Penang boasts what is perhaps Malaysia’s most diverse and intoxicating culture. Seated at the historical nexus between Europe and Asia, it has been subject to centuries of international influence. So, from the fascinating heritage of its capital George Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site renowned for its beautifully preserved colonial town centre, to the delicious local cuisine influenced by Chinese, Indian, Malay and European influences that has earned it a reputation as ‘the food paradise’ of Malaysia. And don’t forget the tropical beaches and luscious jungles also help make Penang unique in being the best of all worlds.
Areas & Neighborhoods in Penang
George Town — A visit to this beautifully preserved colonial town is like stepping into the past. From the variety of architecture on display - 1930s shops and houses, 19th century churches temples and mosques, as well as an array of colonial era buildings - to the meticulous condition in which they’ve been kept, history lovers and those who appreciate genteel charm are unlikely to find a more compelling destination than George Town.
Penang Hill — Rising a steep 821 metres above George Town, Penang Hill not only provides a bird’s eye view over the town itself, but you can even see as far as the mainland. Whilst it can be a bit of a mission getting to the top, those of you up for the challenge will be rewarded by a refreshingly cooler climate, delightful gardens, and even a British restaurant to help make you feel right at home.
Penang National Park — Malaysia’s smallest national park packs in plenty of natural sights to discover. Ribboned by hiking trails that offer differing degrees of challenge, the park is also home to some of Penang’s finest, and least known, beaches. And if you venture deep enough into the park you might even discover the deserted lighthouse and Achenese-style graveyard - enough to fire up even the weariest imagination.
Batu Ferringhi — Batu Ferringhi offers high standard sandy beaches and high end restaurants, making it an evergreen spot for both locals and visitors.
Things to See in Penang
George Town offers a glut of historic sights. Whilst there be sure to visit the Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion on Leith Street, once owned by Cheong Fatt Tze aka the 'J.P. Morgan of China', and built to exacting feng shui principles by Chinese master craftsmen. It goes without saying that the UNESCO World Heritage Zone that covers the old historical area at the heart of the town cannot be missed.
Things to Do in Penang
Whilst George Town has plenty of urban activities and entertainments to enjoy, don’t forget the rest of Penang, whose luscious jungles, coastlines, and countryside offer everything from golf, cycling, jungle trekking and camping, to watersports, snorkelling, and lazy days at the beach. So whether you’ve come to play, rest or explore, Penang has what you’re looking for.