Top things to do in Penang
Penang Island is located on the northwest side of Peninsular Malaysia. It took us approximately 4hours from Kuala Lumpur, where we were staying at Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral, this provided easy access and pickups for all our activities in Malaysia.For our day trip to Penang, we used Devine Holiday/ Kuala Lumpur Travel Tour to plan our trip. The travel company only provide privately organized tours, so we had the tour van to ourselves and no rushed sightseeing.
The Snake Temple/ Temple of Azure Cloud
From the outside, the temple felt calm nothing to worry about. However, once inside, you get to see a variety of snakes, you can hold one if you so wish as well as take pictures. I honestly, could not get myself to hold any, the mere sight of the snakes, made me shiver. Truth be told, it was just out of curiosity and well…FOMO(Fear Of Missing Out) that made me go there in the first place.
The temple was built in honor of Choo Soo Kong, a Buddhist priest, and healer, as a result of a generous donation by David Brown who is believed to have been cured of an incurable illness by Choo Soo Kong. It is believed that he gave shelter to snakes and upon his death after the temple was built, the snakes moved into the temple on their own.
It is also known as Bukit Bendera by the Malay name meaning Flagstaff Hill. Coincidentally, Bendera I the Swahili name for Flag. It takes about 15minutes to get to the top of the hill using the Penang Hill Railway train which we boarded from its base station at Jalan Bukit Bendera. Since our visit to Penang was a day trip and we did not have time to waste. We bought the Fast Lane tickets- who’s queue was shorter, first priority to board the train and guaranteed sitting. At the top of the hill, you get to enjoy panoramic views of the island and mainland. There are a variety of things to do on the hill which you can find here, they include restaurants, trails, souvenir shops, sketch artists, owl museum and a temple.
Temples, Mosque and Church
Penang has a number of temples with amazing architecture dated from way back and are very big in size. We visited the Kek Lok Si Temple which is the largest Buddhist temple in Malaysia, Dharmmikarama Burmese Temple which is the oldest in Penang, Wat Chayamangkalaram (Thai Buddhist Temple), Kapitan Keling Mosque which is the largest mosque in Georgetown, Goddess of Mercy Temple which is one of the most important Chinese temples in Penang and lastly St George’s Church which is the oldest purpose-built Anglican Church in South East Asia.
Georgetown Street Art
We then decided to take a stroll around Georgetown looking for the famous street art, we are glad to say we found a majority of them. In 2012, Penang’s Municipal commissioned Ernest Zacharevic to create art that would transform the old town which he did. There are a variety of murals which bring out a lot of vibrancy to the streets and also attract tourists like us. You can find a map here to help you locate the street art since they are located on different streets.
Where to have lunch
Our tour guide gave us options of restaurants to have lunch and we were pleased with the choice we made Kopitan Classic Penang Delight, located in Georgetown Penang. They have good and fast service, free WIFI, amazing and variety of food.
We arrived back at our hotel at around 10 pm, it was an activity-filled day 🙂
Traveling expands one’s ideologies, creates beautiful experiences and lasting memories.~ Lynn Muturi_Githaiga