Top 5 Attractions of Penang, the Pearl of the Orient

Penang, listed in UNESCO’s World Culture Heritage catalogue, embraces an unique local culture, quaint architecture and delicious cuisine. It is a Pearl of the Orient,  and walking through its streets will allow you to experience the romantic nostalgia of Southeast Asia.

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Due to its position near the equator, Penang’s weather feels like summer throughout the entire year. The city suits those wanting to sight-see all year round. However, the best period for visiting Penang is between June and September as the temperature is more moderate during this time, averaging approximately 27 degrees Celsius.

Here are five must go place while visiting Penang

1.  The Clan Jetties

This is an early gathering point for Chinese inhabitants in the early days of the city.

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Opening hours: Though there are no official opening hours, we suggest you visit the Clan Jetties from 9:00am to 6:00pm to avoid disturbing the locals’ daily life.

Address: Pengkalan Weld (Weld Quay), Georgetown, Pulau Penang, Malaysia

High season: All year round. A must-see attraction is the Jade Emperor ritual (bài Tiān Gōng, literally “heaven worship”) on the eighth day of the Lunar New Year. This festival is lively and bustling with exciting sights and sounds for the Fujian community in Penang.

Transport guide: Bus — CAT, 10, 11, 101, 103, 104, 201, 202, 203, 204, 206, 301, 302, 303, 307, 401, 401E, 502

Tips: You can hire a tricycle or walk from the harbour in less than five minutes. Visitors can rent a homestay which offers a chance to experience everyday life alongside local residents.

 

2.  Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion

It is the most complete quadrangle courtyard in Southeast Asia.

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Open hours: Fixed tour groups at 11:00am, 1:30pm and 3:00pm

Scheduled time: Two to three hours

Telephone: +60 4-262 0006

Address: 14 Lebuh Leith, 10200 Georgetown, Pulau Pinang

High season: All year round.

Transport guide: Bus — CAT, 104, 204, 502

Tips: We suggest visiting one of the local nearby coffee shops to while time away before the departure time of the next tour group.

 

3.  Kek Lok Si Temple

Kek Lok Si Temple is the largest Buddhist temple in Southeast Asia. There are rows upon rows of colourful buildings in within the Kek Lok Si Temple complex and it is a popular destination for both the local Chinese residents as well as out of town tourists. The temple was inspired by a Chinese Buddhist abbot name Beow Lean and sponsored by five leading Penang Chinese businessmen, and yet the design and decorations reflect the Temple’s shared heritage from both Mahayana and Theravada Buddhism. This is a good representation of the ethnic and religious diversity found within Malaysia. An impressive event not to be missed is the annual Chinese New Year celebrations when thousands of lights transform the Kek Lok Si Temple into a man-made sea of stars.

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Ticket information: Free of charge, but a fee applies when entering the pagoda and taking the cable car

Address: Kek Lok Si Temple, Air Itam, 11500 Penang

Tel: +60 4-828 3317

High season: All year round

Transport guide: Bus — 201, 203, 204, 502

 

4.  Mural in Georgetown

The area uses lively paintings and other artefacts to showcase life in Penang on the walls of old buildings.

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Scheduled time: Two to three hours

Address: Georgetown, 10300 Pulau Pinang

High season: All year round

Transport guide: As seven paintings are located in different locations, we suggest renting a bike or a float.

Tips:

  1.  It will take around three hours to visiting each of the mural paintings and the best time is Sunday morning as these are usually designated car free days in many districts of Georgetown.
  2. You can discover Malaysian comics on every street and alley within the historical area. We suggest you can take a closer look at these along your journey between each of the murals.

 

5.   Penang Museum

The Penang Museum was originally housed at St. Xavier’s Institution before being moved in 1962 to its current location. This building was a school that established in 1821. The governing body added an art gallery on the ground floor in 1963. The collections include cultural artefacts from the diverse range of ethnicities, currency issued by the Japanese colonial government during World War II, documents from  imperial Japanese army and certificates from Japanese school, as well paintings of local artists depicting the Penang scenery over time, including works from William Daniels and Captain Robert Smith.

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Ticket information: Adults: MYR 1, Children: MYR 0.50

Address: Lebuh Farquhar Georgetown, 10200 Georgetown, Penang

Tel: +60 4 226 1461

Opening hours: 9:00am – 5:00pm (Mon-Thu, Sat, Sun), closed on Friday and public holidays

Official website: http://www.penangmuseum.gov.my/museum

High season: All year round

Transport guide: Bus — 103, 204, 502, CAT

 

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