The second smallest state in Malaysia, Penang is the eight most populous one too. Located on the northwest coast of Peninsular Malaysia, by the Strait of Malacca, it offers a fascinating fusion of the West and East. Although a small island, it has numerous cultural sights and natural sceneries to boast of. Penang entices its visitors with its scrumptious cuisine and is thus, regarded as the food capital of Malaysia. The capital city of Penang, Georgetown is one of the most interesting and colorful cities in Malaysia. Offering a multitude of attractions to appease curious visitors, this city is best enjoyed on foot or trishaw, giving you a better view. Read on to find out the major tourist attractions in Penang.
Penang Hill gives you a fabulous view of the Georgetown city, through a half-hour cable funicular train. With a height of 821 meters above sea level, one can glimpse the environment, fauna and flora at this place. The hill truly makes up a cool getaway from the tropical heat below.
Penang National Park
Although the country's smallest national park, Penang National Park is Malaysia's precious little emerald. It is an eco-paradise, filled with well-marked jungle trails, a pristine beach and a magical Meromictic Lake. Another exciting attraction her is the long walk to Muka Head, which ends up at the old lighthouse.
A 2-km esplanade, Gurney Drive forms a sure treat for all Penang tourists. It is a popular venue for morning walks, jogs and Tai Chi exercises, which is followed by a delicious bowl of bah kut teh (herbal pork rib soup). The nearby street market, with an appetizing array of restaurants and food stalls, is sure to refresh you further.
St. Anne's Church
Built in 1846, by visiting priest Fr. Adolphe Couellan, the church has become a center of pilgrimage in the region. Named after St. Anne, mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary, it has a seating capacity of 1,800. The annual feat held here, at the end of July, attracts crowds from all around the globe, which culminates in a candlelight procession.
Penang Butterfly Farm
The world's first tropical live butterfly sanctuary, Penang Butterfly Farm features some 4000 live butterflies, belonging to 150 different species. It is a natural park, housing small reptiles in their natural habitats.
Completed in 1985, Penang Bridge was the first land link to mainland Malaysia. It has contributed to the rapid development of Penang, in terms of tourism as well as an industrial center. Penang Bridge Run, held annually, is the biggest run in the country, which incorporates a marathon, a half-marathon and a quarter-marathon.
The wildly commercialized strip of the scenic Batu Ferringhi beachfront is filled with the clunky expanses of concrete. The beach offers a nocturnal bazaar of trinket shops, budget restaurants, rowdy bars and discos.
Little India is home to many Indian traders, boasting of a history over two centuries long. The shopping street is lined up with all sorts of traditional Indian wares, such as sarees, suits, stainless steel wares, accessories and handicrafts. It also offers a thriving and vibrant collection of restaurants, florists, astrologers, moneychangers, fruit sellers and herb dealers.