Check out after breakfast and depart at 09:00 hours for Penang, driving along a scenic route via Simpang Pulai and Kuala Kangsar, the royal town of the state of Perak, which we stop in for a one-hour tour of its main landmarks. Head to a leafy and exclusive area south-west of the city centre, where a
number of historic, cultural and religious attractions are located. Visit the Sultan Azlan Shah Gallery, which is located in a former royal palace named after the late sultan whose personal belongings, documents, mementos, family photographs, trophies and state regalia, among other items, are on display. Continue to the nearby golden-domed Ubudiah Mosque, probably the finest mosque in Malaysia, and Istana Iskandariah and Istana Kenangan, two very different but equally beautiful former royal palaces.
Take to the road again in the direction of Taiping, which has the dubious honour of being the wettest town in continental Malaysia, with annual rainfall double that the rest of the peninsula. All that water has led to a fertile landscape of flora and large and mature rain trees in the moist Taiping Lake Gardens, the first visit of a two to three-hour stop in the city. You will also see the old railway station, the first in the country, dating from 1882.
Stop for lunch at a local restaurant and maybe try some of the savoury seafood for which the town is renowned. Afterwards, head to the Taiping War Cemetery, where the graves of more than 800 Allied soldiers – mainly British, Indian and Australian – are neatly laid out in a poignant reminder of the brutality of war. Head to the south-western outskirts of Taiping to visit the Kuala Sepetang charcoal factory in Matang. It is made in kilns using greenwood harvested from the nearby mangrove forest reserve. For each tree that is cut down to be processed into charcoal, a young sapling is planted as replacement. Be careful as everything here is soot black. Continue to Penang island, crossing the 13.5km-long Penang Bridge and driving up the east coast before arriving at the scenic Tanjung Bungah area to check-in at your hotel for the remainder of the tour.
Overnight on a bed-and-breakfast basis in ****Bayview Beach Resort Penang**** Lunch included.
Bayview Beach - 3 Nights