Penang- Crossroad to Fun and Food
Penang is an island 28 km off the mainland of Malaysia. Penang is also the state of Malaysia on North-west coast comprising Penang Island, and a strip of land on mainland called Seberang Perai. The second smallest state in the country out of 13 states with 1031sq km area, out of that Penang Island has area of 285 square km. Its state capital is George Town which is located on the Penang Island. The island has connection to mainland by a 13.5km long Penang Bridge and another of 24 km long bridge. Also it has a 3 km channel between the narrowest points between mainland and island. Ferry services link is also convenient that links two land areas.
Why visit Penang
Penang is striding up with the modern developments, while preserving the diverse heritage and tradition. A unique blend of east and west mix, Penang has been catching attention from the visitors for years. It has to be seen to believe with its colonial era buildings, churches reminding of bygone years, incredible forests and wildlife in National park and its cool leisurely beaches. It has a stamp of Asian charm and hospitality, thanks to its culture, happy time shopping opportunities and finger licking culinary range.
Penang’s sea beaches are good but lag behind in comparison to some of the other Malaysian beaches. If they lack in something they gain in another, diversity, which is their strong multi-culture base. It has influence of Malay, Chinese, Indians and Europeans that reflects in their cuisines. For this very reason, this place is known as ultimate food haven and a ‘culinary destination’, well known in whole of Malaysia and Singapore also.
HOW TO REACH PENANG
BY AIR– Penang International Airport is at 17 km distance from Georgetown, the domestic and international flights are available.
BY TRAIN– Trains available up to Butterworth from KL and other places, from there taxis or ferries can be hired to reach the island.
BY BUS– From Kuala Lumpur bus can be availed, this is supposed to be the cheapest form of travel.
Best Time to visit Penang
December and January are considered to be the best months to visit. Between May and October if you can take risk for rains or heat then you can avail off-season deals.
Cuisines of Penang
Diverse cuisine options both from the East and the West are available here:
Malay food– Ikan bakar, Mee Jawa, Mee Udang, Penang-Laksa, Nasi Lemak
Chinese– Bak Kut The, claypot chicken rice, Char Koat Teow, Hokien char & mee, Hainanese chicken rice, Wan Than Mee, Lor mee, fried oyster omelette
Indian– Appalam, Apom, banana leaf rice, biryani, fish head curry, Nasi Kandar,Mee Rebus
Western– Tari Burger, Chicken chop, Neslo,
Penang hotel options
Penang offers fabulous accommodation options to diverse tourists as per their budget and choices be it boutique hotels, beach view resorts, economical hostels or serviced apartments. The capital George Town has unique stay options at World Heritage sites while beaches offer nature facing stay options which you can book online at great prices.
Activities and Adventure in Penang
Swimming and hiking in Penang National Park, parasailing, scooter and speed boat rides, snorkeling and diving. kayaking, archery, paintball, jungle-trekking, water polo, and beach volleyball in Jerejak Islands
SIGHTSEEING in PENANG
Capital of Penang has plenty of attractions to offer to tourists, such as pre-Second World War houses and shop houses, as well as 19th century churches, temples, mosques, and colonial buildings. A UNESCO world heritage site George Town is well maintained in cleanliness and other aspects of safety and management. George Town is a modern-day city with skyscrapers and shopping malls. Luxuriant Penang Hill, with hiking and a riding on the funicular railway provides a panoramic view of the hills and the city. There are some important places to see:
- Kapitan Keling Mosque, which is the largest mosque in the city
- Sri Mahamariamman Temple is the oldest temple in the country
- Church of the Assumption considered to be the oldest Roman Catholic church.
Penang National Park
This National Park is Malaysia’s smallest of the parks, all the more reason to watch with ease. Located 25 km from Georgetown, the park has three nearby hidden beaches and network of trails for trekking. Spread over 1200 hectares, it’s the lifetime experience to see nature’s complete offerings in this park. In this lovely wilderness, it is unimaginable that one is so near to the bustling city. The experience one can get here is soothing to the eyes and heart. From the easy hike to Monkey Beach to the more challenging trek to Teluk Kampi, explore what this park has in store for you. Monkeys and turtles are in abundance here, if lucky you can find some baby turtles hatching.
A British time hill station, the hill was well chosen by the British people to overlook the city and the surrounding area. The view from the top is enchanting and panoramic. The place still has British time’s rundown cottages and the cooler air up there to provide great relief from the warm weather.
The most popular way to climb up to Penang Hill is through the funicular or hill train. There’s another way that starts by the Botanical Gardens and it’s called the Moon Gate. From here, it’s around 6km up to the Hill. The trek is not an easy one, it’s steep, muddy, and humid as hell, so get lots of water and proper boots to climb.
Batu Feringghi Sea Beach
Batu Feringghi is Penang’s most advanced thus a popular beach, long stretch of soft & white sandy beach that is dotted with beautiful houses, local and global restaurants, oceanfront resorts and reasonably priced hotels, as well as the exciting night market with hundreds of stalls set up that offer the best shopping time for you, where you can bargain competitively. Batu Feringghi beach is located just half an hour away from Georgetown, when your sojourn coming to an end, check for this market.
Tanjung Bungah is a panoramic seaside suburb located between Gurney and Batu Feringghi. Within a half-hour’s drive from Georgetown, Tanjung Bungah beach is surrounded by lush greenery and rocky landscapes. It has risen in popularity over the years to become one of Penang’s most popular destinations, having must-visit charms such as Penang Toy Museum and Penang Floating Mosque.
A tranquil tropical 362-hectare island with picturesque beaches and an unspoiled rainforest, Jerejak Island has been protected for 4 centuries. Known as the biggest of the many islands surrounding this place, this island can be reached by daily going ferry.
Snake temple – Must visit this one-of-a-kind temple which is filled with aroma and smoke.
It is famous as Food Haven, but there are so much more to enjoy the holidays such as beautiful parks, shopping complexes, museums and old heritage sites. Therefore, visit Penang during your next vacation and feel the difference!