A QUICK GLANCE AT PENANG
Penang is located in the north-western coast of Peninsular Malaysia and stretches over 1,000 km2. Geographically, Penang is divided into 2 main areas, that is, the Penang Island and the Province Wellesley. Surrounded by narrow coastal plains, forests and hills, Penang is populated by 1.65 million people.
The combination of its oriental and western culture influenced by its British Colonial past gives Penang an extraordinary charm. George Town, the capital of Penang, was declared as UNESCO World Heritage Sites which corroborate their exceptional universal significance as places that are filled with unique cultural assets.
In terms of economy, Penang does not rely on any particular sector. Its economic growth takes up the third place after Selangor and Johor. Penang’s excellent transportation system and infrastructure greatly help facilitate its manufacturing sector, which is why lots of industries are established in the southern part of the island. In addition, other sectors that help improve the economy of Penang are tourism, finance, agriculture and shipping sectors.
MAJOR ATTRACTIONS OF PENANG
Influenced by its interesting past of British Colonialism, the streets of Penang are filled with numerous religious premises ranging from Muslim mosques and Chinese temples to Indian temples and Christian churches that are located closely from one another. This shows the harmony and respects for each other’s culture, festival and tradition amongst its residents of various ethnic groups.
Declared as UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2008, George Town possesses lots of unique cultural assets. Some of the attractive places bearing the colourful heritage of Penang’s culture and traditions include the famous Kek Lok Si Temple, Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion, Khoo Kongsi, Nattukkotai Temple and Saint George’s Church. Wat Chayamangkalaram, a Thai temple that bears the world’s third largest Buddha statue is also one of the main highlights of Penang. Fort Cornwallis, the place where Captain Francis Light first arrived in Penang in 1786 is yet another interesting place that reflects the British Colonial past of Penang.
Penang Bridge — One of the Longest Bridges in Southeast Asia!
Built in 1985, the Penang Bridge, one of the longest bridges in Southeast Asia, has helped make the transportation of raw materials and products to and from the manufacturers located in the industrial free trade zone of Penang much more convenient. In addition, it helps make commuting between the island and the Peninsula more convenient for its residents. Now, travelling across the Penang Bridge also offers a spectacular sightseeing for visitors.
Exciting Fishing Trips & Water Sports
For water sports enthusiasts and those who enjoy fishing, Payar Island and Monkey Beach are some of the highly recommended destinations. At monkey Beach, visitors can enjoy exploring flora and fauna through the exciting jungle trail from the Beach to the Muka Head Light house. Another ideal place for water sports is the Batu Ferringhi Beach where water sports enthusiasts can participate in jet skiing, water skiing, water surfing, parasailing and lots of other activities. Teluk Bahang Beach and Tanjung Bungah Beach are also some of the popular destinations that offer a spectacular scenery and tranquility for a relaxing vacation.
Variety of Local Foods
What’s more, its unique mix of cultures and traditions of the Penang people has created an array of mouth-watering delicacies which led to the establishment of numerous hawker stalls and restaurants.
Beautiful Botanical Gardens and Parks
For those who love sightseeing and enjoying the nature, Penang Botanic Gardens is a highly recommended destination. Commonly known as “Waterfall Gardens” amongst the local residents, Penang Botanic Gardens (about 30 hectares) is adorned with a beautiful waterfall inside along with its hundreds species of flora and fauna. It is a place where the Penang International Floral Festival is host every year. Apart from that, the Bukit Jambul Orchid and Hibiscus Garden is another great sightseeing place where it contains a deer park, a tea house and a pottery corner. Meanwhile, Penang Bird Park and Penang Butterfly Farm are some other popular parks ideal for sightseeing.