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Map of Penang, Malaysia

Penang state consists of the island of Penang and a thin slice of the mainland around Butterworth. There is very little to see on the mainland, so you don't really need to visit there. The state original colonial settlement, Georgetown, is on the northeast corner of the island, and this is where you'll want to stay if you want to be close to the sights of the old town.

Penang Island Map
Penang overview map
Map ©2009 Google, and others

The island's airport is near the southern tip of the island, about a 30 minute trip from Georgetown. West of Georgetown is a developed beach area around Batu Feringgi. There are several hotels here, but none of them really rate as luxury resorts, and the beach here is not that great. If you want a fabulous beach resort, then take the short flight to Langkawi.

The main reason to visit Penang is to enjoy the elegant colonial buildings of old Georgetown. You can simply wander around at your leisure, enjoying not only the architecture, but the shops within as well. You'll find traditional Chinese tea shops where patient owners might educate you about tea drinking traditions and help you select the right tea for your tastes. There are also several art galleries.

Orientation

Getting There

Hotels

 

Travel Insurance
World Nomads travel insurance is designed for adventurous travelers with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and activities such as skiing and snowboarding.

 

/malaysia/peninsula/penang/georgetown/index.php">old Georgetown external link. You can simply wander around at your leisure, enjoying not only the architecture, but the shops within as well. You'll find traditional Chinese tea shops where patient owners might educate you about tea drinking traditions and help you select the right tea for your tastes. There are also several art galleries.

Outside of the old historic area, there are only a few sights really worth seeing. One is Penang Hill external link, the old hill station where colonial residents used to go to escape the heat.

Penang really isn't a 'beach' destination, but if you fancy some time with sand and sea at your doorstep, the developed beach area is called Batu Ferringhi, which lies on the north shore of the island west of Georgetown. There are some rather nice resorts here, although the beach really isn't that fantastic.

Orientation

Getting There

Hotels

 

Travel Insurance
World Nomads travel insurance is designed for adventurous travelers with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and activities such as skiing and snowboarding.