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Top 5 Penang Experiences

There’s something for everyone in Penang.  While this is not meant to be a travelers’ shortlist (visitors are certainly welcome to it), I felt it relevant to name the Top 5 list of  Penang experiences from a local’s perspective…mine.

1. Feast on a smorgasbord of street food in George Town

You can’t escape it.  We (the locals) wax lyrical about our love of Penang food.   The hawkers have elevated street food into a national treasure promoted by the Ministry of Tourism on a global scale.   So put away the need for courtesy and pig out till your heart’s content on the best street food this side of the earth.  From comfort food (Char Kway Teow, Kway Teow Th’ng) to desserts (Chendol, Nyonya Kueh) there is always something tasty to be discovered at every turn around George Town.   To find out where the locals are feasting check out the Penang Street Food iPhone app : http://bit.ly/hHeR0z.

2. The Penang Bridge International Marathon

This is the only time where pedestrians are welcomed on the Penang Bridge, the longest bridge in South East Asia at 13.5 kilometers. 20 November 2011 is the only time when traffic on the bridge is diverted and runners of all shapes and fitness levels take over.   This is certainly the most healthy and fit way to catch the sunrise over the Pearl of the Orient. Definitely penciled in for 2011…

3. Try alternative transport: Trishaws & Ferries

Foreign tourists do it.  Locals should do it more often…see George Town from a unique vantage point, on a trishaw. This is definitely the best way to get to know the alleyways, the ins and outs of George Town.  And is infinitely a more organic experience (think sounds and smells) than traveling in a car with the air-conditioning at full blast! Another way to experience travel with the sea breeze on your face is to traverse the Penang Straits by ferry.  Get out from behind the wheel and absorb the Penang skyline from the upper deck of the ferry, it’s the most relaxing 15 minutes of travel I can think of.

4. Haggling for discounts at Batu Ferringhi night market

It’s hot and humid, crowded and loud.   But it is worth it when you land the next two months worth of visual entertainment for under RM100, or that lookalike designer handbag that cost the earth for a fraction of the price.  Don’t forget to bargain if you are not around the locality!

5. Dining in style & heritage at Suffolk House

Sir Francis Light bequeathed the Suffolk Estate to his wife, Martina Rozells, upon his death. The Suffolk House was then and is now (after serious intervention by conservationists for restoration) a “splendid mansion” built in a mixed Anglo-Indian style. Today, Suffolk House is Penang’s best formal dining restaurant and a testament to Penang’s history. You almost feel transported through time amongst the refurbished glamour of this mansion that used to host British gentry and high society.  More info : www.suffolkhouse.com.my.

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One Response to “Top 5 Penang Experiences”

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Si Si Wong. Si Si Wong said: RT @PenangStFood: Counting down the new year with the Top 5 #Penang experiences. http://bit.ly/hRXlWx http://fb.me/Lp14Q16K [...]

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