Postcard from Penang Island

08 Aug 2014

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Located on the Malacca Strait in Malaysia’s tropical north, Penang Island is a favourite holiday destination and popular cruise stop. Known for its historic architecture and colonial charms, the island offers an idyllic location from which to enjoy the rich culture of Malaysia.

As part of her honeymoon, Travel Associates consultant Susan Anderson travelled the Malacca Strait, making a stop at Penang’s bustling capital city George Town. Founded in the late 1700s as a British outpost and trading base, George Town grew quickly, and today much of its colonial heritage can still be seen in the form of 18th and 19th century architecture.

Dusk at George Town Penang Island

George Town, Penang is a frequent stop on many cruise itineraries and the port is conveniently located in the heart of the city’s historical district. Walk outside the cruise terminal and visitors will find themselves just across the street from historic Fort Cornwallis. Built in the late 1700s, the fort’s massive walls still stand strong. Century’s old cannon are still poised, as if ready to defend the mighty fort from attacking pirates or invading ships.

Walk along the tranquil seaside esplanade just behind the fort and take in the ocean views and warm, inviting breeze. Just steps away visitors will find themselves in front of the stately city hall building. The imposing white façade with elegantly placed columns and arched windows is classic European Baroque style. Nearby, the Queen Victoria Clock Tower stands gracefully at the centre of a round-a-bout, directing the busy city traffic just as it has done since its construction in 1897.

George Town, on Malaysia’s thriving Penang Island is filled with history, from ancient ruins and old temples to its British colonial flavour, it’s no surprise the city has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Taxis are plentiful and visitors can easily locate a driver who will offer full day tours of the island at a set price. From history, to beaches, to amazing mountain lookouts, Penang is a must see on any Asia or Malacca Strait tour.

“Asia is by far the easiest place to venture and such a good value,” said Susan, “and the Malaysian people are just beautiful! All in all, this was an amazing experience, from beautiful resorts to amazing temples, these are memories we will cherish forever.”

Todd Sturm

I currently live in Brisbane, Australia. No matter where my travels take me, I enjoy experiencing each destination from the perspective of the locals. Some of my favourite attractions include historic sites, national parks and architectural landmarks.