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Welcome To Penang

Penang, often referred to as the Pearl of the Orient, is one of the most picturesque and romantic cities in all of Asia. This tropical island lies in the Indian Ocean, just off the north-west coast of Peninsular Malaysia.

Penang received its name from the Pinang, or Betel Nut tree, once commonly found on the island. Established as the first British trading post in the Far East in 1776, Penang today is a bustling metropolis reflecting a uniquely exotic blend of East and West.

The state of Penang consists of the island of Penang and a strip of land on the mainland known as Seberang Prai.

The Penang Bridge, one of the longest in Asia at 13.5 km, links the two land masses. Penang is also connected by a ferry service to the mainland.

On Penang Island sits the capital, Georgetown, a city steeped in history and tradition yet sparkling with progress and modern development. Certain sections of Penang present a quaint picture from the past where narrow side streets, trishaws, temples and traders plying their goods, seem to belong to a forgotten era. Penang is a shopper's paradise for goods old and new, at bargain prices.

The island also boasts some of the best food in the region, ranging from fabulous Chinese, Malay and Nyonya cuisines to foodstall favourites like nasi kandar, char kway teow and penang laksa, all of which are cooked in a uniquely 'Penang' way.

 

 

Places of Interest


Khoo Kongsi Khoo Kongsi is one of the grandest clan temples in the country. Clustered in its square are an elaborately embellished temple, association building, a traditional theatre as well as several 19th century row houses.

Kek Lok Si Temple
Reputed to be the biggest Buddhist temple complex in Southeast Asia, the temple stands majestically on a hill in Air Itam. It boasts the beautiful “Pagoda of Ten Thousand Buddhas” which blends Chinese, Myanmarese and Thai architecture.

Snake Temple Built in 1850 and dedicated to the deity, Chor Soo Kong, the temple is a sanctuary for pit vipers said to be “servants” of the deity.

Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion Featuring 18th and 19th century Chinese architecture, this stately mansion comprises beautiful bedrooms, libraries, ceremonial halls, courtyards and gardens. It also houses a rare porcelain collection, sculptures, carvings, tapestries, embroideries and antiques.

Fort Cornwallis The fort was built on the site of Sir Francis Light’s historic landing in 1786. Originally a wooden stockade, it is now a concrete structure and currently houses cannons, a history gallery, café, handicraft and souvenir centre as well as an open-air amphitheatre.

War Museum Built around the remnants of a British fort, this 20-acre museum contains several installations above and below ground where old war relics are stored. Visitors can weave through a complex to view barracks, old cookhouses, lock-ups, tunnels and ventilation shafts.

Penang Museum Hundreds of old prints, paintings, clay, stone and porcelain ware as well as other historical artefacts that highlight the important periods in Penang’s development can be found here.


 
 

Kapitan Keling Mosque
Built in early 19th century, the mosque features an ochre yellow façade and a dome-shaped minaret reflecting Moorish Islamic influence. It was named after the Indian Muslim merchant, theKapitan Keling (headman), Caudeer Mohudeen.

Acheen Street Malay Mosque Built in 1820 on land donated by Syed Sheriff Tengku Syed Hussain Aidid, the vernacular-style mosque, also known as Masjid Melayu, features an octagonal minaret and a Moorish arcade.

Chinatown
Large and well-preserved, its numerous clan houses, shophouses and temples provide a fascinating insight into the lifestyle of early Chinese immigrant settlers who came here in the 1800s.

Little India This quaint Indian town dates back over two centuries and boasts the 167 years old Sri Mahamariamman Temple. Worth browsing here are the pre-war terrace buildings which house restaurants, jewellery and textile shops, dress retailers, music stores, barbers as well as shops selling spices, sundries and cutlery.

Pinang Peranakan Mansion Contained in this mansion are elaborate traditional costumes and accessories, lovely porcelain pieces, furniture, works of art brought in from China and Europe as well as artefacts
related to the history and colourful lifestyle of the Baba Nyonya people of Penang.

St. George’s Church The church is one of the oldest landmarks in the city and was named after the patron saint of England. It features a memorial canopy dedicated to Captain Francis Light.

Wat Chaiya Mangkalaram
A unique Buddhist temple with Thai, Myanmarese and Chinese architecture, it houses a 33-metre
gold-plated reclining Buddha said to be one of the longest in the world. The niches behind the statue house urns contain the ashes of devotees.

P. Ramlee’s House Originally built in 1926 to commemorate the late P. Ramlee, Malaysia’s foremost entertainer, the house features the life history of the late singer, actor, composer and film director. The various exhibits include his personal memorabilia and also items belonging to his family.

Penang Hill Malaysia’s first hill station, Penang Hill is 830m above sea level. Ascend to the top by hiking up or by travelling in the funicular train which has been operational since 1922 and enjoy the cool climate as well as the fantastic view at the summit.

Penang National Park The park offers excellent hiking trails which lead to secluded beaches at Teluk Duyung, Muka Head and Pantai Kerachut. It also has a turtle nesting site as well as a unique meromictic lake.

Tropical Spice Garden Visitors can get a feel of plants, birds and insects in a tropical environment at this eight-acre garden which has over 500 exotic varieties of plants.

Tropical Fruit Farm Spread over 25 acres of hilly terrain, the farm produces over 200 tropical and subtropical fruits including durians, lychees, mangoes, guavas and several lesser known varieties. Penang Butterfly Farm The farm spans 0.8ha and is home to 3,000 living specimens from over 50 species of colourful butterflies, frogs, scorpions and other insects.

Penang Bird Park
The park spans 5 acres and houses some 800 birds from all over the world. It is beautifully landscaped and features a walk-in aviary, ponds and ornamental plants. Gurney Drive A favourite haunt for food enthusiasts, this coastal road is famous for hawker foodstalls and restaurants offering a mouth-watering selection of Penang specialities such as asam
laksa, hokkien mee, chee cheong fun, pasembor, rojak and various other delicious local delicacies.

Shopping, Dining and Entertainment Penang is a shoppers’ paradise for goods old and new at bargain prices. There is a wide
choice of electronic and electrical goods, cameras, clothing, batik, souvenirs and antiques. The island also boasts some of the best food in the country. An exciting choice of entertainment including concerts, dramas, cultural performances as well as sports and recreational activities are available throughout the state.

Getting There
Penang is easily accessible by air as it is served by airlines plying international and domestic routes. Travellers can also choose to travel by road via the North-South Expressway. Upon reaching the mainland, a short drive across Penang Bridge or a 20-minute ferry ride is all it takes to get to Penang Island. Getting to Penang via rail is possible too as there are regular rail services to Butterworth from major towns in Peninsular Malaysia.


 
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