Penang – a world renowned exotic holiday destination – was known, once upon a time, as Pulau Pinang or the “Isle of the Betel Nut”. The island (285 square meters) is situated on the northwest side of the Peninsular Malaysia. Listed as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site in 2008, this virgin paradise has no shortage of cultural sights and natural scenery. Nicknamed the Pearl of the Orient, Penang is famous for its soft sandy beaches. There are loads of activities and sights on the island. Hanging around on the beach is also considered a fine option. The quaint nooks and crannies of Georgetown and the Tropical Spice Garden – the only spice garden in South East Asia. Penang is especially known as the best place to enjoy wonderful local dishes; it is seen as the food capital of Malaysia. Penang has long served as the link between Asia’s great kingdoms and an important outlet to the markets of Europe and the Middle East. At its heart is diverse, cosmopolitan George Town, Penang Island’s main city and an urban centre that delivers old-world Asia in spades; think trishaws pedalling past watermarked Chinese shophouses and blue joss smoke perfuming the air. The freshest aspects of modern culture are present, too, in an exceptional art scene and free-spirited carnivals, all fed by an infectious local enthusiasm for Penang’s long history and kaleidoscope of cultures.