Penang is a bustling, multicultural Island in Malaysia. This is a result of its population being made up of 59% Chinese people, 32% Malaysian people, 7% Indian People, and 2% of people from other origins. The different cultures of its people have influenced its architecture, food, trade activities, arts and crafts, religion, and lifestyle. Penang is also popularly known as the pearl of the orient. This melting pot of activity and cultures provides a kaleidoscope of things to do in Penang. Of significant interest, getting to Penang is extremely easy for our neighboring country — Singapore. Singaporeans can be spoilt with various options; whether it’s taking a bus from Singapore to Penang, boarding a train or even taking a flight, the journey can be a pleasant one.

George Town is famously rebranded as an UNESCO Heritage Site, showcasing culturally unique edifices like Chinese temples, mosques, modern high-rise buildings, and colonial British-Indian influenced building design. Besides that, Penang City is world renowned for its delicious food owing to its diversity in ethnicity, culture, and religion. These elements showcase a variety in Penang’s street food, hawker food and fine dining restaurants. There is a plethora of options to choose from and every food store has a wow factor. This excellence has resulted in Penang being endorsed as the world’s best food destination by world-renowned food writer, James Oseland. Some of the best eateries are China House, Lg Baru, Kebaya, Teksen, Tho Yuen, Pulau Tikus, My Nonya favorites, Wai Kei, Sri Ananda Bahwan, Kafe Heng Huat, Awesome Canteen.

Perfect blend of historical and cultural element

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A famous historical site to visit is the Blue Mansion or Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion. It is aptly named for its brilliant blue color that is hard to miss. It was built in the 1880’s and revamped in the 1990’s. Its style combines designed from the east and west, has stained glass, embossed wooden doors, and eye-catching floor tiles.

Khoo Kongsi is another historic building with ancient stone carvings at the entrance. They depict wealth and good luck. There are also paintings, and sculptures made of delicate ceramic, depicting worshiped beings of that era. If you plan your trip well you could see the building light up in the evening on the last Saturday of the month.

If you want to experience the cultures of the three main groups that make up the population, check out China Town for intricate Chinese immigrant temples and lifestyle, Little India for places of worship, barbers, shops and astrologers, and Penang Islamic Museum for a story on their history in the region.

Nature Calling

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For a tropical outdoor walking experience, check out the Penang National Park. You could enjoy trail walking through dense vegetation, over suspended bridges, or a pathway that leads to a quiet beach. You could also swim in some of the rock pools at the beach.

Trendy Street Art

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Ever since the talented artist Ernest Zacharevic enliven the city with his paintings, George Town has gain it’s fame not only from the already unique offerings but now with street art too. Not only Ernest but many other talented artists have joined in the forces to further enrich the street art around the city. You might be familiar with the cheerful “Little Children on Bicycle”.

Party and Drinks

Nightlife in Penang, has lots to offer. Many of the streets are lit up with colorful lights in the vicinity of bars, pubs, and cafe’s. Street food is aplenty, and you could cheaply grab a beer and hot snacks with friends. If you are looking for a bit more of a high end experience, there are nightclubs, bistros, lounges, and plush eateries. The most vibrant time to experience nightlife is on a weekend where you will see live bands perform to intimate crowds providing a romantic ambience. You should also check out the beachfront pubs that also provide live entertainment.

Shop till You Drop

Shopping can be a paradise for travelers, providing aromatic spices in China Town, street fashion and products in Komtar tower, trendy asian fashion in Prangin Mall, and unique food and entertainment in Gama market. If you are looking for a first world shopping experience, check out the 1st Avenue and not forgetting Gurney Plaza, Gurney Paragon and of course Queensbay Mall. If you are looking for local handcrafts, check out Lebuh Chulia and Lebuh Bishop. Here you will find pottery, wicker items, and trinkets and ornaments made of brass, silver, and pewter.


My food & travel journey

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