August 7th – 21st, 2014
George Town, Penang Island, West Malaysia
The most spectacular destination in Asia, Penang has stayed wonderfully nostalgic by retaining its old architecture, narrow alleyways, extravagant temples, lively street markets, authentic ethnic neighbourhoods and a gracious sense of disorder.
Penang is a unique tropical island that literally oozes with culture, stunning scenery and the best food on earth. In 2008, the city of George Town was awarded UNESCO World Heritage status. With over 12,000 magnificent pre-war buildings housing the spirit of generations, Penang is real – don’t miss it .
Accommodation for 11 nights will be at a beautiful boutique hotel, right in the heart of the old town. You can unpack and just relax and enjoy all the sights and activities without the inconvenience or down-time of having to travel around. The last 3 nights will be at a luxury beach-side Resort.
Tour will be fully escorted by John and Veronica who live in George Town for several months each year. As locals, we are able to creative an interactive itinerary for tour members to experience the best of this iconic old town. Below is a list of itinerary inclusions. This is not a daily formula as we will have over 3 months in George Town, before the tour starts, to hone all aspects of your vacation.
Itinerary Inclusions ( click on links below for further information )
- August in Penang is festival month. The annual George Town Festival runs throughout August and features a host of local and international artists, musicians, theatre and dance. We will be in touch with tour members as each act is announced and book the various shows according to your choice.
- August is also Hungry Ghost month, with celebrations everywhere, including Chinese Opera ( to which we will have a backstage pass ), Hokkien puppet shows, Lion dancing, street music, Martial arts and various offerings to the Gods and spectacular burnings.
- The best way to explore George Town is on foot. We will travel the narrow lanes and back streets together and discover countless places you won’t find in the Lonely Planet. Our friend Teresa ( Penang’s most famous guide ) will escort us along one Heritage Trail while on other occasions we will take you through Chinatown, Little India and the Colonial District.
- George Town has a couple of vibrant morning markets ( Chowrasta / Campbell St ), Chinese Temples & Kongsis, Mosques, Hindu Temples and Churches, Heritage Mansions ( Cheong Fatt Tze / Perenakan Mansion ), an old Fort at the original settlement site, majestic Colonial buildings from the British era, a great Museum and fascinating Clan Jetties, all of which we will visit during your stay.
- We will use a mini bus for any highlights out of town and trishaws ( rickshaws ) for longer journeys around town.
- A cooking class with close friend and Master Chef, Nazlina.
- A trip up Penang Hill by Funicular Rail for spectacular views over George Town.
- We’ll visit the Botanic Gardens for a short jungle walk and to see the monkeys ( Long Tailed Macaques and Dusky Leaf Monkeys ).
- A trip to Penang’s west coast with stunning views, dense jungle and waterfalls, Malay Kampongs, Durian farm, the major rural centre of Balik Pulau and the Seaside village of Teluk Bahang.
- Shopping at the Gurney Plaza complex and new Paragon. Street shopping in George Town and at night markets.
- Visit the beautiful Spice Gardens, the revamped Butterfly Farm and the Batik Factory for some irresistible clothes shopping.
- Spend some time at our 1876 Southern Chinese Eclectic Shophouse. Built as one of 28 houses surrounding a temple, it is in one of the most unique enclaves in all of George Town. Taking 6 months to restore during 2011, we are now fortunate to be part of a wonderful Chinese community. Come for morning tea and make yourself at home exploring the house.
- 3 nights staying at a resort in the beach area of Batu Ferringhi. Spend daytime in the pool, on the beach, having a massage, visiting tailors and shopping. At night there is a huge night market, great restaurants and food courts.
- There will be a couple of free days in town with dozens of options to choose from. Apart from shopping and cafe crawling there is the Camera Museum, Chocolate Museum, Toy Museum, Mural tours, Batik Painting, Art Galleries, an amazing old Cemetery, Bicycle tours, Jungle Walks, Old Jetties, The Esplanade, Kampongs, Seven Street Precinct, Nagore Square, Burma Square, etc. We will always be on hand to put you in touch with whoever and whatever you want.
- One of the absolute joys of staying in George Town is the food. Penang is often referred to as the kitchen of Asia and the local delights are extraordinary. Apart from the local street food or Hawker fare that Penang is so famous for, we will indulge in some fine dining including afternoon tea at the E&O Hotel, dinner at the magnificent Seven Terraces, Lunch at Suffolk House Mansion, Dinner at the exclusive Via Pre Restaurant, a meal at the beautiful Edelweiss and Devonshire Tea at Victoria Rosa. We will also take you to some fabulous vegetarian restaurants including The Leaf, EE Beng, The Quay, Waterdrop and a great Indian Banana Leaf experience. At the end of the Tan Jetty is a superb Thai Restaurant that even most locals don’t know about. We’ll dine there one evening and enjoy the sunset. There is also a long list of great cafes to chill out in ( Cozy in the Rocket, China House, Gustos, Daily Dose, Coffee Lane, Just Cafe, Soo Hongry, Twelve Monkeys, Ete, Lighthouse …… to name but a few ).
- One thing we’ve always wanted to do in Penang is run our own version of the Amazing Race. If you like the idea, we’ll set something up which should be a heap of fun.
- For those who do Tai Chi, there will be training available with John and/or locals in the morning.
- There will be more activities announced in the coming months. We are mindful of setting a pace that is both relaxing and exciting. About a month before the tour begins we should have a well balanced daily itinerary to share with all tour members.
Tour cost ( excluding airfares ) is $2,380 twin share . Single Supplement is available.
- All transfers, transport in mini-vans, tri-shaws, funicular rail
- Tour leaders and all local guides
- All tipping
- Accommodation for 11 nights at a boutique hotel in George Town ( Ren I Tang )
- Accommodation at a Beach Resort for 3 nights ( Bayview Beach Hotel )
- All breakfasts
- At least 8 lunches and 8 dinners ( including all fine dining )
- Any tai chi training
- All entrance fees
- Cooking class with Nazlina
- International Airfare ( currently around $500 return with Air Asia )
- Ticketed Festival Events ( much cheaper than similar shows are in Australia )
- Any personal spending
- Travel Insurance
- Some lunches & dinners ( during free days ) / Drinks
If you are interested in coming on this tour or would like some more information, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call our office on 1300 88 28 13 ( John – 0418 589 594 ). Alternatively, you can fill out a contact form by clicking this link Contact Us.
For both Airfares and accommodation preferences, it is advisable to book as soon as possible. We will be able to assist with all aspects of your booking.