Penang, Malaysia

In 1786 Francis Light persuaded the Sultan of Kedah to cede Pulau Pinang - the "Isle of Betel nut" - to the English crown. Legend has it that Light persuaded his men to clear the overgrown island of Penang by firing a cannon filled with gold coins into the jungle as an incentive. The island was renamed Prince of Wales Island, and its major town was christened Georgetown after King George III. Whether the story is true or not, Penang quickly became a major trading port for tea, spices, china and cloth. Here European, Malaysian, Hindu, Arabic and Chinese cultures met, melded and flourished. Today George Town is a cosmopolitan city that has preserved its unique heritage and its exotic blend of cultures.

George Town is perhaps the best-preserved city in Southeast Asia. It boasts a European-style esplanade and a wealth of temples, mosques and Chinese clan houses. Listed as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site in 2008, this virgin paradise has no shortage of cultural sights and natural scenery.

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Points of Interest

  • Entopia by Penang Butterfly Farm
  • Khoo Kongsi
  • Penang Museum
  • Wat Chayamangkalarm (Reclining Buddha)
  • Kek Lok Si
  • Botanical Gardens
  • Baba Nyonya Mansion
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More about Penang, Malaysia Points of Interest

  • Entopia by Penang Butterfly Farm

    A peaceful haven, Penang's butterfly farm, is home over 100 species of live butterflies. Walk through their covered aviary and the landscaped gardens that boast waterfalls, wooden bridges and ponds.

  • Khoo Kongsi

    Boasting intricate carvings, Khoo Kongsi is one of the finest examples of a traditional Clan House found outside of Mainland China. Located in the oldest part of the city, it dates back to 1906.

  • Penang Museum

    Built in 1821, this impressive Museum occupies the original Penang Free School, and its extensive collections include old photographs, maps and charts, as well as Southeast Asian art and artifacts.

  • Wat Chayamangkalarm (Reclining Buddha)

    Reclining Buddha Temple is a traditional Thai Buddhist temple which features the fourth-largest reclining Buddha in the world. This magnificent, gold-covered statue is over one hundred feet long.

  • Kek Lok Si

    The Temple of Paradise sits on Penang Hill and is the largest Buddhist temple in Southeast Asia. It features a seven-story pagoda and architecture that reflects Thai, Chinese and Burmese influences.

  • Botanical Gardens

    Established by the British in 1884, the gardens are also known as the 'Waterfall Gardens', and features native and hybrid orchids, as well as collections of cacti, ferns, bamboo and flowering trees.

  • Baba Nyonya Mansion

    The typical home of a rich Baba of a century ago is recreated to offer a glimpse of their opulent lifestyle and their many customs and traditions.

9 EXCURSIONS

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George Town: Little India, Markets & Botanical Garden

3.5 hours | Penang | PEN-200
  • Botanical Gardens

Join your friendly guide for a half-day walk through Penang's capital, George Town, named after Britain's King George III. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, you will board your bus for a scenic drive through the city's commercial district to the heart of the Old City. Enjoy a stroll the lively wet market, and watch as the locals barter for fresh meat, fruits and vegetables.Next head to the wonderful Botanical Garden. Established by the British in 1884, the gardens are home to native and hybrid orchids as well as cacti, ferns, bamboo, flowering trees, and shrubs. Here, you will also be able to view the garden's long-tail macaques. End the tour with a guided walk through the narrow streets of Little India, where the air is heavy with the odor of spices.

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Moderate Activity, Shopping Opportunities

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$29.95

Taste of Penang

4 hours | Penang | PEN-310

Known as the "food capital of Malaysia," Penang's local food scene is highlighted on this tasty tour. Your tour begins as you board a motorcoach and travel a short distance to the Penang Cocoa Boutique to be enticed by over 300 product varieties of chocolate. A variety of rooms - each with a different theme, such as "fruits," "panned chocolate" and "Malaysian Collection" - will tantalize you. A short walk will have you in a cloud of aromas at the Coffee Tree, home to Penang White Coffee or if tea is your "cup of tea" try some of the different varieties at Penang Tea Leaf. Save some of your appetite for the final stop, the Penang foodie's corner, where you may purchase and enjoy a variety of Penang's local foods made before your eyes by friendly vendors. Satiated, conclude your tour with a short drive back to port.

