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Travel Experience

Penang State

  1. 1. History
  2. 2. Physical Geography
  3. 3. Introduction
  4. 4. Economy
  5. 5. Culture Heritage
  6. 6. Transportation
  7. 7. Air
  8. 8. Road
  9. 9. Ferry
  10. 10. Railway
  11. 11. City Taxis
  12. 12. City Buses
  13. 13. Trishaws
  14. 14. Car Rental
  15. 15. Rent Motorbike/Bicycle
  16. 16. Places to Eat/ Special Foods
  17. 17. Events, Festivals and Celebrations
  18. 18. Chap Goh Meh. (February/March)
  19. 19. Penang International Triathlon. (May)
  20. 20. Penang International Dragon Boat Festival. (June)
  21. 21. Penang Flora Festival (July)
  22. 22. City On Parade. (July)
  23. 23. Penang Beach Carnival.
  24. 24. Penang Food Festival (August)
  25. 25. Penang Cultural Festival. (August)
  26. 26. Lantern Festival. (September)
  27. 27. Pesta Pulau Pinang. (November/December)
  28. 28. Sports / Recreation.
  29. 29. Jungle Trekking.
  30. 30. Golfing
  31. 31. Sea Sports
  32. 32. Horse Racing
  33. 33. Places Of Interest
  34. 34. Penang Museums And Art Gallery, Lebuh Farquhar
  35. 35. Kapitan Keling Mosque, Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling
  36. 36. Acheen Street Mosque, Lebuh Acheen
  37. 37. Goddess Of Mercy Temple, Jalan Kapitan Keling
  38. 38. Sri Mariamman Temple, Lebuh Queen
  39. 39. St George’s Church, Lebuh Farquhar
  40. 40. Khoo Kongsi, Lebuh Cannon
  41. 41. City Hall, Esplanade
  42. 42. Clock Tower, Pesara King Edward
  43. 43. Fort Cornwallis, Lebuh Ligh
  44. 44. Nagore Shrine, Lebuh King
  45. 45. Wat Chaiya Mangkalaram, Lorong Burma
  46. 46. Dharmikarama Burmese Temple, Lorong Burma
  47. 47. China Town.
  48. 48. Komtar, Jalan Penang
  49. 49. State Mosque, Jalan Masjid Negeri
  50. 50. Kek Lok Si Temple, Air Itam
  51. 51. P. Ramlee’s House
  52. 52. University Of Science Malaysia’s (USM) Museum and Art Gallery, Minden
  53. 53. Forestry Museum, Teluk Bahang
  54. 54. Pinang Cultural Center
  55. 55. Penang Bridge
  56. 56. Nattukkotai Temple, Jalan Air Terjun
  57. 57. The Bukit Jambul Orchid and Hibiscus Garden
  58. 58. Balik Pulau (The other side of Penang)
  59. 59. Butterfly Farm, Teluk Bahang
  60. 60. Snake Temple
  61. 61. Kampung Seronok, Batu Maung
  62. 62. Batu Maung Fishing village
  63. 63. Penang Bird Park, Seberang Jaya
  64. 64. Penang Hill.
  65. 65. Botanical Gardens
  66. 66. Penang’s Famed Beaches
  67. 67. Shopping
  68. 68. Hotels
  69. 69. Penang State Tourism department
  70. 70. Travel Bureaus


Penang today bears the mark of an early history of successive foreign influences-from the early Indian civilization that took root in northern Malaya to that of the Portuguese, Dutch and later the British who came to this part of the world in search of spices and stayed to participate in the lucrative trade.  The history of modern Penang can be traced back to 1786 when Francis Light managed to persuade the Sultan of Kedah to cede "Pulau Pinang"(Betel Nut Island) to the British East India Company. Light landed at the site of the present Esplanade and according to local legend, fired gold coins into the surrounding jungle to induce his men to clear the area. The island was originally named Prince of Wales Island and the settlement that soon grew up was named Georgetown after King George III. In 1800,the Sultan of Kedah further ceded a strip of land on the mainland across the channel which light named province Wellesley, after the then governor of India. In 1832, Penang formed part of the straits settlement with Melaka and Singapore. It flourished and grew to be a major trading post for a lucrative trade in tea, spices, China and cloth. For more than a hundred years, it remained under British Colonial rule until 1957 when it gained independence and became one of the states of the newly formed Federation of Malaya and later Malaysia 1963.
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Physical Geography

