Linked to mainland Malaysia’s west coast by a four mile long bridge Penang is Malaysia’s best-known beach destination and an ideal choice if looking for entertainment as well as relaxation.
Of the island’s many sun-drenched beaches, Batu Ferringhi is the best and where most hotels are found. Sweeping along a stretch of the northern coast, Batu Ferringhi is popular for watersports, although jellyfish do occasionally wash in on some tides, which affects swimming. However, all our hotels have fantastic pool areas and are right on the beachfront.
Do also take the time to explore the island’s lively capital, George Town, whose colonial quarter is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and delivers old-world Asia in spades. Tthe historic centre is easily walkable, although brightly-coloured trishaws offer an alternative way to tour. It’s not all about history though, as the burgeoning street-art scene brings an air of playfulness to the city and makes wandering a joy as you stumble across vibrant murals and fantastic artistic ironworks. Wherever your sightseeing takes you in George Town, you’ll also be sure to stumble across some fabulous coffee shops, many of which wouldn’t look out of place in hip areas of London and New York. Additionally, you can’t escape George Town’s delicious street food. Chinatown and Little India come alive after dark with carts and hawker stalls, while Gurney Drive is perhaps the most famous scene for street food in Southeast Asia.
Further island sights include Penang Hill, where a trip up the 2,270ft funicular railway rewards with breathtaking views; see the slithery residents of the unique Snake Temple; admire the magnificent Buddhist temple Kek Lok Si or go jungle trekking at Penang National Park.
When it comes to shopping Penang has a good mix of modern malls, quaint antique stalls and bustling markets. Don’t miss Little India or Chinatown in the heart of George Town for a slice of local culture, while at Batu Ferringhi, the night market tempts with souvenirs, clothes and handicrafts.
After dark, rooftop cocktail lounges, beach bars and live music venues vie for your attention along with top notch restaurants, charming cafes and sizzling hawker stalls.
Why visit Penang?
- Fantastic beachfront hotels
- Lovely beaches
- Culture and heritage in Georgetown
- Delicious food