Penang, often referred to as the Pearl of the Orient, is one of the most romantic cities of the East. Penang received its name from the Pinang or Betel Nut tree once commonly found on the island. From its establishment as the first British trading post in the Far East in 1786, today Penang is a bustling city with a unique blend of the East and West. This is reflected in its heritage buildings as well as in the lifestyles, food and customs of the local people.
Places of Interest
The area is also famed for its nightlife. After a meal at the hawker stalls, why not go burn all the calories off by dancing the night away at one of the many nightclubs here?
Getting there: Take a bus or taxi from Komtar to Batu Ferringhi beach and then leisurely stroll down the long street to avoid missing out on any attraction.
Built by Francis Light when he first arrived in Penang, the fort was designed to repel possible attacks by the French. The fort had its beginnings in 1796, when it replaced a wooden stockade. The underground bunker has a display of old maps and photographers detailing the history of Penang.
|Several cannons are mounted on the ramparts of Fort Cornwallis, including the Seri Rambai, a cannon that was presented to the Dutch by the Sultan of Johor.
Getting there: The fort is situated at an area called the Esplanade and is a short bus ride from the Penang Ferry Terminal
|Getting there: Buses leave from Komtar to Ayer Itam. Visitors can purchase a ticket at the bus stations. Alternatively, visitors can trek through a trail from the Botanical Gardens.|
Locals swear that Penang has Malaysia’s best food which can all be experienced in the multitude of open-air stalls along Gurney Drive. Nyonya food, a blend of Chinese and Malay culinary dishes, is also the best sampled in Penang.
One of five clan houses still standing in Georgetown, the Khoo Kongsi clan house takes on a remarkable resemblance to a mini clan village. One of the grandest clan houses in Penang, the Khoo Kongsi features tall thin columns supporting a gently sloping, red tiled roof, topped with carvings of dragons, phoenixes, mythical animals, and various scenes from popular Chinese legends. The clan house also has a grand hall adorned with resplendent and intricate carvings and richly ornamented pillars which are said to have been crafted by master craftsmen from China.
Sri Maha Mariamman Temple
The Sri Maha Mariamman Temple in George Town is one of the oldest Hindu temples in Penang. Its beginnings can be traced back to as early as 1801, when it was a small shrine. With an increasing Indian community on the island, the shrine was expanded into a proper temple. It was decorated by artisans and built in elaborate South Indian architecture. Statues of Hindu Gods, goddesses and sacred animals adorn the temple throughout. There is also a priceless statue of Lord Subramaniam, the revered Hindu deity, adorned in gold, diamonds and emerald finery.
Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion
Built in the 1880s, this famous indigo-blue Chinese Courtyard House in Georgetown was the residence of Cheong Fatt Tze, a prominent Chinese figure during the 19th century. The mansion was built by master craftsmen brought in from China, who used their skills to fashion the mansion with 38 rooms, 5 granite-paved courtyards, 7 staircases, and 220 windows. In 2000, the Cheong Fatt Tze mansion received the inaugural Unesco Asia-Pacific Heritage Conservation Award, selected as the 'Most Excellent Project' in the Asia Pacific Rim following its RM7.6 milllion restoration works.
For more details on places of interest, please visit www.visitpenang.gov.my/portal3/.