The island of Penang, Malaysia is dubbed as the “Pearl of the Orient” and considered as one of Asia’s most famous travel destination to date. This is not quite hard to imagine since Penang has grown into a beautiful city with modern architecture and yet still manages to preserve its historical value overtime, offering the best of worlds in one small area.
Religion in this side of world is freely expressed and respected. The official religion in Penang is Islam but you can find temples and other religious grounds from different faiths such as Buddhist and Hindu temples.
Penang is a fairly busy island, always bustling with annual festivities of different cultures. If you are visiting the island of Penang, it is not uncommon to chance upon at least one festival taking place during your stay. Some of the highlights are Chinese New Year held every late January or early February which signifies the beginning of Chinese Lunar year and Christmas Day celebrated by Christians every month of December.
Other occasions held in Penang, Malaysia annually are: The Birthday of the Goddess of Mercy, Wesak Day or the birthday of Lord Buddha, Hari Raya Puasa which marks the end of Ramadan, Saint Anne’s Feast, Hari Raya Haji, Festival of Nine Emperor Gods, Malaysia’s National Day, and Deepavali in commemoration of the slaying of evil king by Lord Krishna.
Penang travel can never be completed without sampling its fine delicacy and cuisine greatly influenced by Malays, Chinese and Indians. There is definitely no room for picky eaters here since there is always something for everybody and food is really great, tourists usually come back for more. The most famous dish is the Penang Laksa, a tamarind-based fish soup filled with noodles. Penang Laksa is a very delicious and filling treat. Tourist can either choose to buy their food from “hawkers” of roadside stalls or get them at regular sit-in restaurants which nicely dotted the area. Gurney Drive is the famous food street where you will find hawker’s stalls lined up and selling best of Penang Food.
Some of Penang’s local favorites are:
- Satay or Malaysian style kebab.
- Apom, an Indian paper-thin pancake.
- Apong, Nyonya’s folded pancake.
- Beef ball noodles
- Char Koay Teow, stir-fried rice noodles.
- Chicken rice, a complete meal of Hainanese rice cooked in chicken stock served with roasted or steamed chicken.
- Fried oysters for seafood lovers!
- Mee Goreng, an Indian fried noodle.
- Mee Suah Tau or vermicelli soup with flaked crab meat.
This is just some of the suggested food fare in Penang since this town is known for its excellent cuisine and their food list is virtually endless.
Penang beaches stretch from Tanjung Bungah to Telok Bahang for miles and miles. The most popular beach front is the Batu Ferringhi which is quite busy during peak seasons. Other beaches that you can find in Penang are: Tanjung Bungah, Muka Head, Pantai Keracut, Pantai Acheh, Monkey Beach and Gertak Sanggul, all of which are beautiful sandy beaches where you can relax and have fun under the sun.