5 Penang Activities Not To Miss

10 May 2015

With its stunning natural beauty, architectural masterpieces, vibrant culture and one-of-a-kind landmarks Malaysia’s coastal state Penang offers plenty of things to see and do.

Whether you're checking in for a holiday of adventure, relaxation or somewhere in between, Penang promises to be both stimulating and relaxing. Here are five of our favourite things to do.

1. Find Fun On The Funicular

Hop aboard the Penang Hill Funicular Railway to the hill’s summit to enjoy crisp, refreshing air and sweeping views of George Town below. Be sure to stay past dusk, when the panorama is particularly striking as the lights come on over the city.

Stroll around the hill, checking out the eclectic mix of architecture, including British Colonial, Asian and modern and the equally varied flora and fauna, such as black giant squirrels and dusky leaf monkeys. Birdwatchers should keep their eyes peeled for the greater racket-tailed drongos.

2. Muse Over Mementos At The Penang State Museum

The Penang State Museum and Art Gallery is presented in sections representing Penang’s historical communities as well as events that have taken place in this part of Malaysia. Start your visit in the first-floor art gallery, which houses works by local artists as well as occasional special exhibitions.

In the museum’s permanent collection, you’ll find a broad range of historical artefacts, including old photos of Penang street scenes, maps, embroidery examples, costumes and other relics. Note: The museum is closed Fridays.

 Enter the Penang State Museum and Art Gallery for an immersive cultural experience (image: Wikipedia)

3. Go Green In The Tropical Spice Garden

This award-winning garden is home to more than 500 tropical plant species from around the world. And true to its name, there’s an emphasis on spices. Once an abandoned rubber plantation, it’s now an eco-friendly tourist haven.

Take a guided group tour of the tropical rainforest and get to know the exotic flowers; join a night walk to spot and identify nocturnal wildlife, insects and night-blooming flowers; indulge in cooking classes featuring spices straight from the garden; or just let the food come to you at the on-site treetop restaurant serving up delicious Asian specialties.

4. Seek Supreme Bliss At Kek Lok Si Temple

One of the biggest Buddhist temple complexes in all of Southeast Asia, Kek Lok Si contains millions of images of Buddha and hundreds of carvings, sculptures, murals, pagodas, archways and gardens to keep you both busy and captivated.

Perched on the scenic hills of Penang, the ‘Temple of Supreme Bliss’ is a veritable feast for the eyes – and for the soul. Stop to feed the hundreds of tortoises at the Tortoise Liberation Pond and climb to the top of the pagoda tower for spectacular views.

If you’ve timed your visit around Chinese New Year, lucky you: you’ll find the temple filled with thousands of glowing lanterns.

 It's impossible not to feel relaxed in the grounds of Kek Lok Si Temple (image: Getty)

5. Relax At Batu Ferringhi

Batu Ferringhi, or ‘Foreigner’s Rock’, is a sure-to-please stretch of soft, white sand. By day, bask in the sun and play to your heart’s content with the available array of water sports, including parasailing and jet-skiing. As darkness falls, get ready for the dazzling night-life.

Fine-dining restaurants and bars featuring live music line the beach; there’s no shortage of entertaining options. For a spot of shopping, be sure to check out Pasar Malam night market, where local traders peddle their colourful wares.

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Visit your local Flight Centre store or call 131 600 for more advice and the latest deals on travelling to Penang.

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