Friday, October 8, 2010



Approximately 112km south of Langkawi, lies the island of PENANG the 'Pearl of the Orient'. When first discovered by Captain Francis Light in 1786, the island was filled with lush tropical vegetation. The betel nut palm was a common sight all over the island - a fact which gave rise to the name of Pulau Pinang (Island of the Betel Nut). Penang has come a long way from its early beginnings as the first British trading post in the Far East. Its capital Georgetown is a bustling metropolitan city with a unique blend of East and West.

By contrast, the famous beaches of Penang - Tanjung Bungah, Batu Ferringhi and Teluk Bahang offer all the scenic delights of tropical island paradise - stretches of golden sandy beaches, clear blue seas and tiny secluded coves enclosed by clusters of rocks. Penang is a resort island in full bloom with numerous hotels of international standard fronting the sea along the beaches on its northern coastlines. The range of facilities and amenities available here makes it an ideal playground for worshippers of the sun and the sea.

But there is another side of Penang that still remains to be discovered. Along the northwestern coastline are some of the fine beaches on the island. Imagine a sparkling sea, powdery white sand, sunlight filtering through coconut groves - the scene of perfect tranquillity. These beaches remain as Penang's best kept secrets because they are relatively inaccessible except by hiking through jungle trails. The rewards would make the effort really worthwhile.

Places of Interest

Batu Ferringhi's Sidewalk Bazaar

Batu Ferringhi's Sidewalk Bazaar

Batu Ferringh is a haven for a string of world-class resorts including rows of specialty restaurants and shops. Business is often brisk here, and one particular business that's currently thriving and attracting the tourist mass is the sidewalk bazaar that's held every evening. As the sun sets, the sidewalks facing the Batu Ferringhi road become cluttered with makeshift stalls. The string of stalls stretch all the way from Shangri-la's Rasa Sayang Hotel to the Casuarina Hotel, offering tourists a variety of cheap merchandise especially of the 'bootleg' sort. While there's a wide assortment of 'Penang' handicrafts, there's an even bigger selection of imitation goods ranging from designer apparel, leather bags, watches to CDs, VCDs and computer games. Nearly every stall has them and the prices are more or less the same from stall to stall. You can try haggling but it's always wiser to compare prices first before buying. In that way you'll know you're getting a good deal or not. For those who prefer to shop in a less congested setting (minus the hurly-burly sales talk) will find a handful of curio shops nearby more suited to their taste. These shops mostly offer handicraft souvenirs at nett but
affordable prices.

The stalls operate from about 6.00pm to 12.00am daily

Penang Bird Park

Penang Bird Park, Seberang Jaya

The first & largest bird park of its kind in Malaysia. Established since 1988, the 5-acre park on the mainland portion of Penang State, has a collection of more that 300 species of birds from all over the world, of which more than 150 species are of Malaysian Species.

More than 3,000 birds in this park are carefully and scientifically housed in more than 150 cages for the breeding and conservation purpose. While the Geodesic Domes and 2 giant sized Walk-in-Aviaries, keep hundreds of tamed birds which offers priceless memory and exciting moment for visitors, after hand-feeding them. Exotic birds ranging from tiny Sunbirds to huge, gigantic 8-foot tall Ostriches frolic in an environment that imitates their natural habitat. Penang Bird Park is particularly proud of its hornbills, sunbirds, and pheasants collection.

Penang Bird Park is the bird-park loved by the expert ornithologists as well as for the people of all ages who love birds.

Taman Burung Pulau Pinang

How to get there?
Situated on the mainland along the North-South Highways, reachable in 10 mins from the Ferry terminals by bus, or 5 minutes drive from the Penang Bridge toll plaza. Driving along the North-South Highways - turn off at Seberang Jaya interjuntions, following the road signs to Butterworth. Or take special bus from Komtar direct to Seberang Jaya. Free parking for all cars and coaches.

Entrance Fees:
Adult - RM 10
Children (below 12 year-old) - RM 5
School Children (with school uniform) - RM 2
Camera - RM 1
Physically and/or mentally handicapped & under privileged persons are allowed free entranceOpen daily:
9.00am - 7.00pm including weekends & all Public Holidays.

Address: Jalan Todak, Seberang Jaya, 13700 Perai, Penang,

Tel : 604-399 1899
Fax : 604-399 1899

Botanic Gardens

Penang Botanic Gardens

The Penang Botanic Gardens, more popularly known as "Waterfall Gardens", was established by the British way back in 1884 from an old granite quarry site. It lies in a deep valley, at the foot of 366 feet jungle clad hills, bound by evergreen tropical rain forests, divided by a cascading stream that meanders through a sprawling 29 hectares of prime and undulating grounds.

