Wednesday, 13 June 2007

PENANG INSIGHT - PEARL OF THE ORIENT

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Penang, or commonly known as the Pearl of The Orient, is one of the 13 states of Malaysia. The island has long been known as one of Southeast Asia's finest destinations. Penang’s rich history, diverse culture, delicious food,
outstanding beaches, beautiful resorts and exotic sights have made it one of the most popular destinations in the region. 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 throughout the East. Therefore, the name “
Island of the Betel Nut” or Pulau Pinang in Malay was given to the island.

Brief History
Penang was founded by Captain Francis Light in 1786. It joined the Straits Settlement when it was formed in 1932, in which consists of 2 other states, Malacca and Singapore. Penang became its capital for 3 years before it was taken over by Singapore in 1835. At the end of WWII in 1945, Penang has since been developed into a contemporary metropolis with modern infrastructures and booming of multinational corporations.

Geographical
Penang is located at North West of Peninsular Malaysia. It is made up of the Penang Island and Province Wellesley on the mainland, separated by the Straits of Malacca.

Population
Approximately 1.23 million people which consists of 3 major races. Chinese, Malays and Indians

Religion
Islam as the official religion, followed by Buddhism, Christianity and Hinduism

Climate
The climate is between 25oC to 30oC with evenly distributed rainfall throughout the year. See the local weather report here.

Currency
Ringgit Malaysia (RM) – Find the exchange rate here.

Accommodation
There are many hotels located within Georgetown city, airport and along the beautiful beaches

Mode of Transports
Taxi, bus, trishaw and ferry (between the island and mainland)

Famous Landmark
- The Penang Bridge which is 13.5km in length links the Island and the mainland.
- Tunku Abdul Razak Complex (KOMTAR), which is the tallest building in Penang.

Places of Interest
You can get more information from Tourism Penang. Here are some of the interesting places you might be interested to visit:

Heritage Trail
It’s a must-not-miss experience to study the cultural, historical and architectural heritage of Penang.














Chinatown
Chinatown on the island stretches from Weld Quay to Lebuh Stewart, Lebuh Muntri, Lebuh Campbell and Lebuh King. Chinatown is so large and well-preserved that you will sense and feel the lifestyle of Chinese immigrant settlers who came here in the 1800s. Visitors will be intrigued by many clan houses, shop houses and temples found along these streets, which reflect the heritage left behind.

Little India
Colourful saris, fragrant spices, and glittery jewellery gather in Penang's Indian enclave to give visitors a multi-sensory experience. The old-world charm of Penang is romantically captured in traditional trades like astrology and betel nut-peddling.

Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion
The “Blue Mansion” as it has been commonly known, Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion has received the UNESCO “Most Excellent” Heritage Conservation Award in 2000.








Penang State Mosque
Completed in 1980, this huge structure stands on 4.5 hectares of land.

Penang Islamic Museum
Located along Lebuh Armenian, this museum was the former home of Syed Mohamad Alatas, a pepper trader from Acheh. It houses some very rare relics of the Islamic community.

Kek Lok Si Temple
The temple which is also known as the 'Monastery of Supreme Bliss' was built in 1890. It is the largest Buddhist temple in Malaysia and one of the finest in South-east Asia. Next to the temple is a huge bronze statue of the Goddess of Mercy which was completed in 2003.







Penang Hill

Above 830 metres (2,730 ft.) above sea level, offers a panoramic of Georgetown and the mainland. Visitors can ascend to the top of the hill by either hiking up using Moon Gate or road track next to Botanical Garden or by the funicular railway which has been operational since 1922.

Botanical Gardens
This is a place where there are lots of nice landscaping, floral and fresh air. You can see different species of monkeys lingering around the garden.

Wat Chayamangkalaram
It is a Thai architectural Buddhist temple famous for its large reclining Buddha believed to the third largest reclining Buddha in the world measuring 33 metres in length.








Sri Maha Mariamman Temple
This is the oldest Hindu temple in Penang which features fascinating sculptures of Gods and Goddesses over its main entrance as well as facade.

Kuan Yin Temple
Kuan Yin Temple also known as the Temple of the Goddess of Mercy is the oldest temple in Penang. The temple reflects the splendour of an ancient Chinese architecture, decorated with intricately crafted dragons and stone sculptured dragons.

Kapitan Kling Mosque
This mosque was built around 1800 with the influence of the Indian Islamic architecture, and boasts a dome-shaped and well placed minaret.







Khoo Kongsi
This Khoo clan temple has carved beams made from the finest wood and unique architectural design.

Tanjung City Marina
The marina is the first inner city marina in the country. It was completed in October 2005 and is now fully operational. It is strategically located on the waterfront of George Town, occupying 1.6ha of the coastal land adjacent to the Weld Quay ferry terminal. The marina is within walking distance from the heart of the city.

