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The road less traveled is the road to adventure, and what every great adventure has in common is someone with a passion to discover something new in this vast a beautiful world we share.
These articles are your personal guide to a whole new bucket list of exploration and a lifetime of new adventures.
FoodLocale

Explore Local Food at Gurney Drive Hawker Center

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No trip to Penang is complete without a walk through Gurney Drive Hawker Center. The place is overflowing with smells and flavours that is essentially the soul of Penang – its food! It is said to have the largest variety of local cuisine in one area. The Gurney Drive Hawker Center continues to remain the perfect place to mingle with the locals and try their dishes.

What is the Gurney Drive Hawker Center

Gurney Drive Hawker street
Gurney Drive Hawker street

The Gurney Drive hawker center serves like an open-air food mall. You pay as you order and the food is delivered to your table. Start at the juice stall and sip on the fresh juice as you pick and order from the various stalls. You’ll notice that the popular stalls usually have a wait in the queue policy while ordering. The stalls here sell everything — ranging from stir-fried noodles to assorted dumpling to desserts. Ais Kachang, a dessert made of shaved ice, red beans and a variety of toppings serves the perfect end. Perhaps a food court that leaves you sinfully full but positively satisfied without making a big hole in your wallet. 

A food lovers paradise

Delectable dishes at the stalls
Delectable local dishes

A foodie’s paradise, the hawker centre attracts even locals, not just tourists. A popular area especially during dinner time. Hence, better reach for an early dinner or you may end up hunting a seat for a long time. With at least hundreds of food stalls and numerous food options, it’s hard to run out of food options here. The clever serving size ensures you to try more than a couple of dishes. Thus, experiment with whatever catches your eye or tingles your nose, as you walk around. 

The best way to get a tour of this maze-like food market is with the help of a local travel guide. And that’s exactly where Locaguide will come to your rescue. Create an itinerary and book a guided tour of Penang with Locaguide, and get to explore places like Gurney Drive!

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Locale

Climb up Penang Hill on a Funicular Train

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Located at Air Itam, Penang Hill or Bukit Bendera is a mountain retreat and one of the most popular places to visit in Penang. Covered in lush green tropical forest, the surroundings of Penang Hill will truly bring you some peace of mind. The hill qualifies for a perfect getaway with family or friends.

How to get to the Penang Hill?

The most fascinating way to go up and down the hill is to take the funicular train. A fairly fast mode of transport, the rail track cuts through the forest taking just 5 to 10 minutes to reach. For adventure, try grabbing the seats at the bottom-most and topmost cabins while going uphill and downhill. Witness the city emerge before you as you go uphill and experience a roller coaster-like ride while going downhill.

Funicular Train taking you uphill
Funicular Train taking you uphill

Board the train at the base station of Air Itam and take in the views of the surrounding valleys as you go up. Once at the top, breathe in crisp cold air and immerse into the beautiful setting of the hill. You can also sip on some fresh juice or grab a bite at the restaurants on top of the hill. With a Skywalk and a few walking trails, the Penang Hill forms a good photographic location. Take a leisurely stroll to visit the temples and gardens or use the toy train service to go around.

Other attractions at the hill include a love padlock area, a viewing deck and a Curtis Crest, a walkway.

Vie from Penang Hill
A view from Penang Hill

Create a personalised Penang itinerary with Locaguide and talk to your designated travel guide on including a trip to Penang Hill. During your Penang city tour, do make it to the top of the hill with the funicular train ride. Make this your much-awaited place to visit because the journey seems as beautiful and exciting as the destination!

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CultureLocale

Immerse in the history of Pinang Peranakan Mansion

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If you are a history buff then on your tour to Penang, a visit to Pinang Peranakan Mansion is a must. While here, you can uncover the mysterious past of the Peranakans — descendants of Chinese immigrants. Over the years, the mansion gained popularity because of a drama series called “The Little Nyonya”.

About the Pinang Peranakan Mansion

A UNESCO heritage site, the Pinang Peranakan Mansion forms a living cultural museum. It came about from the marriage of the local Malay and the Chinese immigrants. But mainly restored and maintained to remind the world of the rich Peranakan heritage of Penang. The exterior and interiors of the mansion highlight the various cultures that influenced its architecture. The Pinang Peranakan Mansion still remains a masterpiece. It features the British tilework, Scottish iron weldings, European furniture and Chinese carved wood panels.

