Penang Island is a 292 square kilometer island located in the Strait of Malacca and politically belongs to Malaysia. The capital of the island is George Town. The city is located in the northeast of the island. Foreign tourists like to come to the island – especially because of the magnificent and imposing temple complexes. Penang Island has two bridges that connect the island to the mainland. These are the 13.5-kilometer cable-stayed bridge and a 24-kilometer bridge.
Location of the island
The island is located on the west coast of the Malay Peninsula and is bordered by the state of Kedah to the east and north and Perak to the south. The island is off the coast. In the northeast of the island, near Fort Cornwallis, is the point on the island that is closest to the mainland. At this point the mainland is two kilometers away. The island has its own airport with flights from Malaysia and Thailand. Another alternative is to take a ferry to the island. Foreign tourists like to use these alternatives, especially if they have previously visited Thailand or Malaysia.
George Town and its sights
The island’s capital, George Town, has around 520,000 inhabitants and is a magical attraction for foreign tourists. The sights of the big city include the numerous churches, mosques and the Hindu and Chinese Buddhist temples. The most famous temple complexes include the Hainan Temple, which was only restored in 195, and the Kong Hock Keong Temple. In addition, there is the Arulmigu Mahamariamman Temple and the Sri Mahamariamman Temple as well as the Mariyamman Temple. In a suburb of George Town there is also the largest Chinese temple in Malaysia, the Ke Lok Si. In George Town, many tourists also take a trip to the harbor lighthouse and the 18-meter-high clock tower.
Rainforest and turtles
The east coast and the west coast of the island are characterized by large alluvial plains. In the north of the island, the rainforest shapes the landscape. North of George Town is the national park, through which hikes can be made. One of these hiking trails also leads to Turtle Beach – the turtle beach.
Air Itam and the mountain railway
Air Itam can be reached by bus from George Town. This is where the Kek Lok Temple is located. This is one of the most beautiful Buddhist temples in Malaysia and is also the largest Buddhist temple. The Penang Mountain Railway also departs from Air Itam. It is one of the oldest funiculars in Asia. This mountain railway leads to Penang Hill. There are a few intermediate stops on the way up. If the mountain railway goes through completely, the journey takes only 5 minutes. If you stop at all intermediate stations, the journey with the mountain railway takes 20 minutes. The Habitat Canopy Walk is also located here. This has several viewing platforms and ribbon bridges, which are about 230 meters long. The bridges are at their highest points 40 meters above the forest floor.