Compact and convenient yet brimming with exotic attractions and historic sights, Penang is one of Malaysia’s banner destinations. Strategically important due to its location in the Straits of Malacca, the island has acted as a crossroads for trade and a link between Asia’s two halves for centuries.

It’s colourful history can be easily digested in the city of George Town. The island’s main hub, it revels in a sensual melange of influences where watermarked Chinese shop houses are located a few narrow streets away from shops selling Indian spices and grand mosques. 

The city is also home to some of Malaysia’s (and subsequently the world’s) most delicious hawker food. These open-air stalls are particularly strong on Chinese dishes, but seafood and the island’s legendarily creamy durian are other must-haves.

Out in the countryside, things are no less enticing. The beaches of the north coast supply tropical lounging, while mountainous jungle showcases the island’s wilder side.

FEATURED TRIP

BEST OF PENINSULA (7 DAYS / 6 NIGHTS)

Catch a glimpse of Malaysia’s mesmerizing heritage and remarkable landscapes with a one-week group tour. After wandering Kuala Lumpur’s vibrant streets, step back in time in historic Malacca. Take a breath of fresh air in the Cameron Highlands then delve into Penang’s diverse culture before exploring nature on Banding Island.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Visit Malacca’s heritage sites. Explore Malacca’s Portuguese fort, Dutch Square and Baba Nyonya museum for a glimpse into the town’s fascinating past.
  • Drive to the Cameron Highlands. Make a stop at Iskandar Waterfall and in an Orang Asli village before reaching the tea plantations of the highlands.
  • Explore Banding Island. Take a boat trip around Banding to spot the world’s biggest flower, swim in waterfalls and explore the jungle.

EVENING TOUR: SUNSET & CANAPES AT THE HABITAT (PENANG HILL)

Take a leisurely ascend up the steps from the base to the top and stroll along the Curtis Crest Tree Top Walk nestled amongst a canopy of ancient Confier Trees at 800m above sea-level. Witness a spectacular sunset over Penang and mainland Malaysia from the highest viewing platform in Penang. Learn about wildlife on a 1.6km nature walk with a specialized nature guide.

FULL DAY TOUR: TROPICAL SPICE GARDEN COOKING CLASS

Be mesmerized by the unique uses of exotic plants and herbs on an introductory tour of the Tropical Spice Garden before partaking in a cooking class to cook tasty Malay, Nonya and Indian cuisine. Learn all about the unique Peranakan culture, a blend of Malay and Chinese traditions. 

FULL DAY TOUR: A DAY IN THE NATIONAL PARK

The smallest and youngest of Malaysia’s National Parks is Penang National Park at just over 25sq km, and established in 2003. Take a jungle trail to Puntai Kerachut with a specialized nature guide discovering the flora and fauna of the park before a cruise around its magnificent coastline. 

HALF DAY TOUR: DIM SUM & STREET ART

Take a closer look at Penang and discover local secrets away from the tourist trail. Join city’s residents as they go about their morning activities, visiting a historic wet market and tucking into fresh dim sum. Then explore quiet laneways where modern street art compliments Penang’s charming heritage buildings.

FULL DAY TOUR: PENANG HERITAGE TRAIL

Explore the rich heritage, culture diversity and eclectic neighborhoods during this Penang walking tour. Set off on a full day walking tour with a local guide, being immersed in the daily lives of the city’s residents, sampling traditional foods and experiencing Malaysia’s true spirit.

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