It’s a state that is called both the ‘food capital’ and ‘Silicone Valley’ of Malaysia, and so it goest without saying that Penang is a place you don’t want to miss while in South East Asia. Not what typically springs to mind when you think of the word ‘island’, and yet this small state not far from the mainland is so varied and interesting that you won’t be quite sure where you’ve wound up.
With the capital of Penang, Georgetown, you’ll have every one of your senses stimulated just by spending the day wandering this melting pot of art and culture. One of its biggest drawcards is its quirky streetart (something you don’t expect to find on the streets of Asia), which you will find scattered along many of its main streets. In this colourful capital that is also oozing with cultural references, you will find another attraction high on every tourist’s itinerary, the Blue Mansion. Famous for its, you got it, blue hue, it is a gorgeous multi-room mansion built in the early 20th century by Asia’s “first capitalist”, is now partly used as a hotel and holds historical tours a few times a day.
Penang Hill and Kek Lok Si Temple are also must-sees, with the first giving you beautiful views over the whole island. Kek Lok Si was one of our favourite experiences in Penang, and not only is it the biggest buddhist temple in the world outside of China, but it must be one of the most beautiful, too.
Batu Ferringhi is the beachgoer’s destination of choice, and Gurney Drive, also on the coast, is your failsafe destination for delicious local food, and is close to some of Penang’s biggest shopping malls.
As a luxurious, designer place to stay in Penang we recommend Macalister Mansion