From its humble beginnings as a trading port, the city of Penang has evolved over the last two centuries into a tourist destination prized for its beaches, historic architecture, affordable accommodation and amazing food. Accommodation spans quaint hotels and inns in historic neighborhoods and luxury beach resorts. The latter are more popular, as most tourists prefer to venture into the colonial enclaves by day, returning to the beaches and resort restaurants and clubs before nightfall.
Penang's capital city, Georgetown
, was awarded UNESCO World Heritage status for its fantastic historic neighborhoods. Highlights include Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion and its boutique accommodation, Fort Cornwallis, and the Old City Hall. The hotels in Georgetown are well located for visiting temples and museums.
The newest and most extensive beach resorts are at Batu Ferringhi
. It sits on the northern rim of the island and features an enviable spread of seafood restaurants and boutiques along the beach. So many Penang hotels are found here that competition drives down prices, especially in the off-season. Penang International Airport
is one of the best in Malaysia, and it operates flights to major cities across Southeast Asia and the South Pacific. Peak season begins right before Christmas and continues through Chinese New Year, which usually falls in late January or early February. Hotels in Penang charge the highest rates at this time, with the best deals are offered to early bookers.
Be sure to check out the interactive map of Penang for information on hotel locations, attractions, and must-see destinations.