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The Malaysian island of Penang lies off the country’s north-west coast. Blending historic Victorian architectural monuments to the island’s colonial days with its overriding Asian flavour, the island state is a popular destination, especially renowned among history buffs and foodies. To uncover more about its imperial past, head for the capital Georgetown and explore the Penang City Hall, Fort Cornwallis, as well as the Penang State Museum. For some great views, head to the viewing platform of Penang’s tallest building, Kompleks Tun Abdul Razak, shortened to KOMTAR.
Alongside these symbols of former times and European influence, you’ll get to admire the dazzling, colourful statues around the Dhammikarama Burmese Buddhist Temple. Then you can head for the Kapitan Keling Mosque where you’ll appreciate its precise patterns, and the Pinang Peranakan Mansion richly decked with antique interiors and furnishings that befitted the affluent Chinese Straits families that would have lived here.
Of course the cuisine you can enjoy all around Penang underscores this fusion of cultures. The island is often held up as the gold standard for street food in Asia, with traditions from Malay, Chinese, Indian and European cuisine brought together to tantalising effect in the dishes you’ll be able to enjoy in the local markets as well as in the restaurants. At the food carts you’ll find all kinds of beautiful dishes, such as nasi kandar, char kway teow and laksa.
It’s not just in the heart of the city that you can appreciate and admire Penang’s charms. Head out for a day hike or an overnight camping trip at the Penang National Park. Among the wildlife here you’ll find green turtles in their nests. Check out the Penang Butterfly Farm, especially if you’re visiting with youngsters who will love to see these beautiful creatures in flight. Elsewhere you’ll find the Tropical Spice Garden, where scores of different herbs and spices grow and where visitors flock to enjoy one of the foremost eco-tourism destinations in Malaysia.
With a delightful tropical climate, visitors head to Penang all year round. Festivals of all kinds are often on. If you’re there for the Chinese New Year in the Kek Lok Si Temple or the Hindu Festival of Lights between October and November, you’ll be in for a treat.
Georgetown itself makes a great base for your visit to the island. Rapid Penang bus routes service the city and much of the wider region. The Central Area Transit (CAT) shuttle bus will also take you around Georgetown’s best attractions free of charge.
A: Rent a car and you'll feel like a local, not a tourist. Slide behind the wheel and explore everything that Bukit Mertajam and Butterworth have to offer, from major attractions to hidden gems. Your own set of wheels is also a must if the plan is to travel around the region of Penang or farther afield. Cheap Car Hire in Penang? We can help.
A: Operating 1,256 international flights each month, Penang (PEN-Penang Intl.) is where you'll most likely touchdown first for your trip to Penang.
A: Penang has no shortage of amazing accommodation. Hotels are traveller favourites. Apartments, guest houses and hostels are also great alternatives.
A: Flight and car. Flight and hotel. Hotel and car. Flight, hotel and car. You get the drift. You can book as little or as much as you want, all in one place. To get as much as possible out of your Penang holiday, look up our experiences and attractions as well.
A: Book a package deal with Expedia. It's as simple as that! Flights, Hotels, Rental Cars — work out what you need for your Penang escape and watch your savings grow. It's time to plan your dream holiday (and save some dollars to boot).
A: State Mosque, Mengkuang Dam and AEON Mall Bukit Mertajam are just the start if you're in search of superb attractions in Bukit Mertajam. Be ready for a packed itinerary if you're on your way to this popular city.
I love the colonial architecture and the room is fairly big for 2. Best of all it overlooks the sea of the Malacca Straits. The layout of the bathroom is beautiful with the big bathtub as the focal point. The provision of the his & hers vanity top and wardrobe in the toilet means that i have my own ...
Excellent and very professional service. Clean room. Originally was given a room with a very poor view facing the roof of the shopping centre at low floors. The staff was kind to change our rooms to higher floors at level 14 which we could have a glimpse of the Georgetown coastal sea. Really grateful ...
This hotel has a great location. Easy walking distance to Gurney Drive food stalls and Pulau Tikus shops. Also possible to reach the Midlands and Gurney Plaza shopping centre on foot.
A perfect place for a relaxing holidays. Only beef: it gets a little boring to see the same menu at the restaurant after a week.
Great service and very friendly.. just that the walls were a little thin...
The staff were all friendly and helpful. The room was spacious and clean. The swimming pool was very nice. The hotel is situated quite a way out of the centre of George Town - 20-30 minutes in a Grab taxi depending on time of day - but it is nearer to the nice beaches.