of the numerous cultural celebrations. Some of the more dazzling ones include the Chinese New Year celebrations in the Kek Lok Si Temple, and Deepavali, the five-day Hindu “Festival of Lights”, held between October and November.


Guide to Exploring Penang


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See all 641 properties in Penang
Hotel Jen Penang by Shangri-La Rs3,806
Reviewed on 14 Aug 2019
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Hotel Jen Penang by Shangri-La

Hotel Jen Penang by Shangri-La

Magazine Road, George Town, Penang
     
    4.2 of 5
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    The Club lounge is too small. It is usually full between 530pm and 7pm. The airconditioning can be improved as it is too warm to cater the evening crowd. I would like to give at least 4.5-Star but due to the Club Lounge I can give only 3-star until the hotel take a serious view from the the 2 points ...

    The Wembley A St Giles Hotel Penang Rs4,350
    Reviewed on 15 Aug 2019
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    The Wembley A St Giles Hotel Penang

    The Wembley A St Giles Hotel Penang

    183, Jalan Magazine, George Town
       
      4.2 of 5
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      The food, pool n gym. The staff were friendly though it took several tries before reception or operator picks up my call

      The Prestige Hotel Penang Rs5,098
      Reviewed on 17 Aug 2019
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      The Prestige Hotel Penang

      The Prestige Hotel Penang

      8 Gat Lebuh Gereja, George Town
         
        4.7 of 5
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Clean and new hotel. Friendly and helpful service. Swimming pool was a little small but ok for my child to play in, with view overlooking the Church Pier Jetty and sea.

        Hard Rock Hotel Penang Rs5,778
        Reviewed on 15 Aug 2019
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        Hard Rock Hotel Penang

        Hard Rock Hotel Penang

        Batu Ferringhi Beach, George Town, Penang
           
          4.3 of 5
          5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Atmosphere

          Eastern And Oriental Hotel Rs10,848
          Reviewed on 4 Aug 2019
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          Eastern And Oriental Hotel

          Eastern And Oriental Hotel

          10 Lebuh Farquhar, George Town, Penang
             
            4.7 of 5
            5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            The staff and service was excellent! It was a real treat to stay in this hotel

            DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Hotel Penang Rs3,620
            Reviewed on 22 Jul 2019
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            DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Hotel Penang

            DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Hotel Penang

            56 Jalan Low Yat, Batu Ferringhi, George Town, Penang
               
              4.2 of 5
              5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Staffs are very helpful and friendly. The toilets in the rooms are too small need to do some upgrading

              Lexis Suites Penang Rs6,664
              Reviewed on 13 Aug 2019
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              Lexis Suites Penang

              Lexis Suites Penang

              28, Jalan Teluk Kumbar, Bayan Lepas, George Town, Penang
                 
                4.2 of 5
                5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                This hotel is away from Georgetown or other famous sightseeing locations. But, it had a good private swimming pool with well maintained conditions. The room was spacious and the dining options were adequate for 2 nights. It was ubfortunate that we could not use kids paly area and the main pool due ...

                Shangri-La's Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa, Penang Rs10,278
                Reviewed on 10 Aug 2019
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                Shangri-La's Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa, Penang

                Shangri-La's Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa, Penang

                Batu Ferringhi Beach, George Town, Penang
                   
                  4.5 of 5
                  5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  It was all great. Great location, friendly, efficient staff. Beautiful facilities.

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