Pearl of the Orient: Penang Malaysia

By Shereen Shabnam

During my nine years in Malaysia, Penang was the most popular local exotic holiday destination we used to head to for a dose of cultural sights and natural scenery.

Known as the Pearl of the Orient, Penang is famous for its many soft sandy beaches and viewed as the food capital of Malaysia. As students, we used to spend most of our time trying street food in hawker stalls and exploring night markets with local delicacies which on the weekends was popular among residents of Penang and visitors to the Island.

Penang is also popular because of the palm fringed sandy beaches of Tanjung Bungah, fishing villages, the Snake Temple, the vibrant Georgetown area with heritage houses, small shop houses, old British colonial buildings and the Tropical Spice Garden.

As a UNESCO World Heritage site, many of the old derelict buildings are being restored to their former grandeur, offering even more places to visit on the island.

We love staying on the Batu Ferringhi Beach when we visit Penang as it offers a long stretch of shoreline ideal for swimming and the hotels are in abundance to suit every budget. Tanjung Bungah is another popular option for tourists.

Penang is an island that leaves you wanting to stay longer because of the historical sites, sandy beaches, night markets and so much more.

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