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Moderate Activity, Shopping Opportunities

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$29.95

Butterfly Farm & Gardens

4.5 hours | Penang | PEN-235
  • Entopia by Penang Butterfly Farm
  • Botanical Gardens

Your half day nature excursion starts with a drive to the magical Botanical Gardens, through the enchanting capital city of Penang - George Town - was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008 and drive through the residential area and colonial-era villas outskirts of George Town. Established by the British in 1884, the gardens are home to native and hybrid orchids as well as cacti, ferns, bamboo, flowering trees, and shrubs. Here, you will also be able to view the garden's long-tail macaques. In northern Penang, passing scenic drive along Batu Feringgi one of Asia's most beautiful beaches before arriving at Entopia by Penang butterfly farm. Stroll through their covered aviary, which is home to more than 100 species of live butterflies. End the day at the lush Tropical Spice Gardens, which boasts more than 500 species of native and exotic plants. View their staggering collection of herbs, spices, bamboos, ginger plants, heliconias and orchids. Heading back to port you will enjoy more scenic countryside and coastal views.

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Moderate Activity, Shopping Opportunities

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$49.95

Batik Factory & Butterfly Farm

5 hours | Penang | PEN-205
  • Entopia by Penang Butterfly Farm

This delightful sight-seeing tour is a special treat for passengers who are interested in nature and crafts. Your exciting half-day excursion starts with a warm welcome from your driver and guide, before heading along George Town's bustling waterfront, where you will continue to the north tip of Penang Island. Driving along the beautiful bays at Batu Ferringhi, one of Asia's most beautiful beaches, you will then circle the island, passing traditional Malay villages, rice fields, and spice plantations. At a batik factory, view a fun demonstration of this traditional art before heading to Entopia by Penang's butterfly farm. View the aviary which hosts over 100 species of live butterflies, and enjoy the farm's landscaped gardens. Stop in a charming kampung village, a fine example of traditional Malay life, where houses are built on stilts, before shopping for fruits and spices at a stall in Penang.

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Moderate Activity, Shopping Opportunities

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$49.95

Suffolk House & Francis Light Cemetery

4 hours | Penang | PEN-210

Discover George Town, Penang's capital city, renowned for its historic buildings and landmarks. This designated UNESCO World Heritage Site is anchored by the Esplanade, your first stop. A motorcoach takes you to this seaside promenade, home to many of the city's most esteemed structures and memorials. Visit the historic Fort Cornwallis, one of the largest and best-preserved forts, for a photo stop. Explore George Town's preserved colonial area dating back to the 19th century. Then it's on to the 200-year-old Suffolk House, a significant colonial landmark and architectural gem. Travel through time at Francis Light Cemetery, which honors the town's founder, followed by a look at the charming Weld Quay Clan Jetties at the waterfront. This water-village is raised on stilts and accessible by a long walkway. At the completion of the day, you'll head back to port.

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Moderate Activity, Shopping Opportunities

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$49.95

Temple of Ten Thousand Buddhas

4.5 hours | Penang | PEN-260
  • Wat Chayamangkalarm (Reclining Buddha)
  • Kek Lok Si

It's culture and shopping rolled into one tour. Your tour begins with a scenic drive en route to the central part of Penang Island, home to the magnificent Buddhist Kek Lok Si Temple, one of the best-known temples on the island and one of the largest in Southeast Asia. Commanding its hilltop location, the Kek Lok Si Temple complex is made up of three areas: encompassing garden grounds, a Seven Tier Pagoda that seamlessly entwines Chinese, Thai and Burmese architecture, and a Tortoise Longevity Pond. After exploring this tranquil area, you will then visit the amazing Reclining Buddha Temple, a traditional Thai Buddhist temple which features the fourth-largest reclining Buddha in the world. This magnificent, gold-covered statue is over one hundred feet long - and is truly an amazing sight to behold. At the local products shop you'll have an opportunity to shop for the things that make Penang famous like tambun biscuits, dragon ball biscuits, nutmeg juices and other local specialties. Then, relax on the scenic drive back to port.