Penang District 

The state of Penang is situated at the north of West Malaysia. It is also well-known as ‘The pear Island’ (Pulau Mutiara) and the areas are divided into two that is Georgetown and Butterworth. Georgetown is located at the island meanwhile Butterworth is located at the mainland of West Malaysia. Both areas are link via bridge that is known as ‘The Penang Bridge’ (Jambatan Pulau Pinang). This is also the longest bridge in Malaysia.

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Penang, "The Pearl of The Orient" lies off the north-western coast of Penisular Malaysia. The state comprises the island of Penang covering an area of about and a narrow strip of approximately 760 sq. km on the mainland known as Seberang Perai (province Wellesley) separated by a channel 3 km wide at the closest point. They are linked by the Penang Bridge and a 24-hour ferry service. Its population of more than 1 million represents a happy mix of the major races found in Malaysia with Malays making up 32%, the Chinese 59% and Indians 7%.

Geogetown at the northeastern tip of the island is the seat of administration and is also the commercial hub of the state. This bustling metropolitan city combines the best of the east and west as seen in its fascinating collection of fine old building, each bearing the stamp of different foreign influences in its colourful history. Much of its charm also lies in its famous golden beaches and calm warm seas. Penang today is a resort island in full bloom- an idyllic playground for worshippers of the sun and the sea. Its multi-racial population contributes to a wealth of cultural attractions and festivals for visitors to bring home memories of happy times in Penang.
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Penang is one of the states that offer lots of working opportunity for the people and outsiders. The main economic here is being focused on industrialization that is electronic. More then 50% of the Penang economic lies on the industrialization sector. Other than that, tourism sector also helps to develop the earning of this state. This is because Penang has lots of breathtaking places to visit especially beaches.
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Culture Heritage

The population in Penang consist of multiracial that is Malay, Chinese and Indian. Each ethnic has its own different culture in terms of clothing, dance, games, festivals and foods. The multiracial and the uniqueness of culture in this island therefore bring attraction to many visitors.
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Penang is easily accessible by air with daily flights from major capitals of the region. It has direct links with Singapore, Bangkok, Nagoya, Medan, Xiamen(China) and Madras, operated by Malaysia Airlines. The airlines also operate more than 20 flights daily between Kuala Lumpur and Penang.

The Penang International Airport is about 20 km from the city centre. Taxis plying the route follow the coupon system by which fares between the airport and various destinations in Penang are fixed. Air-conditioned taxis and limousines charge higher fares.

The Penang Yellow Bus Co. operates an hourly service between the Airport and Pangkalan Weld in the city between 6.00am to 10.00 pm daily (Bus no.83)
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The opening of the Penang Bridge linking the mainland of Peninsular Malaysia to Penang Island has facilitated driving to Penang. A charge of RM 7.00 is levied on all classes of cars at the toll plaza in Perai on the mainland. No payment is required for travelling from the island to the mainland.
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From Butterworth, it is necessary to take the ferry to Penang Island. The ferry service is available around the clock for both passengers and vehicles. Tickets are purchased at the Butterworth terminal and the rates are applicable for a return journey.
Fares: Adult RM0.60 (prices are subject to change)
Children RM0.30 
(prices are subject to change
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The journey from Kuala Lumpur to Butterworth takes approximately 6 hours. First and second-class passengers travel in comfort in the air-conditioned coaches. Taking the train is a comfortable way to travel within the country and it affords one the opportunity to see a lot of the countryside. Keretapi Tanah Malayu Berhad also operates regular services to Alor Setar, Padang Besar, Haadyai and Bangkok from Butterworth.
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City Taxis

Most city taxis do not use the meter. You may either insist on the meter being turned on or agree on the price before you move off. Taxis normally charge between RM 3.00- RM 6.00 for short distances within the city.
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City Buses

Most of buses use coin machine to collect fares. The main bus terminals are Pangkalan Weld (Ferry terminal) and KOMTAR(ground floor).
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A trishaws ride is one of the best ways of seeing Penang. Besides the novelty of travelling in this open-fronted three-wheeled vehicle, trishaws allow visitors the opportunity of doing the sights at a more leisurely pace stopping at any point snap pictures or by souvenirs.