Fort Cornwallis
Located on the Esplanade, this 200 year-old fort marks the spot where Captain Francis Light, the founder of Penang, first landed in 1786.






Queen Victoria Memorial Clock Tower
This 18.5 metres clock tower was built in 1897 to celebrate Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee.

Snake Temple
This temple was built in 1850 to dedicate to the deity Chor Soo Kong. The temple is a sanctuary for the pit vipers said to be 'servants' of the deity. These poisonous snakes coil round pillars, beams and potted plants throughout the temple in a comatose state, made drowsy by the burning incense.

Batu Ferringhi Beach
This is a well known beach retreat stretch with lots of bustling water sports activities. It is an ideal getaway for holidays. There is also a long stretch of night market activities nightly.






Penang Butterfly Farm

The first of its kind to be built in the world, the farm is home to more than 400 species of butterflies and insects. Butterflies flutter about under a huge net in the 0.8-hectare area. A lily pond, artificial waterfalls, and gardens peppered with exotic flowers add to the landscape.

Penang Bird Park
This park houses many different species of local and foreign birds in a 5-acre area. It is located in Seberang Jaya on the mainland.

Pinang Peranakan Mansion
This mansion is a typical home of a rich Baba a century ago and it offers a vast collection of antiques and collectibles. It has a 19th century architecture structure and was the former home of Kapitan Chung Keng Kwee.






Toy Museum
This museum houses more than 100,000 toys, models, dolls and other collectibles. It is the largest in the world.

War Museum
The museum was originally the British military fortress built in the 30’s to protect the island from the enemies. It sits in a rainforest located in Batu Maung, South East of Penang.

Tropical Fruit Farm
This Agro Farm covers an area of 25 acres. It is located at the hilly terrain of Teluk Bahang. It has more than 250 species of fruit trees from the region as well as throughout the world.










Tropical Spice Garden
There are more than 500 varieties of exotic from Malaysia and other region.

Teluk Bahang Recreational Forest
The recreational forest in 32-hectare of land with a forestry museum located within the vicinity. It makes an interesting introduction to the Malaysian forest.

Penang National Park
The Penang National Park (previously known as Pantai Acheh Forest Reserve) is the first protected area legally gazette under the National Park Act of 1980, signifying the State and Federal Governments' efforts in protecting the environment. The Park's ecosystem is a diversity of habitats with hills, sandy and rocky beaches, streams and coastal forests representing much of the natural habitats of Penang.

SHOPPING
- Queensbay
- Gurney Plaza
- Island Plaza
- Prangin Mall-Komtar
- 1-Stop Midlands Park
- Bukit Jambul Complex
- Mega Mall
- Tesco
- Carrefour (Mainland)
- Makro

ENTERTAINMENT
- Upper Penang Road
- More Entertainment Outlets

RECREATION AND SPA
- Listings for recreation and spa

FOOD
Penang
Eating Guide
- Malay Cuisine
- Chinese Cuisine
- Indian Cuisine
- Nyonya Cuisine
- Vegetarian Cuisine
- Seafood Cuisine
- International Food
- Bar, Lounges & Café
- Hawker
More Food Outlets

USEFUL TELEPHONE NUMBERS
- Listing

References:
- Tourism Penang
- Visitor Malaysia
- Virtual Malaysia
- Travel Penang
- Oomph
- Penang Web
- Wikipedia

Disclaimer:
This compilation is solely the recommendations of the author and is provided for informational purposes only. All actions taken are solely based on the readers’ own decisions. The links in this site are provided as is and without warranties of any kind either expressed or implied. The listing does not warrant that the links or any of its functions will be uninterrupted or error free, It also does not warrant or make any representations regarding the use or the results of the use of the materials in this site or in third-party sites in terms of their correctness, accuracy, timeliness, reliability or otherwise.

27 comments:

Wuching said...

Visit Penang Year 2007! if i go penang i rather go see u & other penang bloggers lah, not the tourist attractions!

papajoneh said...

wahhhh betulkah ada toy museum? Now, thats my next objective Kekeke. Hey, Penang Govt deserve to pay you on this posting. So much better and so complete some more. At least USD18.

CRIZ LAI said...

wuching: you forgot...there's the toy museum for you. I thought you like figurine?

papajoneh: yup yup...they should link here more :P So i guessed if you want to come Penang holiday, just print out the whole post...kekeke :)

kuanhoong said...

good job Penang Tourism Board, *ahem I mean Cikgu Criz

kayatan said...

Good job Cikgu Criz ! I like to visit Penang someday. My hubby wanted to go there too. One day, ok :)-

Bee said...

Everytimes I went to Penang I ate like hell. But I felt so sad to see those polluted beaches.

