Penang

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Situated on the northwest coast of Peninsular Malaysia. George Town was founded by the British in 1786 and was awarded UNESCO World Heritage status on 7 July 2008.

The city has an impressive collection of more than 1,700 historic buildings within the Core Zone align on the four main streets of Pengkalan Weld, Lebuh Pantai, Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling and Lorong Love.

What to See and Do

Penang is rich in history and there are many tourist spots worth visiting. Most of the historic buildings and tourist attractions are within short walking distance and you do not need to take a bus or taxi.

Lebuh Light

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City Hall

The City Hall is the headquarter of Penang Island Municipal Council. It was built in 1903 and a World War I monument of the fallen soldiers is located here.

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The Town Hall was previously used as a social venue for Penang’s elite back in the 1880s. Its classic colonial elegance was the backdrop for the movie scene, Anna and the King. An ornate was located nearby, which was presented by Koh Seang Tat in 1883.

 

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Queen Victoria Memorial Clock Tower

This 60-feet clock tower, commissioned by the wealthy Cheah Chen Eok was built in 1897 to honor Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. Each foot represents a year of the Queen’s reign.

 

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War Memorial

Opposite the tower is the Esplanade and along the winding stretch are a World Memorial to the fallen soldiers, a hawker food court and the ancient Fort Cornwallis.

Street Arts

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This street arts can be found in every corner of the heritage sites and won’t fail to miss them. They become so popular that attract both locals and foreigners who love arts. Some of the artworks include Bruce Lee, animals and cartoon panels.

Weld Quay

Weld Quay is served as the transit hub for locals and travelers. The main bus terminal of the island is located there. There is also a jetty which allows passengers and vehicles to travel to the mainland of Peninsula Malaysia. Large cruise ships often arrive and depart at Swettenham Pier to pick passengers going for short vacations.

 

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Church Street Pier is Malaysia’s first inner-city marina to open for the public. There is a bar and restaurant, suitable to hold small functions.

 

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The historical clan jetties are the home of families of traders, fishermen and dock workers. This traditional houses were built back in the 19th century over the sea on stilts and are connected by wooden walkways.

Part of the local movie scene, “Ice Kacang Puppy Love” was filmed here, starring local actor Ah Niu and actress Angelica Lee.

 

Lebuh Chulia

There are a few cultural heritage sites in Lebuh Chulia and Masjid Kapitan Keling Road and is just a walking distance to each place. Those sites are built in the 19th century and still preserved until today.

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St George’s Church

St George’s Church is the 19th century and the oldest purpose-built Anglican church in South East Asia.

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Goddess of Mercy Temple

Also known as Guan Yin Teng Temple, the place is a Taoist and Buddhist temple built in 1800 by early Chinese settlers of the Hokkien and Cantonese communities.

 

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Mahamariamman Temple

Mahamariamman Temple is the oldest temple in Penang and features sculptures of gods and goddesses over the main entrance and facade.

Little India is just around the corner. This place is where early Indian immigrations first settled down here. The little quarter of South Indian culture is soaked in Indian music, savoury cuisine, exotic spices and authentic goods.

 

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Kapitan Keling Mosque

This largest historic mosque in town was founded in 1801 and designed in Moghul architecture that features beautiful minarets and domes.

 

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Masjid Melayu Lebuh Aceh

This mosque was founded by Tengku Syed Hussain in 1808 for the early Hadrami Arab settlers. The families of the descendants now live in those bungalows that surrounded it.

 

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The Pinang Peranakan Mansion is the home to the Babas and Nyonyas, built at the end of 19th century. It belonged to a local history’s famous personality, the Kapitan Cina Chung Keng Kwee. He and his family had adopted to the local Malay and the British colonial lifestyle.

These influenced its rich culture, customs, cuisine, language and lifestyle which are still evident today. Over a thousand pieces of antiques and collectible of this era are displayed in the heritage mansion. The mansion was structured with the combination of Chinese carved wooden panels, English floor tiles and Scottish ironworks.

Location:29, Church Street, 10200 Penang

 

Gurney Drive

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This seafront promenade is famous for its open-air hawker place, 5-star hotel and upscale malls with many international boutiques, cafes and restaurants in Gurney Plaza and Gurney Paragon.

Getting There: Take bus 101 from the bus terminal (jetty) or Komtar.

Penang and Beyond

Batu Ferringhi

This place has the most stunning view of the ocean with beautiful sandy beaches and resorts along the coastline. Tourists come to this popular spot all year round to enjoy all sorts of sports activities, rest and relaxation, nightlife and the weekend night bazaar.

Getting There:  Take bus 101 from the bus terminal (jetty) or Komtar.

 

Penang Hill

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Penang Hill offers a spectacular view of the city and the Penang Bridge which is 830m above sea level. The train will only take 5 minutes to the top. Alternatively, you can hike the way up while enjoying the scene of greenery. Tourists can visit the flower garden, a mini bird park, an owl museum, mosque, Hindu temple, guesthouses and the historic Bellevue Hotel.

Getting There: Take bus 204 from the bus terminal (jetty) or Komtar.

 

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Kek Lok Si is the largest Buddhist temple in Southeast Asia which began its construction in 1890. It has a 7-storey handcrafted “Pagoda of Ten Thousand Buddhas” and 30.2m bronze Kuan Yin statue. During Chinese New Year period, the temple is decorated with over 200,000 lights and lanterns.

Getting There: Take bus 204 from the bus terminal (jetty) or Komtar.

Getting There and Around

Penang International Airport (PEN) is served as the city main airport. Many international flights fly directly to the island. Alternative, you can transit from Kuala Lumpur and other states of Malaysia that fly directly to the island.

Take bus 401 or 401E to the jetty in Pengkalan Weld where the UNESCO Heritage Site is located. You can switch buses from the terminal to other tourist sites such as Penang Hill, Kek Lok Si Temple and Batu Ferringhi.

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CAT Shuttle Bus

There are free Penang City Hop On Free Central Area Transit (CAT) available. Those shuttle buses will pass through the UNESCO Heritage sites and you can hop on and off at any stops.

 

 

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