The Pearl of the Orient


When I toured Malaysia back in 2005, I had to choose between travelling down either the east or west coast of the peninsula. I opted for the east coast and ended up learning to dive in Redang island, so it was the right choice. I was however really disappointed I couldn’t get to Penang. My recent visit to KL gave me the perfect opportunity to head up there one weekend, make amends and tick Penang off my bucket list.

Located off the north-west coast of peninsula Malaysia, Penang is a one hour flight or 4 – 5 hour train/road journey from KL. The island has deep historical roots involving not just Malays, but also Chinese, Indian, Tamil, Armenian, Portuguese, French, Dutch and of course British explorers and traders. Penang is overflowing with history and its significance in opening up SE Asia’s trade routes to the emerging global marketplace of the 19th century cannot be underestimated. It all started in Penang, and when you wander around the older part of its capital George Town, it is easy to see why it was declared a UNESCO world Heritage site. Continue reading