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About Penang

The reason exotic Malaysian cruise port Penang leaves such a lasting impression on visitors becomes clear when you visit its National Museum. Superbly laid out with some sumptuous exhibits, it portrays the rich history of the town and of the many and varied peoples and cultures which have played a part in its development:  Malays, Chinese, Indian, British - even Armenians.

This multi-cultural heritage makes it a fascinating place to walk around. The town centre, Georgetown, is full of interesting shops and lively markets (including a night bazaar) but, although it is also Malaysias top beach resort, there is no question about Penangs major attraction: the Snake Temple.

This is full of still-poisonous reptiles but they are so sedated by the temple incense that they spend all their time dozing and are - they say - no danger to visitors. Look out, too, for the Key Lok Si, the largest and reputedly the finest Buddhist Temple in south east Asia.

 

Shore excursions in Penang

Please note: The shore excursions listed are typical for this port. The full programme of shore excursions available for your cruise will be displayed on Cruise Personaliser at least 12 weeks prior to departure.

A Malaysian Experience

Activity mediumShopping

Duration: 3½ hours

Discover the true Malaysia and get closer to the sights and scents of Georgetown.

During a visit to one of Penang’s oldest wet markets, you’ll see many different varieties of vegetable, poultry, meat and fish. The fresh produce together with the local spices and herbs sold here will help you to get a real feel of how the locals do their shopping.

Khoo Kongsi is a magnificent ancestral Chinese Clan House and is one of the most impressive buildings of historical and cultural value in the country. Intricate carvings, statues, paintings and coloured tiles decorate the walls, pillars and roof. Khoo Kongsi is one of Penang’s ‘must-sees.’

Afterwards, you’ll visit another jewel of Georgetown, the Baba Nyonya Museum, also known as the Chung Keng Kooi Mansion. Formerly a private home, it belonged to a Chinese Kapitan, head of the Hai San secret society. The house has been very well-restored and the antique furniture and woodwork are simply stunning.

Your tour continues with a short walk over a narrow wooden platform to one of several Chinese Clan Jetties, where the humble beginnings of the Chinese immigrants are apparent.

Complete your tour with a photo stop at Fort Cornwallis, the longest standing fort in Malaysia, before returning to the ship.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. The wet market is a typical working market, and you may experience meat being prepared for sale. Passengers are advised to keep a close eye on their personal belongings at the wet market. There are steps at Chung Keng Kooi Mansion and at the Khoo Kongsi Clan House. Comfortable, non-slip walking shoes are recommended. Local currency (Malaysian Ringgit) is required for purchases.

Around the Island

Activity mediumShopping

Duration: 5¼ hours

Circle the island to see some of the most interesting sights, including tranquil Malay villages.

From the bustle of Georgetown’s waterfront to the unspoiled countryside of Penang, your drive will take you to visit the Thai Buddhist Temple, which houses the fourth longest Reclining Buddha in the world.

At the Craft Batik Workshop, the intricate and timeless art of printing the cloth with wax and dyes is presented, and items are available for purchase.

Enjoy the coastal views as you drive towards the northern tip of the island, passing by the coves and bays of Batu Ferringhi, until you reach the Butterfly Farm. Set in beautiful landscaped gardens featuring waterfalls, ponds and a rock tunnel, this walk-in aviary features over 100 species of live butterflies. It also showcases many other interesting living creatures, including Water Dragons, carp, snakes and giant scorpions.

Scents of clove and nutmeg abound as you drive through the hills, stopping at a local fruit and spice stall for a first-hand look at the fresh produce.

See the other side of Penang, the tranquil Malay villages, or Kampungs as they are known locally. Your guide will explain to you why the houses are built on stilts and tell you about the fruit trees and plants grown in the compound of the houses.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot and involves approximately one hour of walking. There are uneven and narrow steps at the Butterfly Farm, which can sometimes be crowded. Comfortable, non-slip walking shoes are recommended. A small snack box will be provided on the coach.

Flora, Fauna and Spices

Activity mediumShopping

Duration: 5 hours

Travel from the hustle and bustle of Georgetown into the countryside of Penang.

Journey to the outskirts of Georgetown and stop at the delightful Botanical Gardens for a stroll. The Gardens, which are also known as the Waterfall Gardens, were set up by the British in 1884. See many varieties of orchids, cactus, ferns, bamboo plants, flowering trees and shrubs. The Long-tailed Macaque, will also add some excitement to the visit.

Enjoy the coastal views as you drive towards the northern tip of the island to the Butterfly Farm. This walk-in aviary showcases many interesting creatures such as the Water Dragon and giant scorpions as well as 100 species of butterflies.

On the shores of Teluk Bahang, hidden in an eight-acre valley, lies the Tropical Spice Garden. As soon as you step inside, the sights, sounds and scents of nature will overwhelm you. The Garden showcases a collection of over 500 species of flora from around the world, with particular emphasis on tropical herbs and spices. Follow one of the trails or visit one of the Garden Rooms.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot and involves moderate walking, including some uneven and narrow steps at the Butterfly Farm. There are also steps and a fairly steep incline to negotiate at the Spice Garden. Flat, comfortable shoes are recommended.

Georgetown by Trishaw

Activity medium

Duration: 2 hours

Hop aboard a trishaw for a fun and colourful way to discover Georgetown.

It’s time to hit the road and discover the many captivating charms of Penang from the comfort of a trishaw. Let someone else do the pedalling as you take in all of the vibrant sights and sounds of Little India and Chinatown. The unhurried pace of the trishaw, often referred to locally as ‘the King of the Road’ is an experience not to be missed!

During your tour, enjoy a visit to the Majestic Khoo Kongsi, reputed to be the most beautiful Chinese Clan House to be built outside China. The intricate wood and granite carvings together with 24 stone carved classic examples of filial piety, makes it a must-see.

Back on board your trishaw you’ll journey to another jewel of Georgetown the Baba Nyonya Museum, also known as Chung Keng Kooi Mansion. This was formally a private home belonging to a Chinese kapitan who was the head of the Hai San secret society, and has been lovingly restored, boasting beautiful antique furniture and woodwork.

As your trishaw driver brings you back to the port, have your camera ready to capture photos of the beautiful colonial designed buildings that dot the town.

Essential information

This excursion operates by trishaw. There is approximately 1¼ hours of walking required on this tour, as well as some steps to negotiate. The trishaws are for single occupancy only, therefore 1 ticket per person must be booked.

Georgetown on Foot

Activity high

Duration: 3¼ hours

Discover Penang’s history and colourful blend of cultures during a guided walking tour of Georgetown.

Penang is alive with history, culture and a vibrant heritage and this is your opportunity to unlock the secrets of all 3.

During your guided walking tour, you’ll discover the religious harmony practiced by the multi-cultural community along Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling, formerly known as Pitt Street. Here you’ll discover that there are diverse communities, religions and faiths, all occupying the same space. Pitt Street boasts 4 major religious buildings; St George’s Church, Goddess of Mercy Temple, Sri Mariamman Temple and the Kapitan Keling Mosque.

A visit will be made inside the Goddess of Mercy Temple, one of the most important temples in Penang and the Chung Keng Kooi Mansion, the opulent former home of a wealthy Straits Chinese family, which is now a museum showcasing the culture of the Babas and Nyonyas. Along the way, enjoy photo stops at the Queen Victoria Clock Tower, Fort Cornwallis, City Hall and Little India.

Essential information

This excursion operates on foot. This tour is conducted entirely on foot and involves approximately 3¼ hours of walking, as well as some steps to negotiate.

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