Travel

48 hours in Penang with Qatar Airways : A vibrant place of color and diversity

Business flight with Qatar Airways to Penang

On February 6, 2018 new departures from Frankfurt am Main airport to Penang were introduced by Qatar airways. Qatar airways customers have a choice of three flights per week with a stop in Doha.

On my trip to Penang, I was given the chance to try the B787 Dreamliner. In addition to a warm welcome and exemplary service, Qatar airways also offers a high level of comfort and equipment. In addition to innovative LED lighting systems ensuring great adaptation to schedule changes, the quality of food also excites the taste buds! Each Dish is served with a selection of premium wines! As French girl I really enjoyed this moment 😉 After a glass of champagne, I choose the traditional Arabic appetizer with tasty fresh and crisp breads.

(Credit picture for the previous 2 pictures : Qatar Airways)

During the travel to Penang, we stopped at the Doha airport. As business class passenger I had access to the Al Mourjan Lounge. With exclusive marbles, designer furniture and Arabian heritage architecture, this area is an ideal place to relax between flights. With over 10 000 square metres and a variety of dining areas, it will satisfy everyone’s expectations! Each private workstations or conference rooms are equipped with personal display screens and WI-FI.

Penang a cultural and arty hub

Penang is one of my favorite part of my travel and a Malaysian state located on the northwest coast of Peninsular Malaysia. We started with a visit to the capital city, George Town.

  • Street art in George Town

Myriad of cultural sights, I was pretty much impressed about the richest source in term of art, culture and scenery. After the first dinner at the Jen Hotel, we decided to explore the Marking George Town project featuring sculptures and Street art. We began with a traditional trishaw ride. Trishaw is the most flexible way of transportation around the city, allowing you to make a few stops sightseeing stops along the way. 

“Voices of the People”, each steel-rod caricature (52 pieces designed by local Malaysians and Penangites) retells the history of the streets and stories of its communities with their humor and language.

  • The cradle of several great civilizations and religions

“The Quiet Please” caricature art piece designed by Cartoonist Reggie Lee is a perfect introduction about the melting pot of cultures with Eastern and Western influences in George Town. Representation of two “chinamen” street’s fighting in the 19th century, it mentions in the background the Portuguese colonisation in the 16th century. The narrow lanes of its attractive colonial-era capital is awarded the coveted title of World heritage Site by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in 2008. With a population of 1,6 million, Penang is an exceptional cosmopolitan city with vast business interest where Malay, Chinese, Indian and European cultures live together. It was a quite surprise for example to visit the St George Church on the famous “Street of Harmony” and to discover just some meters away a Chinese temple…

  • The baba Nyonya tradition

The Peranakan Heritage is an important part of the Malay Archipelago. Baba Nyonyga is the terms used to describe early Chinese immigrants who came to the Malay Peninsula and adopted much of Malay culture. The Pinang Peranakan Mansion is a perfect introduction in a Fifth Generation Baba Nyonya Descendant. This jade-coloured mansion is a typical home of a rich Chinese Migrant “Hai Kee Chan” with vast collections ranging from the Chinese to the British, with local influences. I will definitely recommend visiting this building to understand the Penang’s unique architectural history and if you like food experience like me, you have to eat some typical baba dishes! The highlight was our lunch at the Atlantic 1. Delicious and authentic Nyonya delicacies using traditional recipes, you have to try the Special Pandan Rice with the Chill Garam Fish and for Food addict, a must-have would be the assam laksa, a Peranakan noodle soup! But be careful, it’ aromatic and slightly hot!

  • Penang Hill, the heat of tropical Georgetown

If you love nature reserves and a haven of peace in the heart of a varied and outstanding landscape, don’t forget to visit Penang Hill! Established by the British, Penang Hill is one of the oldest colonial hills in southeast Asia.

With 3 Nature Walk Trails, this place is a fantastic opportunity to discover exotic flora and fauna. To reach the highest standing at 833 meters, you have to take the famous Penang Hill Funicular Railway.

We decided to close our exotic hiking with a visit to the Habitat. Located on the fringes of a 130-million-year-old virgin rainforest on Penang Hill, this eco-experience offers spectacular views to the steaming forest and island.

Who knows, in the bend of the road you may be surprised by an unexpected encounter with Black Giant Squirrel or Dusky Leaf Money!  

Conclusion

Penang is a great destination for everyone interested to understand the history of Malaysia. From there you can also easily reach Langkawi Island for a beach holiday, Malakka for more culture or Kuala Lumpur to experience the vibrant city!