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Description A complete tour of Georgetown, the lively capital of the Malaysian island of Penang and a UNESCO World Heritage Site with its botanical gardens, ancient buildings, Chinese and Buddhist temples, busy streets and districts built on water where different cultures, traditions and religions coexist in a truly special harmonious melting pot. An experience not to be missed!

What we will see
  • Penang botanical gardens, the green lush of Georgetown
  • Thai temple of the Reclining Buddha
  • Dhammikarama Burmese Temple with standing Buddha
  • Baba Nyonya museum or Pinang Peranakan Mansion
  • Khoo Kongsi temple
  • Chew Jetty: houses built on stilts

What we will do
  • We start our tour of Georgetown with the Penang botanical gardens called Taman Kebun Bunga and also known as “Waterfall Gardens” under British rule due to the waterfall found inside them. The gardens were inaugurated in 1884 and cover an area of around 29 hectares. In addition to showcasing the flora and fauna, they constitute a ”green lush” for the city of Georgetown. Here we can find long-tailed macaques and, when it comes to plants, we can admire the Pinang palm tree which the island was named after, black lilies with a purplish-black colour, candlenuts, local ginger, ferns, orchids, cacti, bamboo, and so on.
  • We continue our tour with the Wat Chaiya Mankalaram, the Thai temple of the Reclining Buddha built in 1845 during colonial times. The exterior features characterised by lively colours and a grand golden pagoda. The entrance to the main hall is protected by the nagas, golden creatures similar to snakes and by two demons brandishing a sword. The interior contrasts with the exterior due to its simplicity: the hall is bare and dominated by an enormous 33-metre reclining Buddha draped in a gold sarong. The lying or reclining Buddha is an allegoric representation of interior peace and detachment from the world.
  • Right in front of it, we find another Buddhist temple: the Dhammikarama Burmese Temple. In this temple, the standing Buddha statue is 11 metres tall and has an enigmatic smile and huge white hands, one pointing upwards and one downwards, an allegoric representation of meditation and enlightenment.
  • We then move to visit another of Georgetown’s gems, the Baba Nyonya museum, also known as “Pinang Peranakan Mansion” or “Chung Keng Kwee Museum”, as it used to be the private residence of the Chinese Chief of the Hai San Secret Society. The building, a magnificent eclectic villa, is a true architectural marvel. The late Victorian influence is particularly evident in the profusion of cast-iron decorations, among the few in Penang to have survived the Japanese occupation. The splendid antique furniture and magnificent woodwork will leave us truly speechless.
  • We continue with the renowned Khoo Kongsi temple, the most sumptuous in all of Malaysia whose walls, pillars and roofs are decorated with carvings representing the marks of Chinese master craftsmen. The temple was built around 650 years ago and was rebuilt in 1920 after a fire. It has an enormous historic and cultural value and used to be the place of gathering of a Chinese clan. The Chinese term “kongsi” in fact literally means “company” or “meeting hall”. These facilities had a number of functions and services both for families belonging to the same clan and to facilitate relationships between Chinese migrants, to celebrate civil and religious ceremonies - especially those relating to the cult of the ancestors - and to foster business relationships. 
  • Before returning to the port, we visit the Chew Jetty on the Georgetown seafront, a district featuring houses built on stilts forming a true village on water built by the first Chinese immigrants. The houses are mostly inhabited by Chinese families traditionally divided into “clans”. The jetties are divided according to the families or clans who inhabit them. Chew Jetty is the largest and boasts plenty of shops and restaurants.
  • After the visit, we board our coach again to return to the ship.

What you need to know
  • Footwear must be removed and socks must be worn to enter the Buddhist temple and when accessing to the second floor of Baba Nyonya Museum
  • Feeding animals within the botanical gardens during the visit is prohibited.