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Car Rental

(Prices are subject to change) If you wish to venture further field at your own leisure, it might be a good idea to drive around yourself. Most major international and local car rental companies offer a good choice of vehicles and packages.
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Rent Motorbike/Bicycle

Motorcycles and bicycles also offer inexpensive and fun ways of exploring the island. Stores along the hotel stretch of Batu Ferringhi and in the city offer them for hire.

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Places to Eat/ Special Foods

The endless variety of Penang food reflects the different cooking styles and tastes of its multi-racial population. There is a mouth-watering selection of Chinese, Malay, Indian and Nyonya cuisine to sample, not to mention the irresistible hawker fare from makeshift roadside stalls.

Not to be missed hawker favourites are "Asam Laksa", "Hokkien Mee", "Char Koay Teow", and "Pasembor". Nyonya cuisine includes "Mee Siam", "Otak-Otak", "Kerabu", "Enche Kabin", and "Curry Kapitan". The nyonyas are also famous for their delicious cakes and desserts.

Heading the list of Indian food is "Nasi Kandar" of Indian Muslim origin. South Indian favourites include "Tosai" and "Indiapom" served with thick "Dhall" curry. Northern Indian "Naan" bread with chicken "Tandoori" or chicken "Tikka" are also worth trying.

Chinese restaurant offer Cantonese, Szechwan, Hokkien, Teochew and Hainanese food represented by food such as "Dim Sum", rice porridge, chicken rice, a variety of noodles and the pungent diced chicken with dried chillies.

Malay food typified by dishes such as "Sambal tumis", "Masak lemak", and "Sambal belacan" are easily available. Another hot favourite is of course the "Satay".
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Events, Festivals and Celebrations

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Chap Goh Meh. (February/March)  

Celebrated on the 15th night of the first month of the Chinese Lunar calendar. The highlight of the festival is the orange throwing ceremony in which local maidens throw oranges into the sea for would-be suitors to catch.
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Penang International Triathlon. (May)

An annual event featuring is a gruelling non-stop swimming-cycling-running race, which attracts hundreds of hopefuls to Penang.
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Penang International Dragon Boat Festival. (June) 

This water sport in gaining worldwide popularity is seen as from the increasing number of international teams participating each year in the sea off Batu Uban.
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Penang Flora Festival (July) 

Highlight of the festival is the bright display of flowers at the KOMTAR mall.

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City On Parade. (July) 

It would be a weeklong extravaganza of food promotions, inter-hotel competitions, and seaside festivities, cultural shows, fashion parades, telematches and parties.

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Penang Beach Carnival. 

The one-week carnival features food promotions, inter hotel competitions, seaside festivities, cultural shows, fashion parades, telematches and parties.
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Penang Food Festival (August)

Offer visitors the opportunity to sample the best of Penang Cuisine, learn a bit about its history and watch various dishes being prepared.
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Penang Cultural Festival. (August) 

This is the month-long festival to celebrate Penang’s multi-racial heritage featuring various performances from different cultural groups.
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Lantern Festival. (September)

Mid-Autumn festival characterized by brightly lit lanterns in all shapes and colours. Also associated with the moon cake, a sweet delicacy, which once carried secret messages inciting rebellion in ancient China.
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Pesta Pulau Pinang. (November/December)

Features an annual trade fair and exhibition. Carnival rides, band performances, games and cultural shows lend a festive air.
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Sports / Recreation.
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Jungle Trekking

Most beach hotels organize early morning treks past jungle streams and waterfalls. Food packs are usually provided. Check with your hotel for time and prices. For the more adventurous wishing to venture out on their own, the Malaysian Nature Society’s ‘The Nature Trails of Penang’ provides comprehensive guides on trekking in Penang.

