All set to attend the QNet Annual Global Convention V-Malaysia 2017 in Penang? You have your passport, visa, hotel reservation and flight tickets. You are excited about being a part of the biggest event of the year in the QNet world, and looking forward to 5 days of learning, interacting, networking, and fun!
In your excitement about the convention, don’t forget that Penang is also a popular destination with tourists. It’s a beautiful island located northwest of Peninsular Malaysia, and is fondly referred to as the culinary capital of the country thanks to the abundance and variety of street food available on the island.
The name of the island comes from the Malay word for betel nut – ‘Pinang’. Every year, thousands of visitors come here to experience the city’s unique multicultural heritage and unique sights. It is also a very cosmopolitan city, perhaps the second busiest in the country after Kuala Lumpur.
From palm-fringed beaches and fishing villages, mountainous jungles and farms, to beautifully preserved colonial remnants, and ancient Chinese shophouses, Penang has it all.
We’ve curated a list of things that you can explore on the island of Penang once V-Malaysia 2017 has ended. Experience these and you will know what makes this island rank so high on every traveller’s bucket list.
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1) George Town
George Town is the eclectic capital of Penang, and has a rightful spot on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list.
Topping the list of must-see sights in Georgetown is the Armenian street.
A street full of quirky little stores, charming shophouses, artists’ galleries, quaint cafes and home to some of the best of Penang’s street art. This is a great place to truly get a feel of what Penang is about.
You can get even deeper into the local culture and traditions at the Peranakan Mansion Museum, where you can get a guided tour of a beautiful house, preserved as it would have been a century ago.
For a glimpse into a different side to Penang’s history, visit Fort Cornwallis, which was constructed by the East India Company when the British laid claim to the Island in the 18th century.
One of the best ways to explore George Town is to get a map of the stunning street art that has made the tiny George Town streets one of the most photographed in the world. For the more adventurous, you can just walk where the streets lead you. Every corner has an Instagram-worthy surprise.
2) Penang National Park
Penang National Park offers access to some of the most beautiful scenery, and the quietest beaches on the island. The most famous of these is the Monkey Beach. The Park is located at Teluk Bahang at the North Western tip of the island. The Jungle Treks here offers breath-taking sights but can be quite challenging, so you may want to take a boat trip around the coast. There is also a tree top canopy walk located 1km from the entrance.
3) Batu Ferrenghi
What’s an island without gorgeous beaches! The most famous of Penang’s beaches is Batu Ferrenghi located along a coastal road on the Northern coast of Penang.
Soak in the sun or unwind on the beach while you enjoy a host of water sports from wind-surfing to canoeing. For a spine-tingling adventure, try parasailing to enjoy the view of the beach from the sky.
As the sun sets, Batu Ferringhi comes alive with a carnival-like atmosphere with an open-air bazaar selling anything from ornate curios to enticing souvenir items.
Watch local artisans demonstrate the intricate art of craft-making and batik- painting. Dubbed the Feringghi Walk, the bazaar offers shoppers a host of attractions.
4) Penang Hill
For an amazing view of George Town, Penang Bridge and the mainland, Penang Hill is a must. The best way to scale the 833 meters to the summit is by the one of a kind Penang Hill Railway. Once at the top you can enjoy the glorious view or visit one of many restaurants. For the more adventurous there are many trails to follow through the lush scenery including an awe-inspiring walk through the flora and fauna of the rainforest at the newly opened attraction The Habitat.
5) Street Food
Penang is famous for its street food and you’ll find hawker stalls selling an endless array of inexpensive and delicious local delicacies. One of the most famous hawker centres area is found in George Town on New Lane where you can find such speciality noodle dishes such as char koay teow and chee cheong fun alongside hearty Chinese dishes such as dim sum, and congee. For a refreshing hot drink, you can’t go wrong with a shot of steaming Teh Tarik. Great hawker centres can also be found at Gurney Drive in George Town and at Long Beach food court on Batu Ferrenghi.
Taking in the atmosphere of the streets and marvelling at the wonderful street art really is a must, and there’s no better way to do it than to rent a bicycle. You can rent good bikes for a few hours, or even the whole day. There are even special cycles for groups of four.
Hop on Hop Off Bus
If you happen to grow tired of walking George Town also has a very useful hop-on hop-off bus service, for which you can purchase day tickets. This open top bus tour gives a nice wider tour of the city and is a great way to reach shopping hotspots such as Gurney Plaza and Komtar Mall, which may be difficult to reach by foot.