Penang is placed towards the northwestern coast of Peninsular Malaysia and the city is made of two halves – Penang Island and Seberang Perai, the mainland Peninsula. What makes Penang draw a large number of tourist every years is its fascinating fusion of the East and West.
It is modern and yet one finds t connected to its old traditions and charm. It is the many-faceted cultures of the city and it’s uniquely alluring charms that make it a favorite destination.
Plan your trip?
Avoid hidden fees in the exchange rate while withdrawing from millions of ATMs abroad, paying in restaurants and shops, and buying your accommodation and flights using the Wise Card. You can hold up to 40+ currencies at once to spend in in over 150 countries, and convert them in real time with the free Wise app.
Need help planning your trip from start to finish? Check out these helpful links:
- Cheap flights
- Savings on accommodation from hostels to luxury hotels
- Affordable car rental options
- Affordable sightseeing tours and day trips
- Travel Adapter – All in one so you don’t have to carry a bunch around
This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.
The melting pot of cultures
Penang is truly a melting pot of different cultures, religions, and food. of George Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site is a fusion of Malay, Indian, Chinese and other races. There is an amalgam of different cultures that is apparent everywhere, in the cuisine and architecture of Penang.
One comes across well-preserved heritage buildings and harmonious multiracial populace. It would be a pity to miss out on the island’s tropical abundance or toes palm-fringed beaches and fishing villages.
One of the most enjoyable ways to explore the city and sight see is on foot. However, start early and wear light clothes.
Cultural sights and natural scenery
Penang has been nicknamed the Pearl of the Orient. There are so many natural attractions in the tropical paradise that is blessed with golden beaches and tranquil seas.
Penang’s beaches are simply beautiful and as rich as its multicultural history that dates back to the 18th century, the era of British colonization. The sandy beaches of Tanjung Bungah, the quaint nooks of Georgetown and the summit of Penang Hill remain ever popular among the locals and the tourists.
Tropical Spice Garden is the only spice garden in South East Asia. Exotic products such as nutmeg and durian are grown in the mountainous jungle and farms.
Batu Ferringhi is situated along the northern coast of Penang Island and is a suburb of George Town. It is a prime beach destination in Penang and caters to a steady influx of tourists.
Visitors enjoy a range of water sport activities at the beach resorts along Batu Ferringhi such as parasailing. Enjoy a scenic view of the Andaman Sea and Mount Jerai on a clear day. Batu Ferringhi is also famous for its night markets.
The food capital of Malaysia
Penang easily entices visitors with its scrumptious cuisines and is famous as the food capital of Malaysia. Explore night-time street extravaganza, where everyone has their favorite hawker stalls, and there is just everything available here.
One can savor egg, crunchy pickled vegetables, a wok-fried dish of rice cakes, and bean sprouts. A favorite with all is a steamed fish curry, known as great otak otak. Enjoy some of the best cakes and ice creams along with Western-style coffee, at the Kopi C, the fabulous China House complex.
Kebaya is the top choice for those looking for superb Peranakan-influenced cuisine. The International Food Festival at Penang is head during April at three different locations and showcase some of the most popular and famous food of the city.
The festival displays the skills of innovative chefs and mixologists as they create new dishes and drinks.
Penang’s street art
Stroll through Georgetown’s streets and experience the new life breathed into the inner city and some of the atmospheric Chinese shop-houses.
The project by London-trained Lithuanian artist, Ernest Zacharevic has indeed been a success. Walk across Lebuh Leith, Armenian Street, Muntri Street, Weld Quay, Ah Quee Street and more to enjoy the artwork that has been spread out across the streets.
Take an evening stroll through Georgetown roads, walk towards the Muntri Street and finish your tour at Weld Quay to see the best of the street art.
There is an eclectic mix of cultural, historical and natural attractions in Penang. Head towards Majestic Theatre, where you can enjoy newest performing-arts in George Town. Performing Arts Centre of Penang boasts of an experimental theatre.
Penang offers plenty of sightseeing opportunities and some must-see attractions. You can enjoy Penang even more during Christmas, New Year’s Day, and Chinese New Year.
There is no denying that Malaysia’s ‘Pearl of the Orient’ boasts of a fine cultural splendor and natural beauty. Every year, thousands of tourists come here and go back with incredible memories of unique cultural heritage and scenery of the cosmopolitan city, Penang.