March 30, 2020

Penang: The Pearl of the Orient

Malaysia is a very beautiful country. It has a well-developed tourism sector. It attracts tens of thousands of travellers every year. Its tourism sector has been consistently growing for last few decades. The growth is owned to the extra-ordinary attention the Malaysian government gives to this sector, which helps them earn a significant amount of money every year.

In this edition, one of the beautiful tourist attractions of this country is explored. That is none other than Penang, which is nicknamed as the Pearl of the Orient.

From its colonial history to its present

The modern history of the city started when Captain Francis Light from the British Empire established GeorgeTown in the region in the year 1786. It later became a part of the Straits Settlements of the empire. It was in the year 1867 that the city was recognised as a proper British crown colony. No serious challenges were faced by the colonial British, except the intrusion of the Japanese forces during the World War Two period. In those days, the region went under the direct control of Japan. However, later, it was regained by the colonial British, after the end of its war with the axis powers. In the year 1957, along with many other countries in that part of the world, Penang won its independence. And, shortly after that, it merged with the, then, Federation of Malaya – now, Malaysia.

Cemetery in George Town in Penang Island in Malaysia in Southeast Asia Far East.

Penang is now the integral part of Malaysia. The region, popularly known as the Silicon Valley of the East, contributes heavily to the economy of this country. The economic giant enjoys the highest Gross Domestic Product per capita among all states in the country. Not only is it popular for its GDP per capita, but also it is renowned for its Human Development Index. Its health and education infrastructure is highly developed, compared to the rest of the country. Notably, its youth literacy rate is a bit shorter than 100 per cent (that is, around 99.5 per cent).

The heterogeneous Penangite 

Its unity in diversity is the message that Penang gives to the world. Penang is a heterogeneous society. It has a highly diverse culture, religion, ethnicity and language. Chinese, Indians and Malays constitute the three main races in this region. It also contains a significant number of Eurasians. What makes the region different is that unlike many other regions across the world the differences do not bother Penangites too much. In fact, the best part is that they do not see any difference among them.

A trip to Penang

Beautiful beaches, attractive archaeological sites, exceptional heritage sites, vibrant cities, magnificent gardens, rejuvenating religious sites, spectacular shopping malls and eye-catching markets are what bring tourists towards this land.

Tanjung Bungah, Penang Hill, Snake Temple, George Town, and Tropical Spice Plantation are the main attractions in the country.

Tanjung Bungah Beach

Tanjung Bungah is known for its beaches and beach resorts. There are several beautiful beaches, both small and large, in this region. The city is a home to a large number of expatriates. At least 5.7 per cent of the total population of the city are expatriates. Travellers come to this city mostly to experience the vibe of the modern costal settlement.

Penang Hills

Penang Hill is the former retreat of the Colonial British. Now, it is the most popular tourist destination in Penang. The hill resort in this destination attracts numerous travellers each year. It is the best place to experience true natural beauty in the country. The hills are abundantly blessed with the gifts of nature. Unlike many other hill stations in the world, this is perfectly connected with the help of railway. The Penang Hill Railway connects this destination to the rest of the country.

Snake Temple

Snake Temple is a perfect destination for spiritual minds.The temple is a Buddhist spiritual centre dedicated for Buddhist monk Chor Soo Kong. It is an early 19th century building. Devotees from as far away as Taiwan, Singapore and, even, China visit this temple. Special rituals are there in the temple on the birth anniversary of the monk. On that day, usually, the temple witnesses more visitors than usual. It is the architectural beauty that attacks travellers to this temple, apart from its spiritual element.

George Town

George Town is the capital city of Penang. It is best place to experience the vibe of modernity. It is the most developed city in the region. It is the centre of all business activities in this part of the country. It has several archaeological sites which highlight the richness of the culture of Penang. The city is also popular for medical tourism. Another element that makes this city different is its street food culture. The city offers a wide variety of street food items. It is best place to experience the food culture of the region.

Tropical Spice Garden

Tropical Spice Garden is like a hidden beauty. It represents the real Penang (that is the real beauty that lies underneath the dark shade of modernity). At least 500 plant species are found in this garden. Garden tour is the most exciting activity that can be done here. Apart from the garden tour, the garden offers night walk and other interesting activities related to that. Here, there are opportunity to learn a bit deep about the art of cooking and to understand the indigenous food items and their preparations.

It is a beautiful place to spend your next vacation. Book your trip today itself.

Pic Courtesy: google/ images are subject to copyright

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