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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

See all 718 properties in Penang
Hotel Jen Penang by Shangri-La AU$93
Reviewed on 15 Oct. 2019
See details
 
Hotel Jen Penang by Shangri-La

Hotel Jen Penang by Shangri-La

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

    Staff very friendly and accommodating, clean, great location.

    The Prestige Hotel Penang AU$108
    Reviewed on 14 Oct. 2019
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    The Prestige Hotel Penang

    The Prestige Hotel Penang

    8 Gat Lebuh Gereja, George Town
       
      4.6 of 5
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      clean and new. friendly staff and good location. Buffet breakfast was so-so, but everything else was top notch!

      DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Hotel Penang AU$81
      Reviewed on 1 Oct. 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
         
        4.2 of 5
        5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Good job double tree!

        Shangri-La's Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa, Penang AU$211
        Reviewed on 6 Oct. 2019
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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

          The property is showing its age. Some parts need an upgrade. The food is good mostly but great in all situations. Staff are very friendly. Golden Sands has more activity going on and appears

          Eastern And Oriental Hotel AU$226
          Reviewed on 16 Oct. 2019
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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

            The location was fantastic and the hotel is exceptional. Great service and great staff who couldn’t do enough to help you. Only thing lacking from my point of view was the food from the lounge on the 6th floor. It was pretty average and expensive for the quality and quantity. Sarkies on the ground ...

            The Wembley A St Giles Hotel Penang AU$107
            Reviewed on 14 Oct. 2019
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            The Wembley A St Giles Hotel Penang

            The Wembley A St Giles Hotel Penang

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

              The hotel is very nice and strategically located in the heart of Georgetown. What we liked were the spacious rooms and excellent bathroom - they had bathtub which the kids loved, and a separate shower area complete with a rain shower. The breakfast buffet spread was excellent, well worth taking this ...

              Sunway Hotel Georgetown Penang AU$72
              Reviewed on 16 Oct. 2019
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              Sunway Hotel Georgetown Penang

              Sunway Hotel Georgetown Penang

              33, New Lane, (off Macalister Road), Georgetown, George Town, Penang
                 
                4.1 of 5
                3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                Clean, convenient location, many local eateries beside the hotel

                Evergreen Laurel Penang AU$90
                Reviewed on 24 Sep. 2019
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                Evergreen Laurel Penang

                Evergreen Laurel Penang

                53 Persiaran Gurney, George Town, Penang
                   
                  4.1 of 5
                  4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Great hotel to stay in after all my years travelling to Penang.

                  Top Penang Flight & Hotel Packages

                  Penang Flight Deals

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                  Top 10 Things To Do In Penang

                  See all 68 activities in Penang