The Pinang Peranakan mansion
The Peranakan Mansion

Restored to showcase the living of the Chinese merchants of the 1890s, the mansion holds numerous stories to tell. A walk through the mansion is enough to lose yourself into a century-old lifestyle. The awe-worthy interiors will make you realise how elaborate and opulent the past lifestyle and traditions were. Inside the mansion, you can view everything; from jewellery to wedding attires to items of daily use.

Interiors of the Pinang Peranakan Mansion
How to visitA peek inside the mansion

How to visit?

The Pinang Peranakan Mansion conducts guided tours twice every day. So, we highly recommend you to take your own local tour guide along. Connect with a local travel expert on Locaguide and ask him to show you around the mansion. Without a helping hand, it is almost impossible to cover it entirely. He will show you the pieces that were used by the Peranakan families and explain the history behind them. Given the vastness of the mansion, visit the place early before the crowd starts pouring in. Thus, making yourself some time to indulge and soak in the glamour and grandeur of the mansion.

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CultureLocale

Discover Penang’s history at the Clan Jetties

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Forming an important part of Penang’s rich heritage, the clan jetties are more than a picture-perfect tourist speciality. Originally giving the local Chinese immigrants a place to call home, each jetty came to be distinctively known for the clan it housed. Starting with seven such clans, this Chinese settlement did not have a smooth start, until the local government body officially gave them an identity.

History of the Clan Jetties

Out of the original seven, six jetties have houses that were built over a century ago. And if you know exactly where to look you’ll still be able to see some of the original stilts. The slits those used by the Chinese when they first immigrated to Penang. Named after the Chinese clan who first lived on the jetties, each jetty is a village in itself. It reflects the traditions and beliefs of the clan. Each village has its own temple, and its own stories to tell. Take a guided tour of this place with your local travel expert from Locaguide. The guide will help you with the difference in the temples and tell you the tales of the clans.

When to visit the Clan Jetties?

Probably the best time of the day to visit the clan jetties is late afternoon. This will allow you to round up your visit by watching a glorious sunset at the jetty. The setting sun brings with it a change in the neighbourhood and a tinge of excitement in the air. Hence, everyone makes sure to pause by and witness the gorgeous sight. 

A view of clan jetty at dusk
A view of clan jetty at dusk

The iconic long wooden planks make for gorgeous walks be it solo or with your loved ones. If there is one place to see in Penang that you shouldn’t miss then this is it. With ample souvenirs to purchase and local restaurants, the jetties are the perfect place to spend an evening.

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CultureLocale

A peek into local culture at Baba-Nyonya Museum

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Baba is the term used to refer to a Straits-born gentleman, while Nyonya is used to address a Straits-born lady. The Baba-Nyonya Museum in Malacca showcases the lives of the affluent families of the past. Built on restoring three townhouses, the museum shows the rich culture of the Peranakan homes before the World War.

About Baba-Nyonya Museum

Located on Millionaire’s street, the later generations of the original family maintained and restored the Baba-Nyonya Museum. As you walk in, you can spot the red lanterns on either side of the elaborate columns. One of the lanterns bears the household name while the other invites good luck into the house. Large intricately carved teakwood doors lead you inside the museum. Extensively covered in hand-painted tiles the house tells about the beliefs and traditions of the past.

Baba Chan Cheng Siew, a second generation Strait’s born Chinese established the house in the year 1985. Before turning the house into a museum, four generations of the Chan family lived here.

 Inside the Baba-Nyonga Museum
Baba-Nyonga Museum

The Victorian lamps and chandeliers show the extent to which the families flaunted their wealth. You can’t help but notice the detailed dark wooden furniture in the interior. The floral designed wrought iron castings outside the windows add to the extravaganza of the place. The museum holds numerous stories and the antiques show how well the immigrants adopted the traditions.

