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Penang

Distinctly Asian with a dash of British flavour, East meets West in Penang, with its traditional temples, colonial architecture, and world-renowned street food.

The potpourri of Penang's diverse cultures is best sampled through a steaming hot serving of the many cuisines on the island. Constantly voted as one of Asia's best locations for sumptuous street food, the melting pot of Malay, Chinese, Indian and European culinary traditions is a stimulating adventure for the tastebuds. Make your way to a street stall in Malaysia's food capital and dig into famed favourites like nasi kandar, char kway teow or laksa.

A large island off the northwestern coast of West Malaysia, Penang is a charming Asian city fused with a dazzling array of well-preserved classical Victorian architecture, mostly found within the capital of the city, Georgetown. Colonial-era buildings like Penang City Hall, Fort Cornwallis and the Penang State Museum make an interesting sight for history buffs and architecture fans alike.

You will be photographing colonial architecture, dunking your coins into the wishing well at the Dhammikarama Burmese Buddhist Temple, and listening to the calls of prayer at the Kapitan Keling Mosque, all in one afternoon on this culturally diverse and harmoniously multiracial island. A must-see is the Pinang Peranakan Mansion, a restored mansion filled with enthralling antiques from around the world which recreates the lavish lifestyle afforded by wealthy Chinese Straits families in the past.

Take a break from the city for a hike or camp in the Penang National Park, where animal lovers can spot a wide range of wildlife from nesting green turtles to the majestic Brahminy Kite eagles. Explore the nearby Penang Butterfly Farm, a tropical fairyland of winged beauties well-loved by both adults and children. And be sure to check out the Tropical Spice Garden, one of Malaysia’s premier eco-tourism destinations featuring more than 100 herbs and spices growing wild.

For some great views over Penang, head to the top of Penang’s tallest building, Kompleks Tun Abdul Razak, shortened to KOMTAR, which has a viewing platform. Most visitors stay in central Georgetown and the city can mostly be covered by foot. The Rapid Penang bus routes provide a convenient way to get to places further away from the city centre. When in Georgetown, look out for the free Central Area Transit (CAT) shuttle bus, which services major attractions in the area.

The island's tropical climate makes it an attractive year-round destination. With its blend of cultures, it is very easy for your visit to coincide with one of the numerous cultural celebrations. Some of the more dazzling ones include the Chinese New Year celebrations in the Kek Lok Si Temple, and Deepavali, the five-day Hindu “Festival of Lights”, held between October and November.


Guide to Exploring Penang


Top Penang Hotel & Accommodation Deals

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Hotel Jen Penang by Shangri-La AU$102
Reviewed on 16 Jan. 2020
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Hotel Jen Penang by Shangri-La

Hotel Jen Penang by Shangri-La

Magazine Road, George Town, Penang
     
    4.3 of 5
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Room was made up quickly upon request. Check ins and check outs were also done speedily. Morning breakfast buffet had different variations everyday! Also, best part is that the hotel is located five mins away from most hot spots which meant travelling time was greatly reduced. Will definitely stay ...

    Golden Sands Resort by Shangri-La, Penang AU$121
    Reviewed on 12 Jan. 2020
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    Golden Sands Resort by Shangri-La, Penang

    Golden Sands Resort by Shangri-La, Penang

    Batu Feringgi Beach, Batu Feringgi, George Town, Penang
       
      4.1 of 5
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      On New Year’s Eve dinner had a lady staff approach us regarding kids dinner . She could have waited till we finished dinner but she made a big drama . Considering it was our first day there and timing and the way she approached us just wasn’t pleasant . I was our 3rd visit to Golden Sands , and the ...

      Shangri-La's Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa, Penang AU$223
      Reviewed on 16 Jan. 2020
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      Shangri-La's Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa, Penang

      Shangri-La's Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa, Penang

      Batu Ferringhi Beach, Batu Ferringhi, George Town, Penang
         
        4.5 of 5
        5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Great service from the whole team. Eva's ability to recall who we were within 2 days was amazing.

        Eastern And Oriental Hotel AU$329
        Reviewed on 12 Jan. 2020
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        Eastern And Oriental Hotel

        Eastern And Oriental Hotel

        10 Lebuh Farquhar, George Town, Penang
           
          4.6 of 5
          5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Good location in Georgetown, large comfortable rooms, great facilities, excellent staff. Food and service well above average. Good property, well managed. One of the great hotels of the world

          DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Hotel Penang AU$87
          Reviewed on 24 Dec. 2019
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          DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Hotel Penang

          DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Hotel Penang

          56 Jalan Low Yat, Batu Ferringhi, George Town, Penang
             
            4.1 of 5
            5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Good hotel

            Bayview Hotel Georgetown Penang AU$71
            Reviewed on 15 Jan. 2020
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            Bayview Hotel Georgetown Penang

            Bayview Hotel Georgetown Penang

            25-A Farquhar Street, Georgetown, George Town, Penang
               
              3.8 of 5
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Clean but location leaves much to be desired. Overall a pleasant stay, Recommended.

              The Wembley A St Giles Hotel Penang AU$83
              Reviewed on 12 Jan. 2020
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              The Wembley A St Giles Hotel Penang

              The Wembley A St Giles Hotel Penang

              183, Jalan Magazine, George Town
                 
                4.2 of 5
                4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Clean and prompt service. Near places of interest. Near from airport

                Cititel Penang AU$70
                Reviewed on 13 Jan. 2020
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                Cititel Penang

                Cititel Penang

                66 Jalan Penang, George Town
                   
                  4.1 of 5
                  4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Strategic area and easy access to get food.

                  Top 10 Things To Do In Penang

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