Every month we’ll bring you a rundown of the best places to see, things to do and – of course – foods to eat in various states or areas around Southeast Asia. This is part of an editorial series on reasons to love various places in Southeast Asia. This week: Penang, Malaysia.
Penang, Pulau Pinang, the Pearl of the Orient; whatever you choose to call it, there is no denying that Penang is one charming Malaysian state that never fails to attract visitors.
Here are 12 reasons why we love Penang:
Cars and motorbikes are too mainstream. A trishaw ride down the streets of Georgetown is the cool way to get around town.
If you are looking for ways to get around Penang, check out this article: 4 Ways To Get Around Penang If You Don’t Have A Car
2. Penang Bird Park
There are 300 species of exotic birds here, including an impressive collection of hornbills such as wreathed hornbills and helmeted hornbills.
Check out the ESCAPE Theme Park, an exciting destination with exciting rides and games hosted in a natural environment.
Photo credit: Escape, Facebook
An Expat’s Experiences in Penang: Hash Jungle Running is an article worth reading if you’re into sports and recreational activities.
4. Penang Hill
With a breathtaking view of the cityscape, Penang Hill has one of the oldest British hill stations in Southeast Asia.
To learn more about Penang Hill, do look at Exploring the Hilly Slopes of Penang’s Famous Hill and Penang’s Hill Station.
5. The heritage
Penang’s rich history is showcased in many heritage buildings around the island that have been turned into museums. Indeed, UNESCO deemed Georgetown a World Culture Heritage Site on 7 July 2008.
Photo credit: expedia.com
Check out A Visit To The Penang Colonial Museum and A Brief Look at Penang’s Exotic Charms and Colonial History to find out more about some of Penang’s museums.
Unique murals painted by local and international artists can be seen on the walls of buildings in Georgetown; one of Penang’s popular traits.
The places of worship of the many religions in Malaysia are beautifully and uniquely designed. They include: the Kek Lok Si Temple, the Cathedral of the Assumption, and the Kapitan Kling Mosque.
Check out Fire Walking at Sri Mariamman Temple in Penang and The Legend Behind a Chinese Boat Burning Ceremony in Penang to read about some of the religious legends and traditions in Penang.
8. The food (of course)
A variety of mouth-watering dishes, influenced by several cultures and races in Malaysia, can be found at hawker stalls and restaurants almost anywhere. Be sure to try pasembur (a Malay-Indian salad), tau sar peah (bean biscuits), and cendol.
9. The architecture
The city’s old buildings seem to be able to tell stories of historical events and the simple lifestyles of people in the olden days.
10. The maritime life
The Weld Quay Clan Jetties is a reminder of one of Southeast Asia’s most important ports.
For those who love adventures at sea, check out 5 Malaysian Boat Journeys You Should Take and Sailing Around Penang with Three Expats in a Small Boat.
11. The markets
Whether it’s household items, vintage collectibles, or knick-knacks, nearly anything can be found at the bazaars, street or flea markets.
To find out more about Penang’s most popular streets, take a look at A Stroll Around Penang’s Armenian, Acheh and Beach Street.
12. The beaches and islands
Although perhaps the Perhentian Islands and the rest of the east coast are more well-known for their white-sand beaches, Batu Ferringhi and Tanjung Bungah in Penang have some of the most tranquil scenery in Malaysia.
To read more on Batu Ferringhi, check out Here’s What You’ll Discover on A Stroll along Penang’s Batu Ferringhi.
What do you love about Penang? Let us know in the comments below!
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