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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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The Wembley A St Giles Hotel Penang Rs4,250
Reviewed on 23 May 2019
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The Wembley A St Giles Hotel Penang

The Wembley A St Giles Hotel Penang

183, Jalan Magazine, George Town
     
    4.3 of 5
    4.0 out of 5.0

    The location is very good and the staff are friendly. The room is clean. The morning breakfast is delicious and with good spread.

    Eastern And Oriental Hotel Rs11,571
    Reviewed on 22 May 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

      The service of their staff especially concierge and kitchen staff (Sarkies) have been key to their exceptional servixe. The room is spacious with complimentary minibar, drinks and better toiletries. The rooms seaview is incomparable.

      Shangri-La's Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa, Penang Rs11,455
      Reviewed on 21 May 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

        We had a great time, the room was clean and spacious, we had amenities as it was our anniversary and overall room service was great. The in room dining was great as well. We were slightly disappointed with the poolside Bar Restaurant but overall inexpert was great.

        Armenian Street Heritage Hotel Rs2,443
        Reviewed on 22 May 2019
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        Armenian Street Heritage Hotel

        Armenian Street Heritage Hotel

        139, Lebuh Carnarvon, George Town, Penang
           
          3.9 of 5
          3.5 out of 5.0

          Reasonable n clean for the price. Staff was friendly and helpful too.

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