Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Penang is unique in Malaysia because it is one destination that offers everything from beaches to historical sights to diverse culture to shopping and yes of course food. If you don't have too much time in your hand to visit Malaysia extensively, but want to have a wide experience of Malysian tourism, then Penang is the perfect place for you.
Penang gets its name from the Malay word pinang, in reference to the areca plant, which grew on the island in abundance. The nut of the tree, commonly called betel, was chewed habitually in the East. To gather a complete picture of Malaysia one can visit Penang with the assurance that the place will leave you stunned with its pristine beauty and irresistible charm.
Population: 1.4 million
Languages: English, Tamil, Chinese, Malay
Climate: Penang has an equatorial climate which is uniformly warm and humid throughout the year. The average minimum and maximum temperatures range from 23 C to 32 C. There are no recognisable hot or cold seasons as such and the mean annual rainfall of approximately 267cm is evenly distributed throughout the year, although September to November may be considered the wettest months.
Official Currency: Malaysia Ringgit (RM); 1 RM = 11.454 Indian Rupee = 0.2632 US $ = 0.2173 Euro (subject to change).
Location: This beautiful little place is located in southeast Asian country of Malaysia.
Penang is easily accessible by air with daily flights from major capitals of the region.
By Air: The Penang International Airport is about 20 km from the city center. Taxis plying the route follow the coupon system by which fares between the airport and various destinations in Penang are fixed. Air-conditioned taxis and limousines charge higher fares. It has direct links with Singapore, Bangkok, Nagoya, Medan, Xiamen (China) and Madras, operated by Malaysia Airlines. The airline also operates more than 20 flights daily between Kuala Lumpur and Penang.
By Road: Taxis, Buses or Trishaws provide a convenient way to see around the city. Most major international and local car rental companies offer a good choice of vehicles and packages. Motorcycles and bicycles also offer inexpensive and fun ways of exploring the island. Stores along the hotel stretch of Batu Ferringhi and in the city offer them for hire.
The city of has very good hotels to ensure a comfortable stay for the tourists. Mentioned below is a list of some of the hotels in the city:
5 star hotels in the city:
Hotel Grand Plaza Parkroyal
Hotel Evergreen Laurel
Hotel Northam All Suite
4 star hotels in the city:
Hotel paradise Sandy
Shangri La Golden Sands Resort
3 star hotels in the city:
Hotel Eastern and Oriental
Hotel City Bay View
Major Tourist Attractions:
Penang Bridge: It is held by cables and is 13.5 km long, 8.5 km over water, the rest consisting of a viaduct on the island side with a flyover on the mainland. Longest in Asia, supposedly third longest in the world. The island end of the bridge begins near the University at Gelugor and the mainland end at Seberang Jaya.
Penang museum and art gallery: Formerly the Penang Free School building, it was built in 1816 and houses a fine collection of historical documents, Malay treasures, Straits Chinese furniture, embroidery and custumes. It exhibits the fishing, agricultural and natural history of the island and its geographical educational and economic life. The art gallery displays several paintings - and holds frequent exhibitions of works - of local artists.
Logan Memorial and high court: A marble statue stands in the high court compound dedicated to James Richardson Logan, a prominent lawyer and one-time editor of the `Penang Gazette'.
St. George's Church: It is one of the oldest Anglican churches in Malaya and Singapore. In front of the church stands a monument to Capt. Francis Light. The building has semi-arches, mouldings, doric columns and pillars; the roof which was originally flat is now gable-shaped.
Kapitan Kling Mosque: This is Penang's first mosque, built around 1800 to replace an old attap structure that had been constructed in 1786 by an Indian Muslim merchant, Cauder Mohideen who was then the `Kling Kapitan' (Indian Muslim Headsman). Its dome shaped with well placed minaret reflecting Islamic architecture of Indian influence is just amazing.
Forest Recreation Park: This beautiful landscaped park on the northwest coast covers 100 hectares has several freshwater pools, footpaths, rest huts, and a children's playground. There is a forestry museum which owns tropical timbers and their products and preserved insect species. It is located at Telok Bahang, 24 km from Georgetown.
Beaches: Penang has attractive beaches that stretch for miles from Tanjong Bungah to Bungah to Batu Ferringhi right up to Telok Bahang. At Tanjong Bungah, the beaches are suitable for swimming.
Cheong Fatt Tze
Fort Cornwallis and King Edward Circus Clock Tower
Kuan Yin (Goddess of Mercy) Temple
Kek Lok Si
at 4:25 PM