Located in the Strait of Malacca off West Malaysia’s northwestern coast, Penang Island is a popular tourist destination due to its historic George Town and rich culinary diversity. Its position along one of the world’s most traveled shipping routes has infused Penang with a colorful array of cultures, architecture and cuisine.
Whether by car, public buses or taxis, Penang Island should be explored to see and experience its many attractions like the Botanic Gardens, Bird Sanctuary, Butterfly Park and the white sandy beaches of Batu Ferringhi along the north coast. Numerous temples dot the island including the must-see Snake Temple with its viper residents and the huge Temple of Supreme Bliss. Formerly a leper and prison colony, Jerejak Island, on Penang’s southeastern tip, is now a tropical paradise offering outdoor adventure as well as spa, massage and pampering services.
No visit to Penang would be complete without a trishaw ride or walk around the island’s capital city, George Town, to see its British colonial architecture and historic Chinese and Indian temples. Additionally, George Town is filled with markets, restaurants and bars. Also not to miss here is Little India, a district rife with aromatic spices and lively Bollywood music.
Widely regarded as Malaysia’s food capital, Penang is famous for it culinary mixture of all the world’s major cuisines, making it a unique cuisine in and of itself. Delicious choices abound from upscale seafood restaurants to Chinese Dim Sum stalls, bakeries and roadside vendors serving the local specialty, Char Koay Teow, a stir-fried dish of rice noodles, cockles and bean sprouts.