Monday, February 13, 2017

Where to stay in Penang?

The northern gateway to Malaysia, Penang’s the oldest British settlement in the country. Also known as Pulau Pinang (Pulau means “island” in Malay), the state capital, Georgetown, is a UNESCO listed World Heritage Site with a collection of over 12,000 surviving pre-war shop houses. Its best known as a giant beach resort with soft, sandy beaches and plenty of upscale hotels but locals will tell you that the island is the country’s unofficial food capital Georgetown.

Penang enjoys a warm equatorial climate. Average temperatures range between 29°C – 35 during the day and 26°C – 29°C during the night; however, being an island, temperatures here are often higher than the mainland and sometimes reaches as high as 35°C during the day. It’s best not to forget your sun block – the higher the SPF, the better. It’s mostly sunny throughout the day except during the monsoon seasons when the island experiences rainfall in the evenings.

So where to stay in Penang? Most of Penang’s fancier accommodation is in the form of beach resorts on the main tourist beach of Batu Feringghi. More backpacker-friendly options, as well as a few classical luxury hotels, can be found in Georgetown. You can find many budget hotels at Chulia Street, Muntri Street, and Love Lane area.

Penang Map. To view larger click here.

Named after the Prince of Wales, who later became King George IV, Georgetown has a long and illustrious history under its belt. On the northeast point of the island, the state capital, Georgetown (a World Heritage Site since 2008) is defined by four major streets: Lebuh Pantai, Lebuh Light, Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling and Lebuh Chulia. Playing host to over 12,000 surviving pre-war shop houses built by Chinese craftsmen and a skyline pierced by the Kompleks Tun Abdul Razak (KOMTAR) skyscraper, the city houses the island’s most popular sightseeing attractions as well as the best hawker fare in the state.

For hotels in Georgetown, room prices as well as customer reviews, you can visit Penang Georgetown hotels page.

Georgetown, Penang
Georgetown, Penang
Batu Feringghi

In the past, Penang’s main beach, Batu Ferringhi was best known as a hippie hangout. These days it’s a sprawling three km long white sand strip that plays host to scores of upmarket hotels. Also known as Foreigner’s Rock, the area is mostly frequented by package tourists and is especially in vogue with Middle Eastern visitors. Though the ocean waters of this palm-and-casuarina-tree lined coast aren’t crystal clear (holidaymakers just tend to stick close to the poolside of the plush resorts) it remains wildly popular. Batu Ferringhi’s night market is legendary and good food is ubiquitous along this strip.

For hotels in Batu Feringghi, room prices as well as customer reviews, you can visit Penang Batu Feringghi Beach hotels page.

Penang Batu Ferringhi beach
Penang Batu Ferringhi beach
Tanjung Bungah

A twenty-minute bus ride from Georgetown’s outskirts, Tanjung Bungah is a seaside suburb that was once a sleepy fishing village. It’s risen in popularity in recent years to become one of Penang’s most popular tourist destinations due to its close proximity to both Gurney Drive and Batu Ferringhi. Though the beaches here are not as pristine as those out further west, they’re still pleasant and hotels here are shipshape ventures and generally offer much cheaper rates. The Penang Water Sports Centre is based here.

For hotels in Tanjung Bungah, room prices as well as customer reviews, you can visit Penang Tanjung Bungah hotels page.

Tanjung Bungah
Gurney Drive

Though most people wouldn’t classify this as a separate area in and of itself, Gurney Drive is so wildly popular that you should spend some time exploring it. Otherwise known as Persiaran Gurney, it’s often referred to as ‘the new Esplanade’ (to differentiate it from the original Esplanade in Georgetown). There’s a deluge of hawker centres, seafood restaurants and a healthy nightlife scene that really kicks off the instant the sun goes down here. The waterfront strip also plays host to Gurney Plaza – one of the island’s best known shopping malls.

For hotels in Gurney Drive, room prices as well as customer reviews, you can visit Penang Gurney Drive hotels page.

Penang Gurney Drive
Penang Gurney Drive
Bayan Lepas

20 km south of Georgetown and 36 km from Batu Ferringhi, Bayan Lepas is Penang’s main industrial hub. Home to the Bayan Lepas International Airport, the area may not be the most aesthetically-pleasing spot on the island – there are a huge number of factories belonging to multinational companies centred here but it’s still moderately charming. Besides sightseeing attractions such as the Snake Museum, Batu Maung, Penang War Museum and the Bukit Jambul Orchid and Hibiscus Garden and Reptile Garden, the island’s biggest shopping mall, Queensbay Mall, calls this area home.

For hotels in Bayan Lepas, room prices as well as customer reviews, you can visit Penang Bayan Lepas hotels page.

Seberang Perai

Penang Island is connected to its 760sqkm peninsular province (Seberang Perai) via the 13km-long Penang Bridge as well as ferry services. Dubbed Province Wellesley by the British, its chief town is Butterworth, an industrial town that doubles as a transportation hub for the whole area. Generally used as a halfway stop between Bangkok and Singapore, Seberang Perai’s bus station, port complex, train station and taxi stand lie right on Butterworth’s quayside. Of Penang’s 1.4 million residents, 54% live on the mainland; rapidly expanding, its one of Penang’s only areas enthusiastically embracing the 21st century.

For hotels in Seberang Perai, room prices as well as customer reviews, you can visit Penang Seberang Perai hotels page.

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