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Visitor may also have a swinging time at the following golf clubs.

o Bukit Jambul Golf and Country Club (Tel: 04-6442255)

o Penang Turf Club (Tel: 04-436 2333)

o Air Force Golf Club Butterworth (Tel: 04-3322632)

o Bukit Jawi Golf Resort (Tel: 04-5822612)

o Kristal Golf Resort (Tel: 04- 3998661)
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Sea Sports


Beach hotels provide facilities for a host of sea sports such as sailing, windsurfing, water skiing, parasailing, canoeing and speedboat rides. The uninhabited islands of Pulau Bidan, Pulau Telur and Pulau Song Song off Batu Ferringhi are ideal for snorkeling, scuba diving and fishing. Arrangement may be made for trips to these islands within whose crystal clear depths are some of the most fascinating attractions of the underwater world.

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Horse Racing 

The Penang Turf Club at Jalan Batu Gantung is the scene of exciting races held on two consecutive weekends once every two months. On other weekends when the races are held at Ipoh, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, the turf club is open for ‘off-course’ betting.

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Places Of Interest

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Penang Museums And Art Gallery, Lebuh Farquhar

Built in 1821, the Museum houses a fine collection of old photographs, maps, charts and other historical relics. There are also Malay daggers (keris), Chinese furniture, embroidery and paintings of old Penang. The Art Gallery on the first floor displays the works of local artists and is the venue for special exhibitions. The statue of Captain Francis Light is graces at the grounds in front of the buildings.
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Kapitan Keling Mosque, Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling

Named after the Indian Muslim merchant the "Kapitan Keling" (headman) Caudeer Mohudeen who built it in the early 19th century. It features an ochre yellow façade and dome-shaped minaret reflecting Moorish Islamic influence. Permission to enter must be obtained from mosque officials.
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Acheen Street Mosque, Lebuh Acheen

Also known as Masjid Melayu, the mosque was built on land donated by Syed Sheriff Tengku Syed Hussain Aidid who came from Acheh in Sumatera. The 1820 mosque features a small window halfway up the minaret, which is said to have originally been a hole made by cannonball fired during the 1867-triad riots.
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Goddess Of Mercy Temple, Jalan Kapitan Keling

Early immigrant settlers from China built one of the oldest Chinese temples in Penang, the Kuan Yin Teng or the Goddess of Mercy Temple in 1800. The building is decorated with intricately crafted dragons and stone sculptured lions, which are said to be its guardians. The temple is flocked by pilgrims and followers all year round especially during the three anniversaries of Kuan Yin that are on the 19th day of the second, sixth and ninth lunar month.
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Sri Mariamman Temple, Lebuh Queen

The temple is built in 1883,features fascinating sculptures of gods and goddesses over its main entrance and on its façade. Housed within its ornately decorated interior is the priceless statue of lord Subramaniam embellished with gold, silver, diamonds and emeralds. The statue figures prominently in the annual Thaipusam festival when it is borne on a silver chariot through the city streets to the temple at Jalan Waterfall.
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St George’s Church, Lebuh Farquhar

Built with convict labour in 1818, it is one of the oldest landmarks in the city. The entrance of this stately Anglican church named after the patron saint of England, features a memorial canopy dedicated to Captain Francis Light.
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Khoo Kongsi, Lebuh Cannon

The forefathers of the Khoo family who emigrated from South China built it as a clan-house for members of the Khoo family. It was burnt down in 1894 and some believed that it was due to its resemblance to the Emperor’s palace. A scaled down version was later built in 1902. The building features a magnificent hall embellished with intricate carvings and richly ornamented beams of the finest wood bearing the mark of master craftsmen from China.
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City Hall, Esplanade

Built in the 1880s, this stately colonial building is a fine example of British Palladian architecture featuring magnificent Corinthian Columns and huge windows. It was once the seat of local government.
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Clock Tower, Pesara King Edward

Towering 60 feet high, local millionaire presented the clock tower to Penang Cheah Chen Eok in 1897 to commemorate the diamond commemorates the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria.
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Fort Cornwallis, Lebuh Ligh

The fort was built on the site of Francis Light’s historic landing in 1786. Originally a wooden stockade, it was replaced by a concrete structure built by convict labour, in 1804. Today, an open-air amphitheatre history gallery and a handicraft and souvenir centre occupy the interior. It houses the famous Dutch cannon presented to the Sultan of Johor by the Dutch and which finally found its way to Penang after being looted by the Portuguese.

