Food and heritage
The Pearl of the Orient has a long and illustrious history. “Discovered” by Captain Francis Light in 1786, Prince of Wales island, as it once was known, was for a long time one of the jewels of the British empire.
Alongside Melaka and Singapore it was known as one of the Straits Settlements, a string of outposts that dominated the sea trade between India and the rest of Asia.
Where to stay: Since 1948, the recently restored Lone Pine sits serenely on the north shore of the island, while for city digs look no further than the Hotel Penaga, heritage buildings in the heart of town. Attracting a lot of attention among luxury lovers is the Eastern & Oriental Hotel, a restored colonial property.
Getting there: Flights from around the world land at Penang International Airport. From there, inexpensive taxis can transport you to destinations around the island, or you can catch the airport bus into town.