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Sunday, 27 November 2016

Malaysia: The Top 10 Best of Penang



Penang is a diverse and beautiful city often known as “The Pearl of The Orient”. It is characterised by hordes of travellers, locals and expats as well. It is essentially a metropolis of cultural hybrids for lack of a better word. It is a former trading post that has developed over the years to become a diamond in the rough so to speak. What are particularly interesting about Penang are the numerous tourist destinations it has and its unparalleled food collection.

Penang is among the best place to visit in Asia, nay, in the world, with an array of tourist destinations that will leave you spoilt for choice. The notable activities that are bound to make you desire and even consider owning a property in Penang includes:

1) Feel nostalgic and stay in the many heritage buildings



For a place as old and well preserved as George Town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage city, it’s safe to say that most buildings have a story to tell, and these include some restaurants and hotels as well. Popular hotels like Blue Mansion, Macalister Mansion, and Eastern and Oriental Hotel, give their guests the opportunity to experience a stay in old but well preserved buildings, with their wooden doors and classy floors, without compromising modern comfort.


2) Stay breezy in tropical Penang Hill



Penang Hill, or Bukit Bendera, is known for its fresh and cool climate that is a welcome relief from the smoldering tropical heat of George Town. The hill is also renowned for its amazing panoramic view of Penang Bridge, Straits of Malacca, the mainland and of course, George Town too. 


3) Rich history is here to share, visit the many museums and stay in the know



Soak in the vast historical facts left by our ancestors that are offered by the numerous types of museums available here. They include, among others, the majestic Penang State Museum, Blue Mansion, and Penang Peranakan Museum. These museums house exhibits which showcase the many tools and lifestyles of prominent communities in Penang, such as Baba and Nyonya.


4) Temples, temples everywhere



Penang has deep cultural roots, so of course there're bound to be more than the odd temple or two. It has one of the largest and finest temple complexes in the region — Kek Lok Si Temple - that is enchanting at night, especially during the Chinese New Year and Wesak Day. The list of temples is almost endless but some of the more popular ones include the oldest Hindu Temple, Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani Temple; Siamese Wat Chayamangkalaram Buddhist temple, the temple that houses the largest reclining Buddha Statue; and the Snake Temple.


5) Of all seriousness, here comes a wide array of kinky museums



There are just so many museums that are worth your time to visit them. They include Penang Ghost Museum, Made in Penang Interactive Museum, Penang Toy Museum, Camera Museum, and many more! 


6) Staying adventurous with the many unique theme parks



You hear me right, be bold and jump! You can participate in one of the most exciting outdoor activities at ESCAPE Theme Park. The theme park is surrounded by lush greenery and offers many activities such as free falling, tree climbing, flying through zip lines and many more.


And there’s Penang War Museum, visit at night and get the creep of your life! The War Museum was a fortress at Bukit Maung that was transformed into a Japanese army base, famous for its dark history, filled with narrations of how tortures of prisoners took place during the 2nd World War. 


7) Everything is about clans here, we have clan houses and even clan jetties



It’s fascinating to see how different clans preserve their roots with Clan Houses and Clan Jetties. The Clan Jetties are a part of the Heritage Trail of Penang, with 6 out of 7 still remaining today. Each of the jetties has its name after a clan of China. 


8) Fine beaches for a romantic stroll, an evening sip as well as morning swim



These beaches are second only to George Town when it comes to top tourist attractions in Penang. Who doesn’t enjoy open seas and sandy beaches that are suitable for all sorts of aquatic thrills? For those who are not fans of such activities, one can always walk along the beach to enjoy the sand oozing through your feet.

The icing to the cake is its exciting sidewalk bazaar at Batu Feringghi that occurs daily, from 6 p.m. to sometime after midnight. The bazaar is both a busy and enjoyable shopping experience that tourists and locals alike can indulge in. 


9) Hunting down street mural along the whole of George Town



One thing that never falls short in Penang will be the mushrooming murals over the years. Some old walls within George Town have gained a new lease of life with these mural paintings and street art. My advice, ride a bicycle for the hunt and read the tips and maps beforehand.


10) FOOD, FOOD, FOOD



Don’t worry, we have not forgotten about the best that Penang has to offer — the unparalleled food collections. Penang is consistently ranked as one of the best food paradises in the world and it would take a brave soul to argue against that. To complete the list of food to try whilst in town, we'd need a whole new blog post on them. But I will start off with my favourites — Asam Laksa at Air Itam, Jalan Siam char kway teow, Penang Road Chendul and little known Penang Tee Nyah Kuih.

