Information on Penang

Penang Travel Guide
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Penang Hotels | Penang Place Of Interested | Getting Around Penang

From its establishment as the first British trading post in the Far East in 1786, Penang is today a bustling city with a unique blend of the East and West. This is reflected in its heritage buildings as well as in the lifestyles, food and customs of the local people.

Place of Interested

Botanical Garden

The Botanical Gardens offer peace and tranquility amidst lush green surroundings, tropical plants, and the vibrant colors of Penang's flora. The 30-hectare garden also features a waterfall. Created in 1884 by the British, it was meant as a tribute to Charles Curtis, the garden's first superintendent. Curtis collected botanical specimens from the surrounding hills--specimens which have since become significant samples in the world's major herbaria. The gardens are also well-known for their bold Rhesus monkeys.

Admission : Free. Opening Hours : 7 am - 7 pm.

Bukit Mertajam Recreational Park
Located approximately 18 km from Butterworth ferry terminal, this park covers a wide area of hilly terrain that ascends several hundred meters above sea level. Its cool hill air encourages a profusion of ferns, ephiphytes and wild flowers, as well as exotic butterflies, birds and insects. For the adventurous, there are numerous jungle tracks leading to the heart of the forest.

Fort Cornwallis

This fort was built on the site of Francis Light's historic landing in 1786. Originally a wooden stockade, it was replaced by a concrete structure built by convict labour, in 1804. Today, an open-air amphitheatre, a history gallery, and a handicraft and souvenir centre occupies the interior. Fort Cornwallis also houses a famous Dutch cannon that in some way or another has been associated with virtually every shift in political alliances on the Peninsula since the early 17th century. The cannon arrived on the Peninsula in 1606 as a present from the Dutch to the Sultan of Johor. Only a few years later the Dutch cannon was taken by the Achenese in a raid on Johor's capital. At the beginning of the nineteenth century the cannon was sent to by the Achenese to Kuala Selangor in hopes of establishing an alliance with the Bugis. The cannon's last move, from Kuala Selangor to Penang, followed the British bombardment on Kuala Selangor in 1871.

Opening Hours : 8.30 am - 7 pm Admission: RM 1 per person.

Kek Lok Si
Kek Lok Si is reputedly the largest Buddhist temple complex in South-East Asia. The temple is also widely-known for the beauty of its design, which incorporates elements of Chinese, Thai, and Burmese architecture. Kek Lok Si is dominated by the seven-tiered pagoda of Ban Po Thar, which is dedicated to the Boddhisattva Tsi Tsuang Wang, who declined to enter nirvana after enlightenment in order that he might assist others along the path.
Khoo Kongsi

The wave of Chinese immigration to Penang during the nineteenth century gave rise to the formation of clan formations, or kongsi, which served as surrogate kinship and professional associations for immigrants who had left behind family and friends. A multitude of kongsi arose in Penang, and each organization constructed a hall to serve as the locus of its community.

The Khoo Kongsi is the most famous example of these halls, having been designed with such magnificence that it was said to rival the palace of China's emperor. Whether by misfortune or because such a resemblance was viewed as an offence, the original Khoo Kongsi burnt to the ground almost as soon as it was completed. The present structure was built as a scaled down version of that original, though it is an extraordinarily impressive structure nonetheless. The building features a magnificent hall embellished with intricate carvings and richly ornamented beams of the finest wood, each bearing the mark of master craftsmen from China.

Opening Hours : 9 am - 5 pm (Monday to Friday), 9 am - 1 pm (Saturdays) Permission to enter must be obtained from the Kongsi office.

Orchid and Hibiscus Garden
This intimate park at Bukit Jambul includes the Orchid and Hibiscus Garden and a Reptile Farm. Attractions include an ornamental Japanese pond, a cacti garden, a pottery corner, a deer park, and cascades.

Penang Bird Park
The Penang Bird Park occupies a generous landscaped site in Seberang Jaya. Within its beautifully-designed aviaries are over four hundred species of birds from all over the world. Man-made islands with cascades, gardens, and ornamental plants abound. The park also contains a wide variety of orchids and hibiscus plants.

Entrance Fee : RM 4 (Adults), RM 2 (Children), Open: 10 am - 6 pm (Daily)

Penang Butterfly Farm
Located at Teluk Bahang, the Butterfly Farm has hundreds of species of butterflies and insects amidst landscaped tropical gardens.

Opens : Daily from 9 am - 5 pm Entrance Fee : RM4

Penang Hill
The hills of Penang--Western Hill, Tiger Hill, Strawberry Hill, and others--have long been popular refuges from the heat of the low-lying city. As the funicular railway proceeds along its half-hour climb of the hill, a broad panoramic view of Georgetown slowly unfolds. The view from Flagstaff Hill, at the top of the line, is a lovely way to watch night descend over the island. The train leaves the station at Air Itam at 6.30am and at every half an hour. Trainfare Adults: RM3, Children: RM1.50.

For those who enjoy a vigorous walk or fear a funicular ride, there is a very good walking track up the hill. It takes about four hours and should not be undertaken frivolously. The jungle trail begins at the moongate at Waterfall Road, about 300m from the entrance to the Botanical Gardens.

Penang Museum and Art Gallery
Located at Lebuh Farquhar, the Penang Museum and Art Gallery houses old photographs, maps, charts and historical relics. It was built in 1821 and was formerly the Penang Free School.

Opens : 9 am - 5 pm (Daily) On Fridays, closed between 12.15 pm - 2.45 pm

St George's Church
Built with convict labor in 1818, this stately Anglican colonial church is one of the oldest landmarks in the city. The entrance features a memorial canopy dedicated to Captain Francis Light, who is buried in the adjoining ceremony.

Sri Mariamman Temple
This Hindi temple, built in the late nineteenth century, features fascinating sculptures of gods and goddesses over its entrance and on its facade. Housed within its ornately decorated interior is a priceless statue of Lord Subramaniam, embellished with gold, silver, diamonds, and emeralds. The statue figures prominently in the annual Thaipusam Festival, when it is borne on a silver chariot through the city streets to the temple at Jalan Waterfall.

Opening Hours: Morning to late evening. Permission to enter must be obtained from temple officials.

Wat Chayamangkalaram Temple
This Buddhist temple of Thai architecture houses a magnificent gold-plated reclining Buddha that is said to be the third largest in the world. The niches behind the statue house urns containing the ashes of devotees.
Admission is free

Getting To And Around Penang

The island is linked to the mainland by the Penang Bridge, which at 13.5 km long is the longest bridge in Asia. However, should the old world charm of traveling in the famous 24-hour ferry service appeal to you, the service still exists. The ferry leaves from Butterworth and tickets can be purchased there.

Ferry fare-Adults: 40 sen, Children: 20 sen. For cars below 1200cc the rate is RM 4; RM 5 for cars 1200cc- 1600cc and cars above 1600cc pay RM 6. A toll of RM 7 is collected at the Penang Bridge from all cars driving from the mainland.

Penang's Bayan Lepas International Airport is about 20 km from Georgetown, its capital. If you wish to travel by train, the Railway Station is on the mainland, located at Butterworth, Seberang Prai.

The above material are taken from All Travel Malaysia Tourism


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