Penang is a Malaysian state and an island on the north-western coastline of the country. With its delectable cuisine, picturesque beaches and historic sites there is much to enjoy during a visit to Penang, and the island makes an ideal honeymoon hotspot. Spend your romantic break in one of the beach resorts overlooking pristine Batu Feringghi, or opt for one of Georgetown’s historic boutique hotels.
During your sojourn on the island try and squeeze in as many of its interesting sites and attractions as you can. History and culture buffs are sure to enjoy taking in Georgetown’s UNESCO Heritage Zone, located downtown. Explore Armenian Street, Love Lane and Little India and pay a visit to the exquisite Khoo Kongsi clan temple and the Pinang Peranakan Mansion. Finish off the day with a train ride up Penang Hill where you can enjoy the sweeping views and refreshing breezes blowing in off the sea.
Another fascinating cultural attraction on the island is the Kek Lok Si Temple of Supreme Bliss, a sprawling temple complex on a hillside a short drive from Georgetown which transforms into a riot of colour and liveliness during Chinese New Year. For a more novel temple experience head to the Snake Temple in Bayan Lepas, named for its resident serpents; there is even a snake museum which costs RM5 for adults – the temple itself offers free admission.
If you want to try something a little more action-packed during your visit to Penang there are various exciting activities on offer. Go hiking through the picturesque Penang National Park, arrange a snorkelling excursion from Pulau Payar Marine Park, try the water sports available on Batu Feringghi Beach and take a guided cycling tour around Balik Pulau’s fascinating back roads.
While staying on Penang be sure to sample as many of its mouth-watering dishes as you can. Head to the Loong Nam & Co Chinese bakery on Hutton Lane in Georgetown to savour delicious traditional biscuits and roti, tuck into Assam laksa at the Balik Pulau New Market, and feast on Nasi Kandar at Restoran Kapitan on Chulia Street. Wash your meal down with some Teh Tarik, a sweet and frothy tea which you can buy from various stalls and restaurants.
What is the currency in Penang?
The official currency of Penang is the Malaysian ringgit (RM).
How long does it take to fly to Penang?
Flights from London to Penang last approximately 14 hours 55 minutes or longer, with one stop.
What is the time difference in Penang?
Penang is 8 hours ahead of London.
When is the best time to visit Penang?
For the best weather, head to Penang during the high (and dry!) season – which runs from December to March – though expect to pay more for flights. Alternatively you could take advantage of the cheaper rates during the April – November wet season, but getting rained on is a real possibility and there will still be many visitors on the island.
What language is spoken in Penang?
Commonly spoken languages are Malay, Penang Hokkien and English.
Do I need a visa when visiting Penang?
British passport holders don’t need a visa to visit Malaysia and you will normally be given permission to stay for 3 months on arrival. For up-to-date travel entry requirements for Penang visit the official FCO website here.