Its lush greenery and tranquil setting makes it a favourite park and a popular tourist attraction. It is Penang's unique natural heritage, being the only one of its kind in Malaysia. Besides, being a repository of flora & unique to the country and to the region, it serves as a "green lung" for Metropolitan Penang.

Scenes Activities in the Gardens Scenes Activities in the Gardens
Scenes & Activities in the Gardens
The Penang Botanic Gardens is Penang's unique asset, being the only gardens of its kind in Malaysia. Various floras unknown to many are found in these gardens. Besides being a botanic centre, the garden is a popular recreational spot.

Early in the morning, many people come to the Gardens to jog, exercise and enjoy clean fresh air. As the day goes on, hundred of visitors come to sit at the lawn, by the stream or underneath the shade of trees.

Penang Botanic Gardens

Visiting Hour & Admission
Open from 5.00 am to 8.00 pm every day of the year.
Admission is Free at the Main Entrance.

Plant Information Kiosk
Available at the Gardens Office from 8.00 am to 4.30 pm on working weekdays. Closed on weekend and public holidays.

Healthy Gardens
The Penang Botanic Gardens was selected as a Healthy Recreational Gardens and Tourist Destination by the Health Ministry of Malaysia.

Access to the Gardens
The Gardens is located at the far end of Jalan Kebun Bunga, approximately 8 km from Georgetown city. You can reach there by boarding transit link bus No.7. Parking bays for motor vehicles are provided and it is located nearby the main entrance.

Refreshments & Souvenirs
Refreshments and Souvenirs are available at the Gardens Shop (Botanika) besides the Formal Gardens.

Recreational / Picnic areas, toilets, wheelchair access walkways, Bandstand, Gazebos, jogging tracks, jungle trails, resting lawns and plant nursery.

Group Tours
Available only by prior arrangement - phone 604-2270428
Tel: 604- 2270 428
Fax: 604- 2286 075
Address: Jalan Kebun Bunga, 10350 Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

Bukit Jambul Orchid and Hibiscus Garden
Bukit Jambul Orchid and Hibiscus Garden

The Bukit Jambul Orchid & Hibiscus Garden and Reptile House are located along Persiaran Bukit Jambul, close to the Hotel Equatorial; only a leisurely 5-minute drive away from the Penang International Airport.

The two hectares park at Bukit Jambul includes the Orchid and Hibiscus Farm and Reptile Farm. Visitors to the garden will enjoy the spectacular collection of a wide variety of hibiscus, orchid and tropical flowers near a cascading waterfall. Others are the deer park, an ornamental Japanese pond, a cactus garden, a tea kiosk, a pottery corner and several plant sale areas.

Bukit Jambul Orchid and Hibiscus Garden

Opening Hours: 9:30am - 5:30pm
Admission Fee: RM 4 (adults) / RM 1 (children)

Address: Persiaran Bukit Jambul, 11900 Penang
Tel: +604-6448863

Penang Butterfly Farm (PBF)

Penang Butterfly Farm (PBF)

The Penang Butterfly Farm (PBF), the first tropical butterfly farm ever set up in the world, was founded in 1986. It is located in Telok Bahang, a fishing village located north of the island.

Talk about dreams coming true and ideas taking shape. Out of the strength came forth sweetness ?and one man's lifelong fascination with butterflies has resulted in a 1 hectare (and growing!) home and sanctuary to a wide variety of insects, reptiles, fishes and plants. Protected from natural predators and unfriendly environments, butterflies in this sanctuary turn into little Methuselahs, living for as long as 14 days. In their natural habitats, the average lifespan would be about three days.

At the last count, the Penang Butterfly Farm is sanctuary to an average flying population of 4,000 Malaysian butterflies from 120 different species, including some very rare and famous ones, like the Indian Leaf (Kallima paralekta), the endangered Yellow Birdwing (Troides helena) and the Rajah Brooke's Birdwing, arguably Malaysia's most well-known insect.

Penang Butterfly Farm
Visiting Hours:
Mondays to Fridays from 9:00am to 5:00pm
Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays from 9:00am to 5:30pm

RM 12.50 (adult), RM 6.25 (child from 5-12 years of age)
Free for children below 5 years of age.