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Nagore Shrine, Lebuh King

Constructed in the early 1880’s, the shrine is a memorial to the Caliph, Syed Shahul Hamid. Faithful devotees may be seen visiting the Shrine to seek favours on Thursdays.

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Wat Chaiya Mangkalaram, Lorong Burma

The Buddhist temple of Thai architecture houses a 33-meter gold-plated reclining Buddha-said to be one of the longest in the world. The niches behind the statue house urns containing the ashes of devotees.
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Dharmikarama Burmese Temple, Lorong Burma

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A pair of elephants guards the entrance to this Burmese temple. Within the pagoda grounds is a Boddhi tree and a wishing pond. It is the scene of many festivities during the water festival in April.

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China Town.  

China Town on the island stretches from Weld Quay to Lebuh Stewart, Lebuh Muntri, Lebuh Campbell and Lebuh King. China Town is so large and well preserved that you will sense and fell the lifestyle of Chinese immigrant settlers who came here in the 1800s. The many clan houses, shop houses and temples found along these streets, which reflect the heritage left behind, will intrigue visitors. Stepping into these streets will certainly take you back in time.
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Komtar, Jalan Penang

Tun Abdul Razak complex is a prominent Penang landmark, houses Government departments, commercial offices, department stores, shops and restaurants. The 65-story complex also contains theatres, squash courts and a geodesic dome, which serves as a multipurpose hall, while the 55th floor offers a panoramic view of the city and on clear days, also of Gunung Jerai in Kedah.
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State Mosque, Jalan Masjid Negeri

The State Mosque features elegant modern architecture and took four years to complete. It can accommodate 5,000 worshippers for congregational prayers and is usually packed on Fridays. Permission to enter must be obtained from the State Religious Department, Lebuh Pantai. Visitors must dress appropriately and remove their shoes before entering.

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Kek Lok Si Temple, Air Itam

One of the Finest Buddhist temples in South East Asia, the Kek Lok Si temple stands majestically on a hill in Ayer Itam. Built in tiers, the temple culminates with the beautifully crafted "Pagoda of Ten Thousand Buddha’s" taking more than 20 years to build, the temple is set against beautiful scenic surroundings. It features gardens, a turtle pond, shrines and beautiful sculptures.
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P. Ramlee’s House

Situated along Jalan P. Ramlee (formerly Caunterhall Road), is the newly restored wooden house, to commemorate the late P.Ramlee, Malaysia’s foremost entertainer. Originally built in 1926 by his father and uncle, the house had previously undergone successive repairs before being taken over by the National Archives as an extension of its P.Ramlee Memorial project in Kuala Lumpur. The display within and outside the house features the main living areas and also the life history of the late singer, actor, composer and director. The various artefacts include his personal memorabilia related to his life in Penang and also items belonging to his family.
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University Of Science Malaysia’s (USM) Museum and Art Gallery, Minden

The museum houses a collection of artefacts on Malay and Nyonya cultures, textiles, prints, traditional jewellery and daggers (keris). One section is devoted to the performing arts. The art gallery has a fine collection of paintings.
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Forestry Museum, Teluk Bahang

Located within the 100-hectare Forest Recreation Park, the museum was built using various species of wood and other forest produce and houses a collection of forest produce from all over the country. The park features foot paths and flowing streams and is home to countless species of flowering plants, ferns, insects, birds, butterflies, snakes and lizards.

