A City of Contrasts and Diversity
he Pearl of Orient, Penang is a delightful fusion of the East and West. Linked by two bridges (one of the bridge is the longest bridge in Southeast Asia) as well as the oldest cross-channel ferry services in the country, the state comprises the island of Penang and Seberang Perai as the mainland. Elegant colonial buildings rise among modern skyscrapers in its capital, George Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, while unique flora and fauna flourish in the Penang National Park. Festivals are celebrated with much colour and gusto at this Cuisine Capital, famed for its bewildering array of mouth-watering eats.
"The rich history of Penang or "Betel Nut Island" has resulted in a culture that is one of Malaysia's most diverse, cosmopolitan and exhilarating. Head over to Penang for its palm-fridge beaches, fishing villages, mouthwatering street food and the exotic produce such as nutmeg and durian."
Kek Lok Si Temple, Penang
UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITES
The capital city of Penang, George Town, has been listed as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site in 2008 due to relics found from the intermingling of the various ethnicities and religions during the occupation of British. From a swampy frontier to a bustling city, George Town has gone through tremendous transformation that leads to rich collection of historical buildings in various styles. The UNESCO World Heritage Site include one of the first structures to be built in George Town, Fort Cornwallis which began to be constructed just weeks after Captain Francis Light had first landed in 1786. Besides the fort, other attractions which falls in the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site includes Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion, Kek Lok Si Temple, Kapitan Keling Mosque, Sri Mariamman Temple and many more.
Most Malaysia My Second Home participants will agree that Penang has one of the best street food in Asia because those who have chosen Penang as their second home end up falling in love with the food as much as the place itself. The street food bears interesting nuances of flavour that hint of different influences namely Malay, Chinese, India, Nyonya and many more. Even though Penang also boasts the exquisite restaurants and fast food outlets, locals and foreigners cannot get enough of its hawker fare. With prices starting as low as RM2.50 for a plate of fried noodles, dining in Penang promises an inexpensive yet unforgettable experience. There are endless local dishes to try in Penang but make sure you don't miss assam laksa, char kway toew, cendol and for the brave and adventurous, the King of Fruits, durians.
George Town has become the unexpected street art hub of Southeast Asia. In 2012, series of six amazing wall paintings depicting local culture, inhabitants and local lifestyles were created on George Town's old walls by a Lithuanian artist, Ernest Zacharevic. The phenomenal success of Zacharevic's street art has inspired the state government to work with artists from around the world as well as local talents to use public spaces as canvas in creating beautiful artworks around the heritage city. Most of the street arts can be found around the city area and best discovered with a ride on the trishaw.
Georgetown Street Art, Penang