CRIZ LAI said...

kuanhoong: What Cikgu? LOL...It's just some useful information for those staying outside Penang. It took me a few days just to shoot some of the photographs. It's hard work you know? :)

kayatan: Jamy...your family is always welcome to Penang. :)

bee ean: you should try weighing yourself before you come and after you go back. You can see a major difference there. :P As for the beaches, it depends on where you go. If you are up at the tourist belt beach areas, you get clean white sand. If you are adventurous enough, try hiking up Pantai Kerachut, Permatang Damar Laut or even Gertak Sanggul beaches, they are practically untouched. Do try island hopping as well to Pulau Telur or Pulau Songsong where the beaches are real clean with lots of seashells to be collected. :)

conan_cat said...

hehe a patriotic penangnite! yay! :D well i know most of the places, but i still need a tour guide when i go there because i don't know the road, taking taxi or bus is quite a fuss to me there tho haha...

pikey said...

wow~~~ good job on promoting the island... say... which hotel do you think it's good for budget travellers in PG? I think that would be useful too...

CRIZ LAI said...

conan cat: I'll be your tourist guide lor...you pay in RM or USD? LOL! You are always welcome to contact me. You can bring your dear along too...hehe :P

pikey: there is a hotel link in the post. There are many budget hotels, motels, guest houses scattered throughout the island. Mostly down in the city area. If you want, I can introduce you to some of the recommended ones. Some could even cost as much as a 1-star hotel :)

Anggie's journel said...

wah...thank u for the info and sharing. This yrs was visit m'sia 2007, must go penang once. i bn there long time ago that was b4 i get married :) this time can bring my boy along ...more fun yer!!

kuanhoong said...

Hey, what happened to your "I am going to blog less" posting.

I read it yesterday. But it is gone now. Strange but True. Pelik tapi Benar

CRIZ LAI said...

anggie: Welcome to Penang...anytime :)

kuanhoong: The posting is after the Photo Hunters post. I wanna keep the VMY2007 post up a week as the main post...hehe :P

healy said...

Hey! What a complete info about Penang. you make me realised that there are still so many spots that I have not been to. It's unbelievable! I wonder am I a Penangist. haha....

Anyway, you should ask our government to pay you for that leh......next time apply from the tourism department first, so that you can get some "kopi duit" for this type of blog mah....haha.....

CRIZ LAI said...

healy:
wah...as a penangite we need to know all the interesting places or else we will feel very memper"siasui"kan lar... haha :P

anyway, i don't blame you too for not knowing because I'm an adventurer. I go places no human will go :P
Hey TDM...TDC...where's my "duit kopi"? :P

Nastasshea@Nesh said...

Waaaa u so free to do these research. RESPECT! *I bow down in great honour of your commitment in such delicacy consumption of information by those who read and not who say*

Ok I'm talking nonsense here. GREAT JOB! *wink wink*

CRIZ LAI said...

nastasshea: some are research, some are experiences after being quite routine in taking my friends touring the island. Even some of the photos are taken by me :P

dJcarmen said...

...gonna pull u out when i go pg! which is soon!!

darn...so many places i didn't go. sadly though, i find pg food too sweet for my taste bud. :x but pg is more carefree, enjoyed my stay there last time ^^.

CRIZ LAI said...

djcarmen: welcome back! Give me a call when you are here. I'll get Sky to be the Ahmad :P

a n n n a said...

*clap claps*

thanks for the info! Ur post alone is enough to explain everything i need to noe bout penang on my future trip there. At first, i tot of googling Penang.

*printing*

Thanks again!

CRIZ LAI said...

Anna: Your are welcome. Are you sure you have enough of paper for that? :P

a n n n a said...

LoL.. Will be in Penang for 8hrs. Just go to the famous spots and eat the famous food. Maybe plan another longer trip over.

CRIZ LAI said...

anna: you should visit longer. Penang is an island for relaxation. :)

YTSL said...

Penang was founded by Captain Francis Light? No way! After all, surely others knew about Penang's existence way before that Englishman came along into the picture! :S

Ah Bong said...

wow..this must b one of the most comprehensive post on Penang I have ever come across

CRIZ LAI said...

ytsi: I guessed you have not being around too long to know your Penang history well. :P Tell me which country does not have natives when it was founded? Even in the Disney's cartoon, Pocahontas, there are natives around. It was the founder that officially charted it in the world map.

ah bong: Hi there Chris...thanks for visiting. As a Penangite and an adventurer previously, I am proud to share all those places with fellow Malaysians and overseas tourist. Actually there are more but i guessed I will have to set up a website for that :P

Phaik Guan said...

I have just viewed your history trail map of Penang. I regeret to note that your map has missed out na very significant and history place and roads ie Light Street Convent where it houses the Governor house ( the officail resident of Francis Light) and POW place for the WW2. You have also missed out a very intersting roads such as Love Land,Steward Lane and Muntri street. I lthink you need to review and do the relevant corrections on your scatch map.Unless you did it on purpose for the reasons best known to you.

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