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Penang Destination Guide

Exclusively Elegant Travel Since 1988

For more information, please call our Luxury Travel Specialists on:01244 897 551

Your guide from the Luxury Travel Specialists

Welcome to the Elegant Resorts Destination Guide for Penang, created to help make your choice of luxury holiday as easy as possible. Here, you will find more detailed factual information about the destination you have selected.

If you require further information, not featured on this page, please call one of our Luxury Travel Specialists.


Language Malay
Time Difference 8 hours
Currency Malaysian Ringgit
Voltage 240V

Boasting mountainous jungle, beautiful beaches, some of South East Asia’s best cuisine and charming colonial cities, Penang is an enchanting state in northwest Malaysia, comprising both Penang Island and part of the mainland. The state’s captivating capital, George Town, flaunts UNESCO World Heritage status, due to its blend of ancient Malay, Chinese and Indian culture and cuisine, alongside an abundance of colonial architecture. As well as a rich heritage and colourful history, George Town boasts a burgeoning art scene, boutique shops and luxury properties, making it a must-visit on your tailor-made luxury tour of Malaysia.

George Town

Colourful, multicultural and utterly charming, George Town is the capital of Penang. Located within the Malacca Strait and once an important trading hub, the historical city is known for its eclectic collection of British colonial buildings, ornate mosques and Chinese shophouses. Quaintly frozen in time, the old town is a dedicated UNESCO World Heritage Site, home to striking street art, exceptional local eateries and fascinating architecture. Highlights include the Blue Mansion on Leith Street, Kapitan Keling Mosque and Chinatown, while the historic city can be explored on several heritage trails.


Often cited as the food capital of Malaysia, Penang offers some of the best cuisine in southeast Asia. From sizzling street food to locally-run eateries, expect freshly prepared and regionally-sourced Penang staples with sensational flavours. Spicy laksa soup, wok-fried noodles and flavoursome curries are just some of the delights on offer. 

Kek Lok Si Temple

Nestled on lush hillside terraces just outside of George Town, colourful Kek Lok Si is Malaysia’s largest Buddhist temple and the cornerstone of the Malay-Chinese community. A fair few steps and furnicular will take you up to the 36 metre-high statue of Kuan Yin, the goddess of Mercy, as well as the Ban Po Thar pagoda, completed in 1927 and boasting panoramas of lush forest with George Town in the distance.

Penang National Park

A great day trip from George Town, Penang National Park comprises lush jungle and stunning sandy beaches, offering plenty of opportunity to meet the local wildlife and birdlife. Explore on foot or by boat, soaking up views of your stunning surroundings.


Temperatures in Penang remain fairly constant throughout the year. Located on the west coast, November to March is the best time to visit, due to the lower rainfall.

Temperature Guide

These figures show monthly average maximum temperatures and monthly average rainfall for Penang.

  Temp °C Rain mm

Getting There+

London to Kuala Lumpur with British Airways and onwards to Penang with Malaysia Airlines.

Flight time: 14 hours, 50 minutes (including layover time in Kuala Lumpur).

Travel Documentation+

Travelling With Children or Without an Adult

Children travelling without both parents should be aware that some countries require documentary evidence of parental responsibility before allowing lone parents to enter the country or, in some cases, before permitting the children to leave the country. Please contact the relevant Embassy for the county you are travelling to for further information.

Visa and Advance Passenger Information

All passengers must ensure they have a valid, acceptable passport, any required visa and any other documentation for both the final destination and any stop-off points en route. Please make sure that Advance Passenger Information is submitted in advance to travel for all destinations. Failure to hold correct documentation or submitting incorrect details with Advance Passenger Information or Visa applications may result in refusal of carriage or entry into a country. Please check with the relevant Embassy regarding visa requirements well in advance of your travel date. Charges may apply for some visas.

Passengers not travelling on a British Passport are advised to contact their relevant Foreign & Commonwealth office for individual Visa requirements.

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Health facilities, hygiene and disease risks vary worldwide and you should take health advice about your specific needs from your general practitioner or a specialist clinic as early as possible before travel. Those planning to become pregnant should discuss their travel plans with their healthcare provider to assess their risk of infection with Zika. For information about Zika, other mosquito-borne diseases (such as Dengue fever and Chikungunya), Lyme Disease (caused by tick bites), and to receive advice on mosquito bite avoidance measures, please visit Insect and tick bite avoidance. In addition, we highly recommend that you seek specialist advice from your doctor and, where recommended, obtain vaccinations or tablets for protection against, for example: Malaria, Hepatitis A, Polio and Typhoid. In some cases, treatments for Malaria should begin well in advance of travel. Travellers may also be required to show Yellow Fever Certificates on arrival in certain destinations i.e, some African countries. Please note that you are strongly advised against scuba-diving for 24 hours before travelling by air. We would also like to draw your attention to the risk of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) and recommend that you consult with your doctor before travelling. Visit the FCDO website and select your destination country for the very latest travel advice: Foreign Travel Advice. Additional sources of information include: Public Health England, The National Travel Health And Network Centre, Foreign And Commonwealth Office and your General Practitioner or a specialised clinic.

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