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Pinang Cultural Center

Pinang Cultural Center operates 3 cultural tours daily, 9.30am-12.00pm, 4.30pm- 7.00pm,6.00pm-10.00pm (dinner show). The cultural tour, which lasts for 2 hours 30 minutes, is a window to the Malaysian culture. In each of these guided tours, visitors get to see-a demonstration of traditional welcoming ceremony, Malay martial arts, traditional games, handicraft making, a longhouse, an exhibition on heritage and a 45 minute cultural show featuring dances from all over Malaysia.
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Penang Bridge

The Penang Bridge, which links Penang island and the mainland, was officially opened on September 15, 1988. The spectacularly beautiful bridge spans 13.5 km across the channel, offering a beautiful view of the open sea, ships and the sprawling coast
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Nattukkotai Temple, Jalan Air Terjun

The temple is dedicated to the deity, Bala Subramaniam, and features prominently during the annual Thaipusam festival when thousands of devotees throng its premises for the various rites and ceremonies.
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The Bukit Jambul Orchid and Hibiscus Garden

The Bukit Jambul Orchid and Hibiscus Garden and Reptile House are located along Persiaran Bukit Jambul, close to the Hotel Equatorial; only a leisurely 5-minute drive away from the Penang International Airport.
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Balik Pulau (The other side of Penang)

Balik Pulau simply means 'the other side of the island'. Just on the northwestern coast of the Penang Island is the fruit bowl of Penang featuring fruit plantations and spice gardens. The best fruit including durian (as shown on the right side), rambutan, langsat, duku, mangosteen, nutmeg, clove and star fruit. Durian is well known as 'the King of fruit'. Its textures and flavors were ranging from smooth and fragrant to husky and bittersweet. A lot of people visit Balik Pulau just to taste durian. The other famous food in Balik Pulau is 'Laksa'. Laksa is a kind of spicy food. It makes out of fish soup, which is spicy with noodles. The best time to visit Balik Pulau are the months of November, January and May until July when the harvest is at its prime. Here are some pictures of the fruit. Here you will also get the chance to mingle and experience the rustic and traditional Malay lifestyles. If architecture is your fancy, then the little Malay country houses on stilts with elaborate carvings will most definitely interest you.
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Butterfly Farm, Teluk Bahang

The farm spans 0.8 hectares and is home to 3,000 living specimens of over 50 species of colourful butterflies, frogs, scorpions and other insects. It features a lily pond, artificial waterfalls, a rock garden, tunnel and a bubbling mud pool. Also included within the farm are a garden enclosure, breeding area, laboratory, exhibition area, souvenir shops and information centre.
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Snake Temple

Built in 1850 and dedicated to the dedicated to the deity Chor Soo Kong, the temple is located 3.2 km from the Penang International Airport. It is a sanctuary for pit vipers said to be the ‘servants’ of the deity. These poisonous snakes, seen coiled round the pillars, beams and potted plants within the temple is believe to be rendered harmless by the smoke of the burning incense.
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Kampung Seronok, Batu Maung

Among the various Penang tourist attractions, one of the popular places to visit is Kampung Seronok, Penang. It is a small village in the town of Batu Maung in Penang in Malaysia. The name was formulated by D.W. Grahan who was a British engineer. Kampung Seronok, Penang offers the tourists with various scopes to explore and enjoy in this village area.This region comprises of a community which aims at preserving the authentic custom and culture of this village. Visitors can get to observe the easy and relaxed lifestyle of the local inhabitants. There are several projects which are being implemented here. Some of them include an aqua farm, conservation of paddy fields, a printing press and a library. The tourists are introduced to some of the traditional agricultural machineries and instruments. The “cleanest village” award function is organized in here. Tourists can also get to witness this show. 

The charming natural settings featuring paved roadways, coconut and palm fringes, render a pristine grace and glory to Kampung Seronok, Penang. The picturesque village is an apt place for leisured strolls and relaxation. While enjoying glimpses of the rural life, art and culture, visitors might also chance upon some of the natural inhabitants. They can get to explore the amazing flora and fauna of the land. 

The village of Kampung Seronok, Penang now organizes short trips, excursions and village tours for the tourists visiting here. The local houses are built in the midst of lush greenery. The kids can be seen playing and engaged in amusements activities in the surrounding areas. Four-wheeled vehicles and the typical sedan chairs can be seen within the complex of the houses. Many houses are constructed on modern art and architectural lines. They are also facilitated with amenities such as television with satellite channels, internet access and micro ovens.
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Batu Maung Fishing village

Batu Maung is a small fishing village at the southeastern tip of the island, which owes its fame to the beachfront shrine, dedicated to admiral Cheng Ho, the famous Chinese admiral who featured prominently in the history of the Malacca Sultanate. The huge footprint in the vicinity of the shrine is said to be that of the admiral.
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Penang Bird Park, Seberang Jaya

The park spans 5 acres and houses a fine collection of some 800 birds from all over the world. It is beautifully landscaped and features a walk-in aviary, pond with ducks and swans, ornamental plants. Visit website
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Penang Hill.