This heritage museum takes you back in time and makes up for one of the best attractions in Malacca. If the place eagers you then consider creating a customised itinerary with Locaguide. The local tour expert will walk you around and give the details of the museum. He may also help you interact with the family that lives there, and give you the chance to hear stories from them about their ancestors.

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Locale

A’Famosa Fort – A slice of Colonial History in Malacca

FortA'Fomosa Fort, Malacca

The Rich History of A’Famosa Fort

Built more than 500 years ago, the name A’Famosa Fort actually translates to The Famous Fort. Constructed by the Portuguese at the foot of St Paul’s Hill only a tiny part of the fort is still left standing. It is in the form of a small Gate House named Porta de Santiago making it a must visit attraction.

Canons, markings and graves show that the fort lived as a part of all the three colonies that ruled Malaysia. With every colonial rule, the Fort remained altered as per their likings to leave proof of the respective reigns. Also, changing the purpose of the fort. Built at the foot of St. Paul’s hill, the fort is located between the city of Malacca and the sea. Meanwhile, the neighbourhood has a village vibe and the fort extends the grandeur and royalty of the Portuguese era.

A Photography retreat

The fort is a perfect spot for photography and the ruins of the fort lend an almost tragic stricken feeling. Take your time to explore and learn about the fort on your walk around capturing history in your photos. Moreover, it goes without saying that the A’Famosa Fort has a lot of history associated with it. This comes to light if you have the patience to dig deep. 

Ruins of A'Famosa Fort
Ruins of A’Famosa Fort

With so much to see and learn here, make sure to include the A’Famosa Fort in your itinerary. Build a personalised itinerary with Locaguide and plan a trip to this historic site. Upon exploring the fort you can take a leisurely walk around the neighbourhood. Shop for souvenirs or savour at the food stalls set up across the street. As the sunset nears trek uphill for a view of the mesmerizing city of Malacca. Thus, the visuals of the sun setting over the sea brings a perfect end to the tour.

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Locale

An evening at Jonker Street Night Market

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The perfect end to a day-long city tour of Malacca is shopping and dinner at Jonker Street. With the setting sun, the street starts bustling with life. The square lights up filling the air with mouthwatering smells as hawkers start shouting to sell their wares. It goes from being a quiet street in the day to resembling a party at night. 

Things to do at Jonker Street

The night market at Jonker Street on the weekend proves to be the perfect setting for the locals and tourists to mingle. So, enough varieties in the food will help you eat like a local. Sample and nibble at the multiple hawker stalls and restaurants around.

The night market at Jonker Street
The night market

The quirky presentation and aromatic smell of the food will make you want to taste everything that catches the eye. The entire street turns into a stage with live performances and music events set up. The setting seems magical and will truly make you feel like a local.

Among locals, Chicken rice balls, Satay Celup, Nyonya Laksa and Gula Melaka cendol stay on the top of the list.

Shop till you drop

On your walk along the street ensure to keep an eye out on the merchandise available for sale. You can buy anything and everything during the night market. The street is lined with antique shops, shops selling handicrafts, local art pieces, jewellery and a lot more. The night market offers a whole variety of street shopping so haggle for the best prices.

Opt for a local travel guide if the chaos and the bargaining overwhelm you. Connect with a local tour guide from Locaguide before planning a trip to Malacca. Make sure to take suggestions and tips from your guide while purchasing stuff on the Jonker street. An evening at Jonker Street takes you on a completely different note because of its infectious energy.

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Locale

The Malay-style Melaka Sultanate Palace

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The Sultanate Palace built at the base of St Paul’s Hill in Malacca forms an identical replica of the original 15th-century palace. It is a cultural museum, home to the Malay side of Malacca’s history and a prominent cultural icon in this part of Malaysia.

Exploring the Sultanate Palace

As you walk in, the sultanate palace requires you to remove your footwear outside and enter the building bare feet. Moreover, the palace gives you a glimpse into the rich past of the region. Relive the curiosity the locals felt upon seeing the immigrants and traders in their costumes. Along your way, you will the mannequins dressed as traders from across the seas.

