Places to visit
"If we say nothing but what has been said before us, we are dull and have observed nothing. If we tell anything new, we are laughed at as fabulous and romantic" so wrote the English society figure Lady Mary Wortley Montagu in a letter to her husband in 1718.
One is tempted to conjecture that had she lived in the next century and had been to Penang she might not have made such a wry comment! Simply because there is so much to tell about the places of interest you have seen. Simply because Penang is such a popular tourist destination and has been visited so many times over, it will be impossible for travellers to recount something that has not been recounted before! In short, a visit to Penang will not be complete if one does not tread a path, follow the road, get around, knock around, go places, sightsee or peregrinate for nowhere else in South East Asia will you find a more peaceful and pleasing island.
For the fun-loving and outdoorsy tourist, there are numerous beaches, fishing villages, nature trails, recreation forest and waterfalls. If you find touristy spots like Tanjung Bungah and Batu Ferringhi too crowded, you can retreat to more remote but no less attractive beaches at Muka Head, Pantai Keracut, Monkey Beach, Pantai Acheh and Gertak Sanggul.
While in Teluk Bahang do not forget to visit Entopia and the batik factory.
To rejuvenate jaded senses, Penang Hill beckons with the promise of fresh and cool air and an awe-inspiring view of the island. Still relatively unspoilt, Penang Hill provides a quiet break from the hectic pace of the city. Breathtaking views of the island and the Andaman Sea can also be enjoyed during the drive to and from Balik Pulau.
Reflecting the multi-cultural character of Penang are the numerous houses of worship to cater to nearly every faith – Islam, Taoism, Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism and Sikhism. If you plan to visit, do remember to dress decently and remove your shoes before entering some places of prayer. When visiting a mosque, it is recommended that you do so during the hours when Muslims are not performing one of their five daily prayers. So as not to offend anyone, do not bring any meat or alcohol into houses of worship. Keep in mind that all the religions in Malaysia observe one taboo or another vis à vis food and drink.
Not to be left out of your itinerary are the Colonial Quarter, Little India, Chinatown and the historic port settlements. Heritage tours are recommended if you want to check out every nook, cranny and side street. To get a panoramic view of George Town, check out the viewing gallery on the 58th floor of KOMTAR.
There are also quite a few museums and art galleries in Penang that keep vigil over the city's rich heritage and art scene that are simply unique and diverse. Itineraries can wildly vary as you freely choose among the more classic venues and the many most curious and surprising museums. Explore and learn about Penang glorious past as well as her creative future.