Malaysia’s first hill station, Penang Hill is 830 meters (2730ft) above sea level, visitors can ascend to the top by either hiking up or by the funicular railway, which has been operational since 1922. Apart from the cool, refreshing climate and the fantastic view at the summit, visitors can also view the picturesque bungalows, a beautiful flower garden and a bird park. There are bungalows for rent and a hotel for those who want to stay for more than a day. Visitors can also indulge in refreshments and snacks at a convenient tea kiosk located on top of the hill. There is a good walking track up the hill. It takes 4 hours to reach the top and is recommended only for the more energetic. The jungle trail begins at the ‘moon gate’ at Jalan Air Terjun, approximately 300m from the Botanical Gardens entrance.

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Botanical Gardens

The Penang Botanic Gardens, more popularly known as the "Waterfall Gardens", was established by the British way back in 1884 from an old quarry site. The beautiful grounds and the tranquility of the gardens have long been enjoyed and admired by millions of visitors. Besides being the arboretum living plants specimens, it is also the seat of botanical conservation, education and training. The Gardens also play an important role in the field of horticulture and landscaping development.

The Gardens were founded in 1884 by Charles Curtis from the Gardens and Forests Departments Straits Settlements. As the first Curator, Curtis was a devoted plant lover who tirelessly transformed the granite quarry into a garden, and greatly contributed to the botanical and horticulture development of the Gardens. Walking around the Gardens, one cannot miss the Cannon Ball Tree (Couropita guanensis) and the large buttress roots of the Sengkuang Tree (Dracantamelon dao). Look out for the Pinang Palm (Areca catechu) that lent its name to the island of Penang, and the Black Lily (Tacca integrifalia) with its unique purplish-black coloured flowers. The endemic Slipper Orchid (Paphiopedilum barbatum) and the ginger, Geoctachys penangensis, can also be found here. Look out also for the wildlife inhabiting the gardens. Commonly seen are the long-tailed Macaques, Dusky Leaf Monkeys, Black Giant Squirrels and a myriad of insects and butterflies. From afar, one could catch a view of the famous waterfall up on the hills above the reservoir.

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Penang’s Famed Beaches

Penang’s northern shoreline is famous for its beautiful beaches of golden sand and deep blue seas. The Tanjung Bunga, Batu Ferringhi and Teluk Bahang beaches offer expansive stretches of glittering sand interspersed with secluded coves within the shelter of gigantic rocks. It is along this famous coastline that resort of international standard has sprouted up, offering a host of water-based recreational facilities. If you crave for privacy, head for Teluk Duyung, Monkey Beach, Pantai Keracut and Pantai Mas accessible via the trails in the Pantai Acheh Forest Reserve from Teluk Bahang. The Pasir Panjang Beach at the southwestern tip of the island is a good clean stretch for swimming and can be reached after a 25-minute hike over hilly land from Bentong.

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Penang has a superb range of shops. Penang is definitely a shopper's paradise, with hundreds of retail establishments located conveniently, in and around the city. The main shopping areas in Penang are concentrated in Jalan Penang, Lebuh Campbell, Lebuh Kapitan Keling, Lebuh Chulia and Lebuh Pantai. Few places can compare with Penang for its variety of goods and reasonably cheap prices.

One of the biggest and most famous shopping complexes in the city is none other than the Kompleks Tun Abdul Razak, or fondly known as KOMTAR. This 65- story complex, located in the heart of Georgetown, offer some of the best shopping on the island. KOMTAR houses a labyrinth of boutiques, fast food outlets, restaurant, amusement arcades and shops as well as two of the biggest department stores. On the 58th floor is the tower Tourist Centre, which allows visitors to have an excellent aerial view of the whole city as well as cultural shows, performed daily.