The sultanate palace
The sultanate palace

The museum also displays the local tools used for daily activities and recreational purposes. As you walk through the palace note if you can spot any nails used for building the palace. You won’t find because the whole place employs the traditional method of ingeniously carved wood that fits together! Furthermore, you can check out the grand throne room and learn about the life of the Malay heroes. Once outside the palace building, you can cherish the gorgeous gardens built around it. Known as the “forbidden garden”, the Sultan built the museum for his harem.

A Guided Experience

Not sure how to make sense of all this history? Opt for a guided tour with a local travel guide from Locaguide. He/She will share the tales associated with the kings, royals and the palace. Moreover, the artefacts and architecture on display at the palace allow you to sense the grand lives of the royals. Also, shows how they spent their time all those years back.

At the end of this tour find yourself witnessing and reliving all the grandeur and royalty of Malacca Sultanate Palace. Unwind and shop for souvenirs or gorge on some local food at the end of your city tour.

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Locale

The Iconic St. Paul’s Church of Malacca

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St. Paul’s Church makes up for one of the most interesting attractions because of its ruins. So, make sure that you do not miss it on your tour to Malacca. Built some 500 years ago it sits peacefully on top of the St. Paul’s Hill. The St. Paul’s Church church ranks as one of the first churches built in Malaysia because its past remains deeply rooted in history.

Ruins of St. Paul's church
Ruins of the St. Paul’s church

Discovering the St. Paul’s Church

With locals setting up food and souvenir stalls on the way uphill may seem a bit crowded. The St. Paul’s Church’s sight forms a popular spot for photography, gorging on some mouth-watering street food and buying souvenirs. Walk past the crowd so that you can relish the grandeur of the church and learn more about its history.

St. Paul's Church in the back and St Francis Xavier Statue in the front
St. Paul’s Church in the back and St Francis Xavier Statue in the front

Take your time to explore and absorb the vibe of the spiritual antiquity of the place. Despite being in ruins, the St. Paul’s Church still holds the majestic vibe of the Dutch era. Discover the Church’s history right from the Dutch to the British period to the Sultanate’s gain and loss of power. Walk around the church and look for signs which give you the proof of stories from the past. The sight of St Francis Xavier statue and it’s lost arm adds to the ancient history of the place. Not only does the stained glass enhance the mystic appeal of the church but also shows the recent additions to the place.

Given the rich and extensive history of the church, hiring a local travel guide would seem a good idea. Build a customised itinerary and find a local guide from Locaguide to show you around the St. Paul’s Church. While the church takes you back in time, the view from St. Paul’s Hill shows the modern beauty of the city. So, your extra walk uphill does not go in vain because the view that it offers is worth it!

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Locale

Langkawi Cable Car: experience the steepest cable car ride in the world

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If you want to feel on top of the world, then riding the Langkawi Cable Car is a must! Also known as the Langkawi SkyCabs, the cable car ride offers a panoramic view of entire Langkawi and its surroundings. High enough to get a direct view of the waterfalls and flora, the cable cars also allow you to spot the wildlife on the island.

Langkawi Cable Car
Cable Car

The enthralling Langkawi Cable Car ride

Starting at the foot of Mt. Machincang, the cable car rides to the top of the mountain. It goes about 708 meters above sea level. The entire ride is split into two halves and you have the option of getting down at the middle stop.

The middle station allows you to walk till the viewing deck and get a closer look at the flora and birds around. And luckily, you can also see some wildlife catching up on their daily nap. If you want to try other activities then take the Sky trail and trek up from the middle station. The rewarding view at the end motivates enough to ensure that you complete the trek.

The Sky Bridge at Langkawi
The Sky Bridge in Langkawi

Further up, an unparalleled view of lush tropical forests and the surrounding ocean and islands will welcome you. You can see the bigger picture with multiple sites and monuments all visible in the same frame. Once at the top, walk along the Sky Bridge if you want a diverse view of the mountains. Later, indulge in a meal 700 meters above sea level. A perfect reason to just cherish the view for a bit longer, before you begin the ride down

A Guided Experience

When planning your Langkawi itinerary, add a pit stop at the Langkawi Cable Car for a thrilling experience. Build a personalised itinerary with Locaguide and talk to your designated local travel expert to make time for this activity. Ask your local guide to plan your day such that you do not miss the mountain view.

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