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deedles Penang - A travel report by Deedles
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Penang,  Malaysia - flag Malaysia -  Pulau Pinang
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deedles's travel reports

Penang - Home to the Penangites!

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It is said the Penang is a fusion of East meeting West. We came here on a Cruise Ship, and only had one day, but boy! we packed a lot into it! Taxi's aren't expensive here so were hired one for the day.

At one of the many Temples in Penang
At one of the many Temples in Penang
Situated along the north-western coast of the peninsula, Penang is Malaysia’s only “island state”. It is very popular and is one of Malaysia’s premier holiday destinations. Getting here is easy, either by crossing the channel via the Penang Bridge or by the ferry. At the moment, a second Penang Bridge is being built and expected to be completed in 2011.

The people that live here are mainly Chinese, Malays and Indians, making Penang the only state in Malaysia with an ethnic Chinese majority which explains why many Chinese cultural and religious festivals are celebrated here. Don't be too worried about the language barrier, as English is widely spoken here. The monsoon months are from August to October, with the rest of the year being sunny most of the time! It is a hot and humid climate so make sure if you are walking or generally in the Sun to have a cap, water bottle and Sun glasses. There are always Trishaws, Taxi's, that want your business here!

George Town is a UNESCO Heritage Site and a good way to have a look around here is with a trishaw as the sights are located fairly close to each other. If you haven't done a Trishaw ride before, then I can tell you it is a nice way to see the sights, plus for photos its slower than a bus or taxi,and there is no glass in the way fo reflection photos. If you want to walk, which is what I also like to do, there is a heritage trail to follow, you can pick up a brochure. To travel around the island, the air conditioned Rapid Penang public bus service is quite reliable, just make sure you have a map in hand! Penang is really nice, and is another place I would like to return to with a little more time.

Favourite spots:
Kek Lok Si Buddhist Temple
Kek Lok Si Buddhist Temple
KEK LOK SI BUDDHIST TEMPLE is said to be one of the finest Buddhist temples in South East Asia, this could well be true!

Situated on a hill overlooking Penang, its worth coming here just for the views. The Temple took quite a few years to build, being completed in 1905, with The “Pagoda of Ten Thousand Buddhas” taking more than 20 years to build and was only completed in 1930.

It is built in tiers, and sits amongst lovely landscaped gardens, a Turtle pond which also has large Carp, shrines and lovely sculptures. Each tier is built in a different design with the 1st tier, a Chinese octagonal base, middle tiers are of Thai architecture and the top is a Burmese crown.

At the start, you may pass few some beggars, we did, then its an uphill climb to reach the top, plenty of steps, so be warned! If you want to go to the main prayer hall which we did, then it will cost you another 2rm.

What's really great:
Beautiful furniture at Pinang Peranakan Mansion
Beautiful furniture at Pinang Peranakan Mansion
Pinang Peranakan Mansion Penang

The Peranakans, also known as the Babas and Nyonyas, were a prominent community of the Straits Chinese, who adopted selected ways of the local Malays, and later, the colonial British. This created a unique lifestyle and customs which had not only left behind a rich legacy of antiques, but cultural influences like cuisine and language that are still evident in Penang today.

The Pinang Peranakan Mansion is a typical home of a rich Baba of a century ago. It has over 1,000 pieces of antiques and collectibles of the era on display and is housed in one of Penang’s heritage mansions with stylish architecture.

It was built at the end of the 19th century by one of local history’s famous personalities, his Chinese courtyard house was much like a typical large Baba home. It incorporates Chinese carved-wood panels and English floor tiles.

Reclining Buddha
Reclining Buddha
RECLINING BUDDHA - Wat Chayamangkalaram

This is another impressive Temple that we visited which had GOLD, GOLD, GOLD!


This Thai temple was built in 1845 by a Buddhist monk, who came from Thailand.

As you enter, probably the 1st thing you notice is the two guards with two mythical dragon-headed serpents at their feet. Heading inside, and here is the 33metre gold-plated reclining Buddha. With a peaceful, smiling face, this Buddha lies on his right side with his head resting in the palm of his right hand.

The reclining Buddha represents the historical Buddha at his death. It is said that the Buddha knew death was approaching, and asked his disciples to prepare a couch for him in a grove!

Go for a walk behind the Buddha, as here are a lot of niches that contain the ashes of the devotees.

Other recommendations:
View from Penang Hill
View from Penang Hill
The 830 metre high Penang Hill is well worth a visit for the cooler air, and the lovely views over Penang.

To get there, you can either walk to the top, or ride the Swiss made Funicular up the steep hill, it will cost about 9rm return. Halfway up the hill, you get out and change trains.
The Funicular starts operation at 6.30am and departs half hourly.

The line was built in 1923, and takes about a half hour to reach the top, its quite a slow journey. On the way, you will see the temple, Kek Lok Si, some homes and Guest houses.

At the top, there is a Kiosk, Restaurant, Souvenir Stalls, Bellevue Hotel, a Mosque, Hindu Temple, Bellevue Hotel, Bird Park ( open 9-6pm) and a Canopy walk if you wish to do.
The views are magnificent.
You see Georgetown, the mainland and Penang Bridge

Published on Friday April 1th, 2011

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