4 must-do's in amazing Penang
The Malaysian island of Penang never fails to impress. From pristine white beaches, lush green hills and small, magnificent islands to busy streets, hawker stalls and great night markets – Penang offers the best of Asia in more ways than one. No surprises therefore that Yahoo! Travels has called it one of the Top 10 Islands to Explore Before You Die.
You can spend months in Penang soaking in the sun, the sand, the color, the culture, the vibrancy, the sounds and the tastes of the city, without having to repeat any activity, any place or any food.
However, here are the top four things that you must do when in Penang:
1) Take a trishaw ride in Georgetown
Georgetown, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is the heart of Penang. Strolling through the narrow cobbled streets, you will be taken back in time to its colorful colonial past. Clan Jetties, the Queen Victoria Memorial Clock Tower and temple Khoo Kongsi warrant a special visit in Georgetown.
Another special thing to do here is ride the trishaw. A traditional Penang trishaw is in fact, a great way to explore the nooks and crannies of Georgetown in a fun, interesting and eco-friendly way. As a guest of the Copthorne Orchid Hotel Penang, exploring Georgetown will be even easier for you, because the hotel is one of the nearest beach hotels to the city of Georgetown.
2) Relax at Batu Ferringhi
Away from the hustle and bustle of the city, Batu Ferringhi is the perfect destination to unwind and relax before your big day or night of shopping, clubbing and partying. You can just chill on the sand, appreciating the vast sea in front of you. Or, you can try one of the many water and adventure sports like jet-sking, Banana boating, water-scouter riding, para sailing and more. Once the sun has set, explore the famous Batu Ferringhi night bazaar.
Shopping and finding a good bargain at the local markets (apart from those at Batu Ferringhi as well) is another thing to do when in Penang.
3) Take a funicular train to Penang Hill
Need respite from the tropical Malaysian sun? Climb atop Penang Hill. Standing 821 meters above the sea level, the hill is known for its crisp, chilly air; cool, fresh climate and grand, panoramic views. The journey to the hill is exciting as well. You can trek to the top, via the Botanic Gardens if you have some three hours to spend. Otherwise, you can enjoy the interesting cable car ride to the Hill in a funicular train. The journey lasts 30 minutes and is an experience in itself.
4) Indulge your taste buds
Food is an important part of the local culture. Penang was in fact, voted the Best Street Food by Time Magazine in 2004. The Pengagites love to serve and they love to eat, making the local hawker fare something you just can't afford to miss. From Chinese, Malay, Indian and Nyonya “fast food” to haute cuisine, western popular food, seafood, desserts and more – the food is varied and multicultural.
Need some suggestions? Try Cendol, Hokkien Mee, Satay, Char Kway Teow, Asam Laska and Pasembur.