Penang is one of the top spots for a tourist destination in Malaysia, be it among locals or foreigners. This little island located on the northwest coast of Peninsular Malaysia is a world-renowned food destination with its capital city, George Town, is considered as the food capital for the country. George Town and Penang have been acknowledged as one of the best cities in the world to have street cuisine by several publications, including the Lonely Planet. What makes the cuisine great? The incorporations of several ethnics in Malaysia such as Malay, Chinese, Indian and Peranakan cooking style and flavours, not to mention from the neighbouring country, Thailand and even European influences. These had happened centuries ago when George Town became a trading port in 1786. Various people from all over the world stopped by at the port and shared their delicious cuisines with the locals. Penang is also famous for its heritage and history. It is home to one UNESCO World Heritage Site; George Town's unique heritage architectures and cultural townscape.
Penang International Airport is one of the busiest airports in Malaysia. Previously known as the Bayan Lepas International Airport, is the oldest airport in Malaysia. It was first opened in 1935. Located just under 20 kilometres from George Town in Bayan Lepas, this airport handles not only passengers but also cargos. This medium-sized airport is the main airport for the northern part of Malaysia, connecting the country to other states and Asian international destinations. Penang International Airport is also one of the main hubs for two local airlines, Firefly and AirAsia. The airport is connected to Penang Island by several modes of transportations. Rapid Penang, a public bus, have five routes going to and from Penang International Airport to various parts of the island. It provides with the least expensive way to travel from the airport to other parts of the island. Taxis and car rental services are also plenty at the Penang International Airport.
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Depending on one's preferences, the best time to visit Penang is all year round. The peak season to go to Penang is from November to January as it has the best weather. It is also the start of Christmas and New Year celebrations thus bringing the liveliest time to the island. Plan it right to enjoy Penang at its peak. For those who prefer a little bit quieter and a lot fewer people, February to April is the best time to go. During the off-season, Penang is still enjoyable and lively, without the crowds. One can truly enjoy Penang like a local.
Penang has a tropical rainforest climate with a slight tropical monsoon. On average, the day temperature of Penang is around 30-32°C with a cooler night at 23-25°C. The humidity can go up to 50% on certain days, but it is relatively dry all year round except May to October, during the wettest season in Penang.
There are many festivities and cultural events that one can enjoy while in Penang as it is a multiracial state, just like the rest of Malaysia. Thaipusam, a Tamil festival, is the most important celebration for all of the Hindus in Malaysia happens between January and February. It is a celebration with a 10-kilometre procession to the Penang's Hilltop Temple with ceremonial sacrifices in the form of a physical burden. Hungry Ghost Festival, on the other hand, is a festival by the Chinese community to honour their dead ancestors. It is celebrated in August or September and George Town will be filled with entertainments for the dead. The George Town Literary Festival is a great event for those who are into books and writing. This is the one, and an only literary event in Penang and It happens on one weekend in November, every year.