Sunday, March 13, 2011

Pulau Pinang

Dawn View of Pulau Pinang

The most popular beaches in Penang are located at Tanjung Bungah, Batu Ferringhi, and Teluk Bahang, and these contiguous beaches are home to Penang's famed hotel and resort belt. More secluded Muka Head, which hosts a lighthouse and a marine research station, and Monkey Beach both within the Penang Official Park offer more pristine water.

The Penang Butterfly Farm in Teluk Bahang, one of few of its kind in the world, is a walk-in free-ranging butterfly habitat, breeding and conservation centre. The Penang Bird Park in Seberang Jaya is the first aviary in Malaysia. Other places of special interest include the Tropical Spice Garden and the Tropical Fruit Farm in Teluk Bahang, and the Bukit Jambul Orchid and Hibiscus Garden.

Penang has managed to retain a considerable area of natural environment. Located at the fringe of George Town, at the foot of Penang Hill are two adjacent green areas the Penang Municipal Park (popularly known as Youth Park) and the Penang Botanic Gardens. Penang Hill, despite encroaching development, remains thickly forested and lush in vegetation. The Relau Metropolitan Park was opened in 2003. Robina Beach Park is a park by the beach near Butterworth.

Gazetted in 2003, the Penang National Park (the country's smallest at 2,562 hectares) at the northwestern tip of Penang island boasts of a lowland dipterocarp forest, mangroves, wetlands, ameromictic lake, mud flats, coral reefs and turtle nesting beaches in addition to a rich diversity of birdlife. In addition to this, there are nature preserves in Bukit Relau, Teluk Bahang, Bukit Penara, Bukit Mertajam, Bukit Panchor, and Sungai Tukun. A small bushy tree, Alchornea rhodophylla, the almost-extinct tree Maingaya malayana, and the toad Ansonia penangensis are endemic only to the island of Penang.

Penang is a major shopping destination in the northern region of Malaysia. It has several modern shopping malls offering a wide range of merchandise. Among the more popular ones on Penang island are Queensbay Mall (Penang's largest), Gurney Plaza at the famed Gurney Drive, KOMTAR(Penang's first modern shopping mall) and Penang Times Square (an integrated commercial and residential complex near Komtar). Notable shopping malls in Seberang Perai are Sunway Carnival Mall at Seberang Jaya and Seberang Prai City Perdana Mall at Bandar Perda.

Traditional bazaars such as the Chowrasta Market and Campbell Street, and makeshift open-air night markets known as pasar malam were the precursors to today's shopping malls. They offer goods ranging from modern electronics and textiles to foodstuffs and local produces.

Reference : 1.

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