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A fascinating fusion of the East and West, Penang embraces modernity while retaining its traditions and old world charm. Linked to the mainland by a four mile long bridge Penang is the most well-known of Malaysia’s beach destinations. It is generally considered to be the ideal choice if you are looking for entertainment as well as a relaxing beach destination. Batu Ferringhi, where the majority of hotels are located, is the best beach on the island and sweeps along a stretch of the northern coast of the island. Swimming in the sea is not recommended as jelly fish can be washed in on some tides, but all the hotels have fantastic pool areas and are right on the beachfront. Although Penang is only 15 miles by 10 miles, the 45 mile drive around the island takes four hours. The island is home to miles of dense, tropical rainforest, paddy fields and hills – the most famous of which is Penang Hill and a trip up the 2,270 feet funicular railway is a must. Take time to stop off at the Snake Temple, where pit vipers coil round alters and hang from the ceiling. And don’t miss the seven tiered pagoda at the largest Buddhist temple in Malaysia, Kek Lok Si.

The sights

Although Penang is only 15 miles by 10 miles, the 45 mile drive around the island takes four hours and encompasses a treasure trove of sights and sounds. Penang is undoubtedly the most developed beach resort in Malaysia, but it is still home to miles of dense, tropical rainforest, paddy fields and hills reaching to over 2,000 feet – the most famous of these is Penang Hill and a trip up the 2,270 feet funicular railway with its superb views of the capital, Georgetown, is a must. Take time to stop off at the Snake Temple, where pit vipers coil round alters and hang from the ceiling. And don’t miss the seven tiered pagoda at the largest Buddhist temple in Malaysia, Kek Lok Si.

The nightlife

Food is Penang’s favourite export to the rest of the country. There are hawker stalls on every corner – the most famous of which is Gurney Drive in Georgetown. The capital also has a wide variety of bars and nightclubs. The road through Batu Ferringhi behind the hotels is also home to many more restaurants and bars.

The shopping

Penang offers great shopping opportunities and choice from the capital Georgetown with the shophouses of Chinatown to Penang Road with its main shopping bazaar. The night market at Batu Ferringhi is also a popular venue. 


Map of Penang



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