Tourists can find the best attractions in Penang Island in Malaysia. This island is an incredible destination where historical architecture and tourism attraction is abundant. You can discover national parks or incredible architecture on this island. From colonial structures to contemporary street art, Penang Island is a cultural hub in Asia. The best of them is the wonderful Malaysian food and its beautiful pier. That is why Penang Island is a wonderful place to visit.
Take a trip back in time to Chew Jetty and see the Malaysia’s past. This area is more than a century old and the pier is a collection of wooden houses by the water. This pier is a row of boards that passengers can take on by boats from there. Also, Chinese immigrants who worked in the harbor in the 19th century built houses right on top of the pier.
Wharf houses here still stand with the help of renovation as well as adding things like electricity and running water. The nature of construction here is a clear reference to the recent past. The Chew Jetty is in stark contrast to contemporary buildings in Penang.
Penang National Park
To see nature, you have to go to the pristine side of the island where you find the Penang National Park. The park has a wide range of landscapes and scenery, which means you can walk in the woods and then relax on the beach without leaving the park. Popular beaches such as Monkey Beach and Teluk Kampi are also located in this park.
Penang National Park is one of the most popular places for hiking and camping on the island. Many of these areas are pristine forests, therefore beginners should visit the park with a guide.
In past centuries, the Hokkien community of Penang was made up of several tribes. The Khoo tribe was one of the largest. Like the other tribes, Khoo built a large tribal house called the Khoo Kongsi. This structure is still standing despite being more than 650 years old. This house is located in Cannon Square in the heart of the oldest part of the George Town.
The building has a clear Chinese influence that reflects the culture of the Hokkien community. If you visit this temple, you can see the ornate carved stones, the granite dragon, the golden details and the beautiful paper ceiling lights. For history and architecture enthusiasts, Khoo Kongsi is a memorable stop in Penang.
Tropical Spice Garden
One of the most interesting gardens in Penang is the tropical spice garden. This garden has local plants, spices and medicinal plants. Malaysian cuisine is famous for its spices, so seeing this garden is a great way to see those mysterious ingredients growing naturally. The Tropical Spice Garden has a cooking school on site using the same ingredients.
After walking around the garden, you can head to the cooking class. Fresh produce is picked up directly from the garden and added to your food to learn how to use it. For food lovers, the tropical spice garden at Batu Ferringhi is a must-visit attraction.
In North coast of the island, you can see Batu Ferringhi, which is one of the largest tourist centers in Penang as well. You will find plenty of restaurants, nightlife and accommodation along the sandy shoreline.
Although the beach is popular, it gets dirty when crowded and the presence of jellyfish is another concern. If you want to walk away from the crowds, you can visit the Muka Head Lighthouse. From the lighthouse, a unique view of the beaches can be seen.
After a day of relaxing on the beach, make your way to the Teluk Bahang, where there is a large collection of incredible seafood restaurants.
Cheong Fatt Tze – The Blue Mansion
In the heart of the George Town, the capital of Penang, you will see the Cheong Fatt Tze which is known as the Blue Mansion. This structure dates back to the end of the 19th century. The building is a traditional Chinese mansion built using the finest materials from around the world.
At that time, it was unusual for a rich man to build a Chinese and Hakka-style mansion. Clearly, Cheong Fatt Tze has stood the test of time. Still in its current state, the mansion is a hotel and an important tourist attraction. Today, you can stop at this mansion, eat delicious food and spend the night there.
To enjoy some of the best sights of Penang, you need to go to the top of Penang Hill. You can reach the summit via the Penang Railway (within 5 minutes). At the top of Penang Hill, you will experience panoramic views as well as cooler temperatures than George Town. You can walk the path to the top of Penang Hill, but many people use the railroad to go up and down.
Kek Lok Si Temple
This temple is considered as one of the largest Buddhist temples in all of Asia. The temple is located in Air Itam and faces the sea. It was built in 1905. The temple is a complete complex that includes several places of worship, a monastery, a garden and a statue. The most visits happen in the temple where the Quan Yin statue is found. You can use an elevator to reach this unique point as well. The statue is located in an octagonal pavilion. Furthermore, this temple is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Penang.
Penang Street Art
Although Penang has a lot of historical monuments and ancient temples, it also has a vibrant contemporary art scene. In the George Town you can see the Penang Street Art. Here is a collection of art that does not exist in a museum or gallery, but can be seen on the city walls. These works were created by a Lithuanian artist named Ernest Zacharevic. Upon entering the George Town, you may see some of these art works.
Many of these artworks depict children. On the Lebuh Armenian street, for example, there is a mural entitled “Kids on bicycle”. Also, you can get a map that will take you directly to the best works or you can take a walking tour and see some of these works.
Pinang Peranakan Mansion
one of best attractions in the heart of Penang is the Pinang Peranakan Mansion. Pranakan is the name of a Chinese immigrant who came to Malaysia around the 16th century. Over time, the group spread its unique culture, food and even their dialects. Pinang Peranakan Mansion is a window to this world.
When you visit there you can see how the wealthy Peranakan family lived a century ago. You have the chance to see carved porcelain wood panels, Scottish metal artworks and a vast collection of antiquities from around the world. This mansion is a kind of museum on the way of life, as well as a wonderful way to discover Peranakan culture.
If you love visiting historical as well as cultural sights in Malaysia, after Penang, you need to visit the top attractions in Malacca. In Malacca city you will see the remaining part of the Dutch as well as Portuguese building when these two forces ruled the city.