Tethered to the mainland by two bridges, the island of Penang is an exciting mix of old and new, combining historic architecture with charming beaches and traditional fruit farms. Georgetown, Penang’s World Heritage-listed capital, is filled with British colonial history and Chinese temples, while its numerous food markets sell mouth-watering dishes with influences of Indian, Thai, European and Chinese cuisine.
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Vibrant and sophisticated, Penang is a fascinating fusion of East and West. Wander through the World Heritage-listed capital of George Town to see the merging of past and present cultural influences in the city’s architecture, festivals and restaurants. From night markets and shopping strips to some of Malaysia’s most beautiful gardens and beaches, Penang has plenty to offer. Come hungry though, as Penang’s tempting curries and stir fries could keep you entertained for weeks!
Did you know?
Known as the Food Capital of Malaysia, Penang is stuffed with food carts, street food and restaurants serving up delicious delicacies, including local favourite char kway teow.
Penang is a Malaysian state, made up of an island accessed by a bridge or a ferry from the mainland, and a strip of land on the Malay Peninsula.
Penang’s capital George Town is Malaysia’s second largest city and along with Malacca, forms one of the country’s four World Heritage sites.
The best views of George Town can be found at the top of Penang Hill (830m), which is accessed by a funicular railway.
How to get around
Take a trishaw
If you’re sticking to George Town, walking is the best and easiest way to see the sights, and walking tours are popular. However, if it’s a little too hot for walking, then taking a trishaw is the next best thing. These three-wheeled bikes have two-seater cabins, and your driver, who often doubles as a tour guide, can stop whenever you fancy taking a photo. Just agree the price before you get in. To explore further afield a taxi is your best bet, and you’ll need to catch a ferry, train or a bus to get back to the mainland.