New and exciting sights await tourists to Penang

New and exciting sights await tourists to Penang

The Vibes was privy to the latest landmarks which has emerged this year in the northern region

IN 2018, according to the data from Tourism Malaysia, 21.775 million tourists came to the country to enjoy its splendour as a ‘Truly Asia’ destination.

When the pandemic struck 3.386 million tourists were recorded in 2020, an 84.7% decline, as hotels, attractions, eateries, hawkers, and the night scene close their shutters.

But late last year and for the past seven months, tourism has witnessed an upsurge as those who survived Covid-19 came out in droves to celebrate the relaxing of the movement control orders and its standard operating procedures.

Recognising this, the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (Motac) through Tourism Malaysia (TM) launched the Tourism Recovery Plan 2022 with the second version of the Cuti-Cuti Malaysia campaign.

The focus on new touristy spots throughout the country, especially in eco-tourism areas has also yielded encouraging response from the domestic tourists and now foreigners, with some four million of them expected to arrive here for the final quarter of 2022.

The Vibes was privy to the new touristy landmarks which has emerged this year in the northern region of Perlis, Kedah, and Penang, as tourism activist Eric R. Sinnaya reckons that anything new sells in a world craving for new adventures and delights.

“We need to learn a lesson or two from Covid-19. I guess besides improving our immunity, another thing is to appreciate mother nature. So, eco-tourism is one way for us to appreciate what we were gifted naturally. We should enjoy it.”

Sinnaya called for a balanced of new modernity and a need to preserve nature amid concerns over climate change and its ensuing effect of global warming.

Herewith are the new attractions:

1. Exploring caves in Gua Kelam, Kaki Bukit, Padang Besar, Perlis

It was discovered in 1935 and it was previously used to transport iron ore from a mine.

The only way to the cave is through a suspension bridge, which connects Kaki Bukit to Wang Tangga, a valley at the opposite end of Gua Kelam.

This suspension bridge was built to facilitate the movement of tin miners from Wang Tangga to Gua Kelam.

This cave used to be the connecting road for Wang Kelian residents (Malaysia-Thailand border area, near Satun, Thailand) with Kaki Bukit town.

The facilities there is now upgraded to facilitate the inflow of tourists.

2. Trekking through the Bukit Mertajam Recreational Forest in Penang

Also known as Taman Rimba Bukit Mertajam, this area is akin to a natural green oasis in the town. With over 37 hectares of hilly terrain, this spot is popular for jogging, hiking, and jungle trekking with the ultimate aim of reaching the top of Tokun Hill.

There are two trails, one which leads you through a tar-covered road, and one which takes you across jungle trails.

3. Visit the homestays at the Malay villages of Permatang Rawa, Bukit Mertajam, Penang

Penang is not only about food, heritage, and beaches.

The tourism authorities here want travellers to explore the off beaten tracks, and nothing is more convincing than visiting the villages in Permatang Rawa.

It is here where the annual Padi Festival takes place, as the residents take the effort and time to celebrate their traditional income of cultivating rice and fruits along the way.

Sample the tranquillity and why the villagers prefer to stay in their natural settings

4. Chilling at Icon City and Auto City in Bukit Mertajam, Penang

It is rumoured that the night scenes in Penang began changing when local tourists begin lamenting the congestion, they found themselves often in.

So, the Prai-nizens, or mainlanders, found their own place to unwind instead of driving through the Penang Bridge to head to George Town on the island.

Icon City and Auto City has since grown and prospered from diners out for a chill out occasion to an extent that now islanders come over to join their mainland counterparts.

In either area, one will find impeccable dining options offering a taste of regional cuisines and several themed cafes and bars.

Iconic Hotel general manager Kevin Cheah sees the mushrooming of eateries next to his hotel as a boon, as the guests have a variety of places to explore.

Cheah said that on most weekends, Icon City is filled to the brim with diners, as it is located just a few metres away from their housing estates on the mainland.

5. Langkawi’s Red Rock beach in Pulau Rebak at Kedah

Wild, mysterious, yet relaxing. In the middle of the rainforest on Rebak Island, Langkawi lies a bed of red rocks on sandy sands off the Andaman Sea shores.

These beds are reddish mudstone containing ancient fossils as far back as 300 million years ago.

Historic evidence of Southeast Asia’s geological formation over the many centuries of human civilisation.

Red rock, golden sandy beaches, and a combination of blues and greens mesmerises one to stand still as time passes.

This immersion into nature encapsulates you to live in the moment as a statue amongst nature.

And adding to this are the roaring waves and the breeze of the wind simulating one of the childhood days when you took your first ride at an amusement park.

Located on Rebak Island’s coastline, every sailor from the Malacca Straits will witness this Red Rock Beach, as they sail towards the main island of Langkawi from the north.

New hotels on the horizon

Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc and Tradewinds Corp Bhd inked an agreement today to expand its flagship brand in Malaysia with Hilton Burau Bay Resort Langkawi in Kedah.

The new take on marks Tradewinds’ fourth property with Hilton, following Hilton Petaling Jaya, Hilton Kuching and the recently announced Waldorf Astoria Kuala Lumpur.

The 251-room resort is scheduled to be opened in 2024 and will be Hilton’s second property in Langkawi which complements The Nautilus Resort, Curio Collection by Hilton (expected to open in 2023).

The Thai–based hospitality management group of Amari makes their debut in Penang next month with the opening of the Amari Spice Hotel, which is the biggest in the state.

It has 453 rooms, and it is the first of its kind where the bulk of the business would come from the meetings, incentives, conventions, and exhibitions (MICE) segment.

The property will pride itself with food and beverage. There are plans to have a rooftop cocktail bar and other outlets to cater for the growing appetite for tasty food.

It is also located at the heart of Bayan Baru – Penang’s version of the satellite township of Petaling Jaya where adjoining the suburb is the Bayan Lepas Free Industrial Zone.

The property is expected to be the pride and joy of the Setia Spice Convention Centre, said the owner, SP Setia Group’s convention division general manager Francis Teoh.

source – The Vibes

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