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janeyee Penang - A travel report by Jane
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Penang,  Malaysia - flag Malaysia -  Pulau Pinang
2020 readers

janeyee's travel reports

Home sweet home, specially for Marianne

  13 votes

Penang travelogue picture
Penang, an island so small that doesn't exist on the world map. Nonetheless, it's a place you must visit if you come to Malaysia. I've lived here for all my life. Penang is one of the 13 states in Malaysia. When you say Penang, most of us will have Penang Island in our mind. However, it actually also comprises of Butterworth, the mainland part on the Peninsula Malaysia separated by the Melaka straits and connected by the Penang Bridge, longest bridge in Asia and 5th in the world. Also available is the ferry services that plays a very important role of transportation between Penang Island and the mainland before the bridge was built in 1985. The ferry service is similar to the one in Hong Kong. Penang has a very rich culture, crowned as the Pearl of the Orient. We have our very own Sillicon Valley where you find big IT names like Dell, Intel and Motorola.

Favourite spots:
Penang travelogue picture
Kek Lok Si - The largest temple in Penang with a very huge Goddess of Mercy statue.

Kuan Yin Temple - also known as Goddess of Mercy Temple, the oldest Chinese temple in Penang.

Khoo Kongsi - one of the most gorgeous Chinese clan house, a must for tourists.

Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion, also called the blue mansion (in pic), Botanical Garden, Little India, Butterfly farm (for insects lovers) and Ford Cornwallis.



What's really great:
Food !! hawker's food. Hawker's food are available along the streets, coffee shops (when I mention coffee shops, do not think of big names like Starbucks. In Malaysia, it means open air (some with air-conditioned) shops that has many stalls selling different types of local food), stalls at market etc.. basically everywhere in Penang. You have to try fried kuey teow, laksa, hokkien mee, curry mee, chicken rice, nasi kandar, can't finish the list here. Sorry ^^

Sights:
Penang travelogue picture
If you like hiking, you can climb up to the Penang hill instead of taking the cable car.

The Botanical Garden, lots of flora that are amazing if you love plants! Nice to just stroll or take a walk in the park though. Warnings !! Do not feed the monkeys !!!

Chinatown, Little India, Esplanade, Gurney Drive...

Mamak Stalls, the local tea stalls along the road at night. See how the teh tariks are done, try to do it yourself!!

Sleeping Buddha temple, Burmese Temple, Clan houses with nice carvings on pillars imported from China.

If you're lucky enough, you might be able to catch a glimpse of some prayer's in some temples. Would be a good experience for you ^^


Accommodations:
If you like beaches and love to get tanned, go for the resorts and hotels in Batu Ferringhi area where you get to wake up and get to smell the sea first thing in the morning. Take a stroll on the beach.

Another famous choice by most foreign travellers are the budget hotels in town area. It's of easy access to town area where you get to see some really old buildings and also pubs or clubs at night. In Malaysia, backpacker's place or hostel is not that common. They call it budget hotels =)

Nightlife:
Slippery Senorita (SS), the most happening place in town now

Restaurants:
Penang travelogue picture
1. Jade Palace, my favourite place for a real good Chinese meal.
2. Passage through India, nice place for Indian food, try to eat rice on the banana leaf and with your hands !!
3. Baba-nyonya restaurants (I can't remember the name but I know where it is ^^, if you're interested, I'll check it for you)
Note : FYI, baba & nyonya is the local community formed by inter-marriage of the Chinese who came to Malaysia (The Malaya then) with the locals.
4. Thaifood restaurants, a few of them
5. Han Kuk Kwan, Korean restaurant at Ferringhi Beach Hotel (just went there yesterday for my dinner ^^)

Other recommendations:
Penang travelogue picture
Penang Hill, try the canopy walk and see our rain forest at the same time. A few nice old bungalows which used to be British officers' accomodation. See the bird park. Penang hill is also the place for a good view of the Penang city from the top.

Tropical fruit farm, hotels organise trips to the fruit farm and include fruit tasting, the local tropical fruits is a must to try!!! Try the durians, the king of fruits ^^ (Many people don't like it at first, but you'll fall in love with it, believe me!!) Tips : To remove the strong smell of durian off your hands, wash your hands with the seed of the durian with running water.
Another must try is mangosteen, the queen of fruits (in the pic) is good to cool off your body after taking the durians. Remember to count how many petals on the bottom side of the Mangosteen and you'll know how many parts of the fruit you have inside the purple shell.

Craft Batik Factory, you get to see how the batiks are hand drawn by skillful gurus

Published on Saturday November 22th, 2003


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Thu, Feb 14 2008 - 11:09 AM rating by mistybleu

A very interesting report. I'm hoping to go to Penang in March

Wed, Dec 03 2003 - 12:57 PM rating by whereisliz

Excellent in every way. What a joy it is to have you as part of the community!

Sun, Nov 23 2003 - 07:16 AM rating by marianne

Jane,
I am honoured to have an article written especially for me. We will certainly go to Penang. Our flight has already been booked but it is still a long time before we will go. We will be spending 6 weeks altogether in Malysia in July / August. Four years ago we were in Kuala Lumpur only for four days before flying to Medan. As we liked KL very much we decided to come back and visit more of Malaysia. And that what we are doing this summer.
Marianne

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