Once known as the “Isle of the Betel Nut,” Penang is an exotic holiday destination today. A UNESCO World Cultural Heritage, Penang is famous for its sandy beaches and nicknamed as the Pearl of the Orient. The island-state is made of two halves, Penang Island and the Seberang Perai. The rich multicultural history of Penang dates back to the 18th Century, and one can easily see Indian, Malay, Chinese and European influences. The city has retained its traditions and old-world charm while embracing modernity. One would not have to search far and wide in the island with a fascinating culture which is complemented by golden beaches, and so many natural attractions. Just browse an affordable booking hotel online and start planning the trip.
When to go
The peak season for Penang is during New Year, Christmas and Chinese New Year. The east coast of Malaysia gets loaded with tourists during the months of January to February. The right way to explore the area is to walk around and start early in the morning. One can rent out a car or travel by bus or taxis. English is spoken fluently by service staff while the locals converse in Malay. Look for budget Penang hotels, and you are sure to find a very good place with all the modern amenities and at very affordable rates!
What to see
Penang is truly a tropical paradise that has something for everyone. Whether one is a nature lover, a historical buff or outdoor enthusiasts. Some of the most popular sites of Penang include the beaches of Tanjung Bungah, the Tropical Spice Garden, and Georgetown. Explore the palm-fringed beaches and fishing villages of the island or head towards the mountainous jungle and farms that grow durian and nutmeg. Explore Penang Street Art thanks to the great efforts of Lithuanian artist. Visit the beautiful Penang Botanic Gardens that are also known as Waterfall Gardens. The Tropical Spice Garden is a landscaped garden that has more than a hundred varieties of plants. You will love being in the Entopia Penang, which is a tropical butterfly farm that boasts of 7000 butterflies. The Snake Temple is another popular tourist attraction that has pit vipers living within the temple grounds. War Museum and Toy museum lure a large number of locals and tourists every year. Explore the unspoiled beaches of Penang such as Muka Head, Teluk Duyung, Teluk Kampi and Pantai Kerachut. For those interested in trekking and camping, please check out the Penang National Park and the Botanic Gardens that are marked by natural trails.
What to eat
Well famous as the food capital of Malaysia, you are sure to get overwhelmed by the myriad of flavors in Penang’s street food. One can see how the signature dishes of each culture have been influenced by other cooking styles and thus creating a blend of tastes and spices. Some of the most popular dishes include Nasi Kandar, which is rice served curries and with fish, chicken, squid, or the variations of the is sour and tangy Laksa. You will feel like in heaven when you taste the fried white noodle dish – Char Koay Teow. Some other dishes to explore are Hokkien Mee, Nyonya dishes, deserts and kuih, Rojak, Bukit Tambun Seafood and more.
Where to shop
Penang will not disappoint you when it comes to shopping as there are endless shopping malls and plazas. Visit Avenue Penang, Gurney Plaza, Gurney Paragon, Queensbay Mall, Straits Quay, Prangin Mall and Penang Time Square that sell almost everything under the sun. There are department stores that are primarily food-and-bav focused. Those interested in outdoor markets can explore the Flea Market at Lorong Kulit, and the Night Market of Pasar Malam or the Little Penang Street Market.