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Strenuous Activity, Shopping Opportunities

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$49.95

Temples & Penang Famous Homes

3.5 hours | Penang | PEN-220
  • Khoo Kongsi
  • Wat Chayamangkalarm (Reclining Buddha)
  • Baba Nyonya Mansion

Photography enthusiasts will enjoy studying beautiful Penang through the lens, as this is easily one of the most photographic cities in Asia. Board your motorcoach and travel to the bustling capital of George Town, which showcases over 200 years of history and culture and offers a wonderful mix of historic sites. Visit the famed Wat Chayamangkalaram, a Siamese temple home to the fourth largest reclining Buddha in the world. Then, see the elegant Pinang Peranakan Mansion, a showpiece belonging to wealthy Chung Keng Quee (Kapitan) from China. Next, visit another magnificent architectural property, Khoo Kongsi, considered the most picturesque structure in Penang. Your final stop is the century-old Clan Jetties, one of the last standing bastions of the Chinese settlements on the island. These homes are raised on stilts, and the water-villages are accessible by a long walkway. Once the last picture has been taken, a quick drive takes you to port.

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Moderate Activity, Shopping Opportunities

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$49.95

Spice Garden, Butterfly Farm & Pewter Center

4.5 hours | Penang | PEN-215
  • Entopia by Penang Butterfly Farm

Beauty abounds on this pleasant day of natural splendor and cultural artistry. Begin with a scenic motorcoach ride to the splendid Tropical Spice Garden, an eight-acre enchanted paradise, with over 500 species of indigenous flora and fauna. Flutter from one magical site to another. Your next stop is a tropical butterfly farm. Tour this living museum to see butterflies in their natural environments. Finally, explore the cultural beauty of Malaysia at Straits Quay, an exciting enclave of retail shops, restaurants and a performing arts center. Here, you will visit the internationally renowned pewter manufacturer Royal Selangor. At Royal Selangor Pewter Visitors' Centre, you will embark on an interactive tour and learn the history of one of Malaysia's oldest and most famous domestic brands and even try your hand at it yourself! A short ride back on the motorcoach returns you to the port.

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Moderate Activity, Shopping Opportunities

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$69.95

Best of Penang

7.5 hours | Penang | PEN-100
  • Entopia by Penang Butterfly Farm
  • Wat Chayamangkalarm (Reclining Buddha)
  • Kek Lok Si
  • Baba Nyonya Mansion

This stunning day drip is the perfect way to experience the best of this beautiful region. Drive through George Town to the magnificent Temple of Paradise, the largest Buddhist temple in Southeast Asia, and view the seven-story pagoda. Visit the Baba Nyonya Mansion, a private home belonging to a Chinese Kapitan, which has been lovingly restored, and the amazing Reclining Buddha Temple, a traditional Thai Buddhist temple which features the fourth-largest reclining Buddha in the world. Tour Penang's butterfly farm, and a walk through their aviary, which is home over 100 species of live butterflies, before visiting a batik factory. Enjoy a demonstration of this traditional art of printing fabric, and purchase batik goods. Enjoya delicious lunch at a leading hotel restaurant and also enjoy scenic drive along Batu Feringgi, one of Asia's most beautiful beaches, and Fort Cornwallis, a star-shaped fortress which dates back to 1810.

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Moderate Activity, Shopping Opportunities, Includes meal

From

$109.95