Welcome to Penang
If there's a more thrilling cocktail of eastern cultures than Penang, we've yet to find it. Penang has long served as the link between Asia’s great kingdoms and an important outlet to the markets of Europe and the Middle East. At its heart is diverse, cosmopolitan George Town, Penang Island's main city and an urban centre that delivers old-world Asia in spades, from trishaws pedalling past watermarked Chinese shophouses to blue joss smoke perfuming the air. The freshest aspects of modern culture are present, too, in the exceptional art scene and free-spirited carnivals, all fed by an infectious local enthusiasm for Penang's long history and kaleidoscope of cultures.
If you can tear yourself away, the rest of the island is rich in palm-fringed beaches and fishing villages, mountainous jungle and farms growing nutmeg and durian.