Of course the list can go on and on with other top things to see and do in Penang. With so much to offer, one might want to think about living in Penang for good. For those who have that very thought, you can visit and search property portals like PropertyGuru to look for Penang property.


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This is a guest post.

Going to Penang, Malaysia?
We recommend the following hotels which we've previously reviewed:
Boutique Hotels: The Chambers Hotel; Ren i Tang Heritage Inn
4- & 5-Star Hotels: St Giles Wembley HotelEvergreen Laurel Hotel 

Otherwise, do check out these Penang hotels for your accommodation requirements there.

For other blog entries on Malaysia, click here.


26 comments:

Comments and feedback are always appreciated. So do leave one or two if you have the time. Thank you!

  1. 1,9 and 10 please!!!
    berkali-kali datang penang pun masih tak jemu street art hunting, sentiasa ada yang baru

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    1. Banyak street art yg baru2 ni macam tak ada oomph sangat kot but yeah, memang best street art hunting nih. Yg tak best, bila clash dengan org2 yg duk main Pokemon Go, hahaha!

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  2. I have travelled to Asia but I haven't been to Malaysia. I appreciate your suggestions for things to do in Penang, and I'm intrigued by your reference to the Heritage Trail. It sounds like a cool way to explore the area.

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    1. Yes, Heritage Trail is definitely a great way to explore George Town, the capital of Penang. As part of the city is a UNESCO World Heritage, touring around the area is a great way to learn more about its history and heritage. And then, there are some really nice street art to discover too!

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  3. I too loved Penang! It is one of those few cities which has mosque, church and temple and there is lot of peace too. I think I saw a Buddhist monastery too!

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    1. Yes, there's one street in the city where you can find all of these places of worship located quite close to each other - something which you don't find everyday in most other cities.

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  4. Such a helpful guide. I haven't been to Penang but I would be very interested in the different parks and beautiful temples.

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    1. Thank you. If you love parks, I think you'd love Botanical Gardens and probably Tropical Spice Garden too. I wrote about the latter in separate post.

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  5. Penang looks like a great place to travel to. Quirky museums, street art, and wonderful food are high on my check list of things to watch out for when visiting a new area. I've been to Kuala Lumpur and it looks like I should have traveled north for a week or two.

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    1. Hi Rhonda, many who have been to both apparently prefer Penang to Kuala Lumpur. And if you like quirky museums, street art and good food, then you'd probably be one of them too! :)

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  6. There is so much there that appeals. The food of course, that has to be top of my list but the temples, beach and street art it really is a fabulous variety.

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    1. Penang is a popular choice for food, sometimes it's known as the food capital of Malaysia, having consistently making the lists of world's top cities for food by the likes of CNN and Forbes.

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  7. I haven't visited Malaysia, but I would certainly spend some quality time in Penang after reading your post. The Clan Houses are really interesting, I would love to explore the history behind those in more detail on a future visit.

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    1. Clan houses and heritage hotels are my favourite spots when I'm in Penang, and there are plenty of them in the UNESCO World Heritage area of the city.

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  8. I didn’t know there were clans of China in Penang! There definitely looks like there would be plenty to do in this city. I’m pretty sure I’d be all over the food (love Malaysian food) and then I’d have to do some of the outdoor activities just to burn off the calories.

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    1. There sure are plenty of clans in Penang, heh! And yes, most visitors have to go on a diet after visiting Penang ;)

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  9. Everybody's talking about Penang and I regret skipping that when I spent a few days in Malaysia - but I opted for the jungle instead. Next time - if I go, I'll probably check out what so special about Penang :)

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    1. Hi, Monika! Jungle is not a bad choice either, unless if you didn't like it? Where did you go, by the way? Taman Negara?

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  10. Penang is one of Malaysia’s most diverse and has exciting cultures. There are so much to see in Penang from beautiful Pinang Peranakan Mansion, to numbers of temples, exciting adventures and of course colorful street arts.

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    1. Exactly the many reasons why Penang is one of the top destinations in Malaysia and SE Asia.

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  11. I love love love Penang street food :D

    http://www.fatindays.com

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  12. Looks like you had a great time in Penang! Love the photos and the post :)

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  13. Haritu ana tidur kat Container Hotel. Not bad.

    War Museum ada hantu tauuuuuu.. Woowowowow...

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    1. Fuh! Sejak bila ber-ana, anta ni? Hahaha! Tak pernah lagi stay dekat Container Hotel, nampak mcm menarik, nice for IG photos, I guess? War Museum pun tak pernah sampai lagi sebab a bit out of the way kot...

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  14. Nice article on Penang �� be sure to be on the lookout for The Habitat, the new attraction on Penang Hill ya?

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