Penang’s culinary delights, incomparable architecture, colourful culture and sincere hospitality offer visitors an exceptional Asian experience
The northern Malaysian state of Penang is an enchanting place, steeped in rich heritage and culture and set amid the backdrop of a thriving modern city. The captivating fusion of old and new has cultivated one of Southeast Asia’s most vibrant cities. With its bold gastronomical culture, charming colonial architecture and beautiful nature spots, Penang truly offers the best of Asia.
George Town, Penang’s capital city, is testimony to the multicultural heritage and traditions of Asia, where diverse cultures and religions have coexisted in harmony for generations.
In 2008, George Town was recognised for its outstanding universal value by UNESCO’s World Heritage Convention. The city’s unique blend of architecture and traditions reflects the fusion of cultures from the Malay Archipelago, India, China and Europe.
Asia’s culinary traditions live on in Penang’s coffee shops and fine dining establishments, and the city’s street food is famed for its incredible variety and quality. Popular dishes include char koay teow (stir-fried noodles), hokkien mee (soup-based noodle dish) and nasi kandar (steamed rice served with curry dishes).
Beyond the modern facade of Penang lies some of the country’s most stunning scenery, from sandy beaches to green heart! and and rolling hills. Natural wonders on offer include a meromictic lake (one of just four in Asia), an award- winning tropical garden featuring over 500 varieties of exotic fauna and flora, and one of the world’s largest tropical butterfly sanctuaries.
CAUSE TO CELEBRATE:
Penang’s appetite for drama and entertainment comes to Iife in spectacular festivals for all occasions, including religious, cultural and arts. Celebrations are held year-round, offering fantastic scenes such as acrobatic lion dances during Chinese New Year, the intricate weaving of ketupat (rice dumpling wrapped in palm leaves) during Hari Raya Aidilfitri and the unbelievable body piercings on show during Thaipusam. Home-grown arts festivals are increasingly popular with global travellers, with the George Town Festival and Penang Island Jazz Festival among the favourites.