Penang, one of the most urbanized and developed states in Malaysia, is located at the Northwest coast of Malaysia. The British used it as the main port to transport goods from the year 1867 to 1946. This is because the location of the port was perfect as the ‘Exchange of the East‘. During the time, Georgetown prospered hugely from all the business it was getting. However, the revocation of their free port status in the 1960s caused the state to suffer a huge economic decline. Fortunately, the state government at the time revived the economy by switching their focus into hi-tech manufacturing. After that, George town also began to gain recognition and started to attract tourists from around the world.
Why should you visit Penang, the Pearl of the Orient?
Penang boasts one of the most traditional and cultural heritage of the British colonization of Malaysia. Therefore, there is no other place in Malaysia or even the entire of Southeast Asia that has close to the amount of perfectly preserved old colonial architecture and cultural heritage left behind.
Places you should visit in Penang
Ever since Penang had its second economic boom from switching into hi-tech manufacturing, they have a huge plethora of itineraries to visit starting from the old colonial buildings to the modern city skyscrapers. Recommended places to visit are:
1. Penang hill
Also known as ‘Bukit Bendera’, Penang hill is the tallest hill in Penang standing at a height of 821 meters above sea level. The hill provides visitors with breathtaking views of the entire island and a break from the sweltering heat below. You can also chill and relax at the cafes situated beneath the clouds.
2. Cheong Fatt Tze mansion
This mansion was home to a very famous and influential Chinese industrialist back in the 1890s. The architecture of this mansion represents the best of Chinese architecture during the 18th to 19th century. The feature of this mansion that makes it so unique is that fact that it is one of the only 3 traditional Chinese mansions that is outside of China. The striking blue exterior of the mansion also makes it a must-go.
This building is the highest skyscraper in the whole of Penang. The most eye-catching attraction there is the rope challenge which will make you suspended in the air 239 meters above the ground. Granted, you will tremble a lot, but it will be a once in a lifetime experience.
Food to eat
One of the things that makes Penang so popular is its food. The food there will be the most top-notch traditional Malaysian food you will find in the whole of Malaysia. Some of the best traditional Malaysian food you will find there include:
1. Char Kway Teow
Stir-fried flat-rice noodles with black soy sauce, chives, bean sprouts and eggs. The heavenly mixture stir-fried over a wok with flames licking its edges makes it have a charred taste which everyone loves.
2. Assam laksa
A famous rice noodle soup that tastes tangy and spicy at the same time. The secret ingredients that make it so flavorful are lemongrass, galangal and chilli.
What is a meal without dessert served? Cendol is an iced sweet dessert that contains droplets of green rice flour jelly, coconut milk and palm sugar syrup. Definitely a perfect end to a meal.
Penang is one of the most unique and exciting places you will visit in the whole of Malaysia. Enjoy the perfectly preserved historic remains of the British colonization of Malaysia.
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