Tour Code: PEN-03 Duration: Approx 4 Hours
Experience and explore the ‘Pearl of the Orient’ with your own eyes as you travel around Penang Island to discover all its cultural and natural heritage.
Penang Island is steeped in history, rich in traditions and fascinating cultures. Known to sailors and traders of old as the ‘Pearl of the Orient’, its strategic location made it a sheltered harbour for Arabian, Chinese, European and Indian ships during the monsoon seasons. Penang quickly grew to fame during the famous spice trade era and has seen traders from all over the globe. The tour commences upon departure from your hotel at either 9 am or 2 pm where you will be taken along the scenic Batu Ferringhi Road for you to enjoy the panoramic views of the ocean. Our first stop will be the Batik Factory, where you will get to learn more about the exquisite Malay textile called the batek or batik, and how to make them using traditional techniques, wax and dye.
After that, continue your journey to the Penang War Museum. Along the way, you will pass by lush local fruit and spice plantations. We will make a short stop at a fruit stall en route so that you can get acquainted with local fruits and various spice such as nutmeg and cloves. Then, we will proceed to Bukit Batu Maung on the south-east corner of the island where the museum is located. The fortress-cum-museum was constructed in the 1930s by British forces to repel enemy invasions. It was deserted after the war before being revived into a museum; presenting the opportunity for people to visit the different chambers—ammunition storage, firing bay, bunkers, infirmary, mess halls—and peruse through war relics.
Then, we will drop by the famous Penang Snake Temple (also known as the Temple of Azure Clouds). The temple was built in 1875 in memory of a Buddhist monk that is said to have been endowed with healing powers. It is not named “Snake Temple” for nothing; you can be assured that there are snakes inside (and they are of the venomous sorts) but they are docile on temple grounds—truly a mystery by itself. Hundreds of devotees pay homage at the temple daily; unperturbed by the sight of pit vipers adorning the altars. On the way back, we will travel on the Penang Bridge, one of the longest bridges in the world, linking the mainland to the island.