Penang (Pulau Pinang - Island of the betel nut)
Approximately 112km south of Langkawi, lies the island of PENANG the 'Pearl
of the Orient'. When first discovered by Captain Francis Light in 1786, the
island was filled with lush tropical vegetation. The betel nut palm was a common
sight all over the island - hence the name of Pulau Pinang
(Island of the Betel Nut). Penang has come a long way from its early beginnings
as the first British trading post in the Far East. Its capital Georgetown is a
bustling metropolitan city with a unique blend of East and West.
By contrast, the famous beaches of Penang - Tanjung Bungah, Batu Ferringhi and
Teluk Bahang offer all the scenic delights of tropical island paradise -
stretches of golden sandy beaches, clear blue seas and tiny secluded coves
enclosed by clusters of rocks. Penang is a resort island in full bloom with
numerous hotels of international standard fronting the sea along the beaches on
its northern coastlines. The range of facilities and amenities available here
makes it an ideal playground for worshippers of the sun and the sea.
But there is another side of Penang that still remains to be discovered. Along
the northwestern coastline are some of the fine beaches on the island. Imagine a
sparkling sea, powdery white sand, sunlight filtering through coconut groves -
the scene of perfect tranquillity. These beaches remain as Penang's best kept
secrets because they are relatively inaccessible except by hiking through jungle
trails. The rewards would make the effort really worthwhile.