Penang Butterfly Farm
No 830 Jalan Teluk Bahang, 11050 Penang, Malaysia
Tel: 604-885 1253 Fax: 604-885 2011 / 885 1741

Cheong Fatt Tze

Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion

The breathtaking indigo of its exterior walls harmonizing perfectly with the cerulean blue of the sky behind it might seem to some to be 'feng shui perfection.' The observation is not far from the truth, because indeed many other feng shui symbols are to be found meticulously incorporated into the architecture of this courtyard mansion, if you know where to look.

Built by Cheong Fatt Tze in the 1880s, the stately mansion (located in present day Leith Street) was built by master craftsmen from China using building materials imported from the West. Tour guides will be pleased to tell you about the building's 38 rooms, five granite-paved courtyards, seven staircases and 220 windows. The mansion fell from grace a few years after the passing of its owner and was for a while even used as a tenement house.It wasn't until 1990 when a group of heritage preservationists rushed to its rescue. Ten years later, restoration of the Cheong Fatt Tze mansion deservedly won the UNESCO Asia Pacific Heritage Award 2000.

Cheong Fatt Tze

You are invited to participate in a fully conducted tour at 11.00 am or 3.00 pm Monday to Friday and 11.00 am every Saturday and Sunday. Tours for educational purposes - schools, colleges, companies etc. may be privately arranged at special prices.

Price : RM 10.00 per person. Tickets may be purchased at the Mansion or contacting this number : 6-04-262 5289  or email:
Address: 14, Leith Street, 10200 Penang, Malaysia

Cheong Fatt Tze

Penang City Hall

City Hall, Esplanade

The City Hall (Dewan Bandaraya) building opened in 1903 and, together with the adjacent Town Hall, constitutes a handsome pair of colonial architectural relics framing the edge of the historic Padang Kota Lama (green field). Visually feasting over its pretty Victorian facades leaves one with the feeling that perhaps it deserves better than serving as the periodic meeting place of the Council Chamber of the Penang Municipal. Nevertheless at least it is being preserved.

Open hours:
8.00am - 4.15pm (Monday - Friday)
8.00am - 12.45pm (Saturday)

Address: Jalan Padang Kota Lama, 10200 Penang, Malaysia.


Next to Fort Cornwallis is the Esplanade, a popular waterfront promenade which stretches from the hawker stalls at one end to the clock tower at the other. Central in the Esplanade is the Padang, a huge square of town green. Standing proudly beside is the City Hall, a stately colonial building which is a fine example of British palladian architecture featuring magnificent Corinthian columns and huge windows. It was once the seat of local government

Penang-Clock Tower

Clock Tower, Pesara King Edward

A clock tower at the junction of Jalan Tun Syed Sheh Barakbah and Lebuh Light. The clock tower built to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria. The 60 feet high clock tower is divided into four tiers. The first tier is octagonal, followed by square base. Second and third tiers and finishes by arched and domed cupola. Moorish design elements such as the dome and arches, the balconies on the second tier with horse shoe arched openings, battlemented parapet of the first tier and etc. were used in the design. The clock placed on the third tier. From a far the clock tower look more like a minaret of a mosque.

Dharmikarama Burmese Temple

Dharmikarama Burmese Temple

A pair of elephants guard the entrance to this Burmese temple. within the pagoda grounds is a Boddhi tree and a wishing pond. It is the scene of many festivities during the water festival in April.

Open hours: 5.00am - 6.00pm
Entrance fee: Free

Address: 24 Lorong Burmah, 10250 Penang

Fort Cornwallis

Fort Cornwallis

Fort Cornwallis is situated at the spot where Captain Francis Light was supposed to have landed in 1786. Originally a wooden structure, the fort was rebuilt between 1808 and 1810 with convict labour. It was named after Charles Marquis Cornwallis, a distinguished Governor General of India, and designed to protect the harbour from possible French attacks.

Today, much of the old fort remains, but its precincts have been converted into a public park and an open air theater. It is still guarded by old cannons, which were retrieved by the British from pirates who had captured them from the Johore Sultanate.

The most famous of the cannons is Seri Rambai, which dates back to 1613. Local beliefs have it that childless women can become fertile by placing flowers in the barrel of the cannon and offering special prayers.

Fort Cornwallis Fort Cornwallis
Opening hours:
8.30am-7.00pm daily

RM1.00 per person

Address: Padang Kota Lama, 10200 Penang, Malaysia



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