Penang. When one mentions Penang, what comes to mind is the wide variety of delicious food and the sandy beaches. While the island is well known, especially with George Town situated on the island, Penang consists of more than just the island and we have the mainland side as well which connects to the other states of Malaysia.

 

Night shot of Penang, overlooking a part of George Town.

 

The mainland part is called Seberang Perai, which was formerly known as Province Wellesley. George Town is the capital city of Penang. Penang is also known as the Pearl Of The Orient. In Malay language, Penang is called “Pulau Pinang”. ‘Pulau’ means island and ‘pinang’ means areca nut, so basically Penang is an island of areca nut George Town was formerly known as “Tanjung Penaga”, which is known as Cape Penaigre in English.

 

At the pier, where the ferry (seen on the right of the picture) can take you to Seberang Perai from Penang island.

 

On 7 July 2008, Penang was listed as one of the World Heritage Sites by the United Nations Educational, Science and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). In order for a city to be listed as one of the World Heritage Sites, it must pass at least one of the ten selection criteria set by UNESCO. The World Heritage Sites are places with special cultural and physical significance. Penang is proudly one of the World Heritage Sites.

 

Penang is well developed in the prime areas, with many buildings, properties and on-going development but some areas are still not developed. You can find pre-war heritage buildings around Penang especially in George Town. With Penang being listed as one of the World Heritage Sites, there are restrictions when it comes to developing new buildings within the heritage zone and the existing buildings will also have restrictions when it comes to renovating them.

 

There are a lot of interesting places to visit in Penang. If you have a love for water, there are a few spots you can go to. The most famous stretch is along Tanjung Bungah leading up to Batu Ferringhi, where you get to walk along the sandy beach or play in the sea water. Some other places where you can park your car and watch the sea view are along Gurney Drive, Esplanade (Padang Kota Lama), Karpal Singh Drive and Persiaran Bayan Indah, though it is not advisable to go into the water. We have featured some of these spots in our previous blog.

 

If you are wondering where to stay in Penang during your visit, there are ample of hotels for you to choose from. There are also some homestay and bed & breakfast venues found in Penang. Penang has a tropical rainforest climate and is generally warm/hot all year round. Penang has multi-cultural citizens and expatriates staying here. The main Chinese dialect spoken is Hokkien.

 

View of the garden from one of the hotels in Penang. Many of the hotels will have seaview.

 

Penang is a place well-known for its good food. You can find food in every corner, from fine dining style to restaurants, cafe, bistro and hawker food. There is a wide variety of food to choose from be it Asian cuisine, Western, Mediterranean and fusion. Some of the food outlets are open 24 hours.

 

Lok lok (steamboat) is one of the local food found at restaurants and hawker stalls. Penang char koay teow, Penang laksa and our mamak nasi kandar (rice and dishes found at Indian-Muslim eateries) are famous mouth-watering local delicacies.

 

On 7 July every year, Penang holds its George Town Heritage Celebration to commemorate Penang being listed as one of the World Heritage Sites. There are programs held every year which has heritage and cultural values. Aside from this event, there will also be a lot of events and celebration going on in Penang all year round. If you are looking for event venues out of your hometown, why not consider Penang. We will be waiting for you and we welcome you to Penang.

 

A shot taken in one of the heritage sites where a man is posing with his trishaw.
There are trishaws for rent in Penang island, where you can sit on the trishaw while the trishaw peddler brings you around a certain route in Penang and you can enjoy the view.

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