Exploring Penang, Malaysia

After the mandatory historical tour of Georgetown, explore the rest of Penang and discover a rich diversity of attractions such as lush nature parks, remote beaches and centuries old temples, to name a few. Despite its small size, this Malaysian island packs a punch when it comes to exciting things to do and interesting sights to see while visiting here.

Penang-MalaysiaThose who love to visit temples will find something wonderful on the island of Penang. It is the Kek Lok Si or the Temple of Supreme Bliss. The shrine dates back to the 1890 and is considered to be the largest Buddhist temple in the country and one of the biggest in Southeast Asia. It enjoys a picturesque location, sprawling on top of a hill and offering splendid views of Georgetown. It is a sight to behold during Chinese New Year when the entire temple complex is laden with thousands of lighted lanterns, turning the site into a spectacle of lights at night.

Wat Chayamangkalaram in Pulau Tikus town is another temple worth visiting to take a look at the 33-meter gold plated reclining Buddha housed inside. A stroll around the temple grounds will introduce you to the various Buddha statues and mythical creatures. Just cross the street from there to get to the beautiful Burmese Temple, which is the oldest temple on the island. If you want something more exciting, check out the Snake Temple, literally littered with slithering snakes. It can be a freaky sight especially for those with a serious fear of snakes but don’t worry about bites because their venoms is said to have been removed – it still pays to be extra careful – why tempt fate!

If you are looking for some lush green space to enjoy an afternoon stroll, there are plenty of options in Penang. There are the Botanic Gardens with its small waterfall, hiking trails into the jungle and some wild monkeys if you are lucky enough to catch sight of them. The Tropical Spice Garden is also a popular alternative with its collection of 100 species of tropical spice and herb plants as well as some exotic flora in a beautiful landscaped 8 acre garden. There is a lovely cafe right here where you can enjoy a drink and savor the stunning view of the cerulean sea before you.

Kek-Lok-SiOther green space you can have fun exploring include the Butterfly Farm, the Tropical Fruit Farm and the Durian Farm, among others. If you are visiting the Durian Farm between the months of May and August, you are in for a treat because the farm usually offers a buffet of the exotic durian and other tropical fruits in season.

Finally, if you are feeling like spending the day at the beach in Penang, head to the popular section of Batu Ferringhi on the northern coast of Penang where you will discover a coastline of white sand beaches. However, if you are looking for a tranquil excursion, the beaches at the northern coast are more secluded and rarely visited by tourists. Some options are Pantai Kerachut, Muka Head and Teluk Kampi. These remote locations require a few hours hike or a boat ride to get there, making them a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the beaches of Batu Ferringhi. Of course, you must not miss a visit to the Muka Head Lighthouse where you can bask in the breathtaking panorama of the ocean.

About Author:

Arie Boris has extensive travel industry experience, including business and sales development for commercial aviation, the International emergency assistance & travel insurance industry and a national association of travel agents. He was a contributing editor to several print and Internet travel publications, including Fieldings’ Worldwide Cruise Guide and was part of the start up team for CruiseCritic. He has written over 400 cruise ship reviews. Arie also produces and hosts Cruise Gourmet Voyages, a variety of fundraising & theme group cruises for various charitable and arts organizations. He has produced theme cruises for a variety of special interest groups including opera, comedy, spiritual retreats and fan clubs for TV shows like Dark Shadows and Dancing with the Stars!