The Pearl of The Orient – Penang is a well-known holiday destination that also was listed as one of UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site in 2008. This virgin paradise has it all, from well-preserved classical heritage building to the world’s best steaming hot street food. Penang is rich with history that can be observed from its buildings that came from diverse cultures over the centuries. A place of tradition that has fusions of Asian cultures and British. The variety of activities you can do here is worth to be noted; starting from visiting the Colonial-era buildings to the simplest act of throwing coins into wishing well at Dhammikarama Burmese Buddhist Temple.
It is in Bayan Lepas, approximately 14 km from George Town City. PEN is the main airport for those who are travelling in northern Malaysia. Its former name is Bayan Lepas International Airport and was opened in 1935. Currently, it is the third busiest airport in Malaysia. In 2009, Penang International Airport was crowned the Best Emerging Airport (Asia) award in the 23rd annual Asian Freight and Supply Chain Awards. Most importantly, there are public transports available: taxi and The Rapid Penang – that is going to cost you around SGD1.
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The best time to visit Penang is between November and January when the climate is quite cool and very pleasant for sightseeing. Peak season in Penang would be during Chinese New Year. If you can plan your trip earlier, you can save your money because the hotels and flights during that time will be very costly. The off-peak season would be around May to October as this is the wettest season in Penang due to heavy rainfall. If you are looking for a quieter holiday and minus the crowd of tourists, this is the best time to visit Penang, but make sure you bring an umbrella or raincoat with you.
Penang has an equatorial climate like any part of Malaysia. However, its temperature is higher than the mainland, with temperatures can reach as high as 35°C during the day. Generally, temperatures in Penang will range between 29°C to 35°C during the daytime. In the evening, the temperatures will be around 26°C to 29°C. In between June and August will be the hottest period of the year.
To get the best of Penang, you should drop a visit in February. There are various festivals you may enjoy throughout the month. You will get to experience Chinese New Year Celebration firsthand where the event will include amazing performance; lion dance, traditional dances, skits; and the showcases of Chinese-based clan houses along the streets of Georgetown. Moreover, in February, one of the largest Buddhist temple in Malaysia – Kek Lok Si temple will be transformed into “fairyland of lights”. You will be enchanted by the blaze of colors lit up the sky. Not only that, you will get to join Pai Ti Kong Festival that falls on the 9th day of the first month of the Chinese Lunar Calendar. Hokkien people will celebrate this festival in a grandeur manner to commemorate the birthday of Thien Kong (Jade Emperor) who protected their clans from the ruthless army in Ancient China. Other than that, you cannot miss one of the well-known events in Penang which is Penang Hot Air Balloon Fiesta – you will get to enjoy many colourful hot air balloons in Padang Polo.
Penang is of famous tourist spot in Malaysia. Many attractions can be found in Penang.
1. Walk around Georgetown – Georgetown is the melting pot of different cultures that include Malay, Chinese and Indian. Walking around, you will be marveled at the town’s rich heritage. You will get to see some of Penang’s best colonial architectures if you go to Beach Street and Light Street. Now it does explain why it was crowned a UNESCO World Heritage site. Plus, you should check out Marking George Town where this street art exhibition tells the story of Penang’s heritage in a funny but informative way.
2. Go temple hopping – The city boasts a temple in every other block. You can go and visit Arulmigu Karumariamman Temple that is located beside Penang Bird Park. It is a south Indian Hindu temple that has the largest and tallest main sculpture tower (rajagopuram) in Malaysia. Then, hop on your ride and go to Dharmikarama Burmese Temple. Built in 1803, visiting this magnificent temple with its golden rooftops will be an enlightening experience for you. Next, you can visit Han Jian Ancestral Temple that was awarded the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Award for Culture Heritage Conservation. This temple is run by Penang Teochew Association and is dedicated to Taoist God of North.
3. Visit the Clan Jetty - Seven historic Chinese clans reside these water villages and they are already over a century old. The iconic and scenic moment you will able to capture make it a very memorable and a good visit. It is located close to Penang ferry terminal where there is a temple on the quayside. These water villages float above the water where none of the families is paying any tax as they are not living on the land.