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Penang

Visit Penang

Introduction

British, Malays, Indians and Chinese have all contributed to the heady mix of Penang.

The island is very much a cultural crossroads - with night markets full of colour and clamour, sophisticated beachfront hotels, fine old colonial buildings, tantalising food, as well as Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu and Christian places of worship.

Georgetown

The influence of China and Britain are strongly felt in Penang, and no more so than in Georgetown, a faded but incredibly charming colonial outpost with more pre-war houses than any other city in South East Asia.

Named after King George IV, it was a busy port for trade and transport for many years, but today is a far quieter place, where bicycle rickshaws trundle slowly along streets lined with incense-filled temples and colonial buildings.

Temples

There are a number of interesting temples and churches scattered around the Georgetown area of Penang.

Along the so-called 'Street of Harmony' and nearby are St George's Church, the first Anglican church in South East Asia; the Kapitan Keling Mosque, founded by Indian Muslims; and the Hindu Sri Maha Mariamman Temple, decorated with carvings of deities and sacred animals.

Chinese religious influences, meanwhile, are seen at the Kuan Yin Temple (Goddess of Mercy Temple), filled with the smell of sandalwood incense, and noted for a steep roof supported by dragon-entwined pillars.

Fort Cornwallis

Only the outer walls now remain of Fort Cornwallis, a once-strategic stronghold that was built on the site that the British fleet, under Captain Francis Light, first dropped anchor in Penang, in 1786.

Nevertheless, a stroll around the star-shaped fort gives a sense of its former importance.

Batu Ferringhi

Batu Ferringhi, the main beach area of Penang has transformed from a hippy hangout to a stretch defined by sophisticated resorts. It's an easy 30-minute drive from Georgetown and many of the hotels offer a complimentary shuttle service between the two.

Parts of Batu Ferringhi are somewhat over-developed, but there are still some great sunbathing spots to be found in less touristy areas.

The night market alongside the beach road embraces the beachside busyness, with souvenir and food stalls catering to all tastes and budgets.

Penang Hill

A recently re-opened funicular railway leads to the top of Penang Hill, Malaysia's first colonial hill station.

Great views can be had of Georgetown and the surrounding area from the peak, and pretty gardens, a temple and a few restaurants can also be visited before returning to the bottom - either on the funicular or by foot along a trail that winds through Penang's last remaining rainforest.

Special offers in Penang

Penang & the Malaysian Peninsula

11-day tailor-made independent tour from £1,860 pp

Special
offer

Flight offer – Save up to £160 pp
Book by: 26 September 2017

From Europe to the Far East, myriad influences play out across peninsular Malaysia’s colonial towns, city greats and island beaches. You’ll showcase the best of it all with bijou stays, private transfers and exclusive touring, ranging from rainforest cruises to tea tasting in the Cameron Highlands.

See all offers

Top itineraries in Penang

Penang & the Malaysian Peninsula

11-day tailor-made independent tour from £1,860 pp

Special
offer

Flight offer – Save up to £160 pp
Book by: 26 September 2017

From Europe to the Far East, myriad influences play out across peninsular Malaysia’s colonial towns, city greats and island beaches. You’ll showcase the best of it all with bijou stays, private transfers and exclusive touring, ranging from rainforest cruises to tea tasting in the Cameron Highlands.

Enjoy a tailor-made Penang holiday

Click here to begin tailoring a holiday based on your precise needs

Alternatively, call one of our experts on 020 7590 0613. We are open tomorrow from 9:00 am.

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Top places to stay in Penang

Lone Pine, Penang

Contemporary hotel

Airy, modern rooms and great sea views are among the draws at Lone Pine, a luxury boutique hotel in Batu Ferringhi, a popular beach town on the Malaysian island of Penang. Renewed and restored, this Eastern & Oriental property has retained the colonial feel that has made it one of Penang's most cap…

Golden Sands Resort, Penang

Accommodation

The Golden Sands Resort by Shangri-La is a top luxury resort for families, situated on the stunning beachfront of Batu Feringgion the north coast of Penang, a twenty-minute drive from the pretty colonial city of Georgetown.

The Eastern & Oriental, Penang, Malaysia

Accommodation

The Eastern & Oriental Hotel is a tranquil haven right in the heart of Penang.The hotel is steeped in old colonial charm with the finest traditions of comfort, having been patronised by colonial administrators since its foundation in the nineteenth century.

Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa, Penang

Accommodation

Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa is an expansive luxury retreat built in traditional Malaysian style with plenty of carved wood and colourful fabrics on display.

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Meet our Penang experts

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Meet the team

Why book with Wexas Travel?

At Wexas, we specialise in bespoke travel experiences. Our itineraries are just samples of what we can arrange, and can be changed depending on your precise needs, finances and ideas by our experienced destination specialists.

Contact one of our consultants on 020 7590 0613 to discuss how we can tailor your holiday.

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