Attractions in Penang

What factors do you consider before you pick a vacation destination? A vacation does not need to be a one-month getaway to the city or country of your choice. It can be a weekend doing nothing in particular, apart from lazing around in the sun and sand to rejuvenate your mind. If you would like to visit Malaysia, Penang is the place for you to go.

Here is why:

Street Art in George Town

Take an amazing tour aroiund George Town to discover the unique painted walls mimicking life in the city and the wrought-iron caricatures with anecdotal descriptions of the streets that they adorn.

Blending humour and historical facts, these metal sculptures describe the prevailing colloquial demeanor of the early settlement days that gave memorable moniker to the streets and landmarks that are George Town icons today. Like voices from the past, they creatively symbolize the intimate relationship the people have in their daily lives with these landmarks that stand to this day.

Street art by Ernest Zacharevic - Many have become enamoured of the newly transformed streetscape of George Town, much thanks to the beautiful and evocative murals that Ernest hand painted. From what originally was a short visit to Penang, the Lithuanian-born artist who graduated with Honours from Middlesex University in London, has since taken up temporary residence in Penang and is currently pursuing a career as a full-time artist, animator, photographer and filmmaker.

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The Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion

This mansion or the blue mansion as the local people like to call it, was built between the 18th and 19th century. The architectural design alone will take your breath away. It was carefully crafted by Chinese craftsmen who took more than seven years to build it, of course with the meticulous preparation and keenness of the Chinese. It is blue in color, has seven stair cases, five granite courtyards, twenty two stained glass windows, 38 rooms, just to mention but a few of its features. It remains one of the only three traditional Chinese mansions outside of china. However, over the years, the mansion was reduced to a 16-room heritage hotel/museum combination.

If you want to get a feel of how the Chinese elite used to live or you just want to know the history of China in general, then you will be in for a real treat. You will be allowed to take photographs to take home with you. The Chinese gardens, the fountains, the interior and exterior décor are quite something.

Kek Lok Si Temple

This is basically a temple complex that was built on a hill many years ago. It has beautifully landscaped gardens and sacred temples, coupled with a collection of Buddha statues that are magnificent to look at. The statues are made from precious materials. When you visit this temple complex, you will get to see the sculpture of the laughing Buddha and statues of the heavenly kings guarding the four compass points.

Adventure Zone Theme Park

This park is great for families. Your children will not have enough of the park. The park is divided into three parts, that is, the special features section, which is for the parents and fairly older children, say teenagers. Then there is the kid’s area, for kids of course, and the toddler section, which has equipment that will help keep the little ones safe and happy. The park also has about 30 activities lined up for you and your family. You will never have to worry about anyone not feeling included in the trip.

The sections have different types of slides for particular ages, ladder climbs, swinging steps, ramps and more. There are tens of interesting things to do here. In addition to these, there is a café where the adults can go and chill out, as their children play around in a secure environment.

Escape Adventure Land

This part of Penang is the best destination for you when you are inclined to doing a lot of crazy things that involve a lot of adventure and adrenaline. Activities such as zip lining, free falling, tree rope swinging, inner-tube slide and others are sure to get your heart racing and they will satisfy your quest for adventure and thrill.

The Penang Hill

This perhaps is the best part about visiting Penang. It is relatively high above sea level, which assures you of a break from the crazy temperatures of the tropical climate. To get to the summit, you need to take a funicular train, an experience that comes with its own share of adventure.

During the 30 minute ride to the top, you will get to see the surrounding topography and landscape. The view from the top is a sight to behold. From there, you can see the entire island, in addition to the beautiful Hindu temple, church, mosque and a snake show. If you pay some fee, you can even get to take a photo with a tamed python. If you love hiking, you can also indulge yourself in a hike and walk up the hill, instead of taking a train up the cable railway. The reward here will be the breathtaking view of the island below you when you get to the top, using whichever means you see fit.

Penang War Museum

Before it was turned into a museum, this place was once a Japanese army base during the Second World War. It was used as a torturing base, gaining such a bad reputation among the locals. However, after it was converted to museum, it becomes a good place for exploration, especially the underground tunnels and ventilation shafts.

Made in Penang Interactive Museum

This museum is the best place to be if you love to escape reality a bit and indulge your imagination. You will find no handy artifacts displayed because the pictures are 3D, ensuring that you are involved in whatever it is you are doing. For instance the pictures range from historical images such as battleships blowing up.

Penang Khoo Khongsi

This is one of Penang’s best attractions. It represents the Khoo clanhouse for individuals who claimed the Khoo surname. The clan house was particular to each clan and family and represented the family’s spiritual and cultural commitments to other relations and ancestors. Such profound beliefs and history are carved into the walls of this place, providing a magnificent image. The place also represents good luck, wealth and the overhead lamps and sculptures are just a few of the things that adorn this clanhouse.

Wat Chaiya Mangkalaram

This Thai temple was built in 1845 and it houses the internationally acclaimed Buddha statue. The statue is the attraction that signifies where Buddha spent his last few days away from the rest of the world. There are other smaller Buddha sculptures erected at focal points.

Fort Cornwallis

This is the largest standing fort in Malaysia today. The star shaped fort is still the same as it was many years back when the British East India Company built it. It has a rich history, having housed some of the most prominent people of the former British Empire who served in Malaysia. If you go there, you will take great photos with the bronze statues and canons.