10 reasons to spend weekend in Penang

Being considered an industrial area, Penang isn’t an ideal place for a beach holiday. Waters near the island are rather dirty and are full of jellyfish, which can sting you very painfully. So, why are people eager to see these places? What is the secret of such great popularly of Penang?
Nowadays, Penang is a unique combination of East and West cultures, and it still manages to keep charm and traditions of the past. Due to the fact that people of different races and religions have been harmoniously coexisting here for ages, Penang can boast of a huge number of cultural and historic attractions of all kinds.
In addition, there is no another place in the whole world, where you can enjoy such delicious and inimitable dishes, which are the fantastic mix of Malaysian, Chinese and Indian cuisines!
Although, there are a quite large number of Penang attractions worth visiting, we have tried to choose only 10 most magnificent and exciting places you should try not to skip while staying on this island.

Penang National Park
Coordinates:  5.465715, 100.186901
Distance from the airport: 38.3 km
Driving time: 62 min
Gas consumed: 2.2 liters
Admission: free

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Despite the overpopulation and rapid industrial development of Penang, the island’s authorities somehow have managed to preserve a piece of the Malaysian rainforest with its rich flora and fauna almost untouched! And you can enjoy its beauty in the Northwestern part of the island where the National Park of Penang is located.

Penang Butterfly Farm
Coordinates:  5.447472, 100.215712
Distance from the airport:  32.7 km
Driving time: 51 min
Gas consumed:  2 liters
Admission:  15 – 27 RM

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Penang Butterfly Farm is like an open-air museum, where the role of exhibits is played by thousands of colorful butterflies of hundreds of different species! In addition to these beautiful creatures you can also watch giant centipedes, spiders, bees, snakes and other not less marvelous creatures.

Anyway, it’s a very popular tourist destination that once was even visited by former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his wife.

Snake Temple
Coordinates:  5.314203, 100.285241
Distance from the airport:  4.2 km
Driving time: 7 min
Gas consumed: 0.25 liters
Admission: free

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According to the legend, the Snake Temple has been built on the place of the house of one very pious and kind man. During his life, he used to give shelter to all kinds of animals, including poisonous snakes. And even after his death the snakes from surrounding territories continue gathering here.
But there is another completely opposite believe. Some people think that they are temple’s ministers who bring snakes into the temple.  What version do you think is correct?

Kek Lok Si
Coordinates:  5.399860, 100.273444
Distance from the airport:  15.2 km
Driving time: 27 min
Gas consumed: 0.9 liters
Admission: free

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Being the largest Buddhist temple complex in the whole of Malaysia, Kek Lok Si was built in the suburbs of Georgetown by immigrants in the late XIX century. The temple is famous mainly due to its impressive 36 meters high statue of the Chinese Goddess of Mercy.

Penang Hill
Coordinates:  5.433283, 100.266621
Distance from the airport:  21.6 km
Driving time: 43 min
Gas consumed: 1.3 liters
Admission: free
Penang Hill, which has a height of 821 meters, offers a nice opportunity to admire view of the Georgetown and 13 kilometer Penang Bridge, but only if the weather is good.
Penang Hill is among the favorite places of locals to have a lovely stroll or arrange a little picnic. At the foot of the hill, there is also a small but neat botanical garden with collections of orchids, ferns and other tropical plants.

Penang Bird Park
Coordinates:  5.393901, 100.394650
Distance from the airport: 24.6 km
Driving time:  28 min
Gas consumed: 1.5 liters
Admission:  10 -20 RM

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Despite its name, the park isn’t located on the Penang island itself, but on the mainland right next to the entrance to the Penang Bridge.

Although, the park is relatively small, it is a home for about 2500 birds of 300 species and can boast of very beautiful manmade landscapes with lovely ponds, waterfalls and groves of orchids.

Penang Cultural Centre
Coordinates:  5.460157, 100.218915
Distance from the airport:  35.3 km
Driving time: 50 min
Gas consumed:  2 liters
Admission:  free
Penang Culture Centre is the right place to get acquainted with the traditions and customs of the peoples inhabiting the island. Here you can enjoy performances of local artists and buy some unusual souvenirs in the bazaar located nearby.

Batu Ferringhi Beach
Coordinates:  5.475030, 100.247894
Distance from the airport: 31 km
Driving time: 60 min
Gas consumed:  1.9 liters
Admission:  free

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As it was mentioned before there are no good beaches suitable for swimming on Penang, but if you really want to make a refreshing dip in the cool waters, you can visit Batu Ferringhi Beach. It isn’t perfect, but it is considered the best and the cleanest beach of the whole island of Penang.

Kotmar
Coordinates:  5.414464, 100.329861
Distance from the airport:  18 km
Driving time: 25 min
Gas consumed:  1liter
Admission (ticket to the observation desk):  6 RM
Being the first skyscraper built in Penang, Kotmar is the symbol and the highest building of the island.  It has a height of 231.7 meters and considered the sixth highest building of Malaysia.
On the 60th floor of Kotmar there is an observation desk offering you amazing 360 degree view of the city of Georgetown!

Queensbay Mall
Coordinates:  5.333753, 100.306685
Distance from the airport:  9.6 km
Driving time: 16 min
Gas consumed:  1 liter

It’s the largest mall of Penang with 5 floors, 10 department stores and about 500 different shops. The perfect place for those, who can’t imagine vacation without shopping!

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Although, Penang has a well-developed system of public transport, still car rental vehicle will be more preferable for you, especially if you have a lack of time, but want to visit more Penang attractions.  Don’t be afraid of its cot, since it’s quite cheap to rent a car in Penang! Don’t believe! You can always check prices on car rental online: http://malaysia.rentalcars24h.com/penang-airport-int.

Author Bio: Lily Berns is a freelance writer and is keen on travelling around the world. For the very best deals on renting a car for your trip she recommends RentalCars24H