What Local Services are Available in Penang?

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Penang is an increasingly popular destination for real estate investors, businesses, and tourists and a great place to make your home. If you are buying or renting Penang property through Property Guru and are looking for more information on the area before you commit, here are some details of the most important services available throughout Penang:

 

Shopping

With several large shopping malls, dozens of smaller shopping centres, and street markets catering to all budgets, Penang has become one of the primary shopping destinations for Malaysia. It isn’t hard to find whatever you need in Penang, anything from antiques to souvenirs. One of the most famous and recognizable shopping centres is the Komtar Tower, home of Penang’s first modern shopping mall and one of the tallest buildings in Asia.

 

Leisure

Penang’s diverse population, vast cultural heritage, and large amount of tourism mean there are almost innumerable leisure activities available in Penang to fill up your free time. This includes just about everything from hiking and bird watching to live theatre and music. The large religious population also means there are many festivals throughout the year. The tourist spots such as the beaches and historical sites are worth at least one visit, as they have cheap entry fees and keep on drawing tourists back year after year. If you want to get out of the city once in a while, there is still plenty of open land not too far away for hiking or cycling. Even the colonial architecture in the cities makes taking a walk through the urbanized areas of Penang a pleasant experience, which travel journalists say make it ideal to spend the day wandering around and exploring.

 

Food

The good news is that Penang is famous for its huge variety of street food and vendors, with many dishes originating from the region which are popular worldwide. You could practically find a new place to eat every day of the week and never get bored or run out of new things to try, and most importantly without breaking your budget. The Guardian lists some of the top places to eat, including char koay teow from Lean Joo Sean’s famous street stall, dim sum from the De Tai Tong café or affordable seafood from Weld Quay Restaurant. For a special evening out, there are numerous upper class restaurants and bars as well. If you ever want to give your palate a break, there are also many foreign establishments. Japanese and Chinese cuisines are the most popular amongst locals, but there are also such places as The Hard Rock Café, which serves classic American food.

 

Transport

This should be a key consideration whenever you move to a new area as lack of planning could lead you to spending too much of your time commuting. Penang has a well-established transport infrastructure and more measures are being put into place to improve traffic. Even so, heavy traffic continues to be a major problem in many parts of Penang, especially near the city centre where streets are old and narrow. It is wise to plan your daily commute ahead of time and find ways to cut down your travel time. The city monorail and buses are also an option, but many locals still report them as being unreliable. When looking at houses, try to find somewhere as close as possible to your place of work or your children’s schools and check out the traffic situation of your neighbourhood before you move to avoid any travel disasters.

 

Places of Worship

The cultural diversity that Penang is known for mean there are several places of worship for practically all denominations, even smaller religious groups, many of which also serve as attractive landmarks and tourist destinations due to their history and cultural significance. Some of the most famous include the Kuan Yin Taoist temple, The Snake Temple, and the Sri Mariamman Hindu temple, but there are dozens more making up the pages of travel guides. If you prefer a quieter place to worship without tourists getting in the way, there are numerous smaller community temples, churches, and mosques dotted throughout the city so it is not hard to observe your own personal religious practices and traditions. The multi-cultural nature of Penang means that all religious communities show respect for each other and co-reside without any issues. There is also a good mix of multi-racial and religious schools throughout Penang to choose from.

Penang’s size, history, and cultural make up mean it is easy to find the amenities you need no matter where you choose to live in the city. It is worth checking out several neighbourhoods to see what is available and what you like best. With some careful consideration, especially concerning the traffic situation, you can find your perfect new home in Penang.

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