Sights and Sounds of Penang: What to Do and Where

Sights and Sounds of Penang: What to Do and Where

Penang, once a centre of British colonialism, bridged the gap between Asian kingdoms and European powers. As a result, the area has developed a vibrant cosmopolitan culture that attracts visitors and expats from across the globe. Travellers who stay in a Georgetown hotel will find heritage architecture, museums, shopping and nightlife set against a backdrop of pristine beaches and a verdant countryside.   Beaches and Natural Beauty Beautiful swaths of sand stretch along the northern coast of the island from Tanjung Bungah through Batu Ferringhi to Teluk Bahang. While the secluded Muka Head features a historic lighthouse, pristine Monkey Beach is situated inside the Penang National Park. The beaches are a haven for water sports enthusiasts as well as those who want to relax in the sun. In addition to exploring the colourful pathways of the Penang Botanical Garden, visitors who stay in a Georgetown hotel can enjoy the stunning views from atop Penang Hill. After a trek through the national park, you can cross the 250-metre-long canopy walkway for a bird’s-eye-view of the lush forest. The tropical Penang Butterfly Aviary is located in Teluk Bahang.   Local Attractions Penang is home to a UNESCO World Heritage Zone that includes a wide assortment of colonial buildings like Suffolk House and the Cheong Fatt Tze mansion. Other points of interest in Penang include the 18th-century Fort Cornwallis, the Victoria Memorial Clock Tower and the Kek Lok Si Temple of Supreme Bliss, the largest Buddhist temple in Southeast Asia. The Wat Chaiyamangalaram is famous for its statue of a 33-metre-long reclining Buddha. St. George’s is Southeast Asia’s oldest Anglican Church. Bayan Lepas is the setting...
Practical Travel Tips for Rome, Italy

Practical Travel Tips for Rome, Italy

“When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” This old adage is truer than ever when you’re in the heart of the Eternal City, and it doesn’t mean spending £3 on a single cup of cappuccino in the centre. Rome is a beautiful destination, one of the most populated cities in Italy with over 47 million tourists (2013) each year. Rome is also located in Italy’s Southern region, which makes commuting to other popular destinations in Italy such as Milan, Florence, Tuscany and Naples fast and easy via a train from Termini Station. How can you make the most out of your stay in the Eternal City? Check out these tips from an expat living in the city.   Oon’t Just Stick to the Centre If you have been looking for holiday rentals in Rome, the majority are going to be located somewhere near the centre. While this is a convenient location to start out in, don’t limit your entire stay to only exploring the perimeters of the Colosseum and Trevi Fountain. Rome has a lot to offer, and one of the largest complaints from tourists is that it feels too commercialised and overcrowded. The Colosseum alone attracts around 4 million visitors annually, so it will definitely be packed, especially if you’re visiting in the summer. However, do some research prior to your arrival and discover the other areas of Rome you may enjoy seeing. Art galleries, shops and authentic trattorias can be found easily and will cut your dining and recreation expenses in half.     Bring a Dictionary In the tourist districts, you’ll more than likely always...