A duty free shop on the 57th floor offers good shopping, and the souvenir centre is yet another places to get memorabilia of Penang.

Batik, the highly versatile fabric is available as individually designed pieces or as clothing, tablecloths, napkins and furnishings. These may be purchased at factories in Teluk Bahang and in souvenir shops at Batu Feringhi, specialist shops in Penang Road and in most department stores and shopping complexes. Batik paintings can also be found in galleries in Jalan Penang, Lebuh Leith and Batu Feringhi.

If you are searching for fine jewellery, the Lebuh Campbell and Lebuh Kapitan Keling are the places to go. Other shopping complexes include Island Plaza and Midlands One Stop Shopping Centre.

Duty free shops within the city offer cameras, radios and tape-recorders, TV and Hi-Fi equipment, calculators, electrical appliances, pens, lighters, watches and cosmetics plus a host of other items at reasonable prices.

Penang is also a haven for antique lovers in search of rare bargains. The junk shops along Rope Walk (Jalan Pintal Tali) offer a range of antique items and bric-a-brac such as porcelain ware, chains, coins, old glass, old ceiling lamps and antique clocks.

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1. Evergreen Laurel Hotel-Penang
Tel: 04-2269988

2. Golden Sands Beach Resort
Tel: 04-8811911

3. Hotel Equatorial Penang
Tel: 04-6438111

4. Ming Court Inn Penang
Tel: 04-2288588

5. Shangri-La Hotel Penang
Tel: 04-2622622

6. Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort
Tel: 04-8811811

7. Sheraton Penang Hotel
Tel: 04-2267888

8. City Bayview Hotel Penang
Tel: 04-2633161

9. Hotel 1926-Penang
Tel: 04-2281926

10. Hotel Central
Tel: 04-2266411

11. Paradise Tanjung Bungah

12. Pearl View Hotel

13. Sunway Hotel
Tel: 04-2299988

14. Agora Hotel
Tel: 04-2266060

15. Hotel Continental
Tel: 04-2636388

16. Hotel Malaysia
Tel: 04-2633311

17. Oriental Hotel Penang
Tel: 04-2634211

18. Butterworth Travel Lodge
Tel: 04-3333399

19. Chusan Hotel.

20. Garden Inn Hotel
Tel: 04-2263655

21. Grand Continental Hotel
Tel: 04-2636688

22. Hong Kong Hotel
Tel: 04-8908515

23. Hotel Golden City
Tel: 04-2279910

24. Hotel Mingood Penang
Tel: 04-2299922

25. Hotel Waterfall
Tel: 04-2295588

26. Midtowne Hotel
Tel: 04-2269999

27. Palm Beach Hotel
Tel: 04-8811621

28. Peking Hotel
Tel: 04-2636191

29. The Merchant Hotel
Tel: 04-2632828

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Penang State Tourism department

Penang Development Corporation
Tourism Division
No. 1, Persiaran Mahsuri, Bayan Baru
11909 Bayan Lepas, Penang.
Tel : 04-6432111.
Fax : 04- 6432405.

Penang Tourist Centre
Bangunan Penang Port Bhd
Pesara King Edward, 10300 Penang
Tel : 04-2616663

Tourist Information centre
3rd Level, Concourse KOMTAR
Jalan Penang.
Tel : 04- 2614461.
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Travel Bureaus.

1. Admiral Tours & Travel
Tel: 04-2636394

2. Adventure World Holidays
Tel: 04-2286238

3. Airbone
Tel: 04-2632141

4. Angel Tours
Tel: 04-2613488

5. Bayan Baru Travel
Tel: 04-2298255

6. Berbudi Travel
Tel: 04-2286815

7. Bintang Biru Travel & Travel
Tel: 04-2271618

8. BJ Travels
Tel: 04-2617475

9. Bousted Travel Service
Tel: 04-2610511

10. Chan Brothers Travel Agency
Tel: 04-2636195

11. Cheng U-EE Travel & Tours
Tel: 04-5391730

12. City Tourism
Tel: 04-3237909

13. CT Tours & Travel
Tel: 04-8811671

14. Diners World Travel
Tel: 04-2293560

15. Eternal East Travel & Tours
Tel: 04-2298819
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