Penang is a state in Malaysia located near the Malacca Straight. It is a thriving holiday destination and is perfect for anyone whose goal is to enjoying an interesting, activity filled getaway. One of Malaysia's oldest states, Penang offers a broad range of historical landmarks for history enthusiasts, as well as modern hotels, restaurants and sightseeing opportunities. Additionally, there are numerous beaches in this state, and although they tend to be more crowded than other beaches in Malaysia, most travellers consider them worth the extra effort. Below are some of the top activities and attractions for those who plan to visit this colourful and exciting area of Malaysia:
Featured Penang Hotels
The region's interesting, multicultural history dates back to the 1700s, and the current culture is influenced by Malaysia, China, India and Europe. Its capital city of Georgetown is a terrific place to visit, and was named a UNESCO world heritage site in 2010. The old historical centre of Georgetown is a must-see for any history buff, and sightseeing in this area is always an experience to remember.
Visitors searching for attractions and landmarks should not miss a trip to the Penang Botanical Gardens. The Gardens open quite early at 5 AM on most days, and remain open until dark. Featuring impressive waterfalls, beautiful flowers and shrubbery, and unusual trees and plants, the Gardens can easily make one forget the time.
Kek Lok Si-Temple of Supreme Bliss
Another outstanding structure in Penang is the famous Buddhist temple, Kek Lok Si-Temple of Supreme Bliss. This sprawling hillside structure is advertised as Southeast Asia's largest and oldest Buddhist temple, and it boasts an enormous statue of the Chinese Goddess of Mercy, Kuan Yin. Tourists can take an inclined elevator ride up to the top of the hill where the statue is located, and picture taking is allowed. At the ground level, there are several gift shops and stores offering miniature collectible versions of the Temple. Although it is a tourist attraction, it is also a place of worship for local residents, and during the 15 days of Chinese New Year, it has extended hours to accommodate those who wish to come and pray.
Tropical Spice Garden
Penang's Tropical Spice Garden is a breathtaking eight-acre valley that stretches the entire length of the shores of Teluk Bahang. It showcases an artistically manicured garden consisting of collections of tropical plants from throughout the world. The garden is home to an outstanding100 varieties of tropical herbs and spices, as well as huge collections of other exotic flora. The Garden is opened throughout the year, rain or shine.
Penang Butterfly Farm
A top attraction in Malaysia is the Penang Butterfly Farm, which is the first of its kind in the tropical world. Averaging 7000 butterflies, it is truly a wonder to behold. When visitors step in, they are instantly surrounded by colourful, butterflies in a natural setting, which gives one the feeling of visiting an enchanted forest. Other outbuildings on the property include a café and souvenir shop, as well as glass enclosures that feature amphibians, reptiles and invertebrates.
The Penang Islamic Museum
Muslim visitors and those who are interested in Islamic history should not overlook the Penang Islamic Museum. Located in Georgetown, the establishment houses photographs, paintings, relics, ancient maps, and other items that showcase Islam's history in the city from the time the first individual came to the area to spread the Islamic faith. Situated in what was once the Palace of Syed Alatas, this luxurious and ornate Museum is a must-see for anyone with even the slightest interest in Muslim history.
Penang State Art Gallery at Dewan
Individuals who enjoy viewing paintings and other creations by local artists should stop in at the Penang State Art Gallery at Dewan. Open 365 days of the year, some displays change regularly, while other collections have a permanent home in the establishment. The Islamic Museum and the State Art Gallery are within walking distance of each other, and many visitors find that these two landmarks are a great starting point from which to begin a sightseeing expedition.
Whether searching for educational attractions, delicious food, beautiful scenery or impressive landmarks, essentially anyone can anticipate a memorable and exciting getaway in Penang.