Penang, known as ‘The Pearl of the Orient’, is an island on the west coast of Malaysia famous for its unique architecture, culture and fantastic cuisine.
Rich in heritage and history, Penang started as an important trading port of the early 16th century when Portuguese traders sailed to the Far East in search of spices. By the early 1800’s, the island’s prosperity had attracted immigrants from Europe, China and India to trade in rubber, nutmeg, sugar and clove.
Today, the historic city centre of Georgetown in Penang has gained UNESCO World Heritage status for its unique townscape and culture, arising from its former function as a strategic trading port linking Europe and Asia. Described as having a “unique architectural and cultural townscape without parallel anywhere in East and Southeast Asia”, Penang is considered one of Asia’s most complete surviving historic cities.
Due to its diverse ethnic and cultural traditions, the island is well-known for its cuisine which has Malay, European, Muslim, Indian and Chinese influences. Famous Penang dishes like char koay teow, asam laksa and rojak are at the top of every food lover’s list of must-eats.
The island is also known for its beautiful beaches and natural beauty along the northern coast of Batu Ferringhi – which is a seaside haven for those looking for a beach getaway. Penang is a truly multi-cultural city which should not be missed.