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George Town Heritage Walk
Spend a morning wandering through the charming hodgepodge of crumbling British colonial buildings, past the Chinese temples and shophouses emblazoned with street art, and through Little India’s intoxicating scents before stopping off at one of the many bustling hawker centres to tuck into a plate of the iconic noodle dish, char kway teow, or a steaming bowl of Asam Laksa.
Penang National Park
To make the most of Malaysia’s lush offerings, head to Penang National Park which, at just 23 square kilometres, is a compact and easy way to experience everything on offer, from jungle walks to fishing and sunbathing on long, sandy beaches. Slow and easy is the 30-minute coastal meander past Sungai Tukun to Tanjung Ailing, where the USM research centre is located. For something a bit more challenging, head south from the suspension bridge towards Pantai Kerachut, a powdery white sandy beach – also a great picnic pitstop. One your way, make sure to pause at Meromictic lake which, comprising of two separate layers of freshwater on top and sweater below, has its own unique ecosystem.
Escape the heat of George Town for a fresh, unpolluted walk under 30-metre high trees along the nature trails of Penang Hill. The last patch of tropical rain forest in Penang, the flora and fauna here, has been protected since 1960. Head to the top by railway, one of the world’s oldest funicular systems. Once there, enjoy views of the mountains of Langkawi on a clear day or meander along the Canopy Walk, a 220m walkway suspended between towering trees. If you happen to visit at night, enjoy the spread of George Town’s twinkling lights below.
Pinang Peranakan Mansion
Penang’s Peranakan culture is best experienced at Pinang Peranakan Mansion, the house-turned-museum of a 19th-century merchant and clan leader. Here, wander among the thousands of Peranakan artefacts, antiques and collectables displayed in grand interiors. While in the area, check out the Chung Keng Kwi Temple and the Straights Chinese Jewellery Museum, which will dazzle with its vintage bling.
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